Chamomile or camomile is the common name for several daisy-like plants of the family Asteraceae that are commonly used to make herb infusion to serve various medicinal purposes. Popular uses of chamomile preparations include treating hay fever, inflammation, muscle spasm, menstrual disorders, insomnia, ulcers, gastrointestinal disorder, and hemorrhoids.
Chamomile has been used for inflammation associated with hemorrhoids when topically applied. There is Level B evidence that chamomile possesses anxiolytic (anti-anxiety) properties and could be used to treat stress and insomnia. In 2009, researchers at the University of Pennsylvania concluded the first controlled clinical trial of chamomile extract for generalized anxiety disorder (GAD). The results suggest chamomile may have modest anxiolytic activity in patients with mild to moderate GAD, although the results have not since been replicated. Chemical components of chamomile extract have demonstrated anti-inflammatory, antihyperglycemic, antigenotoxic, and anticancer properties when examined in vitro and in animal studies.
Major chemical compounds present within chamomile include apigenin and alpha-bisabolol. Other compounds in chamomile include: sesquiterpenes, terpenoids, flavonoids, coumarins such as herniarin and umbelliferone, phenylpropanoids such as chlorogenic acid and caffeic acid, flavones such as apigenin and luteolin, flavanols such as quercetin and rutin, and polyacetylenes.Apigenin has demonstrated chemopreventive effects against cancer cells in the laboratory and alpha-bisabolol has been shown to have antiseptic properties, anti-inflammatory properties, and reduces pepsin secretion without altering secretion of stomach acid.
Anticancer effect – Recent studies had shown that chamomile extracts have growth inhibitory on cancer cells in skin, prostate, breast, ovarian, prostate cancer with minimal effects on normal cells.
Anticoagulant effect – Coumarin compounds in chamomile such as herniarin and umbelliferone may have blood-thinning properties. However the mechanism is not well understood.
Antiinflammatory effect – Several chemical constituents of chamomile such as bisabolol, chamazulene, apigenin, loteolin possess anti-inflammatory properties although exact mechanism is not well characterized
Antimicrobial effects – Chamazulene, alpha-bisabolol, flavonoids, and umbelliferone have antifungal activities. A number of in vitro studies showed chamomile’s antimycobacteria acivity, inhibition of the growth of poliovirus and herpes virus,blockage of aggregation of Helicobacter pylori and numerous strains of Escherichia coli. Chamomile oil was demonstrated in studies to be effective against gram-positive bacteria such as Staphylococcus aureus, Streptococcus mutans, Streptococcus salivarius, and Bacillus species.
Antispasmodic/antidiarrheal effects – Bisabolol and flavonoids have demonstrated antispasmodic effects in animal experiments. In human studies, chamomile tea in combination with other herbs (vervain, licorice, fennel, balm mint) was shown to be effective in treating colic in children. Flavonoids and coumarins are considered smooth muscle relaxants.
CNS/sensory effects – Chemical compounds present within chamomile bind to GABA receptors, modulate monoamine neurotransmission, and have neuroendocrine effects.
Chamomile Tea: Skin Benefits
1. Chamomile tea is innately instilled with amazing healing, anti-oxidant, cleansing and moisturizing properties and is considered a full fledge skincare treatment.
2. Infused with great healing properties, chamomile tea accelerates the healing process of minor wounds and also disinfects the wounds.
3. Chamomile tea is an excellent all-natural skin bleach. It lightens your complexion and renders it a healthy glow naturally.
4. It is found to be very effective in soothing skin irritation and sunburns.
5. This magic potion is a powerhouse of antioxidants that help you fight acne and breakouts. It also works wonders to eliminate acne scars.
6. It protects your skin from free radical damage, a chief contributor to premature aging, hence help retaining your youthful charm for long.
7. Placing cooled down chamomile tea bags under the eyes can help reducing under-eye dark circles and eye puffiness. It also soothes your tired eyes.
8. When blended with powdered milk, chamomile tea provides you a great body and facial scrub. It sloughs off the dead, dry skin cells revealing the underlying cells which are new.
9. If consumed on a regular basis, chamomile tea nourishes and moisturizes your skin from deep inside. You may also want to use chamomile in your homemade beauty recipes to draw its beauty benefits.
Chamomile Tea: Hair Benefits
Chamomile tea has much to offer for hair care as well. Some of the best advantages of this herbal drink are as follows:
10. A chamomile tea rinse brightens up the blonde hair instantly. If combined with henna, it makes natural highlights for dark hair as well.
11. It is a wonderful hair lightener. Using chamomile tea as final hair rinse adds a stunning bright-golden light to the brown hair. Use the treatment regularly to lighten your hair gradually.
12. Chamomile is also found to be highly effectual in preventing and eliminating dandruff. In addition, it also soothes irritated scalp.
Chamomile Tea: Health Benefits
13. Chamomile tea has muscle relaxing properties. It relaxes muscles of the uterus and gives relief from menstrual cramps. It increases glycine which reduces muscle spasms. Though too much of chamomile tea can upset the stomach too. So in proper amounts, it can help you get relieved from stomach cramps during menstrual cycles.
Since it has muscle relaxing properties, a cup of chamomile tea after a hard day’s work can relieve stress too.
14. Chamomile tea can be taken on a regular basis in proper amounts as it can help you sooth down the pains from stomach ulcers. If you have gone through an operation following a stomach stone formation, then having chamomile tea after having food or as directed by your physician, can help you stay away from re-formation of stones.
15.Chamomile has anti-bacterial properties. It therefore increases the immune power of a person. Chamomile tea taken during cold and cough helps a person recuperate from it faster.
Chamomile tea helps maintain blood glucose levels and therefore it helps in controlling diabetes mellitus symptoms. Ask you physician for an effective dosage of chamomile tea.
17. Chamomile tea can be packed into small plastic packets or into compressors or even made into ice cubes and used on tired eyes for treating dark circles or sunken eye problems.
18. Chamomile tea can be used to treat hemorrhoids by application of cooled chamomile tea for a soothing sensation.
19. It reduces gas formation. It also helps you get rid of heartburn and irritable bowel syndrome.
20. A cotton ball can be dipped into cool chamomile tea and used on to rashes which appear on the back during summers. Chamomile tea when consumed internally can sooth the system totally and helps you get rid of allergic symptoms.
21. Regular intake of chamomile tea can help you get rid of migraines.
22. Chamomile tea has sedating properties. Regular intake of chamomile tea can help you get good sleep and can give you relief from troubled sleep.
Chamomile Tea: Selection and Storage
- While buying chamomile tea from a grocery-store or herbalist, always look for products formulated from whole flower head. This will ensure you reap most of the benefits out of it.
- It is also a great idea to prepare your own chamomile tea.
- Preserve chamomile tea in an airtight jar and store in a dry place. Keep away from direct sun.
Chamomile Tea: Usage Tips
- Chamomile tea can be easy brewed following a few simple steps.
- First of all, warm up your tea pot by pouring some boiling water into it and then add some apple slices, mashing it with a wooden spoon.
- Afterwards, add some pre-washed chamomile flowers to the pot and pour-in two cups of boiling water.
- Cover the pot and let the flowers steep for a couple of minutes.
- Strain the tea and add some lemon juice or honey for added taste.
The best time of drinking this herbal tea is almost an hour before bed time. This will help you to sleep peacefully besides offering other health and beauty benefits.