Chamomile is considered a safe plant and has been used in many cultures for stomach ailments and as a mild sedative. The herb smells slightly like an apple, which may explain its name—chamomile is Greek for Earth apple.
The flowering tops of the chamomile plant are used to make teas, liquid extracts, capsules, or tablets. The herb can also be applied to the skin as a cream or an ointment, or used as a mouth rinse.
To make tea, steep one heaping teaspoon of chamomile flowers in two-thirds of a cup of boiling water for five to 10 minutes before straining.
Research has shown chamomile to have meaningful benefits when it comes to reducing anxiety and the Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database, which rates the effectiveness of natural remedies based on scientific evidence, says chamomile is possibly effective for anxiety.