Plants have been supportive to human health for thousands of years. Chamomile, in particular, continues to be one of the plants most commonly used for medicinal purposes.
While Chamomile is generally thought of as being synonymous with sleep aid, the flower has been historically used to treat a variety of ailments including those related to inflammation and gastrointestinal health as well. Chamomile has been transformed into practically every form you can think of – as a tea, essential oil, gargle, supplement, and even in topical ointments – but the most popular form is definitely tea. It has been said that more than one million cups of Chamomile tea are consumed each day.
Of all the benefits of Chamomile, its positive effects on the digestive system is probably one of the most well-known. It has been used to treat people of all ages, from infants to the elderly. In fact, pediatricians often recommend a little chamomile tea to improve colic in infants. A study of 68 healthy term infants with colic (2-8 weeks old) received either a chamomile tea (with a few other ingredients like licorice and fennel) or a placebo and it was found that parents of the children who received the chamomile tea reported colic was eliminated in 57% of the infants (vs 26% in the placebo group). Pretty remarkable. And when a baby is colicky, we know that we will do whatever we can to make them feel better! So talk to your pediatrician about this potential option!
When it comes to adults, chamomile is a go-to for pretty much any digestive issue. Studies have shown that it is particularly helpful in regards to improving gas, likely by relaxing the digestive muscles and soothing the stomach.
Now, we can’t talk about chamomile without touching on sleep. There is some evidence that chamomile can help improve sleep due to a compound it contains called apigenin which can promote relaxation. For more on sleep, here are a few ideas to help you sleep more soundly.