Chamomile is a success story
There are lots of alternative treatments that have questionable effectiveness. Chamomile isn’t one of them. When it comes to lessening anxiety and improving the quality of sleep, especially in older adults, when used as a tea or as aromatherapy, chamomile is a champion. There are also other uses for chamomile, but here we will deal only with its calming ability.
Chamomile’s value has been recognized for thousands of years. There are references to it in ancient Egyptian records.
It was popular through the Middle Ages and remains so today because of its usefulness.
Chamomile is a member of the daisy family, which is also related to ragweed. Unfortunately, that means if you’re allergic to ragweed you may also have problems with chamomile. If you look on line you’ll see many references to this fact.
Growing and harvesting chamomile
I started to write down my personal prescription for how to harvest and use chamomile, but I found that one of my favorite magazines had a recent article about this. It’s so thorough, I decided to simply refer people to it instead.
For a good review look at: hobbyfarms.com/how-to-harvest-chamomile-3
Chamomile as a tea
When I have a patient who wants to take more control over their anxiety or sleep problems, I usually steer them toward chamomile, typically as a tea. There are quite a few brands of ready made teas with chamomile in them. Celestial Seasonings, Traditional Medicinals, Bigelow and Tazo are just a few of the companies that offer such. In addition, it's possible to simply harvest and use the blossoms, as the above-referenced article describes.
Chamomile has therapeutic benefits just on its own. However, I advise my patients to make the act of brewing the tea a calming ritual to enhance the effectiveness. Fill the tea kettle. Watch the steam rise as the water heats up. Slowly pour boiling water over the teabag, enjoying the aroma of the drink as it steeps. Soft music can be helpful. Finally, find a comfortable chair, put your feet up. Breath deeply, in through your nose, out through your mouth. Repeat twice, then begin slowly sipping the warm beverage, taking your time and concentrating on positive subjects.
Feel yourself relax.
Image of Egyptian papyrus by: Elnur
Image of chamomile by: Gitusik
Image of chamomile tea by: ESchweitzer