Inflamed Skin? Stress? Digestive Upset? Have a Cup of Chamomile
by Samantha Lahonen, R.H.N.
Chamomile is an herbal plant commonly taken internally as a tea. Did you know that chamomile has sedative, anti-inflammatory, and antioxidant effects?
Chamomile is highly known for its sedative or calming effects. This is due to its apigenin content. Therefore, it is great to drink a cup or two before bed for insomnia or for anxiety.
Many studies show that chamomile has a positive effect on inflammatory conditions due to its flavonoid content and it is, therefore, used topically and internally as a tea.
Chamomile has been used to treat inflammatory conditions such as eczema, ulcers, gout, and rheumatic pains.
Macrophage cells and cytokines activate immune cells and this inflammation can give rise to illnesses that affect our skin (acne, psoriasis, eczema), digestive tract (think food sensitivities and irritable bowel syndrome), and likelihood of developing cancer.
Chamomile is a powerful antioxidant due to the compound chamazulene. As we metabolize oxygen for energy we go through the process of oxidation which creates free radicals. Free radicals are damaging to our cells and DNA. Oxidation increases when we are exposed to stress, toxins, and infection.
We want to consume antioxidant foods to counteract damage and prevent further illness. Flavonoids are plant chemicals that act as powerful antioxidants. Chamomile is an antioxidant that contains flavonoids such as apigenin and chamazulene. It acts in a similar way to non-steroidal, anti-inflammatory drugs.
Overall you can use chamomile in many ways. It can be used topically – for burns, psoriasis, eczema, and pain – or internally – for insomnia, inflammation, stress, anxiety, and digestive disturbances.
Have a cup or two of chamomile as part of your lifestyle or anti-inflammatory routine!
Samantha Lahonen is a Registered Holistic Nutritionist and Yoga Instructor (200 hour), currently working toward a diploma in massage therapy. She is also a former acne sufferer and contributing author at holistic acne hub The Love Vitamin. Lahonen has a passion for learning and for holistic healing through nutrition, movement, and mindfulness that she brings to her clients. Check out her wellness-based instagram @stretch_therapy.