A cup of chamomile… how many times have we drunk it, perhaps without giving it too much importance, considering it an infusion useful only to calm down a little. Yet, chamomile is a powerful source of health properties. In fact, chamomile is antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, antispasmodic and sedative, just to name a few beneficial effects of this miraculous plant. But the properties of chamomile are many more, some even truly surprising, recently proven by science. So, let's try to understand what chamomile can do for our health.
Tea with antidepressant action
Studies have shown that chamomile has an anti-inflammatory, neuroprotective, anxiolytic and antidepressant action. If chamomile is associated with saffron then a synergy can be created that shows marked antidepressant properties. In particular, a research published in the journal Heliyon has shown that the intake, twice a day for a month, of a tea prepared with a mixture of 20 milligrams of dried chamomile and 1 milligram of saffron stigmas is able to alleviate the depression and improve some conditions that may favor it. In particular, a deficiency of the amino acid tryptophan plays a crucial role in the onset of depressive symptoms. The intake of tea prepared with chamomile and saffron instead made it possible to increase the availability of tryptophan in the brain. Not only that, the synergy of chamomile and saffron counteract neuroinflammation, another cause of the onset of depression (Ahmad et al, Heliyon, 2022). To prepare an infusion of chamomile and saffron you can proceed in this way. Bring a cup of water to the boil, remove from the heat and add, preferably placed in a filter bag, a third of a teaspoon of crushed saffron stigmas and a teaspoon of chamomile. Let it brew for five minutes, then strain or remove the bag, and taste.
Chamomile against diabetes
Chamomile, thanks to the substances it contains, such as quercetin, luteolin and apigenin, which are antioxidant substances, helps to fight diabetes. In fact, chamomile reduces insulin resistance and counteracts the damage of free radicals at the level of the beta cells of the pancreas, which secrete insulin (Ahmad et al, PLoS One, 2022). This action is made even more powerful if saffron is associated with chamomile, just like in the previous case. In fact, chamomile and saffron work in synergy by supporting the work of the pancreas, improving the use of glucose by the body's cells and also reducing psychological symptoms, which often accompany diabetes, such as anxiety and depression (Ahmad et al, PLoS One , 2022).
Chamomile against anxiety and insomnia
Prolonged use of chamomile, even in the form of extracts, is safe and beneficial in counteracting anxiety and improving the feeling of well-being (Mao et al, Phytomedicine, 2016). Not only that, chamomile is able to improve the quality of sleep (Hieu et al, Phytother Res, 2019). Therefore, drinking a cup of chamomile in the evening is not only a habit dictated by tradition but actually exerts a calming and sedative action. These properties are due to the presence of apigenin, an antioxidant that binds to some brain receptors responsible for promoting sleep and relaxation (Srivastava et al, Mol Med Report, 2010).
Chamomile, metabolic syndrome and obesity
Chamomile helps keep blood sugar and cholesterol under control. Not only that, chamomile tea helps prevent the increase in body mass and counteracts the damage of free radicals in the kidneys and liver. In addition to this, chamomile limits the absorption of sugars introduced with the diet (Bayliak et al, EXCLI J, 2021).
Chamomile, myrrh and coffee against irritable bowel syndrome
On the market it is possible to find a remedy obtained from the combination of chamomile, myrrh and coffee to counter some symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome, such as diarrhea. In particular, chamomile is able to counteract the release of histamine and the activation of mast cells, which are immune cells involved in the process that causes diarrhea (Altenbernd et al, Plants, 2022).
Chamomile, uses and warnings
You can use dried chamomile flowers that you find in chemist's and herbalist's shops to prepare an infusion. Bring a cup of water to a boil, remove from heat and add a teaspoon of chamomile. Leave to infuse for five minutes, then filter and drink. Alternatively, there are chamomile-based preparations that can help to relax, to fall asleep or even to counteract colitis and diarrhea. Chamomile is considered generally safe. However, a small percentage of people may be allergic to chamomile, usually if they already have an allergy to other plants in the composite family, the same as chamomile, such as ragweed or chrysanthemum. At present there are no studies on the safety of chamomile in pregnancy, in young children and in case of kidney or liver problems (Srivastava et al, Mol Med Report, 2010).