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 as bisabolol, which has a number of anti-irritant, anti-inflammatory, and anti-microbial properties.
What are the Benefits of Chamomile?
Chamomile 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 of chamomile, 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 chamomile, 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 chamomile 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
Chamomile 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 to steep in. Enjoy it with honey. You may also add in your favorite herbs like cardamom, cinnamon etc.
Chamomile 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. Chamomile 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 of chamomile include drowsiness, so use it with caution if you are driving or operating machinery.
High doses of chamomile 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 chamomile.
Using chamomile during pregnancy is not recommended, since it is considered to be an abortifacient (a substance that induces abortion).
Chamomile is also not recommended if you are currently taking blood thinners since chamomile contains a substance called coumarin (which is also a blood thinner).
In my book The Big Book Of Home Remedies and Herbal Secrets, I go over how herbs can treat many of the toughest ailemtns, including anxiety and depression, how to lower cholesterol and blood pressure (preventing stroke and heart disease), hangovers, menstrual cramps, and much, much more.
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