You may recall that Peter Rabbit received a scolding and a cup of chamomile tea from his mother after indulging in and barely escaping from Farmer McGregor's garden. Unlike the characters, the remedy is neither literary invention nor coincidence; mothers have been doling out chamomile tea to settle frazzled nerves, an upset stomach, cramps or headache for generations. The tinctured herb offers concentrated, on-the-go therapeutic benefits whenever tea is inconvenient.
Chamomile flowers contain numerous active compounds that collectively contribute to the herb’s calming qualities and anti-spasmotic and anti-infammatory properties. Among them are chamazulene, bisabololoxides A and B, matricin, quercimertrin, the coumarins herniarin and umbelliferone and the flavonoids apigenin and luteolin. Apigenin in particular is responsible for the anti-anxiety effects of chamomile and is a subject of considerable study at this time as an anti-cancer compound.
Chamomile tincture offers the same benefits, but in small, easy-to-take doses. A ½ teaspoon of tincture is the near equivalent of a strong cup of chamomile tea. It may be taken in water, juice or tea two or three times throughout the day to help ease anxiety and stress and the physical symptoms that often appear, like tension headache and upset stomach.
How to Prepare
Fill a mason jar with dried chamomile flowers, leaving about a ½ clearance at the top. Cover the herb with vodka. Place the lid on the jar and let the mixture steep for 4 to 6 weeks. Strain; reserving the liquid and composting the herbal material. Transfer the finished tincture into amber glass dropper bottles. Label and store in a cool, dark place.