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Chamomile, properties, benefits and warnings

October 15, 2023
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Chamomile, properties, benefits and warnings

Anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, calming and soothing action, protects the thyroid, helps in case of painful menstruation and premenstrual syndrome, improves the quality of sleep, combats anxiety and depression, detox action, regulates intestinal transit, help in case of intestinal inflammation, also useful as a cosmetic for burnt, irritated and blemished skin

Chamomile is the grandmother's remedy par excellence, considered capable of curing almost all ailments. Suffice it to say that in Germany it is called alles zutraut, which means capable of anything... Chamomile certainly cannot cure all ills but it is certainly a valid aid for the health of body and mind. We have dedicated numerous articles to chamomile, precisely because of its benefits, today we will focus on the results of the most recent scientific research, which allow us to discover new, and sometimes truly unthinkable, properties of this much-loved herbal tea.

Chamomile, properties

Matricaria chamomilla, or matricaria recutita, is chamomile, a plant well known and used throughout the world. This thanks to its sweet and relaxing aroma but also to the recognized antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, anti-diabetic, cardioprotective and mood-promoting properties, conferred by substances such as sesquiterpenes, flavonoids, such as apigenin, and volatile oils [1].

Chamomile for sleeping well and improving mood

It's not just a belief, scientific studies have shown that an infusion of chamomile improves the quality of sleep and mood, counteracting anxiety and sadness [2]. Inhaling chamomile oil also helps to calm and relax [1]. It is believed that the relaxing action of chamomile is due to its antioxidant, apigenin [3].

Chamomile and thyroid

Studies have shown that those who regularly drink chamomile tea have a lower risk of developing thyroid diseases and cellular degeneration of this gland, as well as having a better blood picture regarding the levels of hormones released by the thyroid [2].

Chamomile for gastrointestinal health and abdominal cramps

A cup of chamomile protects the stomach and intestines. Studies have observed that chamomile can help counteract disorders such as flatulence, distension and abdominal pain, even following operations or diagnostic tests. Not only that, chamomile is useful in cases of irritable bowel syndrome, regulates intestinal peristalsis and helps reduce lesions and inflammation in cases of ulcerative colitis. These properties can be traced back to some substances contained in chamomile, such as chamazulene, bisabolol and flavonoids, which act as antispasmodics and anti-inflammatories [4]. But it doesn't end here. In fact, the antispasmodic and calming properties of chamomile have also proven useful in case of painful menstruation, to relieve abdominal cramps. Not only that, chamomile helps improve mood and relax, helping in case of pre-menstrual syndrome [5].

Chamomile, lemon and honey, the detox synergy

The herbal tea prepared with 5 grams of chamomile, left to infuse together with two slices of lemon, preferably organic, and to which a teaspoon of honey is added is a remedy with a proven detoxifying and purifying action, but also useful for keeping blood pressure under control and reducing inflammation [6].

Chamomile as a cosmetic

Creams, lotions and ointments based on chamomile can help repair sensitive skin, combat acne and improve skin dehydration, as well as combat dark skin spots thanks to the inhibitory action on the tyrosinase enzyme, which stimulates the production of melanin [6].

Chamomile, preparation and warnings

Chamomile in dried form can be found in supermarkets and specialized shops, it can be found in a sachet or in loose form to add to boiling water. The chamomile infusion time must not exceed three minutes so as not to obtain an effect opposite to the calming one. Chamomile is generally well tolerated, however it can cause minor reactions in people allergic to plants of the chamomile family, such as ragweed or sunflower [4]. Pay attention and ask your doctor for advice if you are taking medications, such as anticoagulants, as an interaction between these and chamomile, which can increase their action, is possible. Not only that, do not exaggerate with the doses, as in very high quantities chamomile can alter menstruation, induce uterine contractions and even cause vomiting [6].

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