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Surprising Benefits of Chamomile for Anxiety Relief You Need to Know

Benefits of Chamomile for Anxiety Relief. Anxiety is a common mental health issue that affects millions of people worldwide. While there are many pharmaceutical treatments available, some people prefer to explore natural remedies to manage their symptoms.

One such remedy that has gained popularity in recent years is chamomile, a herb that has been used for centuries to promote relaxation and reduce stress. In this article, we will explore the benefits of chamomile for anxiety and how to incorporate it into your self-care routine.

Must Read-The Role of Diet in Managing Anxiety: What to Eat and Avoid

What is Chamomile?

Chamomile is a flowering plant that belongs to the daisy family. There are two main types of chamomile used for medicinal purposes: German chamomile (Matricaria recutita) and Roman chamomile (Chamaemelum nobile). The flowers of the chamomile plant are dried and used to make tea, supplements, and essential oils.

Chamomile has been used for centuries as a natural remedy for a variety of ailments, including digestive issues, insomnia, and anxiety. It contains several active compounds, including apigenin, luteolin, and bisabolol, which are thought to contribute to its calming effects.

How Does Chamomile Help with Anxiety?

Chamomile is believed to work on the brain in a similar way to benzodiazepines, a class of anti-anxiety medications. It binds to the same receptors in the brain that are targeted by these drugs, which can help to reduce anxiety and promote relaxation.

Several studies have investigated the effects of chamomile on anxiety. One randomized controlled trial found that participants who took chamomile extract for 8 weeks had significantly reduced symptoms of generalized anxiety disorder compared to those who took a placebo. Another study found that chamomile tea was effective at reducing anxiety and improving sleep quality in postpartum women.

Chamomile may also help to reduce inflammation in the body, which has been linked to anxiety and depression. A study in mice found that chamomile extract had anti-inflammatory effects and reduced anxiety-like behavior.

How to Use Chamomile for Anxiety.

There are several ways to incorporate chamomile into your self-care routine for anxiety relief:

Surprising Benefits of Chamomile for Anxiety Relief You Need to Know

1. Chamomile Tea.

One of the most popular ways to consume chamomile is as a tea. To make chamomile tea, steep 1-2 teaspoons of dried chamomile flowers in a cup of hot water for 5-10 minutes. You can drink chamomile tea up to 3-4 times per day.

Chamomile tea is caffeine-free and has a mild, slightly sweet flavor. It can be enjoyed on its own or with a bit of honey or lemon. Some people find that drinking chamomile tea before bed helps them to relax and fall asleep more easily.

2. Chamomile Supplements.

Chamomile is also available in supplement form, including capsules, tablets, and liquid extracts. These supplements are typically standardized to contain a specific amount of apigenin, one of the active compounds in chamomile.

The recommended dosage of chamomile supplements varies depending on the product and the individual. It’s important to follow the instructions on the label and talk to your healthcare provider before starting any new supplement regimen.

3. Chamomile Essential Oil.

Chamomile essential oil can be used for aromatherapy or applied topically to the skin. To use chamomile essential oil for anxiety relief, add a few drops to a diffuser or mix with a carrier oil and apply to the temples, wrists, or bottoms of the feet.

Inhaling the scent of chamomile essential oil has been shown to reduce anxiety and promote relaxation. A study found that inhaling chamomile essential oil for 5 minutes reduced anxiety and improved sleep quality in intensive care unit patients.

Best 5 Chamomile Recipes.

Chamomile is a versatile herb that can be used in a variety of recipes, from soothing teas to delicious desserts. Here are five chamomile recipes that you can try at home:

1. Chamomile Delight Smoothie.

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup deeply steeped organic chamomile tea
  • 1/2 cup hemp milk
  • 1 organic banana
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1/8 tsp. cinnamon
  • Pinch of stevia or dollop of coconut nectar
  • Optional: coconut yogurt for layering smoothie

Instructions:

  1. Combine chamomile tea, hemp milk, banana, vanilla extract, cinnamon, and sweetener in a blender.
  2. Blend on low, increasing speed as needed until smooth.
  3. Optional: layer smoothie and coconut yogurt into a glass.
  4. Serve immediately and enjoy!

2. Chamomile Cookies

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 ½ tablespoons dried chamomile from high-quality chamomile tea bags
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 12 tablespoons (1 ½ sticks) unsalted butter
  • ¾ cup granulated sugar
  • 1 egg
  • ¾ teaspoon vanilla extract

Instructions:

  1. Combine the all-purpose flour, chamomile, baking powder, and salt and set aside.
  2. Cream softened butter with sugar until light and fluffy using a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment.
  3. Add the egg and vanilla extract and mix to combine.
  4. Add the flour mixture in a few additions until combined.
  5. Divide the dough into two flattened disks, wrap, and chill in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours.
  6. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Roll out the dough on a lightly floured surface to ¼-inch thickness.
  7. Cut into rounds using a 2 ¼-inch cookie cutter. Space about 1 inch apart on parchment-lined sheets.
  8. Bake for about 9 minutes or until the edges are lightly golden but the tops remain light. Transfer to wire racks to cool completely.

3. Homemade Chamomile Tea.

Ingredients:

  • 1-2 tablespoons dried chamomile flowers
  • 1½ cups water
  • Honey or sugar (optional)

Instructions:

  1. Boil water.
  2. Place chamomile flowers into a tea bag or infuser.
  3. Place the bag or infuser into a cup and pour hot water over it.
  4. Let it steep for about 5 minutes.
  5. Sweeten with honey or sugar if desired and serve.

4. Pineapple Chamomile Lemonade.

Ingredients:

  • 2 oz chamomile tea, brewed and cooled
  • 2 oz pineapple juice
  • 1 oz freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 oz honey syrup

Instructions:

  1. Add all ingredients to a cocktail shaker and fill 3/4 with ice.
  2. Shake until chilled, about 12 seconds.
  3. Strain into a glass filled with ice.
  4. Garnish with pineapple fronds and an edible orchid, if desired.

5. Vegan Chamomile Sugar Cookies.

Ingredients:

  • ½ cup vegan butter (room temperature)
  • ½ cup + 2 tablespoons sugar (½ cup for dough, 2 tablespoons for rolling before baking)
  • 2 teaspoons ground chamomile tea leaves
  • 1 flax egg (1 tablespoon ground flaxseed mixed with 3 tablespoons water)
  • 1 teaspoon lemon paste/extract
  • 1 cup + 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon salt

Instructions:

  1. Cream the vegan butter, ½ cup of sugar, and chamomile tea together until light and fluffy, about 1-2 minutes.
  2. Add in the flax egg and lemon paste and whip together for about 30 more seconds to combine.
  3. Add in sifted flour, baking powder, and salt to the mixing bowl. Mix until a thick, yet slightly sticky, cookie batter forms.
  4. Cover the mixing bowl of dough and chill in the fridge for 30 minutes to 1 hour.
  5. Preheat the oven to 350°F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  6. Roll the dough into balls and roll them in the remaining 2 tablespoons of sugar.
  7. Place the balls on the baking sheet and flatten them slightly.
  8. Bake for 10-12 minutes or until the edges are lightly golden.
  9. Let the cookies cool on the baking sheet for a few minutes before transferring them to a wire rack to cool completely.

These recipes showcase the versatility of chamomile, allowing you to enjoy its calming and soothing properties in various delicious forms. Whether you’re looking for a refreshing drink, a comforting tea, or a sweet treat, chamomile can be a delightful addition to your culinary repertoire.

Precautions and Side Effects.

Chamomile is generally considered safe for most people when consumed in moderate amounts. However, there are a few precautions to keep in mind:

  • Chamomile can cause allergic reactions in some people, especially those who are allergic to ragweed, chrysanthemums, or other plants in the daisy family. If you experience symptoms such as itching, swelling, or difficulty breathing after consuming chamomile, discontinue use and seek medical attention.
  • Chamomile may interact with certain medications, including blood thinners, sedatives, and some antidepressants. If you are taking any medications, talk to your healthcare provider before using chamomile.
  • Pregnant women should avoid consuming large amounts of chamomile, as it may stimulate uterine contractions and increase the risk of miscarriage. However, moderate consumption of chamomile tea is generally considered safe during pregnancy.

Other Benefits of Chamomile

In addition to its anxiety-relieving properties, chamomile has several other potential health benefits:

1. Promotes Digestive Health.

Chamomile has been used for centuries to treat digestive issues such as indigestion, bloating, and diarrhea. It contains compounds that can help to relax the smooth muscles of the digestive tract and reduce inflammation.

2. Supports Immune Function.

Chamomile contains antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds that may help to support immune function. Some studies suggest that chamomile may help to prevent and treat colds and other respiratory infections.

3. Improves Sleep Quality.

Chamomile is often used as a natural sleep aid due to its calming effects. Drinking chamomile tea before bed may help to promote relaxation and improve sleep quality.

4. Reduces Menstrual Cramps.

Chamomile has anti-spasmodic properties that may help to reduce menstrual cramps and other types of muscle pain. One study found that chamomile extract was effective at reducing the intensity and duration of menstrual cramps.

Conclusion.

Chamomile is a safe and effective natural remedy for anxiety that has been used for centuries. Whether consumed as a tea, supplement, or essential oil, chamomile can help to promote relaxation, reduce stress, and improve overall well-being.

While chamomile is generally considered safe for most people, it’s important to talk to your healthcare provider before using it if you have any underlying health conditions or are taking medications. With proper use and guidance, chamomile can be a valuable addition to your self-care routine for managing anxiety and promoting overall health and wellness.

So the next time you’re feeling anxious or stressed, consider brewing a cup of chamomile tea or diffusing some chamomile essential oil. You may be surprised at how much this simple herb can help to calm your mind and soothe your soul. Remember, taking care of your mental health is just as important as taking care of your physical health, and incorporating natural remedies like chamomile into your routine can be a great way to support both.

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