Chamomile is a daisy-like flowering herb in the Asteraceae plant family. The name is derived from a Greek word, “khamaimēlon”, meaning “earth apple”. Its flowers have a floral, bittersweet flavor with honey-like tinges. For years, chamomile flowers have been used to cure various ailments as they contain essential oils concentrated in their flowering tops. Chamomile health benefits include:
Promotes sleep and reduces anxiety
According to dieticians, chamomile tea is known to relax and soothe the nervous system which promotes sleep. In one clinical trial, 10 out of 12 patients with heart conditions are said to have dozed off soon after consuming chamomile tea.
In a different study conducted using rats, chamomile extracts assisted rodents suffering from insomnia to fall asleep. Most researchers hold that chamomile acts similarly to benzodiazepines. These are prescription drugs that induce sleep by reducing anxiety. Researchers also suggest that chamomile probably works in inducing sleep by binding to benzodiazepine receptors.
Other studies published in the US Journal shows that chamomile relieves headaches and migraines. According to these studies, taking a cup or two of chamomile tea daily calms your mind, eliminates symptoms associated with anxiety and chronic stress. It also relieves signs of postpartum depression in women.
Calms muscle spasms
Chamomile flowers have anti-inflammatory and anti-spasmodic compounds which are highly effective in managing intestinal as well as stomach cramps. Chamomile is also ideal for soothing heartburn, treating irritable bowel syndrome and relieving bloating and gas problems in the digestive tract.
Remedy for allergies
Chamomile works similarly to conventional anti-histamine drugs by helping to regulate the immune system’s reaction to allergens in the body which reduces allergic reactions.
For topical applications, dip a cotton ball into chilled chamomile extracts and apply over the affected areas. To deal with internal allergies, a good helping of chamomile tea will soothe your system and calm the body’s reaction to allergens.
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According to a study conducted by the Department of Urology and Nutrition of Case Western Reserve University, Ohio, apigenin, an antioxidant in chamomile helps in reducing uterus, breast, prostate, and digestive tract cancers.
Chamomile is widely used in hair products to strengthen hair and enhance its appearance. In addition, anti-inflammatory components in these flowers help in relieving scalp irritation, eliminating dandruff and giving the hair a healthy, silky look.
Now, the above chamomile health benefits show that chamomile is no push-over in the flower and herbal remedy world. So, next time you feel anxious, can’t sleep or experience digestive tract issues, reach out for this innocent-looking yet potent flower to help you manage your health issues.