Chamomile, also referred to as Babune ka Phal in Hindi, “has a stellar reputation for healing, and with good reason. It is prepared from dried flowers and it brings an oasis of calm and tranquility,” says Mr. Amit Anand, Owner of Mingle Tea. The beautiful Chamomile flower is native to Asia, Europe, Australia and North America, and blooms during the early summer months.Chamomile tea contains Chamazulene, an aromatic chemical compound that possesses anti-inflammatory, analgesic and antispasmodic properties. Whether you’re overworked or suffering from a cold, “steep a hot cup of Chamomile tea, inhale its wonderful floral fragrance and then see your worries disappear as you sip this magical golden brew,” assures Amit. Chamomile tea is a popular beverage across the world, it is steeped with both health and skin benefits that are hard to find in many other teas. The benefits of chamomile tea are in abundance. It is not only soothing and refreshing, but can also be beneficial for you in more than just one way.
What Is Chamomile?
Chamomile (Matricaria recuita) is a flowering plant in the daisy (Asteraceae) family. Native to Europe and Western Asia, it’s now found around the world. The herb smells slightly like an apple, which may explain its name—chamomile is Greek for Earth apple.
Chamomile has been used as an herbal remedy since the time of Hippocrates, the father of medicine, in 500 BC. The list of conditions for which it’s been used is extensive. It includes fever, headaches, kidney, liver, and bladder problems, digestive upset, muscle spasms, anxiety, insomnia, skin irritations, bruises, gout, ulcers, rheumatic pain, hay fever, inflammation, hemorrhoids, colic, and menstrual disorders. The generic name, Matricaria, comes from the Latin matrix, meaning womb, because chamomile was used historically to treat disorders of the female reproductive system. Germans refer to chamomile as alles zutraut, meaning capable of anything. Indeed, chamomile was considered such a panacea or cure-all that one writer described it as “the medical duct tape of the pre-MacGyver days.”
In modern times, chamomile is mostly taken orally to help with insomnia, anxiety, and digestive upsets, though it’s also being investigated as a possible treatment for diabetes. It’s also used topically to quell skin conditions and to help with wound healing. The research, however, isn’t strong for any of these purported benefits because chamomile hasn’t been well studied in people.
Some of the purported benefits of chamomile likely stem from the fact that the essential oil and flower extracts derived from chamomile contain more than 120 chemical constituents, many of which are pharmacologically active. They include chamazulene (an anti-inflammatory), bisabolol (an oil with anti-irritant, anti-inflammatory, and anti-microbial properties), apigenin (a phytonutrient that acts as a strong anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, antibacterial and antiviral), and luteolin (a phytonutrient with potential anti-oxidant, anti-inflammatory, and anti-cancer activity). Whether as a result of these compounds or others, research shows chamomile possesses properties that can help ease inflammation, spasms, and flatulence, promote calm and sleep, and protect against the bacteria that cause stomach ulcers.
Why do people take chamomile?
Chamomile is considered a safe plant and has been used in many cultures for stomach ailments and as a mild sedative. Some studies, primarily using combinations of chamomile with other plants, show it may have health benefits. However, as with any combination product, it is hard to say that a benefit comes from any one plant.
One product with chamomile and other herbal medicines has been shown to ease upset stomach, heartburn, nausea, and vomiting. Another mixture with chamomile seems to help colicky babies.
A mouth rinse with chamomile might relieve mouth sores caused by cancer treatments. Some research suggests that chamomile could help with other conditions, like diarrhea in children, hemorrhoids, anxiety, and insomnia. When used on the skin, chamomile might help with skin irritation and wound healing. Some research has documented that it may be as effective as hydrocortisone cream for eczema.
Remarkable benefits of Chamomile tea
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.
The first controlled clinical trial of chamomile extract in 2009 found it may have a modest anti-anxiety effect in people with mild-to-moderate general anxiety disorder, one of the most common anxiety disorders. Participants took 200 milligrams to 1,100 milligrams of chamomile a day for eight weeks. A 2016 study found that taking 500 milligrams of chamomile extract three times a day for 12 weeks significantly reduced moderate-to-severe symptoms of generalized anxiety disorder, one of the most common anxiety disorders. In addition to soothing anxiety, research shows chamomile extract may also have antidepressant effects as well.
Preliminary studies suggest that chamomile inhibits Helicobacter pylori, the bacteria that can contribute to stomach ulcers. Chamomile is believed to be helpful in reducing smooth muscle spasms associated with various gastrointestinal inflammatory disorders like inflammatory bowel disease, though research is needed to confirm that use.
An animal study from 2014 showed that chamomile extracts have strong antidiarrheal and antioxidant properties when given to rats in a dose-dependent manner against castor oil-induced diarrhea and intestinal fluid accumulation.
A 2015 study on more than 1,000 patients with acute diarrhea found that a commmercial product containing a combination of myrrh, coffee charcoal, and chamomile flower extract is well tolerated, safe, and as effective as conventional therapies.
Topically applied chamomile may be able to speed wound healing. Studies show that substances in chamomile can kill viruses and bacteria, including Staphylococcus aureus, the cause of staph infections, reduce inflammation, and prevent and treat the growth of ulcers.
One preliminary study that compared chamomile and corticosteroids for treating ulcers in test tubes and animals concluded that chamomile promotes faster wound healing: Animals treated with chamomile exhibited complete wound healing nine days before animals treated with corticosteroids.
Chamomile helped heal wounds in humans as well. In one small study that investigated the efficacy of a combination of lavender and chamomile essential oil on patients with chronic leg ulcers, researchers reported that four of the five patients in the chamomile and lavender oil group had complete healing of the wounds with the fifth patient making progress towards a recovery. Chamomile also proved superior to applying one percent hydrocortisone ointment in healing skin lesions after a surgical procedure in another study. Wounds treated by applying a chamomile compress for an hour once a day healed five to six days faster than those treated with hydrocortisone once a day. Still, more studies are needed.
Chamomile is often used to treat mild skin irritations, including sunburn, rashes, sores, and even eye inflammations, but its value in treating these conditions needs more research.
Topical applications of chamomile have been shown to be moderately effective in the treatment of eczema. In one partially double-blind trial carried out as a half-side comparison, a commercial chamomile cream showed a mild superiority towards a low-dose .5 percent hydrocortisone and a marginal difference compared to the placebo.
DiabetesSome studies have found that chamomile tea can lower blood sugar in people with diabetes. In one study, 64 participants that consumed chamomile tea three times a day after meals for eight weeks saw a statistically significant decrease in markers for diabetes as well as total cholesterol compared to people who drank water. It also exhibited some anti-obesity activity. While chamomile may be a helpful supplement to existing treatments, researchers noted that larger and longer studies are needed to evaluate the usefulness of chamomile in managing diabetes.
Oral HealthSome preliminary studies that evaluated the efficacy of chamomile mouthwash found that it significantly reduced gingivitis and plaque in comparison to controls, probably because of its antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory activities.
Gets Rid of DandruffFed up of dandruff? Drink a cup of chamomile tea. Yes we are serious. Chamomile tea helps eliminate and prevent dandruff, soothe scalp irritation and promote healthy healthy. You can use it as a final rinse after washing your hair. It’s that simple!
Reduces Under-Eye Dark CirclesSuparna Trikha, India’s leading beauty expert says, “Never throw away Chamomile tea bags after using them, and refrigerate them instead. You can place the chilled tea bag over your eyes (especially after doing an eye massage) to lighten the eye area dramatically and reduce puffiness. You will find an instant difference in the way your eyes look and feel”.
Treats SunburnThe harmful ultraviolet (UV) rays of the sun can cause various problems for your skin. Chamomile tea is known for its antioxidant, soothing and anti-inflammatory properties. You can brew the tea, chill it thoroughly, soak a towel in it and then apply to the sunburned area.
Anti-AgeingChamomile tea is a powerhouse of antioxidants and protects the skin from free-radical damage. It accelerates cell and tissue regeneration, helps tighten the pores and slows down the ageing process.
Reduces AcneNot just the glow, chamomile tea could help end your war with frequent acne break out too. Chamomile tea helps fade spots, eliminate acne scars and fight breakouts, if used topically, due to its anti-inflammatory and antiseptic properties.
Lightens SkinSipping into hot chamomile tea could do wonders for your skin too! This magic potion can be used as a natural skin bleach. Chamomile tea is packed with antioxidants which helps boost your skin health. It lightens the complexion and also gives you that glow you’ve always wanted.way from ears.
Reduces StressToday’s busy, chaotic world leaves us feeling increasingly anxious and stressed. According to Dietician Anshul Jaibharat, “Chamomile tea is a gentle relaxant and acts as an effective natural sedative, thereby reducing stress.”
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Treats Cuts, Wound and Skin ConditionsDid you know that Chamomile tea has been used by the Romans, Greeks and Egyptians to treat wounds and promote healing? This is because the plant Chamomile tea is derived from Matricaria chamomilla L, which has anti inflammatory and antimicrobial properties. It also heals skin conditions such as psoriasis and eczema.
Soothes Stomach AcheAccording to the National Center for Biotechnology Information, “Chamomile tea has been valued as a digestive relaxant and has been used to treat various gastrointestinal disturbances including flatulence, indigestion, diarrhea, anorexia, motion sickness, nausea and vomiting”.
Reduces Muscle Spasms and Period PainAccording to a study published in the Journal of Agriculture and Chemistry, Chamomile tea has pain-relieving and antispasmodic properties. It relaxes the uterus and decreases the production of prostaglandins (hormone-like substances that cause inflammation and pain).
Treats ColdSuffering from a terrible cold? One of the best benefits of chamomile tea comes into play here. Consider drinking a hot cup of chamomile tea and let it work its magic. You can also inhale steam from Chamomile tea (as shown below) to ease nasal congestion, a runny nose and sore throat.
Boosts ImmunityMany studies have shown that Chamomile tea will not only kick illnesses to the curb, but also work as a great preventive measure. “It fights harmful bacteria, and has the ability to boost your immune system,” says Dr. Ahuja, Fortis Hospital.
Promotes Sleep and Treats InsomniaAccording to Dietician Anshul Jaibharat, “Chamomile tea relaxes nerves and soothes the nervous system, therefore helping you sleep better. It lacks the addition of caffeine, and is best consumed before sleeping”.
How much chamomile should you take?There is no standard dose of chamomile. Studies have used between 900 milligrams to 1200. milligrams daily in capsule form. The most common form is a tea, and some people drink one to four cups daily. To make chamomile tea, steep a chamomile tea bag or chamomile flowers in hot water for 5 to 10 minutes in a mug covered with a saucer. Then, drink the infusion when it has cooled to the point it is safe to drink. Ask your doctor for other advice.
What are the risks of taking chamomile?
Side effects. Most experts say chamomile is safe. It can cause drowsiness and, in large doses, vomiting. It also has the potential to trigger allergic reactions in people who are allergic to related plants in the daisy family, although such reactions are very rare. Avoid it if you are allergic to these plants: chamomile, ragweed, daisies, marigolds, or chrysanthemums. Skin creams with chamomile can cause allergic eczema and irritate the eyes. The effects of long-term chamomile use aren’t known.
Risks. Check with your doctor before using chamomile if you have any health problems. Chamomile contains a small amount of coumarin, which may have very mild blood thinning effects, but usually just in high doses for long periods of time. Stop using chamomile two weeks before surgery due to concerns about its possible interactions with anesthetic drugs.
Interactions. If you take any drugs regularly, talk to your doctor before you start using chamomile supplements. They could interact with sedatives, blood thinners, antiplatelet drugs, aspirin, NSAID painkillers like ibuprofen and naproxen, and other drugs. Chamomile could also interact with supplements like ginkgo biloba, garlic, saw palmetto, St. John’s wort, and valerian.
The Bottom Line
Chamomile tea is a healthy beverage.
It is rich in some powerful antioxidants that may have a variety of health benefits, including reducing the risk of cancer and heart disease.
Although the research relating to chamomile tea is promising, there have simply not been enough studies to make a conclusion about its effects on health.
Many of the studies relating to chamomile tea have been conducted in animals and test tubes, and the results cannot be translated to humans.
Nevertheless, chamomile is very safe to drink, and many people enjoy drinking it for its delicious taste and comforting aroma.
If you want to explore chamomile tea’s potential benefits, it is definitely worth including in your diet.