Health benefits of Chamomile
There are two varieties of chamomile plants: German chamomile and Roman chamomile. German chamomile is considered the more potent variety and is widely used for medicinal purposes.
Chamomile might be best known as a sleep aid, but the strongest evidence for the herb indicates it might be very helpful for anxiety.
Let's look at the amazing benefits of Chamomile:
Chamomile is one of the widely used alternative therapies for enhanced sleep and treating insomnia. However, despite its reputation as a herb that helps with good sleep, there's very little research supporting its effectiveness. Interestingly, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved the use of chamomile flower preparations for a host of other issues—including gastrointestinal spasms and bacterial skin diseases—in contrast, it did not grant approval for it as a sleep aid due to very little published research in this area.
In a small study, 17 people with insomnia took 270 mg of chamomile extract 2 times a day for a month and also kept a sleep diary. When comparing their sleep diaries to those who took a placebo, there was no significant difference in how fast patients fell asleep or how much sleep they got.
Research has shown chamomile to be very meaningful when it comes to decreasing anxiety and the Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database, which rates the effectiveness of natural remedies based on scientific evidence, says chamomile is possibly very effective for anxiety.
In a study, participants took 200 mg to 1100 mg of chamomile a day for approx 12 weeks. A study found that taking 500 mg of chamomile extract 3 times a day for 12 weeks significantly helped reduce moderate-to-severe symptoms of generalized anxiety disorder which is one of the most common anxiety disorders.
When applied topically, chamomile may be able to speed up wound healing. Studies show that substances in chamomile can kill several viruses and bacteria, including Staphylococcus aureus, the cause of staph infections, decrease, prevent and treat the growth of ulcers.
A study that compared chamomile and corticosteroids for treating ulcers in test tubes and animals concluded that chamomile enhanced faster wound healing: Animals treated with chamomile showed complete wound healing 9 days before animals were treated with corticosteroids.
Chamomile helped to heal wounds in humans as well. In one small study that investigated the efficacy of a combination of lavender and chamomile essential oil on patients with chronic leg ulcers, it has been reported that four of the five patients in the chamomile and lavender oil group had complete healing of the wounds while the fifth patient making progress towards recovery. Wounds treated by applying a chamomile compress for an hour once a day healed 5 to 6 days faster than those treated with hydrocortisone once a day. But more study is still awaited.
Chamomile is often used in treating mild skin irritations, like sunburn, sores, rashes, and even eye inflammation, but its value to treat all these conditions needs more research.
Topical applications of chamomile have been moderately effective in the treatment of eczema. In one partially double-blind trial carried out as a half-side comparison, a commercial chamomile cream showed a mild superiority towards a low-dose 0.5 per cent hydrocortisone and a marginal difference compared to the placebo.
Prevents stomach cramps
Chamomile has pain-relieving and antispasmodic benefits. Pain and inflammation are usually caused due to the over secretion of the prostaglandin hormone. Chamomile relaxes the uterus and effectively decreases the production of prostaglandins. It also lowers stomach cramps due to indigestion and works by raising the glycine levels in the body. This in turn reduces the intensity of muscle spasms, ensuring a healthy digestive system.
Studies suggest that chamomile inhibits Helicobacter pylori, the bacteria that can cause stomach ulcers. Chamomile is helpful in reducing smooth muscle spasms linked to various gastrointestinal inflammatory disorders like inflammatory bowel disease, though research is required to confirm this.
An animal study showed that chamomile extracts have strong antioxidant and antidiarrheal properties when given to rats in a dose-dependent manner against castor oil-induced diarrhoea and intestinal fluid accumulation.
A study on more than 1,000 patients with acute diarrhoea found that a commercial product containing a combination of coffee charcoal and chamomile flower extract is safe, well-tolerated, and as effective as conventional therapies.
Some studies that evaluated the efficacy of chamomile mouthwash found that it can significantly reduce gingivitis and plaque, probably due to its antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory activities.
Some studies have shown that chamomile tea benefits can reduce blood sugar levels in people with diabetes. In one study, 64 participants that consumed chamomile tea 3 times a day after meals for eight weeks saw a significant reduction in markers for diabetes as well as cholesterol compared to people who drank water. While chamomile may be a helpful supplement to treatments, researchers noted that larger studies are required to evaluate the usefulness of chamomile in diabetes management.
Keep in mind that chamomile in any form should be used as a supplement, and not at all a replacement for, your usual medication routines. Consult your healthcare providers before consuming chamomile if you’re taking any kind of medicine.