Herbs

The Benefits and Uses of Chamomile

Humans have been using herbs and medicinal plants since ancients times. One of these herbs is dried chamomile. Chamomile is used for various purposes as well as the productions of many medicines. There is an abundance of medical literature on the advantages of this herb.

Where does the herb get its benefits from? Chamomile is loaded with antioxidants such as flavonoids and terpenoids. These are present in the natural oils of the plant. Chamomile gets its healing powers as well as soothing abilities from these very antioxidants.

Furthermore, the studies on the herb have shown that it has almost no negative effects. Perhaps this is the reason why it has been used by humans for over 5000 years in forms of ointment, tea, and even for cosmetic purposes such as cleansing, healing, and beautification purposes.

If you are a regular drinker of chamomile tea, you are going to be surprised to know that you are getting more than enough benefits. The tea will not only help in digestion and better immunity but protect you from potential health conditions in the future.

Image by Rare Tea Company

The History of Chamomile

In today’s times, you can look around and actually find chamomile plants being grown near your city. However, before it was taken to other countries, chamomile was majorly only present in the areas of Northern Africa and Western Europe.

A lot of countries now export chamomile as well. For example, Britan, Germany, Belgium, Poland, and France are among the biggest exporters of the herb. The plants from different regions tend to also vary in taste and appearance.

Even though the benefits offered are equal and similar, some types are more suitable for one thing than the other. For instance, German chamomile plants are usually preferred over others for manufacturing medicines.

If you compare German and English chamomile, you will see that they are biologically different and the former is indeed better for medicinal purposes.

According to the data on chamomile, its benefits were recognized thousands of years ago. Where in one region the herb was used for cosmetic and medicinal use, in others it was used to honor the dead and for festivals.

Germans have been using chamomile for the longest specifically to resolve health issues such as those related to digestion. On the other hand, the chamomile plant in Egpyt was worshipped. They even had festivals in name of the plant. Women belonging to the noble class often applied a crushed form of chamomile for beautification purposes.

Romans even used chamomile in food, particularly to add more flavor to drinks. As it was already used as a medicinal herb, adding it to food was considered even healthier. In addition, chamomile was also a popular incense.

Chamomile only entered the trade line in the sixteenth century. Who started large-scale cultivation in order to trade the plants is not clear. Some people have claimed it was the Romans who thought about selling chamomile plants first while others think it was people from Britan.

Since the herb was so well-known in Europe, British trader eventually introduced it to the populations in North America. In fact, during the American settlements, chamomile was present in every doctor’s bag. This was because it was a natural cure for digestive issues, allergies, skin issues and many more without any risk of negative effects.

How Is Chamomile Used Today?

People today have a lot of options when it comes to chamomile. It is most widely used in form of tea since it is one of the healthiest teas out there and a great alternative to the usual drinks. In addition to this, chamomile is also available in many other forms such as essential oil, tincture or dry powder.

Up till now, it is said that using the tincture or the dry powder form brings the most benefits since they contain the highest number of antioxidants. However, it is important to look for powders and tinctures containing pure chamomile leaves or else it would not be as beneficial.

Trying chamomile tea is perhaps the easiest way to get the herb’s benefits. Even though the plant’s oils are not very well-absorbed in water, the tea can still help a person with stress, detoxifications and to get rid of digestive issues.

Chamomile extracts are also available are mostly used for the purposes of beautification. Applying chamomile on your tea will help keep infections and pimples away as well as give a youthful glow. In order to get the best extract, it is important to buy ones with 50% alcohol and 1.2% of apigenin.

In a similar way, chamomile essential oil can also be applied to the skin for healing and beautifying. Secondly, oil is also widely incorporated into aromatherapy. This can be done using a diffuser or by simply inhaling the aroma after rubbing a few drops in hands.

Aromatherapy using chamomile essential oil can help relieve headaches and runny nose. It is also effective for improving sleep patterns, relaxing, and getting rid of stress.

Image by Archana’s kitchen

The Best Benefits of Chamomile

The chamomile herb offers various benefits from relieving colds to getting a glowing skin. Some of its best benefits are:

Heart health

The chamomile plant is known to contain an abundance of flavonoids. The consumption of flavonoids from the herb has been linked to a lower risk of death due to coronary heart diseases.

Fighting cancer

Recently, there have been a number of studies on the cancer-fighting potential of chamomile plant. Chamomile has been seen to fight and stop the growth of cancerous tumors in trials, hence proving as a potential and alternative treatment for the health condition.

The plant mainly gets its anti-cancer property due to the antioxidant known as apigenin. These bio-constituents able to fight cancerous growth in the skin, ovaries, prostate glands, and breasts.

Pain and Inflammation

Traditional practitioners often call the herb a natural form of aspirin. Why is this so? This is because of the plant’s amazing abilities to relieve pain and inflammation in a person. The flowers of the chamomile can be used along with other similar herbs or foods to get rid of pains.

The herb is best known to relieve toothaches, irritation on the skin, pain during infections, and swelling inflammation in the bowels. This is also why chamomile is one of the main ingredients in everyday products such as soaps, body washes, toothpaste, creams, and lotions.

Oral health

Do you see chamomile present in many types of toothpaste? It is probably because of the herb’s ability to fight many bacterial infections of the gum and teeth. As mentioned before, chamomile is also effective in relieving gum swelling and toothaches as well.

In addition, chamomile can also help in reducing pains of injuries and cuts within the mouth as well as sores and burns.

Mental stability

Anxiety and depression have unfortunately become more common than ever today. One of the biggest reasons for this is stressful and busy lifestyles. As a result, the majority of the adult population is constantly under stress and more prone to developing mental disorders and diseases.

Using chamomile in any form is also a way to help manage both anxiety and depression. It has proven benefits and is effective in fighting stress and tension induced aches. The most common ways to use chamomile for mental health is by drinking it in form of tea on a regular basis or aromatherapy.

 

 

 

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