Chamomile Tea --- Top 7 Health
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October 15, 2014, last updated November 7, 2015
By Louise Carr, Associate Editor and Featured Columnist

[Health and fitness articles are reviewed by Registered Nurses, Certified
fitness trainers and other members of our Editorial Board]








Many of us look on chamomile as a comfort blanket, a soothing
balm, and a sleep aid. Chamomile tea
, made from the leaves of
the daisy-like chamomile plant,
is one of the most popular
herbal beverages in the US. In the past,
the delicately scented
chamomile drink was used by the Egyptians for fevers, and by
the ancient Greeks and Romans for headaches and kidney
disorders. Today, chamomile has a calming reputation but is
this just an old wives’ tale? Did you know that chamomile may
help treat gum disease, and colds or flu?

Chamomile Tea Benefits

Chamomile (also sometimes spelled "camomile" and technically
known as Matricaria recutita L., Chamomilla recutita L., or
Matricaria chamomilla) contains the powerful flavonoids
apigenin, quercetin, patuletin and luteolin.

These flavonoids have powerful anti-microbial and anti-oxidant
activity, according to 2006 research from the USDA Human
Nutrition Research Center on Aging at Tufts University.


What this means is that chamomile's flavonoids can help fight
the growth of bacterial microbes that might attack your
immune system and make you sick.


Chamomile's anti-oxidant properties mean that drinking the tea
may help to reduce the natural aging process that occurs in
each of the cells of your body.

Chamomile may also have an anti-inflammatory action and
cholesterol-lowering powers.


[Update: What this means is that chamomile helps to lower the
inflammation levels in your body that would otherwise initiate
the body's inflammatory response. This inflammatory response,
when it occurs in your arteries, leads to arteriosclerosis.]
(Read
more about
foods that lower cholesterol.)

Is Chamomile Tea Safe?

Chamomile is generally believed to be a safe herbal drink to
calm the nerves and bring health benefits. Chamomile oil is on
the US Food and Drug Administration's list of nutrients
"generally recognized as safe".

However, naturally occurring compounds may act as blood
thinners if you are taking anticoagulants. Chamomile tea for
pregnant, nursing women and young children has not been
proven to be safe although there are no reports of toxicity.

How to Make Chamomile Tea

You can make chamomile tea yourself by pouring boiling water
over chamomile flowers – two to three heaped tablespoons –
and leaving it to steep for 10 minutes. Or you can buy
chamomile tea bags in all health stores.

Here we looked at the recent scientific research into the health
benefits of chamomile tea – it’s not just a drink to calm the
nerves.























1.
Chamomile Tea Helps Combat Diabetes Complications

Chamomile tea had a powerful anti-hyperglycemic and
antioxidant effect on diabetic rats in a 2008 study from Afyon
Kocatepe University, Afyonkarahisar, Turkey.

Chamomile tea treatment significantly reduced hyperglycemia
and oxidative stress in the study.

Also, a 2014 study from Tabriz University of Medical Sciences,
Tabriz, Iran showed chamomile tea improved glycemic control
and serum lipid profile in patients with Type 2 diabetes.

The participants in the study drank 150ml of chamomile tea
three times a day for eight weeks and experienced better
glycemic control measures.

2.
Is Chamomile Tea Useful for Mouth Sores?

Drinking chamomile tea is a traditional remedy for easing the
pain of mouth sores. So far, not much scientific evidence is not
forthcoming to back this up.

However,  a 1996 study from University of Nebraska Medical
Center, Omaha did not find that a chamomile solution helped
treat mouth sores caused by chemotherapy. Even so, many
people do find the tea, at lukewarm temperatures, to be
soothing.

3.
Soothe Conjunctivitis Symptoms with Chamomile Tea

Chamomile tea has also traditionally been a method to ease the
symptoms of conjunctivitis. The idea is to place soaked and
cooled chamomile tea bags onto the closed eyelids in order to
reduce inflammation and act as an antibacterial remedy. Be
careful that the tea bags are brewed with sterile water and that
your hands are clean when applying the tea to the eyes.

4.
Treat Periodontal Disease with Chamomile Tea Mouthwash?

A 2003 study from Johannes Gutenberg-University Mainz,
Germany shows that a tea made from the herb chamomile is
useful in treating gum inflammation in periodontal disease. The
solution also contained echinacea, sage, myrrh, ratania, and
mint and was more effective than a regular gum disease
mouthwash.


5.
Fight Colds and Flu with Chamomile Tea

The popular chamomile tea drink may well have powers to
relieve the symptoms of colds and flu, as well as menstrual
cramps, according to 2005 research from Imperial College,
London. Researchers looked at 14 people who drank five cups
of chamomile tea a day for two weeks.

The scientists found that drinking chamomile tea was linked to
an increase in urinary levels of hippurate,  which is associated
with increased antibacterial activity – the tea may help the
immune system fight off colds and flu.

The tea was also linked to increased urinary levels of glycine,
an amino acid that helps relieve muscle spasms.

6.
Chamomile Tea for Generalized Anxiety Disorder?

Chamomile tea has long been regarded as a calming and
soothing drink, and it seems that research can back this up.

A 2009 study from the University Science Center, Philadelphia
looked at chamomile tea’s effect on generalized anxiety
disorder. The results showed that chamomile extract had a
beneficial effect on patients suffering from mild to moderate
generalized anxiety disorder.

7.
Reduce Colic Symptoms in Babies with Chamomile Tea

Extract of chamomile, lemon balm and fennel soothed the
symptoms of colic in infants that were breastfed, according to a
2005 study from the University of Torino, Italy.

A combination of chamomile with licorice, fennel, lemon balm,
and vervain was also shown to be effective against colic in
another study.

A word of caution is in order. Before you use any home
remedies, please check with your pediatrician. Herbal
combinations have not been widely tested for infants so should
be used, if at all, with caution.




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