Use Chamomile for Irritable Bowel Syndrome
Edited by Nerissa Avisado, Lynn
Stomach cramps, abdominal pain, diarrhea, constipation, and bloating gas – who wants all these uncomfortable, painful, and even embarrassing signs and symptoms of “irritable bowel syndrome” or IBS. This is a common dysfunctional condition that can happen to anyone. There is nothing wrong with your digestive tract - it is just upset. IBS does not cause any permanent damage to your intestines. However, you would not want your life disrupted by these symptoms, especially when you are outside your home. The good news is you can learn to control this condition by managing your lifestyle, diet, and stress.
There are many ways to control or manage IBS. Natural methods are popular, as they are both safe and inexpensive. Start by understanding the condition; you can ask your doctor or do your own research. You must increase soluble fiber or digestible fiber in your diet while reducing the insoluble type. You can also promote good digestion with probiotics by either consuming the supplement or the products with probiotics such as cheeses, milk drinks, yogurt, and ice creams. Exercising is also important to promote healthy digestion, as well as avoiding triggers such as stress, alcohol, fatty diet, etc. Yet, there is another natural way to beat IBS - include chamomile in your daily health regime.
EditChamomile remedy against IBS
Chamomile blooms made into tea can effectively diminish colon cramps and pain. It also helps relieve excessive gas and the feeling of being bloated. Drinking a cup of chamomile tea can help relieve the symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome, as well as other gastrointestinal discomforts such as nausea, constipation, and spasm or pain. Drinking a cup of chamomile tea twice a day or until symptoms are gone (morning, and evening) can help improve IBS.
EditFacts about chamomile
- Visually appealing blooms. Chamomile is a perennial herb that grows beautiful daisy-like blooms. It creates a great ground cover or edging for gardens, as well as beautiful indoor blooms as they artfully cascade over the rims of containers.
- Edible and healthy flowers. The flavors of dishes and dips such as salads, cream sauce, butter and sour cream can be enhanced and made healthier by chamomile flowers. Its blooms can also make a wonderful, soothing tea.
- What history says about it. Chamomile has been used for medicinal purposes since the time of Ancient Egypt, which was about 2500 years ago. Hippocrates, known as the father of modern medicine in ancient Greece also recognized the healing properties of this flower to relieve colic.
- Medicinal properties. It has properties such as antispasmodic and a mild sedative that help soothe the muscles of the colon as well as reduce gastric irritation and cramps. Aside from its anti-spasmodic properties, it is also known to have anti-peptic, anti-inflammatory, anti-fungal, anti-bacterial, and sedative properties.
- Medicinal benefits. Chamomile makes a good natural treatment for IBS, gastrointestinal tension due to stress, gas, and indigestion. Because of its sedative effects, chamomile tea makes a good bedtime beverage.
- The healing ingredient of chamomile. The active ingredient of the essential oil from this flower is known as bisabolol.
EditHow to use chamomile blooms
Chamomile can be used either in dry or fresh forms. Desiccated or dry chamomile, however, is the usual form used in making tea, capsules, or tincture/extracts.
- Tea is usually recommended to be taken three to four times daily between meals.
- Capsule and tincture forms are typically taken two to four times a day in doses of 200 to 500 mg.
- It is important to consult a doctor or a licensed health care professional to determine the right dosage.
EditHow to make chamomile tea
Chamomile tea has been a traditional way to use this flower as a medicinal concoction. It was used for centuries in teas. For over the last two decades, extensive scientific research has established its many medicinal values.
Supplies and ingredients:
2-4 tbsp. of fresh or dried chamomile flowers
1 cup or 8 oz. boiling water
A dash of mint or fruit extract (optional)
- 1Boil water.You need about 8 oz. to make a cup of chamomile tea. Pour into a cup.2Add previously measured dried chamomile flowers or fresh chamomile flowers.You need 2 tbsp. of dried flowers or 4 tbsp. of fresh flowers for a cup of hot water. Remember to pack the spoon when doing the measurement. Adjust the strength of tea by adding more or decreasing the amount of the flowers.3Steep the chamomile flowers.Put a cover or lid on top of the cup or mug. The heat will steep the flowers; steep for 10-15 minutes. You can also control the strength of the tea by increasing or decreasing the steeping time.4Add other flavors.If you want to make your tea minty or fruity, you can add mint or fruit extract to improve taste.5Filter out the used flowers.You can remove the flowers by straining the liquid with a cheesecloth or strainer.6
EditHow to make a chamomile extract or tincture
Supplies and ingredients:
1/2 to 1 cup of fresh or freshly dried chamomile flowers 1 1/2 to 1 3/4 cups boiling water 1 1/2 to 1 3/4 cups vodka or rum (at least 80 proof) Glass jar with airtight lid (quart size)
- 1Pick fresh or dried chamomile flowers.Put them in thoroughly cleaned quart size glass jars with airtight lids.2Boil water and pour this over flowers.Put in just enough to cover them.3Pour the vodka or rum.Fill up the jar and tightly cover with an airtight lid.4Keep the mixture in a cool, dark place.Shake the jar every day about a month to a month-and-a-half to make a potent tincture.5Strain through a cheesecloth or sieve.Do this after four to six weeks of “curing” the tincture. Transfer the extract of tincture in smaller bottles or tincture vials for easy use.6Remember to follow the normal dose.For infants, use only a few drops when needed. For older children, 1/4 to 1/2 tsp. can be ingested up to three times a day while needed. Use sparingly and only when the kid is having difficulty sleeping or before bedtime for more sedate sleep. Adults can consume up to 1 tsp. and up to three times a day or as needed.
EditTips and Warnings
- Safety. Chamomile is commonly regarded to be very safe.
- Sensitivity. Those who are sensitive to chrysanthemums, ragweed, or aster may also have an allergic reaction to chamomile.
- Medical consultation. Discussing with your doctor your planned alternative remedies is advised to avoid untoward reactions and other drug interactions. Despite perceived safety, medical advice is important before using this as an IBS remedy.
- Possible drug interactions. If you are receiving chemotherapy treatments, chamomile interacts with drugs such as Cyclophosphamide, Cisplatin, Docetaxel, Methotrexate, Fluorouracil, and Paclitaxel.
- Use in moderation. High doses can cause skin reactions, vomiting and drowsiness. Just as you use other herbal products, take the tincture, capsule, or tea in moderation. Do not use a high dosage unless you have consulted a doctor.
- Don't use during pregnancy and breastfeeding. Consuming chamomile during pregnancy is not advised because it has abortifacient (abortion inducing) properties. It is also not recommended for lactating mothers.
- Do not use when taking blood thinners. The flower has coumarin a known blood thinner. Drinking chamomile may increase the concentration of coumarin in the blood causing medical risk.
- Few clinical trials on human IBS. Despite a long history of use, there are still no proven results when it comes to the effects of chamomile on IBS.
- Only vodka or rum please. Rubbing alcohol or non-consumable alcohol can’t be used in making the tincture.
- Alcohol evaporates. If you want a tincture that does not evaporate, use cider vinegar instead of alcohol. The downside is that it will only be effective if used within a period of three to six months.
- Convenient way to have chamomile tea. If you find the process quite tedious, you can use pre-packaged chamomile tea.
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