Alternative medicine Chamomile


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Alternative medicine Chamomile

  1. 1. Press TV Print Page 1 of 3 Alternative medicine: Chamomile Tue, 13 Nov 2007 20:20:38 By Patricia Khashayar, MD., Press TV, Tehran Considered an effective remedy by ancient Egyptians, Chamomile continues to be used to fight ailments, and relieve bedtime anxiety. Botanical: Anthemis nobilis (LINN.) Family: N.O. Compositae Synonym: Matricaria chamomilla, German Chamomile, and Wild Chamomile. Habitat: Various Chamomile species are spread over Europe, North Africa and the temperate region of Asia. Hungary was once the main supplier of Chamomile; however, today it is mainly imported from Eastern European countries, Egypt and Argentina. Description: Chamomile is a downy and grayish green, low-growing plant. The root is perennial, jointed and fibrous. The hairy and freely branching stems are covered with leaves, which give the plant a feathery appearance. German Chamomile is of very high quality. Part Used Medicinally: Flowers and herb. Constituents: The active principles are volatile oil, Anthemic acid (the bitter principle), tannic acid and glucoside. Medicinal Uses: Chamomile is used to treat motion sickness, tension, restlessness, spasms, headaches, migraine and depression. Chamomile tea is an extremely effective remedy for hysterical and nervous breakdowns and is also used as an emmenagogue. It is considered as a preventive and the sole certain remedy for nightmares. It can cut delirium tremens attacks in the early stage and has sometimes been employed in wax and wane fevers. It is also used to treat hemorrhoids, swollen and painful breasts, wounds, rashes, and leg ulcers. Chamomile tincture is the cure for summer diarrhea in children and is believed to be useful in nervous stomach, colitis, peptic ulcer, Ulcerative colitis and Crohn's disease. 3/26/2008
  2. 2. Press TV Print Page 2 of 3 Chamomile is used with purgatives to prevent colds. It is proven to be useful in treating conjunctivitis and eye irritations and all conditions affecting the mucosa. Chamomile is thought to have anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, antifungal, and antiseptic powers. Its oil is an active ingredient in many over-the-counter anti-inflammatory and antiseptic drugs. Some herbalists recommend Chamomile flowers for treating water retention, blood clots, muscle tension, and a depressed immune system. Chamomile flower is especially known to be effective in fighting gram positive bacteria (staphylococcus aureus) and candida albicans. Chamomile flower also reduces the urea level in blood and is used to treat menstrual disorders. Combined with ginger and alkalies, the cold infusion proves an excellent stomachic in cases of ordinary indigestion, such as flatulent colic, heartburn, loss of appetite, and also in gout and periodic headache. It is an appetizing tonic, especially for the elderly, when taken an hour or more before a principal meal. A strong, warm infusion is a useful emetic. Chamomile flowers used alone, or combined with an equal quantity of crushed poppy-heads, is a poultice and fomentation for external swelling, inflammatory pain or congested neuralgia. It will relieve where other remedies have failed, proving invaluable for reducing swellings of the face caused through abscesses. It is used in several skin conditions such as dermatitis, eczema, psoriasis, acne, blisters and boils. However, it can aggravate certain conditions. Chamomile's antiseptic powers are 120 times stronger than sea-water. The whole herb is used for making lotions for external application in toothache, earache, neuralgia, etc. The herb has also been employed in hot fomentations to treat local and intestinal inflammation. Preparation: Chamomile is most frequently taken as tea: 1 tablespoon of the chamomile flowers can be added to hot water and steeped for 10 minutes in a covered pot. Chamomile infusion can also be applied topically to skin as a compress. A decoction of Chamomile flowers and poppy heads is applied as hot fomentation to abscesses - 10 parts of Chamomile flowers to 5 of poppy capsules, to 100 of distilled water. Inhaling a mixture of a handful of Chamomile flowers in water is shown to be effective in treating headaches, earaches and toothaches. It may also be helpful to add other herbs (thyme, wild oregano) to enhance the effects of the infusion. Gargling or rinsing the mouth with warm chamomile tea at hourly intervals may treat acute mouth and throat inflammation as well as peritonsillar abscess. It should be noted that the curative effect of Chamomile takes a relatively long time to develop. As a result, treatment should be continued for at least one week after the acute symptoms have subsided. In addition, the prescribed dose must be high enough to be effective and the medication should be taken several times during the day. 3/26/2008
  3. 3. Press TV Print Page 3 of 3 Chamomile is commonly used in partial baths, wet compresses and steam baths to treat inflamed hemorrhoids. The steam bath is prepared by placing a handful of bath quality Chamomile into a bucket and pouring 2-3 liters of boiling water onto it. The patient then sits on the top of the bucket covered with a blanket to ensure no steam escapes. Caution: Chamomile should not be taken during pregnancy or breast-feeding. Chamomile contains coumarin, a naturally occurring compound with anticoagulant or blood- thinning effects. It should not be combined with warfarin. People with allergies may react when they use chamomile either internally or topically. It may cause skin irritation. It is not recommended in teething babies, individuals with hay fever, asthma or other health problems such as high blood pressure and heart or blood vessel diseases. Patients allergic to any medicines should be cautioned while using the herb. Chamomile may cause drowsiness (make you tired), so be careful while driving an automobile or operating machinery. In case of having any of the following side effects, one must discontinue consuming the herb as it means you are allergic to it: - Breathing problems or tightness in your throat or chest - Chest pains - Skin hives, rash, or itchy or swollen skin High doses of the herb may cause vomiting. PKH/HGH Count of views : 2250 © Press TV 2007. All Rights Reserved. 3/26/2008