Chamomile is more than just a comforting cup of tea before bedtime. For centuries chamomile benefits have been used in ancient herbal remedies to modern skincare routines, and several wellness practices worldwide. As we delve into the multifaceted world of ‘what is chamomile’, we will uncover its medicinal properties, and the myriad ways it contributes to our physical and mental well-being.
What is Chamomile and Chamomile Nutritional Facts
Chamomile refers to a group of daisy-like plants that belong to the Asteraceae family. These plants are characterised by their small, white flowers with yellow centres and a characteristic apple-like fragrance. Chamomile has been used for centuries for various medicinal purposes, and it is particularly renowned for its calming and soothing properties. The dried flowers of chamomile are often used to make herbal tea, which is consumed for relaxation, stress relief, and to promote better sleep.
Now that you know “what is chamomile?’ let’s take a look at it’s nutritional facts
Chamomile, known for its calming properties in tea and various supplement forms, is not typically consumed in large quantities, so its nutritional impact is relatively minimal. However, it does contain compounds that contribute to potential chamomile benefits.
Antioxidants: Chamomile is rich in antioxidants, including apigenin, quercetin, and patuletin. These compounds help combat oxidative stress in the body and may have potential health benefits.
Flavonoids: Chamomile is known for its flavonoid content, which contributes to its anti-inflammatory and immune-boosting properties.
Essential Oils: Chamomile contains essential oils, including bisabolol and chamazulene, which are believed to have anti-inflammatory and anti-microbial effects.
Calming Compounds: The renowned calming and relaxing benefits of Chamomile are attributed to compounds like apigenin, which may interact with the brain's GABA receptors.
Health Benefits of Chamomile
Let’s take a look at some of the key health benefits of Chamomile which will convince you to definitely include this little floral herb in your daily diet.
1. Helps You Relax
Chamomile is well-known for its calming properties. Consuming chamomile tea or inhaling its aroma through essential oils can help promote relaxation and alleviate stress.
Chamomile is believed to help with relaxation through its interaction with certain compounds that have mild sedative and anxiety-reducing properties. Chamomile contains a flavonoid called apigenin, which binds to GABA (gamma-aminobutyric acid) receptors. GABA is an inhibitory neurotransmitter that has calming effects on the nervous system. By binding to GABA receptors, apigenin may exert a mild sedative effect, promoting relaxation. Cortisol is a stress hormone, and elevated levels of cortisol can contribute to feelings of anxiety and stress. Studies suggest that chamomile may help reduce cortisol levels, thereby mitigating the physiological responses associated with stress.
2. Improves Sleep Quality
Chamomile is most popularly used as a natural remedy for improving sleep. Improved sleep quality is closely linked to overall relaxation and stress reduction. By calming the mind and body, chamomile may contribute to a more restful night's sleep.
3. Soothes Gastrointestinal Discomfort:
Chamomile is rich in antioxidants, which help combat oxidative stress in the body. Additionally, its anti-inflammatory properties may contribute to the overall calming effect. Inflammation is associated with various stress-related conditions, and by reducing inflammation, chamomile may indirectly contribute to relaxation. Chamomile’s anti-inflammatory and antispasmodic properties help soothe gastrointestinal discomfort which are also often caused by stress.
It is commonly used to relieve symptoms of indigestion, bloating, and gas.
4. Helps Regulate Blood Sugar and Supports Heart Health
Some studies have suggested that Chamomile may have potential benefits in regulating blood sugar levels and supporting heart health. Research suggests that chamomile may help improve insulin sensitivity and reduce blood sugar levels. This is particularly relevant for individuals with diabetes or those at risk of developing diabetes. The anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties of chamomile may contribute to these effects. Chamomile’s flavonoids content has been associated with cardiovascular health. Antioxidants help combat oxidative stress, which can contribute to the development of heart diseases. By reducing oxidative stress, chamomile may play a role in supporting overall heart health.
How to include Chamomile in your diet
Now that you know all about what is Chamomile and the chamomile benefits, let’s take a look at some popular ways to incorporate Chamomile in your diet.
1. Chamomile Tea
The most common and traditional way to consume chamomile is in the form of tea. Chamomile tea is widely available in tea bags or loose-leaf form. To prepare chamomile tea, steep a chamomile tea bag or a teaspoon of dried chamomile flowers in hot water for about 5-10 minutes. This soothing beverage is often consumed in the evening to promote relaxation and improve sleep.
Chamomile is also available in supplement form, including capsules, tablets, and liquid extracts and gummies. Chamomile is an active ingredient in many Ayurvedic gummies. These supplements are convenient for individuals who may not enjoy the taste of chamomile tea or prefer a more controlled and concentrated dosage. If you are looking for an effective and easy way to control your stress, consider including stress gummies such as Panchamrit’s Anti-Stress gummies which contain Ashwagandha and Valerian root along with Chamomile, that will over time help soothe and calm your mind as well help you cope better with the ill effects of cortisol (stress hormone in the body). It's important to follow the recommended dosage on the product label and consult with a healthcare professional before adding chamomile supplements to your routine, especially if you have any existing health conditions or are taking other medications.
Additionally, you can experiment with incorporating chamomile in other creative ways such as Chamomile infused honey or adding some Chamomile flowers in your salads, soups, or even desserts for a unique and delicate flavour
It's worth noting that while chamomile is generally considered safe for most people, individuals with allergies to plants in the Asteraceae family should exercise caution. If you have concerns about incorporating chamomile into your routine, especially if you are pregnant, nursing, or taking medications, it's advisable to consult with a healthcare professional for personalised guidance.
So next time you sit down with a warm cup of Chamomile tea, remember it’s not just to make you feel calm and soothe you, but hasan impact on your overall health!