I want to use this blog as an opportunity to educate others about herbs. Today I want to talk about German Chamomile. This is the chamomile of tea fame. I think everyone knows that it makes a delicious tea that can really help you relax and go to sleep. I don't think most people know how versatile and useful it can be as a true medecine. It is one of the best anti-inflammatory herbs-soothing to red inflamed skin and healing to acne prone skin. It is also very cleansing on the skin and strengthens muscles and skin. It can relieve muscle spasms and sore muscles. It can be used as an eyewash or compress for pink eye or eyes irritated from allergies-that is unless you are unfortunate enough to be allergic to chamomile. It is also fabulous for diaper rash on babies and hot spots on pets, and can soothe bee stings.
There are more ways to prepare this herb besides teas. Personally I recommend buying whole bulk flowers or growing your own. The tea bags in the store are ok but the herb is cut so fine to fit into the tea bag that alot of the medecinal qualities have faded. To make a medecinal quality tea you should pour boiled (not boiling) water over the herb, cover it, and let it steep for at least 20 minutes. One cup of water to 1 teaspoon of herb. Then you can just strain and drink. I have found nice tea sacs at the liquor store and health food store that can make this process easier or you can strain it through cheesecloth, a coffee filter, etc. You can make a stronger "tea" to use as a hair rinse or for an herbal bath. It really cleans and softens hair and skin. For pink eye, make tea with the tea bags, wring the tea bags out a little and then lay the tea bags over the eyes for a while. This will relieve the itching an irritation and speed healing.
Today I will be straining my chamomile oil that I started a couple of weeks ago with fresh flowers from my garden. I filled a small canning jar with fresh flowers and filled it to the top with olive oil. I have had it sitting in the sun for 2 weeks. This gently warms the oil and infuses the properties of the flowers into the oil. It smells SOOOOO good. Now I can use my oil as a fragrant body oil, as a base for a cleansing cream or as medecine. It's gentle enough for babies and pets. I really recommend using this for massage on your children. It is a great chance to bond with your older children (including teeneagers). I use this on my daughter when she asks me to massage her back. Now she isn't some spoiled princess asking to be pampered. When she asks me to massage her back it's usually for stress relief so I will never tell her no and I will always use a relaxing, healing oil so she gets maximum benefits.
I hope everyone who reads this will use the information to care for themselves and their families. As you learn and use these remedies, I hope you will remember to give thanks to God Almighty for the gifts he has given us!