When you think of chamomile, you likely think of the tea that can help you fall asleep. Relaxation is certainly the most commonly known benefit of this plant. But, there are many other benefits, and scientists have found this power to relax could extend to even fight anxiety and depression.
A study from the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, initially undertaken in 2009, indicated chamomile to have remarkable benefits in the treatment of anxiety.
For that randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study, researchers gathered a group of individuals including 19 who were diagnosed with anxiety and depression, 16 who were diagnosed as having a history of anxiety and depression, and 22 people who had no anxiety or depression either in the past or the present.
Half of the group was treated with chamomile capsules and the other half was given a placebo. Over a period of eight weeks, their anxiety was scored using the Hamilton Anxiety Rating (HAR) to determine any changes. Three other tests were also used to confirm their findings.
The chamomile group was initially given 220 mg of chamomile extract. If they experienced no changes, that dose was increased throughout the testing period. According to GreenMedInfo.com, the researchers found 57% of participants in the chamomile group had reduced their anxiety scores by more than 50% throughout the study. This makes chamomile one of the top herbs for anxiety and stress.
Last year, the study was revisited as scientists wanted to determine if the findings were “clinically meaningful.” This means the researchers wanted to find out if the results were significant enough to allow peers to use it as a prescriptive anxiety treatment. They determined it was.
They concluded, “the research team observed a significantly greater reduction over time in total HAM-D scores for chamomile versus placebo in all participants.”
This means not only did the anxiety scores improved, but they continued to improve over the course of the study. Best of all, chamomile comes without the nasty side-effects of traditional anxiety and depression medications.
Herbalists typically recommend people give herbs three months to a year to work and reach their full potential. If eight weeks can improve anxiety levels of those diagnosed with anxiety disorders, further treatment could potentially eliminate anxiety altogether, or at least get it to manageable levels.
If you’re interested in harnessing the healing powers of chamomile, you can read more about chamomile benefits and how to grow herb here, and how it can help in the treatment of skin disorders, digestive problems, mouth sores, migraines, insomnia, and more.