Monday, November 14, 2011

Those cute little flowers ...

Ewww ... does your chamomile look like this?

Many people see chamomile only in this form and don't realize that those cute little daisies popping up all over the yard are chamomile!

Chamomile has been consumed for hundreds of years as the tonic to fix what ails you. Many recognized chamomile's ability to assist restfulness, but did you know it is otherwise beneficial?

Peter Rabbit's mother always gave him chamomile after he ate too much in Mr. McGregor's garden... she was so smart! Chamomile is very calming to the stomach. It is helpful soothing stomach aches, promotes proper elimination, aids digestion and even soothes irritable bowel syndrome.

Ancient Egyptians used chamomile to ease menstrual cramps. A recent study shows that drinking chamomile raises glycine levels. Glycine has the ability to ease muscle spasms, so this make sense!

One study found that a chamomile ointment was useful in soothing hemorrhoids.

Chamomile has antibacterial properties that may make it effective in fighting off colds and other sicknesses.

Egyptians, Greeks and Romans used a poultice of chamomile for healing wounds. Studies conducted recently showed rats given a chamomile extract in their water (hmmm ...isn't that chamomile tea) healed from wounds quicker (don't want to know how that lab rats got ``wounded''). I personally find an oil infused with chamomile, lavender and calendula to be fabulous for almost any skin problem ... included scars. I believe this healing power may have much to do with the antibacterial properties of chamomile.

Chamomile is currently being researched for its beneficial effects against various types of cancer cells. While nothing has been proven yet, it's nice to see research being done in a more natural realm.

So, as you can see, chamomile is an awesome little flower! It does, though, have it's precautions.
Allergic Reactions: If you have any sensitivity or allergy to ragweed, daisies, asters, marigolds or chrysanthemums, you may also have a similar reaction to chamomile.
Pregnancy: Regular usage of chamomile should be avoided during pregnancy, as chamomile may act as a uterine stimulant, and can, in rare cases, increase the chances of miscarriage.
Bleeding disorders: Folks with bleeding disorders should avoid the use of chamomile, as it contains coumarin, a naturally occurring blood thinner. Usage may increase the chance of bleeding.
Drug interractions: Chamomile may interract with aspirin's anticoagulant compounds, increasing the chances of bleeding
Chamomile may interract with platelet inhibitors (such as Ticlopidine [Ticlid] and Clopidogrel [Plavix]. Platelet inhibitors are used to reduce the risk of heart attack or stroke in patients who have had a coronary stent implant. The anticoagulant nature of chamomile may increase the chance of bleeding.

Anticoagulants: Warfarin (generic name coumadin) is derived from coumarins, compounds with anticoagulant properties that can also be found in chamomile. Chamomile tea can cause internal bleeding when consumed by someone using an anticoagulant.

Chamomile has been found to inhibit an enzyme called CYP1A2. This enzyme metabolizes certain drugs. Without this metabolism, the drugs may increase in blood concentrations, possibly to the point of toxicity. Please aoid chamomile usage if you use:
Tricyclic Antidpressants: Amitriptyline [Elavil, Endep], Clomipramine [Anafranil], Imipramine [Tofranil]
Antipsychotic drugs: Clozapine, Clozaril, Azaleptin, Leponex, Fazaclo, Froidir, Denzapine, Zaponex, Klozapol, Clopine]
Beta-Blockers: Propranolol [Inderal]
Theophylline: (bronchodilators) Theophylline [Theo-24, Theolair, Bronkodyl, Slo-bid, Theobid,
Slo-phyllin, Theo-Dur, TheolairSR, Uni-Dur]
Cholinesterase inhibitors: (used for Alzheimer's treatments) Tacrine [Cognex]

If though, you don't have plant sensitivities, and aren't on any of the prescriptions drugs listed above, chamomile can be healthy part of your day! Oh ... and what does real [good] chamomile look like? Come to SensibiliTeas and see!

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