6 Health Benefits of Chamomile [Infographic]
Chamomile has been used for thousands of years in many herbal remedies. Modern research indicates the herb helps relieve bloating and indigestion, and reduces the risk of arthritis, diabetes and cancer. It is also used to treat sleeping disorders, anxiety, and depression. And it also adds a sweet apple-like aroma and flavor to tea, making it suitable for many blends.
What is chamomile?
Chamomile is a plant that has a rich tradition, with early uses recorded by the ancient Egyptians, Romans and Greeks. Its name is partly derived from the Greek word melon meaning “apple” because of its delightful apple-like fragrance. The herb was utilized extensively in Europe to support digestive health; the Germans referred to it as alles zutraut meaning “capable of anything”. In Mexican tradition, chamomile was used to support healthy respiratory and digestive function. The herb was also used for various reasons by the Cherokee and other indigenous peoples of America. Chamomile is highly versatile and is used for conditions ranging from insomnia and depression to digestive and menstrual discomfort.
The health benefits of chamomile according to research
1. Digestive Health
Chamomile has been used for thousands of years to treat digestive problems. Modern test tube and animal studies have suggested that the herb may help reduce intestinal cramping and ease the discomfort associated with diarrhea. According to the World Health Organization, uses supported by clinical data include the treatment of digestive ailments such as bloating, indigestion, and flatulence. Some doctors recommend drinking dried chamomile flowers steeped in hot water three or more times per day.
Chamomile is also effective in relieving inflamed or irritated membranes of the digestive tract. The herb is currently approved by the German Commission E (Germany’s equivalent to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration) to support gastrointestinal health.
2. Heart and Circulatory Health
Coumarin is a fragrant, organic chemical found in chamomile which could help prevent blood clotting. Blood clots lead to limited or blocked blood flow, which in turn can cause heart attack, stroke, damage to the body's organs, or even death.
Chamomile also appears to have protective effects against diabetic complications with the potential to reduce high blood pressure, as indicated in some early research studies. In a study published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, researchers concluded that drinking chamomile tea daily with meals could contribute to the prevention and progression of hyperglycemia (or excess glucose levels in the blood) and diabetic complications.
3. Immunity and Overall Health
Chamomile has been used in traditional herbal remedies as an antimicrobial agent. Modern science suggests the herb may also exhibit anti-inflammatory activity as it has a high concentration of micronutrients known as polyphenols. This may be beneficial against a number of diseases including rheumatoid arthritis (a chronic disorder affecting joints) and diabetes.
A study published in Oxford University’s European Journal of Public Health in 2015 concluded that drinking herbal teas, especially chamomile tea, over 30 years may significantly reduce the risk of thyroid cancer and diseases by almost 80%. In addition, agigenin, a compound found in chamomile flowers, has potential anticarcinogenic (anti-cancer) activity as it has been found to suppress cancer cell growth.
4. Sleep Support
Chamomile has a long history of use as a mild sedative to treat nightmares, insomnia, and other sleep problems. According to research published by the Pharmaceutical Society of Japan’s Biological & Pharmaceutical Bulletin, chamomile appears has a hypnotic effect that helps decrease sleep latency, the length of time it takes to fall asleep. Scientists believe that it works in a similar fashion to benzodiazepines, which include prescription drugs such as Valium and Xanax that help provide relief from insomnia and anxiety. The sedative effects may be due to the presence of flavonoids in chamomile.
5. Stress & Mood Support
Chamomile has long been used as a traditional remedy for anxiety and is now considered a potent medicinal herb for stress relief, according to articles published in various academic journals, including Alternative Therapies in Health and Medicine and Pharmacognosy Review.
Conclusions drawn from modern animal and test tube studies have so far supported the historical use of chamomile. In one particular clinical trial, treatment with a chamomile extract improved anxiety by an average of 50% in people suffering from chronic anxiety, significantly greater than placebo. Similar results were found in another clinical study.
According to research conducted by the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, chamomile may also have clinically meaningful antidepressant activity in addition to its observed ability to inhibit anxiety.
6. Women’s Health
Chamomile has been used by women for thousands of years to relieve menstrual cramps, from ancient Rome to the present day. According to various modern studies, chamomile has been shown to be effective in relieving the physical and emotional symptoms of premenstrual syndrome (PMS). One particular study found consumption of the herb to be more effective than mefenamic acid (an anti-inflammatory drug used for menstrual pain) in relieving the intensity of symptoms associated with PMS.
* These are some of the pharmacological actions that have been observed or are under study in various evidence-based research studies. Herb may have other properties not listed here.
The statements on this page are for educational purposes only and have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. The information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. Please consult your healthcare practitioner prior to the use of any herbal products, especially if you are pregnant, breastfeeding, or have allergies or medical conditions.
The information has been sourced and extracted from scientific papers, academic journals, research abstracts, and other sources. While Purify Tea makes every effort to present accurate and reliable information on this website, Purify Tea does not endorse, approve, or certify such information, nor does it guarantee the accuracy, completeness, efficiency, timeliness, or correct sequencing of such information. Use of such information is voluntary, and reliance on it should only be undertaken after an independent review of its accuracy, completeness, efficiency, and timeliness. While many traditional or folkloric remedies have a long history of use, modern research has only begun to investigate and substantiate their effectiveness. Research is still ongoing in many areas therefore conclusions are subject to change.
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