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Decoction of chamomile
Chamomile is a well known herb, used and appreciated all over the world. Its scientific name is "Chamomilla recutita L.", belongs to the Asteraceae family and is widespread especially in southern and central Europe. It grows spontaneously, without the need for special care, but prefers a mild, temperate climate; its flowers resemble small daisies with yellow corolla and white petals. The chamomile enjoys remarkable beneficial properties obtained from the tiny dried corollas, the part of this herb from which the active principle extracted by the Official Family is extracted because of its soothing power. Chamomile is rich in essential oils (camazulene, cerulene, farne sene, etc.) and flavonoids (quercetin, apigenin and luteolin), but also of mucilage, amines, polysaccharides, sesquiterpene lactones, vitamin C and B1. The properties of chamomile are substantially soothing: its active ingredient, in fact, is used to fight inflammations of various types and muscle spasms, especially those that affect the digestive system. Herbal teas and decoctions based on chamomile are therefore particularly recommended to be taken when suffering from stomach pain, acidity and gastritis, or when more serious pathologies such as colitis, enteritis and esophagitis occur. Some types of ulcers also benefit from chamomile intake. The chamomile-based drinks do not have a healing power, but an anti-inflammatory and pain relieving power: they also have the advantage of not having the side effects of drugs, which is why they are often the first solution adopted. Chamomile is also useful to counteract menstrual pain, in fact it is widely used by women during the days of the cycle, since it reduces the pangs of the lower abdomen and makes the spasms more bearable. Another great property of chamomile is its sedative effect. It is in fact considered a rather mild sedative, which nevertheless promotes tranquility and facilitates night rest. This flower is also considered healing and disinfectant, able to clean the wounded from bacteria and microbes.
Chamomile is available both in the so-called "titrated extracts", ie standardized and certified preparations available in pharmacies and herbalist's shops, intended for therapeutic use, both in infusions and decoctions to be prepared at home, excellent in case of inflammation of the digestive tract or alterations of its bacterial flora. Although it is a more rare use, chamomile is also indicated for external use: applied on the epidermis by sterile soaked in decoction, these precious flower soothes inflamed and reddened skins, calms irritations, calms the most sensitive skin and it also benefits those who suffer from acne, pimples or rosacea, which are also symptoms of an ongoing inflammatory state. Chamomile purifies and heals, helping the healing of the epidermis. The chamomile decoction is undoubtedly the most widely used preparation, easy to do at home and extremely effective. For the most varied uses, including those previously mentioned, the cosmetic effect is added: poured on the hair immediately after washing, the chamomile decoction is a real cure-all that regenerates the hair, making it more shiny, and enhances the golden reflections of the hair blonde.
How to prepare a chamomile decoction
To make a good decoction of chamomile it takes a hundred grams of dried flowers (you can find them in any herbal medicine), half a lemon and water. After pouring a liter of water into a pot, add the chamomile flowers and place on the fire. Allow 20 minutes for the water to reach boiling temperature. After twenty minutes, turn off the heat and add the lemon juice that you have squeezed into the mixture. Then filter the decoction using a narrow-mesh sieve. The so obtained decoction can be drunk or used to soothe the epidermis, or still poured on the hair just after having washed them and left to act for a few minutes before rinsing.
Chamomile as a herbal remedy
Like all other chamomile-based preparations, the decoction also has several beneficial effects that in some cases save us from the use of medicines. Many times, in fact, it would be enough to use an herb or a plant to treat minor ailments or mild diseases without having to deal with any important side effects: phytotherapy is a science - or better, an "alternative" medicine - which has as its purpose is to treat the human organism by exploiting the beneficial properties of flowers, plants and herbs. Chamomile is widely used in herbal medicine but also as a "grandmother's remedy", in the sense that it is not necessary to buy herbal flowers: they can be harvested by hand in the fields, preferably between the end of summer and the beginning of autumn , preferring the hottest hours of the day (perfect early afternoon), so it will be easier to let them dry. Like most of the flowers used in herbal remedies, chamomile has no side effects nor contraindications, however it is important to remember that one can be hypersensitive towards this active ingredient, and therefore suffer very annoying allergic reactions.