Chamomile, or Matricaria chamomilla is long known as a great pre-bedtime tea. It is a mild sedative with good gastric anti-inflammatory properties. It is known to soothe those who are nervous, anxious, or distressed. It is cooling and relaxing.
Herbalists have relied on chamomile’s relaxing properties for centuries. Thankfully scientists have begun catching up and validating its traditional uses.
Most of us think of it as just drinking this aromatic tea as a bag in hot water for a few minutes. But as with nettles, making it as a stronger infusion, such as a Super Infusion can really help with insomnia, pain inflammation, cold and flu symptoms. Just add ¼ cup to a mason jar or French press and top with 2 cups of almost boiling water. Let it steep for up to four hours, strain, and enjoy.
Chamomile is equally calming to a cranky or teething baby or a whining toddler. Many herbalists like to say that it is equally effective for an adult whining like a child 😊.
Take any extra chamomile tea and freeze in ice cube trays. When frozen, store in a plastic bag. When someone has stomach issues from the flu or any other upset, a fever, or just feeling out of sorts, you can take the plastic bag with the cubes and crush the cubes with a mallet to make some wonderful, healing ice chips.
Buying organic chamomile in bulk is as easy, if not easier, than buying nettles. It will store in a cool, dry spot for as long as a couple of years.
One of my favorite ways to use chamomile is in a face/sinus steam to soothe stuffy or inflamed sinuses. To make, place a handful of chamomile in a medium sized bowl. Pour almost boiling water over the herb and stir. Let it cool for a minute or two. Then drape a towel over your head (having removed any makeup from your face) and move your head to about 12” above the steam. Breathe deeply. Both your skin and sinuses will thank you for it!
Sources for Chamomile:
Any reputable organic herb purveyor. Two of my favorites are:
Mountain Rose Herbs https://mountainroseherbs.com/
Pacific Botanicals https://www.pacificbotanicals.com/store/