Chamomile or camomile is the common name for several daisy-like plants of the family Asteraceae that are commonly used to make a herb tea that can help to induce sleep. Because chamomile can cause uterine contractions that can cause miscarriage, the U.S. National Institutes of Health recommends that pregnant and nursing mothers not consume chamomile.
Persons who are allergic to ragweed (also in the daisy family) may also be allergic to chamomile due to cross-reactivity.
Chamomile also has antiseptic properties and has been used as a topical medication for treatment of aphthous stomatitis and pharyngitis.
The word chamomile derives, via French and Latin, from Greek χαμαίμηλον (khamaimēlon), i.e. "earth apple", from χαμαί (khamai) "on the ground" + μῆλον (mēlon) "apple".
How to grow
Chamomile seeds are by tiny. Press in the growing medium. They need light to sprout.
Some commonly used species include:
- German chamomile
- Matricaria chamomilla (also known as Matricaria recutita),
- wild chamomile
- Chamaemelum nobile, Roman, English or garden chamomile
Major chemical compounds present within chamomile include apigenin and alpha-bisabolol. Other classes of chemical compounds found within the chamomile plant include: sesquiterpenes, terpenoids, flavonoids, coumarins such as herniarin and umbelliferone, phenylpropanoids such as chlorogenic acid and caffeic acid, flavones such as apigenin and luteolin, flavanols such as quercetin and rutin, and polyacetylenes.
Apigenin has "chemopreventive" effects, while alpha-bisabolol has been shown to have antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties. Chemical compounds present within chamomile have the ability to bind GABA receptors, modulate monoamine neurotransmission, and have displayed neuroendocrine effects.
Umbelliferone has been shown to be fungistatic. Coumarin compounds present in chamomile such as herniarin and umbelliferone may have blood-thinning properties, and there is some evidence that chamomile may interact with other medications causing drug-drug interactions.
Chamomile has been widely used in children and adults for thousands of years for a variety of health conditions. Today, chamomile is used as a folk or traditional remedy for sleeplessness, anxiety, and gastrointestinal conditions such as upset stomach, gas, and diarrhea. It is also used topically for skin conditions and for mouth ulcers resulting from cancer treatment.
The flowering tops of the chamomile plant are used to make teas, liquid extracts, capsules, or tablets. The herb can also be applied to the skin as a cream or an ointment, or used as a mouth rinse.
Chamomile has been used for inflammation associated with hemorrhoids when applied topically. There is Level B evidence to support the claim that chamomile possesses anxiolytic (anti-anxiety) properties and may have clinical applications in the treatment of stress and insomnia. Chemical components of chamomile extract have demonstrated anti-inflammatory, antihyperglycemic,antigenotoxic, and anticancer properties.
Chamomile is frequently added to skin cosmetics to serve as an emollient, and for its anti-inflammatory effects.
Chamomile - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia http://bit.ly/TU6opN
Chamomile - A Delicate but Tough Herb for the Garden and the Kitchen http://abt.cm/1cLZGvP
Chamomile : Science and Safety | NCCAM http://1.usa.gov/1cLZZGT
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