Written by Slawomir (“Swavak”) Gromadzki, MPH
If you’ve ever shopped for herbs, Chamomile is probably one of the first that you find as it is one of the most popular in the market. And it is popular for a reason as Chamomile is an extraordinary herb that has been traditionally used for health purposes for centuries. It has been particularly known for its calming effect on the nervous system and stomach issue recuperating properties. It has many other health benefits, including its ability to improve digestion, aid sleep, reduce stress levels, protect the skin, and strengthen the immune system, among others. The good news about chamomile, as evidenced by medical research, is that it is non-addictive and has no known adverse side effects even if used over long period of time. Chamomile is rich in antioxidant components, including chamazulene and acetylene, flavonoids such as apigenin, quercetin, patuletin as well as various glucosides. These compounds are known to reduce the damaging effect of harmful free radicals, thus enhancing immune function and slowing ageing process, and give other numerous benefits.
Imposes calming effect on nervous system
Chamomile has been known for centuries as an excellent natural aid in calming the nervous system and easing stress and worry. Clinical and laboratory research has provided strong evidence that Chamomile is not only relaxing, but it can be effective in improving mood and psychological well-being. Scientific research also confirms that Chamomile’s relaxing effect increases when it is used regularly over a longer period of time.
Excellent natural sleep aid
Chamomile has been widely used for a very long time as a folk remedy for its presumed sedative effects and sleep aid, which was repeatedly confirmed by modern research. For instance, according to a 2016 study Chamomile may be safely used and recommended to postpartum women as a supplementary approach to alleviating sleep quality problems and low mood.
Powerful digestive relaxant & aid
Chamomile is also regarded as a stomach and digestive tract relaxant, which can be very beneficial if you experience stomach cramps and related discomfort, indigestion, gas or nausea. This benefit is also due to chamomile’s natural relaxing effects as the brain is closely connected with the stomach and gut via the vagus nerve. Therefore a more relaxed mind can help relax the entire GI tract. In addition, some constituents found in Chamomile can improve digestion and relieve digestive distress.
Promotes healthy blood glucose levels & relaxes blood vessels, muscles & heart
According to two separate 2013 trials, active ingredients of Chamomile (apigenin, luteolin & bisabolol) can significantly relax blood vessels and smooth muscle fibres, including heart muscle. Numerous studies, including recent ones, have shown that even short term intake of Chamomile has beneficial effects on blood glucose levels.
According to one study, internal use of chamomile resulted in significantly higher levels of glycine a chemical that relieves muscle spasms and can act as a nerve relaxant. Researchers say higher glycine levels may relax the uterus, explaining why chamomile appears to relieve menstrual cramps.
Written by Slawomir Gromadzki, MPH