Chamomile is a medicinal herb belonging to the daisy plants of the family Asteraceae. Native to western Europe and northern Africa this chamomile is now cultivated all around the world. For more than 2000 years chamomile is used medically and cosmetically in the ancient civilization. Owing to its healing properties, ancient Egyptians even worshiped the plant. Germans used chamomile to treat digestive problems.
There are two types of chamomile namely German chamomile (Matricaria retutica) and Roman chamomile (Chamaemelum nobile). Chamomile is used as a tea, essential oil, dry powder, and tincture. The healing properties of this white and yellow flower head plant are due to the flavonoids and terpenoids found in them. This article is dedicated to the valuable health benefits of chamomile to mankind.
Curbs anxiety and depression
Chamomile is known for its relaxing and calming properties. Whether used as a tea, essential oil or powder this medicinal herb is the best for reducing stress and anxiety. some people around the world suffer from generalized anxiety disorder. This anxiety disorder can take a toll on their health.
Inhaling the vapors from the chamomile essential oils can reduce the general depression and stress that is why chamomile essence is added in candles and aromatherapy products. Chamomile extract is used as a mild sedative as its vapors travel directly to the olfactory system in the brain, thereby calming the nerves and reducing body's stress response. Research proves that oil fragrance like chamomile is the effective way to reduce anxiety and depression.
Chamomile tea is used worldwide to treat various gastrointestinal problems including gas, indigestion, acid reflux, diarrhea, irritable bowel syndrome and stomach cramps. Studies show that chamomile extracts can shorten the symptoms of diarrhea in children. Chamomile is anti-spasmodic which relaxes the muscles reducing cramping, constipation and other gut problems. Chamomile tea is used as a home remedy aiding to its relaxing effects. It is highly safe for pregnant women with digestive problems.
Top tip: It is recommended to have a cup of chamomile tea thrice a day to get rid of all gut problems and to maintain a healthy digestive system.
Aids in dental health
Chamomile can help maintain a healthy oral cavity. Chamomile can help fight bacteria that can live in the mouth and eliminates bacterial infections. Gingivitis is a common gum problem caused due to the accumulation of plague. Chamomile can help fight gingivitis too. Studies found that individuals using mouthwash made of German chamomile has reduced gum and teeth problems. The salicylic acid present in the chamomile reduces the plaque accumulation and other bacterial infections. Chamomile mouthwash can help heal the wounds in the mouth and toothaches.
Top tip: Make your own Chamomile mouthwash by mixing 10-15 drops of chamomile extras in 100 ml of warm water and use it thrice a day for best results.
Nurtures your skin
Chamomiles anti-bacterial & anti-inflammatory properties heal the skin making it smooth and supple. The essential oils in the chamomile penetrate deep into the skin and prevent dryness, irritation, and rashes. Chamomile preserves your natural skin texture by keeping in young and beautiful. Traditionally for centuries, it is used to heal ulcers, wounds, eczema, bruises, and burns. In today's world, chamomile extracts are used in cosmetics for anti-aging, dark spots, scars and blemishes. Is your baby cranky with diaper rash? Chamomile oil is an effective natural remedy for treating diaper rashes in babies.
Top tip: Dilute 5 drops of chamomile oil with almond oil and apply it to the baby's skin to get rid of diaper rash.
Prevents yeast infections
Most of the women might have suffered from fungal and yeast infection at some point in time. Vaginal infections can be annoying and bothersome. Candida albicans is the culprit behind the yeast infection causing redness, irritation, itching, burning sensation and fishy vaginal discharge in the genital area of women. The anti-fungal properties of the chamomile can fight against this troublesome yeast and fungal infections. Chamomile is the best and effective to fight candida.
Top tip: Have a sitz bath with chamomile infusion and soak in for 30 minutes to get rid of candida infections.
May help fight cancer
Studies have found that chamomile has anti-cancer properties. Chamomile can stop cancerous tumor growth and can inhibit the multiplication of cancer cells. Chamomile has a most remarkable capability of inducing apoptosis in cancer cells. The bioflavonoid- Apigenin present in the chamomile can inhibit spreading of breast cancer cells. The apigenin in chamomile can also prevent prostate, skin and ovarian cancers. Studies also found that chamomile extracts can control the lifespan of malignant cells.
Top tip: Drink chamomile tea daily which selectively targets and kills cancer cell leaving behind healthy cells.
Tired of tossing and turning in your bed? Do you find difficult to fall asleep? Chamomile tea comes to rescue. Chamomile tea is a mild tranquilizer and sleep-inducer. Researchers have found that a warm cup of chamomile tea can help prevent insomnia. Thanks to the flavonoid, apigenin that accounts for its seductive effect. It has been proven that individual with poor quality sleep after drinking chamomile tea for a month have noticed significant improvements in their sleep pattern.
Top tip: Drink a warm cup of chamomile tea 30 minutes before bedtime and have a tight sleep.
Diabetes is a silent killer and one of the major causes of death worldwide. Drinking chamomile tea can help control and manage diabetes. Studies show that this drink can lower the blood sugar levels and diabetic complications. The idea is chamomile contains the antioxidant- quercetin which impacts on the specific enzymes that are part of the diabetic response.
Top tip: Drinking chamomile tea along with balanced diet and good physical activity can control diabetes.
Apart from the above said health benefits, chamomile is used to cure menstrual problems, hemorrhoids, pre-menstrual syndrome, allergies, muscle spasms, rheumatic pain and for eczema and many more. Do remember that chamomile is not meant for people who suffer from asthma as it may aggravate the condition. Do not use this if you are pregnant as there are certain risk associated with it. If you have any other medical condition, consult with your doctor before using chamomile.