The use of chamomile dates back 2500 years to ancient Egypt. In 500 B.C., Hippocrates, the founder of modern medicine in ancient Greece, recognized the therapeutic properties of chamomile. Ancient Egyptians, Romans, and Greeks used chamomile flowers to relieve colic. The herb is an official drug (recognized by government authority) in 26 countries.

Chamomile has anti-spasmodic, anti-inflammatory, anti-peptic, anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, and sedative properties. It has been used for centuries in teas, and extensive scientific research over the past 20 years has confirmed many of the traditional uses for the plant, and established pharmacological mechanisms for its activities.

Used internally, chamomile is known for its calming effect on smooth muscle tissue, making it an effective remedy for gastrointestinal spasms and menstrual cramps, as well as GI tension resulting from stress. Chamomile is also used for indigestion and gas. It's often taken as a bedtime beverage, due to its mild sedative effects.

Chamomile is a member of the daisy family, which means that anyone who is allergic to other members of the daisy family, including ragweed, should not use it. If you are unsure about this, please consult your doctor or allergist.

Chamomile is available as fresh or dried flowers, which are typically brewed into tea.

Learn more about herbs for IBS.

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