Chamomile is a classic natural remedy for a wide variety of health issues due to the sheer number of beneficial properties of this plant. Humans have known about the benefits of this flower and its properties for millennia.
In this article, we describe what chamomile is, its properties and benefits when consumed in its herbal tea form.
Chamomile plant sometimes called manzanilla, is a perennial herb from the daisy family with origins in Western Europe, whose shrubs can be dense and between 30 and 40 cm high.
Human civilizations have consumed this herb since ancient times, and it's considered a miraculous natural remedy due to its properties and health benefits.
Chamomile was used in ancient Egypt for centuries, as well as by different populations across Europe, to treat diseases like malaria, muscle pain, insomnia, all kinds of infections and less serious ailments like headaches.
The etymology of this word is French, Latin, and Greek. The literal meaning is 'earth apple' due to its apple-like aroma -which is why this herb is also used in beauty and cosmetic products.
The word 'chamomile' is the common name for a wide variety of plant species from the daisy family. Out of all of these, only two kinds have medicinal properties: Roman chamomile and German chamomile.
Out of these, Roman chamomile is the best-known type. German chamomile has different characteristics and is most often found in essential oils.
This herb contains a plethora of elements, and this is what gives it so many health benefits. Some of its main properties are: high levels of chamazulene, an aromatic chemical compound; tiglic acid; anthemic acid; many sesquiterpenes, a natural product that acts as an antibiotic; tannins; mineral salts; and coumarin, an essential chemical compound in perfumes and flavonoids.
Chamomile essential oil is known for its pleasant aroma and also has many properties that benefit the body. Besides, it's used to make cosmetics and perfumes.
However, there are several contraindications related to chamomile if you're someone with hypersensitivity to this plant, pregnant or lactating, people with Parkinson's disease and other neurological diseases and when it comes to driving or carrying out dangerous tasks because of its relaxing effect and since it can cause sleepiness.
Chamomile is a medicinal plant that's been used practically since the beginning of time. Chamomile's many benefits have made it one of the most popular natural remedies in the world since the start.
This plant serves as a treatment in many different ways; it's most commonly consumed as a tea, but you can also use its leaves by applying them to the skin or even chewing on them. Below, we summarize the benefits of chamomile by organ or the body part that it helps to heal.
The relaxing effects of chamomile for those with anxiety is one of its most representative benefits. Some say that it acts as a sedative that can even be hypnotic. While drinking this tea, in just a few minutes, you'll feel calmer and more relaxed than beforehand.
Besides being naturally relaxing, chamomile can be used to treat anxiety and even insomnia. A study testing chamomile extract therapy vs. a placebo found that those participants that took chamomile experienced less anxiety than those given the placebo in the trial. Manzanilla can also be useful in treating hyperactivity in children and help them to get to sleep.
Most people aren't aware of the fact that drinking this tea on a regular basis can help to lower cholesterol levels because of its ability to reduce body fat.
Lowering cholesterol by drinking chamomile tea should be accompanied by healthy eating habits and regular exercise.
This herb is highly beneficial for the digestive system and consuming it in tea form can even relieve an upset stomach. Here are some of the specific benefits: improves digestion, acts as an ulcer remedy, reduces swelling and gas, fights indigestion, and relaxes intestinal muscles.
This flower from the daisy family is an excellent remedy to treat mild infections like cystitis, the flu or a cold, conjunctivitis, or even mild oral and skin infections.
Many studies link chamomile and its properties to menstrual pain relief. These studies found that consuming chamomile tea for an entire month could reduce menstrual cramps.
Besides, thanks to its relaxing effects, women participating in the study also said that they experienced less anxiety and panic attacks, symptoms associated with premenstrual syndrome (PMS).
On the other hand, this herbal infusion is also thought to lower blood sugar levels in those with diabetes.
This doesn't make chamomile a substitute for other pharmaceutical or medical treatments for diabetes but instead suggests that it could be a useful complement in the diets of those who have it.
Osteoporosis is an affliction that involves the progressive loss of bone density. This loss brings the risk of bone fractures and heightens the possibility of a curved posture.
This condition is much more common in women, which could be due to the effects of estrogen on bone health. One study found that chamomile tea could have anti-oestrogenic effects, which is why it could promote bone density.
However, the investigators themselves warn that more research still needs to be done to prove the real benefits of this medicinal plant.
Chamomile is an anti-inflammatory tea due to its ability to reduce inflammation in the body. This infusion contains a series of chemical compounds that can reduce severe inflammation at certain times.
Some studies show pieces of evidence suggesting that inhaling chamomile extract vapor could relieve some symptoms of the common cold. However, this hypothesis is still in its beginnings.
Small scale studies point to the idea that applying this extract to the skin directly, and even wounds could help with the healing process and scarring.
Also, ointments with chamomile as a main ingredient could help to treat eczema and conditions that cause mild skin inflammation.
Amsterdam, J. D., Li, Y., Soeller, I., Rockwell, K., Mao, J. J., & Shults, J. (2009). A Randomized, Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled Trial of Oral Matricaria recutita (Chamomile) Extract Therapy for Generalized Anxiety Disorder. Journal of Clinical Psychopharmacology, 29(4), 378-382. doi:10.1097/jcp.0b013e3181ac935c
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