A delicious, comforting cup of chamomile tea can help you relax before bed. It’s also the beverage of choice for a frightened Peter Rabbit, whose mother wisely administers the drink after a rough day in Mr. McGregor’s garden. Because of its gentle effect, herbal and homeopathic preparations of chamomile can soothe fussiness and pain in your little one, too.
A Flower of a Thousand Uses
German chamomile (Matricaria recutita) is a hardy annual that grows low to the ground and blooms in late spring. A member of the daisy family, chamomile has a bright yellow center surrounded by white petals. German chamomile is the preferred variety for tea especially as it has a sweeter taste than its bitter cousin Roman chamomile (Chamaemelum nobile).
Chamomile has been valued medicinally since ancient times. Depictions of it can be found in hieroglyphics of Egypt, where it was revered and used for malaria and heatstroke. Since then, this plant has been infused into teas and tonics for stress and sleep relief, menstrual pain, and gastrointestinal disorders, including gas and stomach cramps. Tinctures and soaks made from dried flower heads have been applied to wounds, toothaches, and poison ivy. With its sweet, earthy aroma, the chamomile flower remains a popular ingredient in skin and hair care products, as well.
The Benefits of Chamomile for Your Baby
Chamomile contains a rich array of therapeutic compounds with anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, and calming properties that make it ideal to use at home for your baby.
You can ease gas and bloating with chamomile tea to relax your baby’s digestive system. Use one or two teaspoons of chamomile tea mixed with pure water in your baby’s bottle and give after meals.
Soothe irritations on your baby’s sensitive skin with a chamomile soak. Pour two to three tablespoons of chamomile tea or hydrosol into bathwater to take care of redness and itching.
Teething pain can be calmed with a washcloth soaked in cooled chamomile tea and rubbed on the gums. You can also use Chamomilla 30C, the homeopathic preparation of German chamomile, to relieve pain, earaches, and irritability that accompany teething.* Simply dissolve 5 pellets in a few ounces of water in your baby’s bottle. Give this every 15 minutes as pain occurs and decrease frequency as it improves.
Some adults and children can be allergic to chamomile. Talk to your child’s health care provider if you have any concerns or questions about using chamomile.
*Claims based on traditional homeopathic practice, not accepted medical evidence. Not FDA evaluated.
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