dr.Aminah Muhsin....Health Benefits of Chamomile

 

Health Benefits of Chamomile

By Aminah Muhsin, Trainee Pharmacist,Clinical Pharmacy Department, Kufa University.

 

Chamomile is one of the most ancient medicinal herbs known to mankind. It is a member ofAsteraceae/Compositae family and represented by two common varieties, German Chamomile (Chamomilla recutita) and Roman Chamomile (Chamaemelumnobile). The dried flowers of chamomile contain many terpenoids and flavonoids contributing to its medicinal properties.

Chamomile tea was used by the ancient people as a salve for wounds to expedite healing. In a recent study, rats given chamomile flavored water healed faster than those who were not given the elixir. It worked especially well for burn wounds. This is because Matricariachamomilla has anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial and antioxidant effects.

Italso has antispasmodic effect; one study from England found that drinking chamomile tea raise urine levels of glycine, a compound that calms muscle spasms. Researchers believe this is why chamomile tea could be an effective home remedy for menstrual cramps as well. Further adding onto chamomile benefits, the herb is wonderful for promoting sleep, drinking chamomile tea soothes the nervous system so that you can sleep better. It has been used as a solution for insomnia for centuries.

Chamomile has anticancer activity which is related to the bioactive constituent apigenin. In a recently conducted study, chamomile extracts were shown to cause minimal growth inhibitory effects on normal cells, but showed significant reductions in cell viability in various human cancer cell lines.

Furthermore, Studies suggest that chamomile ameliorates hyperglycemia and diabetic complications by suppressing blood sugar levels, increasing liver glycogen storage The pharmacological activity of chamomile extract has shown to be independent of insulin secretion, and studies further reveal its protective effect on pancreatic beta cells in diminishing hyperglycemia-related oxidative stress .Also Studies indicate that inhaling steam with chamomile extract has been helpful in common cold symptoms.

Finally, establishing whether or not therapeutic effects of chamomile are beneficial to patients will require research and generation of scientific evidence. There is a need for continued efforts that focuses on pre-clinical studies with chamomile involving animal models of various diseases. This may then be consequently validated in clinical trials that will help in developing chamomile as a promising therapeutic agent. Without such evidence, it will remain unclear whether these untested and unproven medical treatments are truly beneficial. It is advisable that the discriminate and proper use of chamomile preparations could be safe and provide therapeutic benefits however the indiscriminate or improper use can be unsafe and harmful.

 

Reference:

1.http://naturalsociety.com/9-amazing-health-benefits-of-chamomile-tea/

2.Srivastava JK, Shankar E, Gupta S. Chamomile: A herbal medicine of the past with bright future. Molecular medicine reports. 2010;3(6):895-901. doi:10.3892/mmr.2010.377.

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