Chamomile Reviews

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Chamomile (Matricaria camomilla) is a dainty little pretty flower from the daisy family that has been used as a natural remedy for many kinds of health issues for millennia, and that continues to play an important role in alternative medicine today.

Other Names for This Ingredient

This ingredient is commonly known as German chamomile and should not be mistaken for Roman chamomile which has a similar name but is a different plant with different medicinal properties. Other names by which this ingredient is often known include blue chamomile, wild chamomile, true chamomile, sweet false chamomile, pin heads, Hungarian chamomile, manzanilla, manzanilla alemana, matricaire, feldkamille, and many others.

How is Chamomile Used?

Though this herb remains most commonly used in European countries, it has been making itself very popular in North American and Australia, as well, especially in the form of a relaxing tea. However, one of the most investigated uses of chamomile is for sleeplessness, anxiety, and digestive discomfort. This has brought products other than teas into the marketplace, which contain this ingredient. Some include supplement tablets and capsules, liquid extracts, creams, and ointments.

Medical studies are showing that by using chamomile properly, it can help in reducing muscle spasms, encouraging faster wound healing, decreasing inflammation, and promoting sleep.

Chamomile is often taken internally for sleep preventing issues such as:

  • Insomnia
  • Stress
  • Anxiety
  • Relaxation promotion
  • Gas and bloating
  • Cramps in the stomach and intestines
  • Pain and spasms of the muscles
  • Indigestion
  • Diarrhea
  • Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)
  • Inflammatory bowel disease (ulcerative colitis)
  • Nausea
  • Menstrual cramps
  • Fever
  • Cystitis
  • Colic
  • Crohn’s disease
  • Stomach flu
  • Chest colds
  • Migraine headaches

What Does Research Say?

In terms of medical study results on both humans and animals, however, the two uses that are most well supported are anxiety and insomnia. Low doses of chamomile have been shown to have sleep promotion and anxiety relieving properties.

Of course, one of the reasons that people consider chamomile as an alternative insomnia treatment to prescription and over the counter medications is that they don’t want to suffer side effects from their choice of sleep aid. Therefore, many people wonder if there will be issues associated with its use, such as the “hangover” sensation that is all too common among pharmaceutical sleep products. Though serious side effects are very uncommon when this herb is used as directed, it is a plant which causes allergic reactions among many people.

Why Do People Like It?

Many people enjoy the fact that this plant can be used as a treatment for insomnia only as needed, but does not need to be used on a regular basis in order to be effective, as is the case with other natural treatments such as melatonin supplements. The most popular way to use this remedy is as a supplement, or simply by making a tea out of the dried flowers and leaves of the plant, which is taken within an hour of bedtime. The convenience, affordability and ease of taking this ingredient helps to explain why it has been popular for centuries.

Should You Use Chamomile to Help You Sleep?

If you’re thinking of using chamomile to help you sleep, there are several things that you should consider.  The first is whether or not you may have an allergy to this ingredient.  It is a common allergen, so it is important to take care before ingesting it.  If you’re allergic, the odds are that it is a mild allergy, as is most cases.  However, allergies should be taken seriously and should not be tampered with as they can worsen without warning.

Allergic reaction to chamomile tea often consists of an itching or burning of the mouth, throat, and/or lips.  Some people also break out in hives.  Many people also have reactions to topical versions of this ingredient.  Handling a chamomile tea bag or using a cream that contains this ingredient can leave an allergic person with contact dermatitis, a red and itchy rash.

Anaphylaxis – a severe allergic reaction – from chamomile is extremely rare but is not unheard of.

If you don’t know whether you are allergic to this ingredient, consider certain related allergens.  If you know you have an allergy to these, then you are more likely to also be allergic to chamomile.  Among the related allergens to this ingredient are:

  • Ragweed
  • Chrysanthemums
  • Marigolds
  • Asters
  • Daisies

If you know you are sensitive to any of those other flowers, take care before using a product containing chamomile. It is also important to take care and speak with your doctor if you have asthma as this ingredient can be problematic to individuals with that condition.

6 comments to Chamomile Reviews

  • char_white

    I have a very mild form of insomnia, (also known as transient insomnia) and I have a cup of Chamomile tea every night a half hr before I go to bed and it really does help me relax so I can fall asleep easier. I will often have it while I am in a warm bath and the two together give a much needed de-stressing of my day.

  • cham_flower

    Drinking something hot and soothing before bed time will help the body to relax thus making it easier to fall asleep. Also the chamomile flower does contain relaxers and is an anti spasmodic which also promotes relaxation and ease of falling asleep.

  • Gabrielle

    I think I need something stronger. I have been drinking chamomile tea every night now for a week and I am still up till 330 am most nights. I have to get up at 7 so I need to find something to try fast as I can’t do this much longer.

  • andy

    Hi Gabrielle. A bit late in the day but I find Gaia herbs ‘Sound sleep’ product pretty effective. You’re only supposed to take it for up to 30 days at a time but out of the numerous herbal products I’ve tried it’s the most potent. It is for me anyway.

  • Robert

    This is good to know to find out what to do and not do to fall asleep.

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