Chamomile is a well-known herb throughout the world. It is thought to have a calming and almost sleep-like effect on the user and is often made into a hot tea. Individuals who are ill or having trouble falling asleep at night (or who simply need to relax) is recommended to sip a warm cup of chamomile tea. The smell of lavender often makes people feel at ease and relaxed and so people also use chamomile in their bath water as a kind of aromatherapy. It is safe and calming for babies and small children and so chamomile is often used in homemade baby products, such as powders and baby wipes.
Chamomile also has anti-inflammatory properties and can be used to reduce swelling, as well as ease spasms and other discomfort in the intestinal tract. Chamomile also has a long list of healing properties, including its use to treat indigestion, anxiety, insomnia, colic, eye irritations, diarrhea, gingivitis, hemorrhoids, migraines, menstrual problems, peptic ulcers, skin irritations and minor wounds or injuries.
Some individuals with blond or light brown hair can use chamomile to lighten their hair in the summertime. To do this, boil water on the stove and steep two or three chamomile tea bags in the water. Allow the water to cool enough to so that it won’t burn your skin or scalp and pour the homemade tea over your hair. (Please note that if you want to lighten only portions of your hair, you can remove the wet tea bags and squeeze them directly down the length of strands of hair). Sit in the sunlight until your wet hair dries. Doing this repeatedly over time will help lighten the hair and the chamomile will bring a shine to your hair.
When preparing chamomile tea from garden flowers, use a covered vessel to ensure the steam does not escape (evaporation can impair the medicinal properties of the flower). Use half a cup of flowers in one pint of water. This alone can be used as a cold tonic, or it can be mixed with ginger and alkalies. Drink this mixture improve ingestion, mild headaches, heartburn, loss of appetite and intestinal problems.
The whole herb can be used in making herbal beer, lotion and externally for toothaches and earaches. Use one ounce of the herb in one pint of boiling water. Allow the tea to cool. Use as a mouthwash for toothaches or drip small amounts into the ear canal, carefully allowing fluid to drip back out onto a clean cloth.
Finally, combine equal amounts of crushed poppy and crushed chamomile flower into a poultice and use on the body to help reduce swelling.