What Is Chamomile?
Posted by admin3 on June 30 2013 12:53:34
What Is Chamomile?
What Is Chamomile?
To answer what is chamomile, it's an herb that comes from a flowering plant from the daisy family. Both the fresh and dried flowers of chamomile have been used to create teas for centuries to cure a number of health problems.
The active ingredient in chamomile essential oil is known asbisabolol, which has a number of anti-irritant, anti-inflammatory, and anti-microbial properties.
What are the Benefits?
It can be used topically or orally to treat a number of everyday ailments, such as:
• Insomnia and other sleep disorders
• Anxiety and Panic Attacks
• Muscle twitches
• Wounds, burns, and scrapes
• Skin conditions such as psoriasis, eczema, chickenpox, and diaper rash
• Stomach problems such as menstrual cramps, stomach flu, and ulcers
Some Important Active Ingredients in Chamomile:
German chamomile flowers contain about 0.5 percent of a volatile oil that is light blue. The most important constituents of the oil are bisabolol and matricin.
Bisabolol has significant antispasmodic (read: relaxing), anti-inflammatory, and anti-microbial activity. Recently it's been shown a form of bisabolol can help prevent the spread of leukemia (it actually can kill the leukemia cells).
Bisabololoxide A, another constituent, was shown to reduce the dosage of 5-fluorouracil needed when used together against leukemic cells. 5-fluorouracil is a drug used in the treatment of cancer.
Flavonoids in the flowers (ie. apigenin and luteolin) are also active. In addition, the coumarins, can reduce inflammation and quiet smooth muscle spasms. Flavonoids are also have beneficial antioxidant properties and are also found in onions and citrus.
Speaking of coumarin, it has anticoagulant (blood-thinning) effects, which is good for reducing blood pressure.
Chrysin, a flavonoid found in this, which can be used as an anti-anxiety herb and has been theorized to boost testosterone levels (which can aid in the healing process).
Apigenin has strong chemopreventive effects. Apigenin is also shown to have a slight sedative effect.
The point of telling you this is, it has a number of biologically active compounds that are similar to the active ingredients found in modern medicine.
How to Make Chamomile Tea And Where To Get It:
This tea can be made with the herb alone or as an infusion with other herbs or just green tea.
Add 2-3 tsps dried German Chamomile flowers per cup in to a hot cup of water. Allow the essence tosteep in. Enjoy it with honey. You may also add in your favorite herbs like cardamom, cinnamon etc.
It is readily available in capsule form and as a tea in most grocery and health food stores. However, proceed with caution if ragweed causes you to sniffle and sneeze. It is in the same family and could cause a similar allergic reaction.
What are the Side Effects?
As with all herbal products, moderation is the key to avoiding adverse reactions. Some of the potential side effects include drowsiness, so use it with caution if you are driving or operating machinery.
High doses can also cause vomiting and/or skin reactions in some individuals.
If you are allergic to ragweed pollen or have hayfever, you may have difficulty using this.
Using it during pregnancy is not recommended, since it is considered to be an abortifacient (a substance that induces abortion).
This herb is also not recommended if you are currently taking blood thinners since chamomile contains a substance called coumarin (which is also a blood thinner).
Benefits of Chamomile
By Neema A Fotoohi
Chamomile has seen its popularity rise over the past several years yet it's an herb that's been used for centuries. Some of the benefits of chamomile include it being an anti-inflammatory (natural painkiller, so to speak),treatment for colds and fevers, used to treat stomach ailments and as a relaxant, both as a sleeping aid and tocalm anxiety.
Extensive scientific research over the past 20 years has confirmed many of the traditional uses for the plant and established pharmacological mechanisms for the plant's therapeutic activity, including antipeptic (prevention of digestive disorders), antispasmodic (relaxant), antipyretic (reduction of fever), antibacterial, antifungal, and antiallergenic activity.
The most common way to use chamomile is drinking it as a tea. Just with other herbs, you can prepare it in different forms and it will have a different healing property.
For example, benefits of this tea include it being good for relaxing the body and being a great sleeping aid. German herb contains spiroether, an antispasmodic, which ease tense muscles and menstrual pain.
As a tincture, which is similar to making tea, it is great for irritable bowl syndrome and for digestive issues. This includes indigestion, bloating, colic, ulcers and Crohn's disease.
As a cream, it can be applied to itchy skin, eczema and rashes.
There are 2 types of chamomile: German and Roman. These two herbs are used interchangeably while the Roman counterpart has more of a bitter taste. Because of its bitter action, it makes it an especially excellent treatment for nausea, vomiting, indigestion and loss of appetite.
This is because bitter things, like chamomile, help stimulate digestive secretions and relaxes the muscles of the gut.
Effects Last Longer
Unlike some supplements which are only effective for a few hours, chamomile seems to stay in your system for a relatively long time. A 2005 study reported in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry evaluated the urine of volunteers who drank this tea daily for two weeks. They found elevated levels of hippurate, an anti-inflammatory, and glycine, which helps soothe muscle spasms. Two weeks after the volunteers stopped drinking chamomile, levels of these elements were still measurable.
Here Is A List Of The Benefits
• Promotes general relaxation and relieve stress. Animal studies show that this herb contains substances that act on the same parts of the brain and nervous system as anti-anxiety drugs. Never stop taking prescription medications, however, without consulting your doctor.
• Controls insomnia. Chamomile's mildly sedating and muscle-relaxing effects may help those who suffer from insomnia to fall asleep more easily.
• Treat diverticular disease, irritable bowel problems and various digestive problems. Chamomile's reported anti-inflammatory and antispasmodic actions relax the smooth muscles lining the stomach and intestine. The herb helps to relieve nausea, heartburn, and stress-related flatulence. It may also be useful in the treatment of inflammatory bowel conditions such as Crohn's disease.
• Soothes skin rashes (including eczema), minor burns and sunburn. Used as a lotion or added in oil form to a cool bath, this herb may ease the itching of eczema and other rashes and reduces skin inflammation. It may also speed healing and prevent bacterial infection.
• Treat eye inflammation and infection. Cooled chamomile tea can be used in a compress to help soothe tired, irritated eyes and it may even help treat conjunctivitis. You can even use the tea bags and put them on your eyes (my mother does this from time to time).
• Heals mouth sores and prevent gum disease. A mouthwash made with this herb may help soothe mouth inflammations and keep gums healthy.
• Reduces menstrual cramps. Chamomile's believed ability to relax the smooth muscles of the uterus helps ease the discomfort of menstrual cramping.
• As a salve (aka ointment), be used for hemorrhoids and wounds.
• As a vapor, can be used to alleviate cold symptoms or asthma.
• Relieve restlessness, teething problems, and colic in children.
• Relieve allergies, similar to an antihistamine like Benadryl (but without the drowsiness).
• Aids in digestion when taken as a tea after meals.
• Can help with morning sickness during pregnancy.
• Speeds up the healing of skin ulcers, wounds, or burns. Chamomile oil is very useful in treating bad burns. Simple rub a small amount of oil gently across the burned area once a day.
For scrapes and burns you can also brew a strong concoction by adding 3 tea bags to one cup of boiling water. When the water cools, dip a cloth into it and use it as a compress on the wounded area.
How to Make Chamomile Tea And Where To Get It
Chamomile tea can be made with the herb alone or as an infusion with other herbs or just green tea. Add 2-3 tsp dried German flowers per cup in to a hot cup of water. Allow the essence tosteep in.
Enjoy it with honey. You may also add in your favorite herbs like cardamom, cinnamon, nutmeg, etc.
This herb is readily available in capsule form and as a tea in most grocery and health food stores.
However, proceed with caution if ragweed causes you to sniffle and sneeze. It is in the same family and could cause a similar allergic reaction.
What are the Side Effects of Chamomile?
As with all herbal products, moderation is the key to avoiding adverse reactions. Some of the potential side effects include drowsiness, so use it with caution if you are driving or operating machinery. High doses can also cause vomiting and/or skin reactions in some individuals.
If you are allergic to ragweed pollen or have hay fever, you may have difficulty using chamomile.
Using this tea during pregnancy is not recommended, since it is considered to be an abortifacient (a substance that induces abortion). It is also not recommended if you are currently taking blood thinners, since chamomile contains a substance called coumarin (which is also a blood thinner).
Chamomile Tea - Side Effects, Health Risks, and Points Of Caution
By Alex Zorach
Chamomile tea is a popular caffeine-free herbal tea with a reputation for its mild relaxing effects.
Chamomile is widely consumed as a beverage, and is generally recognized as safe. However, there are a few special populations of people that are at risk for potentially dangerous side-effects or negative impacts on health associated with chamomile consumption. This article outlines the largest known concerns about potential risks or negative side effects associated with drinking chamomile tea.
Chamomile is known to contain small but significant amounts of a chemical called coumarin. Coumarin, which has a pleasing fruity aroma, is known to act as a blood thinner. It is chemically very similar to coumadin, a synthetic chemical sold under the name Warfarin, as a prescription blood thinner.
Although the effects of a single cup of chamomile tea are small, chamomile is best used with cautiong by any people for whom a blood-thinning effect could be harmful or undesirable, especially those who are taking prescription blood thinners.
Chamomile is in the composite family, related to asters and daisies, and as such, is relatively closely related to a large number of allergens, including ragweed and mugwort. Although uncommon, there are documented cases of cross-reactivity between these plants and chamomile.
This means that a person who has never been exposed to chamomile but who is allergic to these other plants, or other plants in the composite family, has a small chance of reacting to chamomile in a similar way. Although rare, a few severe allergic reactions have been documented.
For this reason, chamomile is best used cautiously by people the first time they are exposed to the plant, among people who are at risk of severe reactions to plants in this family.
Chamomile is generally healthy:
Although this article has focused primarily on side-effects and potential health risks associated with chamomile tea, these risks and side effects are relatively insignificant compared to those of many prescription drugs. Chamomile is also known to have a number of compelling health benefits, including lowering blood sugar, and having a relaxing effect.
Chamomile tea is safe and widely-consumed as a beverage. However, there are a few points of concern with respect to potential side effects or negative effects on health. The first is due to the fact that chamomile contains a chemical known to act as a blood thinner, and the second is due to possible allergic reactions due to cross-reactivity. Chamomile is thus best used with caution among people for whom blood thinning effects could be dangerous, and among people at risk of severe allergic reaction to plants in the composite (daisy or aster) family.