Chamomile (Matricaria recutita) is a common herb most folks are familiar with. It’s often seen in teas that support sleep, upset stomach, calming, and overall de-stressing. While this delightfully sunny, little herb can certainly do these things, it has many other highly useful benefits.
Have you ever accidentally over steeped a cup of chamomile tea? The longer the tea sits, the more its bitter properties will come through. Bitters are excellent to use in cases of digestive concerns such as indigestion, bloating, colic, and gas. Some bitters can be harsh and should be used with great care. Yet chamomile is very mild for a bitter. It is gentle and pleasantly flavorful, so it is often given to children suffering from colic. Some bitters are so unpalatable, many adults will avoid ingesting them, making chamomile a favorable choice.
Another use for this herb is for anti-inflammatory properties. This action can be external or internal. Externally, a salve can be used for burns, insect bites, and wound healing. It’s very effective and often used with calendula, which also promotes the healing process. Internally, this herb has an affinity for the digestive system. So think of chamomile for IBS, inflammation of the digestive tract, nausea, or indigestion. Another specific use is for the relief of gout and acidic buildup that some people suffer from after eating red meat. It is definitely important to buy a dried, high quality chamomile to get a therapeutic effect from drinking the tea. If you do buy pre-bagged teas, find a respectable brand and use several bags per cup.