Chamomile Tea in History
Its medicinal use dates back to the times of the ancient Greeks, Egyptians and Romans, who would prepare it in the form of an infusion, hence the name “tea”, although it does not contain the camellia sinensis tea leaves. For this reason chamomile as a beverage is also referred to as a tisane, in the same ranks as rooibos and yerba mate.
We have put together a number of ways in which this plant was used by the ancients to treat various diseases and illnesses such as ulcers, irritation, wounds, burns, eczema, gout, bruising, mouth ulcers, canker sores, rheumatism, neuralgia, hemorrhoids and more.
As one can imagine, at the time, one could not get the conveniently packaged chamomile tea bags at the supermarket. The infusion then was made with fresh chamomile flowers. The benefits listed in the current article apply to fresh, loose chamomile flowers not so to the classic tea packed in the tea bags available at your local supermarket, since they are nowhere as fresh, have gone through intense processing and may contain chemicals such as pesticides, herbicides and other harmful chemicals.
Some studies have shown that drinking chamomile infusion with meals contributes to the prevention of the progress of diabetic complications and hyperglycaemia.
Chamomile and Infections
Given its antibacterial properties, it 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 it has long been associated with improving the immune system and the ability to help fight infections.
Chamomile and Oral Health
Given its antibacterial properties, chamomile can also be used as a mouthwash or gargle to relieve mouth and gum infections.
Chamomile and 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.
Chamomile and Men’s Health
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.
Chamomile and 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.
Chamomile and Digestion
Chamomile 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.
Chamomile and Wounds
Cuts and 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.
Chamomile and Insomnia
Promotes sleep – drinking chamomile tea calms the nervous system, so that you can sleep better. It has been used as a solution for insomnia for centuries, as chamomile contains glycine, which is a natural tranquilizer. Back to top
Chamomile and Hemorrhoids
Applied locally, a chamomile ointment can help relieve hemorrhoids.
Chamomile Tea and Cancer
With its powerful antioxidant properties, chamomile tea is very likely to help reduce cancerous cells, although researchers are still studying how exactly chamomile reverses abnormal cell growth. Among the flavonoids found in chamomile, apigenin is the most promising in terms of pharmaceutical benefits.
Chamomile Tea and the Gastrointestinal Tract
Chamomile has also been shown to be help in preventing inflammation of the gastrointestinal tract, a common side effect of cancer treatment.
Chamomile Tea and 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.
Chamomile Tea and Candida Albicans
Several flavonoids in chamomile have anti-fungal properties, including against Candida albicans.
Chamomile Tea and 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.