Benefits of Chamomile
When it comes to maintaining health and wellness, there is more to it than just eating right and getting exercise. In the 21st Century, people are starting to seek out the benefits of products that offer natural healing. As a result, more researchers are starting to investigate various herbal and natural remedies, and they are finding that many of these products are much more beneficial than they previously believed.
Among the natural remedies that are receiving a lot of attention, you have chamomile. This is a natural remedy that has been used for centuries as a way to address a wide range of conditions, and as the research continues, we are finding out more about the potential benefits that chamomile can have for human health.
What is chamomile?
Chamomile is an extract that comes from chamomile flowers. These flowers are a part of the Asteraceae plant family. There are different types of chamomile, but it is the varieties of German chamomile and Roman chamomile that are used for their medicinal properties.
In the modern day, drinking chamomile tea is probably the most popular way that people enjoy the benefits of this plant. People drink it because it has a soothing effect, and it can also be good for helping people with insomnia. Along with that, it is rich in antioxidants, and it has various benefits that make it good for the overall health and wellbeing of the individual.
While chamomile teas are probably the best known way that people may benefit from this plant, there are other ways that chamomile can be used. Products like chamomile hydrosol have been shown to be beneficial for applications such as aromatherapy and for treating skin irritation.
Benefits of Chamomile
The potential benefits of chamomile have been known for a long time, and research is starting to provide more support for its use to address various health concerns. Most people are familiar with the varieties of chamomile tea, and the fact that it can be good for relieving stress, but there is much more to the benefits of this extract.
Anxiety and Depression
Various studies have shown that chamomile can be beneficial to people that are suffering from conditions relating to anxiety, depression and insomnia. A 2009 study published[i] in the Journal of Clinical Psychopharmacology investigated the effects of chamomile on people with General Anxiety Disorder.
This was a randomized, double-blind, placebo controlled trial where the experimental group took 220mg of pharmaceutical-grade German chamomile. Compared to the placebo group, the participants in the experimental group showed significant improvements in anxiety and associated symptoms.
Chamomile has also been shown to be great for relieving congestion. It has been used by allergy sufferers and as a remedy to relieve congestion related to the common cold. A study from 1990[ii] had patients use chamomile extract as a part of steam therapy. Patients that inhaled the chamomile through steam therapy did show improvements in their symptoms. Along with relieving congestion, chamomile has also been used to treat nasal inflammation and sore throat.
Good source of antioxidants
The antioxidant components of chamomile have also been shown to be good for promoting improved health and wellbeing in the individual. The key antioxidant constituents of chamomile are a range of terpenoids and flavonoids.
These antioxidants can promote better health in a number of ways. Studies have shown that chamomile can improve immune system function, digestion and reduce swelling.
Chamomile can also be used as an herbal remedy for pain and inflammation. This goes back to some of the flavonoid compounds mentioned in the previous section. Chamomile flowers contain substances like alpha-bisabolol, which have been shown to have anti-inflammatory properties.
Studies have shown that chamomile can be used to relieve a variety issues relating to pain and inflammation. One study from 2009[iii] showed that chamomile has properties that assist the body with inhibiting various inflammation related chemicals in body. An earlier study[iv] also showed that chamomile flavones penetrate deep into the skin, making it particularly ideal for use in topical treatments.
The extract can also be used to address a range of digestive issues. It is primarily noted for its ability to act as a digestive relaxant, and it has been shown to work well for conditions like acid reflux, diarrhoea, stomach cramps and IBS.
In a study from 1997[v], the effects of chamomile on diarrhoea in children were investigated. This was a randomised, double-blind study, where the children in the experimental group were given a combination of apple pectin and chamomile. Compared to the control group, the children that received the treatment containing chamomile experienced relief from the symptoms, and a reduced duration of the sickness.
With chamomile’s rich antioxidant content, and its ability to penetrate deep into skin, it has also been shown to be great for a variety of skin issues. It can treat skin irritations, wounds and a variety of different types of sores. It has also been shown to be good for treating cases of eczema.
In 2000, researchers studied the efficacy of Kamillosan cream on eczema. In the research[vi], the experimental group was treated with the cream, while another group was treated using a 0.05% hydrocortisone cream, and a third group was given a placebo. After two weeks, the experimental group showed better results than both the hydrocortisone group and the placebo group.
Chamomile has several health benefits, and it can be used to treat a wide range of conditions. While the tea is the most common form of treatment that people think of, a chamomile hydrosol can offer benefits that you may not be able to get with the tea. The hydrosol can be used as a topical remedy for skin irritations, and it is also very effective as an aromatherapy for things like stress, relaxation and more.
[i] Amsterdam JD, “A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial of oral Matricaria recutita (chamomile) extract therapy for generalized anxiety disorder,” Journal of Clinical Psychopharmacology, (2009)
[ii] Saller R, “Dose dependency of symptomatic relief of complaints by chamomile steam inhalation in patients with common cold,” European Journal of Pharmacology, (1990)
[iii] Srivastava JK, “Chamomile, a novel and selective COX-2 inhibitor with anti-inflammatory activity,” Life Sciences, (2009)
[iv] Merfort I, “In vivo skin penetration studies of camomile flavones,” Pharmazie, (1994)
[v] de la Motte S, “Double-blind comparison of a preparation of pectin/chamomile extract and placebo in children with diarrhea,” Arzneimittelforschung, (1997)
[vi] Patzelt-Wenczler R, “Proof of efficacy of Kamillosan(R) cream in atopic eczema,” European Journal of Medical Research, (2000)