Spring has sprung and my heart is lifted by the sight of blossoms which are popping up unexpectedly around my property. I recently took a trip to Trader Joe’s and found that they, too, were in bloom with bunches and bunches of gorgeous flowers. In particular, they had several types of chamomile and I bought three different varietals to adorn my home. Chamomile has always been a favorite because of its calming principles, but these two new species had me exploring the other uses of this beautiful flower for its effectiveness in mood balancing and topical applications.
Most of us have heard of chamomile as a plant ally to use for soothing the nerves. There are also many uses for children, including a calming effect in babies with colic and to aid in reducing the discomfort of teething. The flowers can be used to create a gorgeous, relaxing bath and can reduce muscle tension, especially if combined with Epsom salts (2 cups per bath). Chamomile can be made into a calming tea by placing the fresh or dried flowers (1 tablespoon) into hot water (8-10 ounces) and steeping it for 10 minutes. You can also cool the tea and pour it into ice cube trays which creates little blocks of ice that can be applied to sore gums of teething infants. The sweet, straw-like taste of chamomile is quite lovely, and no sweeteners are necessary!
The most common species of chamomile is German chamomile (Matricaria recutita), which has the highest content of chamazulene, the essential oil of the chamomile plant. This essential oil not only has a tremendous dark blue color but also has powerful anti-inflammatory and anti-infective properties. Known as blue tansy oil, it has been used topically to heal wounds, ease wrinkles, and soothe skin. It is used in many anti-aging facial serums for its beneficial effects and I have started incorporating it in a few of my skincare products (coming soon to DHB!).
If you see these stunning, delicate white and yellow flowers in your local store or farmers’ market, pick some up and enjoy them in every imaginable way. We use chamomile in our DHB Anxiety Tincture as part of a synergistic blend to calm you and your nervous system.