I’m pretty sure that once we had had our babies my antenatal friends quickly tired of me answering most of their health-related questions with ‘Chamomile’. Healing and soothing episiotomy damage? Chamomile. Mild colic? Chamomile. skin rash? Chamomile. Sticky eyes? Chamomile. You get where I am going with this...
I have 2 children under the age of three, and this little white and yellow flower is definitely top-trump in our household. And with good reason, Chamomile has a truly exceptional range of properties to help in the relief of conditions so often experienced by children. It is not only a digestive aid but also has anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial, anti-spasmodic and anxiety relieving properties.
The humble chamomile tea is easily stocked at home, I recommend brands that specialize in herbal teas such as Pukka, Heath and Heather and Dr Stuarts.
Drink it: Before or after meals for digestive problems such as reflux, colic, trapped wind, constipation, diarrhea and tummy aches. Seek a diagnosis from an Herbalist or your GP for any ongoing digestive problems. Drink it throughout the day for anxiety or before bed for sleeplessness. Always brew teas like Chamomile with a saucer over the top to stop the volatile oils escaping with the steam; these have an important therapeutic benefit.
Apply it: Applied externally in a cream to cuts and grazes it helps to reduce inflammation, encourage healing and help keep infection away. A few drops of chamomile tea, or even better Chamomile essential oil, could be added to a base cream. I’d recommend a base cream of calendula (Marigold) as it also has healing properties which work will with the chamomile.
Bathe in it: A tea bag in the bath can help to heal and soothe itchy, sore skin in conditions such as Eczema (its particularly good used along with a handful of oats for this), and use it in the bath with a few drops of Lavender essential oil to help promote a good night’s sleep.
Eyewash with it: For conjunctivitis, cooled, filtered Chamomile tea can be used to bathe the eye throughout the day to soothe and fight infection, I used this for both of my babies. In older children, the cooled tea bags can be used as a compress too. Use a different bag for each eye to avoid cross contamination. If the symptoms don’t improve within a few days, seek further advice from your Herbalist or GP.
Not bad for a small flower hey?
Hopefully you’ll find that these tips help to resolve mild cases of the above. In more chronic or complex cases, you are likely to need more tailored, specific help.
In my experience children tend to respond particularly well to the gentle yet powerful nature of Herbal Medicine. In many cases of chronic childhood illness, a carefully balanced herbal medicine may be all that is needed to restore health
If your child suffers with a particular condition that you would like to discuss, don’t hesitate to ring me on 07736829755. I will happily discuss how I might be able to help.