Chamomile is a herb originated from the Asteraceae plant family’s daisy-like flowers. It was originally prevalent in Europe and Western Asia, but it is now found all over the globe. Chamomile comes in two varieties: German chamomile and Roman chamomile. German chamomile is the most effective variety and the most commonly used for therapeutic purposes.
It has been used for ages as a natural cure for a variety of health problems. Traditional medicine has long used it to cure muscle spasms, menstrual disorders, insomnia, sores, injuries, stomach issues, rheumatic pain, hay fever, and hemorrhoids.
Chamomile extracts contain anti-inflammatory, anti-hyperglycemic, antigenotoxic, and anticancer properties, according to in vitro and animal research. Many of the alleged benefits of chamomile are likely due to the fact that chamomile essential oil and flower extracts include more than 120 chemical compounds, most of which are pharmacologically active. Apigenin, a flavone found in chamomile, possesses chemo preventive properties.
It is often used in teas because of its relaxing and calming properties. Chamomile contains flavonoids. These flavonoids are a type of chemical found in many plants that play an important part in the medical properties of chamomile.
Mechanism of action
Chamomile has been used as a medical herb to treat a variety of diseases such as anxiety, insomnia, and gastrointestinal issues. Topically, it is used to treat inflammatory skin disorders.
According to laboratory research, chamomile contains chemicals that can kill bacteria, reduce inflammation, and soothe muscle spasms. It has also been found to prevent the growth of polio, herpes, and ulcer viruses. Many compounds found in chamomile leaves may aid in the prevention of inflammation.
Apigenin, a chamomile-derived chemical, attaches to brain cells in the same locations as well-known depressants, which could explain chamomile’s sedative effects.
Small clinical findings demonstrate that chamomile may have a minor effect on generalized anxiety disorder, insomnia, and skin lesions healing after colostomy, a medical surgery that pulls one end of the large intestine out through the abdominal wall.
There has been conflicting research on whether chamomile mouth rinse can treat or avoid mouth sores caused by cancer treatment. More research is required to discover whether it can help with this illness.
Health benefits of chamomile
Chamomile is a popular alternative therapy for enhancing sleep and curing insomnia. Yet, having a reputation as a sleep-inducing herb, there is only little strong evidence to back up its efficacy.
According to one study, 10 of 12 cardiovascular patients fell asleep quickly after drinking chamomile tea. A few more studies on clinical models indicate that chamomile tea may help patients relax.
In a rat study, chamomile extract assisted sleep-disturbed rodents in falling asleep. Several researchers believe that chamomile tea works similarly to benzodiazepines. Benzodiazepines are prescribed medications that can help with anxiety and sleep. According to certain studies, chamomile binds to benzodiazepine receptors.
Chamomile tea has traditionally been recognized to help with relaxation. More research, however, is required.
2.) Wound healing and treating skin ulcers.
Chamomile administered topically may have the ability to accelerate wound healing. According to research, chamomile contains chemicals that can destroy viruses and bacteria, reduce inflammation, and prevent and treat ulcer growth.
According to one preliminary study that examined chamomile with corticosteroids for healing ulcers in test tubes and animals, chamomile stimulates rapid wound healing: Chamomile-treated animals completely healed their wounds nine days faster than corticosteroid-treated animals.
More research is needed before any conclusions can be made.
Inflammation is the immune system’s response to infection. Chamomile tea includes chemical components that have the potential to decrease inflammation. Long-term inflammation, on the other hand, has been related to a variety of health issues, including hemorrhoids, gastrointestinal pain, arthritis, autoimmune diseases, and even depression. Animal studies reveal that chamomile contains anti-inflammatory compounds. Human studies are very few.
4.) Cancer prevention and treatment.
According to some research, chamomile tea may attack cancer cells or perhaps prevent them from growing in the first place.
A 2012 study examined the anti-cancer properties of marigold and chamomile teas. Both were capable of selectively targeting cancerous cells.
Chamomile preparations can also be used as a mouthwash to treat mucositis caused by radiation and chemotherapy.
Recent research strongly supports the idea that a diet high in chamomile plant flavones is linked to a variety of health advantages, including a lower chance of acquiring certain cancers. Integration of chamomile flavone-rich dietary modifications may be a holistic chemo-preventive therapy for high-risk individuals, with an effect on neoplastic transformation.
However, research yet has been inconclusive, and scientists believe that further research is necessary to confirm chamomile’s anti-cancer claims. Furthermore, majority of research has focused on clinical models in animals rather than humans.
5.) Relieving menstrual pain.
Several researches have connected chamomile tea to lower menstrual cramp severity. A 2010 study, for instance, discovered that drinking chamomile tea for even a month helped alleviate the discomfort of menstrual cramps. Women in the study additionally reported decreased stress and anxiety related to their period cramps.
6.) Treating diabetes and lowering blood sugar.
According to several researches, chamomile tea can help diabetics lower their blood sugar levels.
Likewise, a 2008 mouse study discovered that drinking chamomile tea on a regular basis may help to keep blood sugar levels stable. This impact lowers the long-term risk of diabetic complications, implying that chamomile may help with diabetic outcomes.
Although there is no evidence that chamomile is a suitable substitute for diabetic drugs, it may be a useful adjunct to traditional therapies.
In one research, 64 participants who consumed chamomile tea 3 times a day after meals for eight weeks had a statistically significant drop in diabetes and total cholesterol indicators when compared to people who drank water. It also showed some anti-obesity benefits.
Although chamomile could be a useful addition to existing treatments, experts highlighted that larger and longer trials are required to assess chamomile’s effectiveness in diabetes management.
Chamomile has been demonstrated in studies to offer significant benefits in terms of anxiety reduction, and the Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database, which ranks the efficiency of natural medicines based on scientific evidence, states that chamomile is possibly useful for anxiety.
According to most experts, chamomile is safe. It can make you drowsy and, in high dosages, make you vomit. It may also cause allergic reactions in individuals who are allergic to similar plants in the daisy family, however such reactions are quite uncommon.
Chamomile skin products can induce allergic eczema and irritate the eyes. The long-term effects of chamomile usage are unknown.
Avoid chamomile if you are allergic to the following:
Unless otherwise directed by a doctor, the following people should avoid chamomile:
- People that have a history of major allergies, especially to pollens: Chamomile may contain pollen from other plants, which might induce an allergic reaction.
- People who have previously experienced even a minor adverse reaction to chamomile products: Such people should avoid using chamomile because allergic reactions can worsen with time.
- Infants and younger children: Chamomile tea, like honey and numerous other natural items, may contain botulinum spores. The virus can be fought off by most healthy individuals, but infants may not be able to. Many experts advise newborns and young children to avoid consuming honey, as well as chamomile products.
Coumarin, a naturally existing chemical with anticoagulant or blood-thinning properties, is found in chamomile. It must not be taken in conjunction with Coumadin (warfarin) and other such medications or supplements that have the same action, nor should it be used by individuals with bleeding disorders without medical supervision.
Chamomile should not be used two weeks before or after surgery due to bleeding risks.
German chamomile may mimic oestrogen in the body. If you have a condition that could be exacerbated by estrogen exposure, such as breast cancer, uterine cancer, ovarian cancer, endometriosis, or uterine fibroids, do not use it without first talking to your healthcare professional.
Remember that chamomile, in any form, should be used as an addition, and not as a replacement, for your regular pharmaceutical routine. If you are using any form of medication, consult your medical professional before using chamomile. Providing them a complete view of your health management activities can help in ensuring coordinated and safe care.
Chamomile has been used in traditional medicine for centuries, with generally positive effects. However, for the time being, it is only a supplement and not a pharmaceutical.
People who want to explore chamomile should do so as a supplement to, not as a substitute for, their regular prescription routine.
It is possible to see gradual potential benefits with frequent doses, such as 1 to 2 cups of chamomile tea each day.