The many health benefits of chamomile
About a million cups of chamomile tea are served every single day. The antioxidant compounds in chamomile, including apigenin, have been proven useful for a variety of issues that might concern you.
Here are some of the unexpected benefits of chamomile that you may not know of:
You might have heard about benefits from essential oil of frankincense for knee pain or other “itis” issues because the anti-inflammatory herb has been long associated with strong evidence of helping reduce joint inflammation caused by osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis.
But it’s rather unexpected to see essential oil of chamomile studied for knee pain. In a randomized controlled clinical trial published in Complimentary Therapies in Clinical Practice, researchers applied chamomile oil topically to the knee. Patients who applied chamomile needed lower doses of their pain medicine.
You could try adding drops to massage oil or some other pain-relieving cream or gel.
Chamomile supplements and teas are available as well for oral consumption. Chamomile is known to induce drowsiness.
Having thick or “sticky” blood is bad for you. Doctors seek to thin the blood in order to prevent strokes and heart attacks. Warfarin is the most popular prescribed anti-coagulant.
There are many plant-derived supplements that work similarly to warfarin, as well as foods with anti-platelet activity. But chamomile wouldn’t normally be something you think of for blood health. Yet, it
has unexpected blood-thinning properties.
For that reason, I advise caution or avoidance of this herb if you are already taking warfarin (or other thinners) because there will be an exacerbation of the blood-thinning. Gum bleeding might be the first sign of additive anti-platelet activity in your body. Easy bruising is another sign.
Have you ever burned your tongue or mouth on hot coffee or a super-hot pizza? Fortunately, if you burn your mouth it heals right away, within a week or so.
But if you are receiving chemotherapy, there is a type of mouth pain that is unbearable. It can occur with high dose local radiation in the mouth. The term for the pain is oral mucositis (OM). Chamomile can help with these oral lesions.
Sometimes a person isn’t able to speak after a chemo treatment, and they cannot tell you of this pain. I worked in nursing home settings and saw this at times. So, if you’re a caregiver, nurse or family member, please be mindful of non-verbal cues, so you can determine if someone is dealing with OM.
Of the herbal and medicinal oral rinses tested in a recent study, researchers concluded that certain ones were the most effective. Chamomile, honey, curcumin or Benzydamine-containing mouthwashes were found to be the most effective.
You can make your own soothing mouth rinse using the above ingredients, gargle with a tea, or simply dab the essential oil on the sores.
This information is opinion only. It is not intended to treat, cure or diagnose your condition. Consult with your doctor before using any new drug or supplement.
Suzy Cohen is a registered pharmacist and the author of The 24-Hour Pharmacist and Real Solutions from Head to Toe. To contact her, visit suzycohen.com.