Botanical: Matricaria recutita (also known as Matricaria chamomilla)
Family: Compositae (daisy) - Asteraceae (aster/sunflower)
Other common names: German Chamomile, Hungarian Chamomile, Mayweed, True Chamomile, Wild Chamomile, Childbed Flower
Relax and enjoy the calming effects of Chamomile. If you suffer from insomnia, stress and anxiety, this natural sedative acts as a tonic to soothe your nerves, induce sleep, help calm colitis and improve digestion. Help support the gastrointestinal tract and ease a nervous stomach with Chamomile, the most gentle of the ancient herbs that is still popular today.
The information presented herein by Herbal Extracts Plus is intended for educational purposes only. These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA and are not intended to diagnose, cure, treat or prevent disease. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplements, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.
The Egyptians dedicated Chamomile to the sun and worshiped it above all other herbs, while Greek physicians prescribed it for fevers and female disorders. Dioscorides and Pliny recommended it to relieve headaches and illnesses affecting the liver, kidneys and bladder; and in the ancient Anglo-Saxon manuscript, the Lacnunga, "maythen" is called one of the 'Nine Sacred Herbs.' There are a number of varieties of Chamomile, which is a hardy evergreen perennial of the sunflower family that grows in herb gardens worldwide for its aromatic and medicinal qualities. It usually grows in temperate regions, and since the seeds require open soil to survive, it often grows near roads, around landfills and in cultivated fields as a weed. This beautiful, fragrant herb, which was a favorite aromatic strewing blossom, has been inhaled as snuff or smoked to relieve asthma and cure insomnia. Europeans have been using it for nearly four centuries as an herbal pain reliever and remedy for backache, neuralgia and arthritis. Among the components included in Chamomile are essential oils (chamazulene, alpha-bisabolol, azulene), beta-carotene, p-coumaric acid, tannic acid, a glucoside, coumarin, flavonoids (quercetin, rutin, apigenin, luteolin, apigetrin and apiin), scopoletin, triterpene hydrocarbons, thymol, boron, calcium, choline, essential fatty acids, folate, inositol, iron, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, potassium, selenium, sulfur, zinc, B-vitamins and vitamins A, C, E and K. The herb also includes the amino acid, tryptophan, which has been useful for insomnia since the 1600s. Chamomile is a valued cosmetic, as well as medicinal herb and is indispensable in every home.
Chamomile is a natural sedative that has a long history of use as a tranquilizer. Modern science claims that it does indeed soothe frayed nerves, because it actually slows down the central nervous system. As a calmative, it is said to be helpful in managing Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD).
This wonderfully soothing tonic is excellent for promoting good digestion and helping the gastrointestinal canal. Chamomile is helpful in alleviating irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), colitis, dyspepsia, gas, travel (motion) sickness, diarrhea and nervous stomach. As an antispasmodic, it helps to relieve stomach cramps. Antispasmodic activity has been documented for both the flavonoid and bisabolol constituents in Chamomile.
Chamomile has a relaxing effect on the body, and it has been used for centuries to promote restful sleep and relieve insomnia. It has also been given to restless children and is said to decrease nightmares in both children and adults when taken before bedtime. Its overall soothing effect has been used as an herbal remedy for teething complaints in infants, as well as helping to ease such common childhood ailments as stomach cramps, middle-ear infections and diarrhea.
As an "anodyne," Chamomile is used to relieve pain, and traditional herbalists have long recommended it for the pain of backache, neuralgia, rheumatism, headache and arthritis.
Chamomile contains apigenin, a chemical that prevents the production of proteins that allow malignant cells from anchoring to new sites and counters the inflammatory reactions necessary for new diseased growths to gain blood supplies. Moreover, anti-inflammatory activity has also been documented for the alpha- bisabolol compound.
Chamomile possesses antioxidant and antiseptic qualities. Evidence indicates that its use neutralizes certain germs and prevents infection, including staph and strep toxins. As an antifungal, it helps combat Candida albicans and other yeast infections.
Chamomile is an emmenagogue, an agent that helps to bring on menstruation and regulate its flow. Back in the days when women suffered from the mysterious condition called "the vapors," Chamomile was administered to relieve "hysterical and nervous affections" - actually meaning nervous stomach, menstrual cramps and other common problems related to stress.
Used internally and externally, Chamomile is a staple of herbal medicine and cosmetics. It is included in shampoos to lighten and condition fair hair, and Chamomile tea is often served in beauty salons to relax facial muscles. Chamomile has been known to whiten skin, soothe sunburn, windburn, eczema and other skin irritations and has also been used as an eye bath and tea bag compress to reduce inflammation and eliminate fatigue. It has also been applied to the skin to help ease hemorrhoids, swollen and painful breasts, wounds, rashes and leg ulcers.
Those who suffer from allergies to members of the daisy family (ragweed) should consult a doctor or allergist before using Chamomile Herbal Supplement. Chamomile contains natural blood thinners (coumarins) and should not be taken by those using the prescription drug Coumadin or other blood thinners. Because Chamomile is a uterine stimulant, pregnant women should discuss its use with their physicians before using it. Chamomile may cause drowsiness.