It’s true that the chamomile plant is great for promoting relaxation and deep sleep—as is evident from its use in many nighttime teas—but it’s also useful in fighting anxiety, depression, and even cancer.
Research shows chamomile is able to trigger cancer cell death, a phenomena known as apoptosis. It’s active component, apigenin, can shorten the lifespan and the prolioferation of breast cancer cells. As Ohio State University reports, apigenin can actually help “fix flaws in molecules carrying generic information.” Such flaws are responsible for many cancers.
Researchers with Ohio State University found that apigenin is able to join forces with 160 proteins in the body, whereas conventional cancer treatments only work on a molecule-by-molecule basis. They surmise that cancer-affected proteins are lured into the apigenin where it can go to work to eliminate the disease.
It’s this same method of apigenin-attraction that could be responsible for chamomile’s additional benefits.
In a study from the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, participants on a regular regimen of chamomile extract saw significant improvement in their anxiety levels, measured using something known as the Hamilton Anxiety Rating (HAR).
Some 57% of the study participants had reduced their anxiety scores by 50% or more throughout the study period. This study took place in 2009, but was revisited only last year by researchers who sought to determine if the findings were “clinically meaningful.” They determined they were, and concluded chamomile as a viable and side-effect-free option for anxiety treatment – just one of many health benefits of chamomile tea and chamomile.
Other researched benefits of chamomile include:
- Menstrual cramps
- Burns and scrapes
- Mouth sores and gum disease
Perhaps one of the greatest things about chamomile is that when it cannot be found locally, it can easily be grown. There are several varieties of the herb we know as chamomile, these tips are specifically geared towards growing the variety known as German chamomile. You can grow it in a pot or in a garden. If you don’t have a green thumb, seek out an organic chamomile supplement to reap the benefits.