NATURES BEAUTY - CHAMOMILE

Have you ever suffered through a bout of insomnia and had someone tell you to try drinking a cup of chamomile tea to help you sleep? Chamomile is a daisy-like plant often employed in herbal medicine. Over the centuries as people have used it, chamomile has been touted to treat a wide range of ailments, from hay fever to menstrual cramps to ulcers, hemorrhoids and, of course, insomnia. Your shower gel, shampoo or skin-care lotion may contain chamomile, which is said to treat conditions such as sunburn .....

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NATURES BEAUTY - BARLEY

Barley is one of the oldest domesticated cereal grains still being grown around the world today. It originated in Ethiopia and southeast Asia. It is most often used in bread and malted beverages such as beer (barley beer was likely one of the first alcoholic drinks humans developed). Over the centuries, barley water has been used for various medicinal purposes; it is good for clearing up urinary tract infections and is also said to be a good remedy for kidney stones.

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NATURES BEAUTY - CRANBERRIES

What would our Thanksgiving Day feasts be without cranberries? This staple of our holiday dinner has a long, proud history in the United States. According to the Cranberry Marketing Committee (uscranberries.com), Native Americans used cranberries as a food staple as early as 1550. They ate them fresh and mashed them with cornmeal and baked them into bread. They used maple sugar or honey to sweet them. They also mixed cranberries with wild game and melted fat to make pemmican.

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NATURES BEAUTY - CHAMOMILE

Have you ever suffered through a bout of insomnia and had someone tell you to try drinking a cup of chamomile tea to help you sleep? Chamomile is a daisy-like plant often employed in herbal medicine. Over the centuries as people have used it, chamomile has been touted to treat a wide range of ailments, from hay fever to menstrual cramps to ulcers, hemorrhoids and, of course, insomnia. Your shower gel, shampoo or skin-care lotion may contain chamomile, which is said to treat conditions such as sunburn, eczema and psoriasis. It may speed the healing of skin ulcers, wounds or burns. Two types of chamomile, Roman and German, are most frequently used in these types of applications. Chamomile is said to have anti-inflammatory, analgesic and disinfectant properties. The plant’s flowers contain volatile oils such as bisabolol and matricin as well as flavonoids and other therapeutic ingredients. Once you’ve drunk your tea, use the teabag to help soothe your eyes.


The Flower Expert (www.theflowerexpert.com) says chamomile is probably the most widely used relaxing herb in the Western world. It’s native in many European countries and is cultivated in Germany, Egypt, France, Spain, Italy, Morocco and parts of Eastern Europe. This “earth apple” is available as dried flower heads or as a liquid extract as well as tea. It’s called earth apple because the flowers have a scent reminiscent of apples. Its Spanish name, Manzanilla, means “little apple.”


According to Mountain Rose Herbs (www.mountainroseherbs.com), chamomile was revered in ancient Egypt for its healing properties and was also used as an offering to the gods. In Europe, chamomile has been utilized as a panacea for digestive health. Herb Wisdom (www.herbwisdom.com) says chamomile gained popularity during the Middle Ages, when people began using it as a remedy for numerous medical complaints, including asthma, colic, fevers, inflammation, nausea, skin diseases and cancer. Native Americans have used chamomile and related species since their introduction to the Americas. Cherokee people drank the tea to promote regularity and the Kutenai and Cheyenne tribes made jewelry and perfume out of the dried flowers. Folklore says chamomile has magical properties that attract money.


Over the past 20 years, research has confirmed many of the traditional therapeutic claims for chamomile using pharmacological methods. This research showed chamomile does have antipeptic, antispasmodic, antibacterial, antifungal and anti-allergenic capabilities. Chamomile is now included in the pharmacopoeia of 26 countries. More recent research identified chamomile’s prowess as an

anti-inflammatory and as a muscle relaxant with sedative properties. Animal studies show chamomile contains substances that act on the same parts of the brain and nervous system as anti-anxiety drugs.

TANYA TYLER

Tanya Tyler is the Editor of Health & Wellness Magazine

more articles by Tanya Tyler