Chamomile is one of my favorite herbs for kids. It is so versatile and really easy to get. Nearly every grocery store has chamomile tea!
Chamomile works in many ways. The most commonly used way is as a gentle nervine to calm the nervous system, especially before bed. Chamomile works really well with settling a nervous stomach. It is also a carminative meaning it calms the stomach and helps move gas out. If steeped for a longer time it is a bitter which allows the body to make proper bile to break down and digest food. Chamomile is antiseptic, antimicrobial, soothing, and so much more. It really is such a versatile herb, but also so gentle. Chamomile tends to be the first herb I ever use with my babies.
So here are five ways I like to use chamomile with kids. Some are ways that you wouldn't imagine!
First, brewed in an easy cup of tea. Chamomile is sweet so it is an easy one to get kiddos to drink (and you can always add a little bit of honey). If you have a kiddo that has a nervous stomach you can ease it quickly with a cup of chamomile. I like to use chamomile tea to settle down wild bodies close to bed. It also helps calm the stomach and move gas along. Chamomile is a gentle sedative, anti-inflammatory, and pain reliever. For all of those reasons brewing a cup and dipping your finger in to rub on a gassy teething baby's gums is the easiest (and safe) herbal remedies you can choose!
Second, don't throw away the tea bags from the first! Chamomile is a fantastic eye remedy! It can help with itchy, irritated eyes or even an eye infection. You can use the tea bags as compresses on the eyes or you can double (or triple) strain the chamomile tea through cheesecloth and then use it as an eyewash. Because chamomile is antiseptic the eye wash can help with inflammation, pain, and infection.
Third, make a glycerite or tincture out of chamomile to bring the relief of a tea on the go. Making a glycerite or tincture allows the medicinal bitter component of the herb to come through making it an excellent digestive remedy. I like to use it for on the go pain relief for littles. If you're not sure if it's teething or gas pains, chamomile is the way to go. A glycerite makes it easy to give because it's sweet! Just a few drops are your little should feel so much better (and maybe even sleep for a little while). Definitely one of the first herbal remedies I give to my kids for teething.
Fourth, make a chamomile herbal oil! Take the dried herb and add organic olive oil until it's covered. Screw a lid on tightly. Let it sit for 2 weeks and strain through cheesecloth. Use the oil to help your kiddos calm down before bed with a leg massage. You can also use the herbal oil on irritated skin to help soothe and reduce inflammation.
Fifth, take that herbal oil and make a herbal salve! You can use it the same way as the herbal oil but it will be more like lotion or a cream. Use the salve like lotion or for the same ways you could use the oil (but much less messy). Enjoy the benefits of the gentle pain relief and the aromatherapy of the chamomile.
I hope reading this encourages you to take another look at chamomile and see what a sweet, powerhouse it is! Let me know if you try any!