Chamomile is known to help with a number of health issues, in addition to promoting relaxation.
Diabetes - Some studies have shown that drinking chamomile tea with meals contributes to the prevention of the progress of diabetic complications and hyperglycaemia.
Colds and Infections - Chamomile tea, given its antibacterial properties, can help in the prevention and treatment of colds and protection against diseases and infection caused by bacteria. Chamomile flowers and leaves have been shown to increase hippurate levels in urine. Hippurate is a result of the decomposition of phenolic antioxidant compounds, which are in some cases related to antibacterial activity. This could be why chamomile tea has long been associated with improving the immune system and the ability to help fight infections.
Oral Health - Given its antibacterial properties, chamomile can also be used as a mouthwash or gargle to relieve mouth and gum infections.
Women - A study showed increased levels of glycine in urine after drinking chamomile tea. Glycine is a compound that calms muscle spasms. Scientists believe this is why chamomile tea may provide an effective relief for menstrual cramps as well.
Men - Chamomile contains an anticoagulant compound called coumarin, known for its proven blood-thinning properties. This is good news for men, since a healthy circulatory system means a good supply of blood to the sexual organs, which is a key factor in prompt and lasting erections. For this reason, chamomile can be considered to help male libido and in certain cases, act as an aphrodisiac.
Inflammation - A compound called Bisabolol found in chamomile has powerful anti-inflammatory properties. Studies showed a reduced inflammation, fever and induced arthritis in test subjects. Apigenin also demonstrated anti-inflammatory properties.
Digestion - Chamomile tea is an exceptional drink to help soothe a stomachache. While it helps soothe the intestines, chamomile can promote better digestion, even those who suffer from IBS (irritable bowel syndrome). The extracts of chamomile flowers reduce the secretion of gastric acid, which can help fix an aching stomach.
In addition, chamomile has been assessed as a digestive relaxant and has been used to treat various gastrointestinal disorders including flatulence, indigestion, diarrhea, anorexia, motion sickness, nausea and vomiting.
In recent studies, chamomile flowers were found to inhibit stomach ulcers caused by stresses like alcohol. Furthermore, the time for healing ulcers induced by heat or chemical stress were also reduced.
Wounds - Chamomile tea was used by the ancients to treat wounds, eczema, ulcers, bruises, skin irritations, cuts and burns to speed healing. A recent study showed that rats that were given chamomile tea was faster than the poor stuck to drink plain water rats healing. The study showed superior results in burns. These results are explained by the chamomile antimicrobial, antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.
Insomnia - Promotes sleep - drinking chamomile tea calms the nervous system, so you can sleep better. It has been used as a solution for insomnia for centuries, as it contains glycine, which is a natural tranquilizer.
Gastrointestinal Tract - Chamomile has also been shown to be help in preventing inflammation of the gastrointestinal tract, a common side effect of cancer treatment.
Skin - With its anti-inflammatory and anti-septic properties, chamomile helps to take care of skin irritations such as eczema, acne, and allergies. Chamomile is especially good for sensitive skin and helps heal scratches and treat wounds, where it has been shown to promote faster healing than corticosteroids. It may also be useful in the treatment of eczema where it was found to be as effective as hydrocortisone.
Candida Albicans - Several flavonoids in chamomile have anti-fungal properties, including against Candida Albicans.
Drugs - The chamomile plant has no known adverse effect (except in case of allergies). It does not interfere with drugs and may be used safely with children.
If you have already tried a chamomile tea made with fresh loose flowers, you already know it tastes delicious, with its floral notes reminiscent of honey and apples. Who said medicine had horrible taste to be effective?