Stress and anxiety…they seem to be a normal part of many people’s everyday lives, but do they have to be? And how to we balance that, naturally?
In this busy and over-productive world we live in, stress is actually one of the leading causes of many nutrient deficiencies and hormonal imbalances, as well as being a factor in many major diseases. Not to mention, the Anxiety and Depression Association of America (ADAA) reports that 40 million Americans over the age of 18 are affected by anxiety. Of those 40 million people, almost 7 million of them suffer from GAD (general anxiety disorder), with 15 million suffering from social anxiety disorder, 14.8 million suffering from major depressive disorder, and 7.7 million affected by post-traumatic stress disorder.
So what do we do?
Time to turn to nature, or sunny little chamomile flowers to be exact.
Just one look at these vibrant flowers may give you a sense of well-being, but there is also substantial research behind this popular herb. Plus, the flavor is one of the most pleasant among medicinal herbs, so it’s a win-win for most people looking to use natural herbal remedies.
Chamomile has been used for nearly 5,000 years as a tea, herbal extract and in cosmetics to promote peace, vitality and a youthful glow. With very rare negative side effects, this daisy-like flower boasts high levels of polyphenols and volatile oils that are responsible for many of its benefits.
There are several varieties of chamomile, but the two most beneficial for health are German chamomile and Roman chamomile. Both have very similar benefits–the biggest difference being their appearance and the way they grow (annual vs perennial, respectively) and their slight variance and potency in their constituents.
Chamomile Benefits & Research
Chamomile, whether in tea, tincture or essential oil form, is one the best medicinal herbs for fighting stress and promoting relaxation, but it also boasts a plethora of other health benefits including:
- Alleviates anxiety symptoms, calms down nerves, promotes general relaxation and relieves stress
- Promotes better sleep
- Beneficial for skin health and disorders when used topically
- Relieves digestive ailments including nausea, flatulence, gastritis, ulcerative colitis, diverticular disease, Crohn’s disease and irritable bowel syndrome, mainly due to its relaxing effects on muscles and anodyne compounds that are anti-spasmodic, reducing cramping, constipation and other stomach pains
- Helps boost immune system by eliminating oxidative stress and easing colds and infections
- Helps manage diabetes by leveling out blood sugar levels
- Strong anti-Inflammatory and pain-reducing effects
- May improve heart health due to flavonoid content
How to take Chamomile
However you take chamomile, always make sure it’s organic as you don’t want to be inhaling or ingesting chemicals along with the herb.
- Add a few drops of the essential oil to your bath.
- Mix with a carrier oil like coconut, jojoba or olive oil and massage into skin.
- Add a few drops of the oil into a diffuser.
- Use the dry herb and make into a tea alone or with other therapeutic herbs; it pairs well with lavender, spearmint and lemon balm which are also known to have calming effects. Steep 2 tsp of the herbs with a cup of almost boiling water for 10 minutes.
- Take as a tincture (dropper bottle) – mix 1 full dropper of the extract with a few ounces of room temperature water in the late afternoon and again 30 minutes before bed. This is best done on an empty stomach for optimal absorption.
- Use as a compress by soaking a towel in a bowl of chamomile tea.
Also, remember that what you put on your skin is absorbed into your bloodstream, so even if you’re not ingesting it, it’s important to buy a high quality/organic product.
Drug Interactions & Side Effects of Chamomile
Before taking any new herbs, it’s a good idea to test a small area for any allergic reactions and consult your doctor or health professional for possible interactions. Chamomile is generally thought to be safe, but some may have allergies to it and there are some drug interactions.
- Allergic Reactions – If you’re sensitive to asters, ragweed, daisies and chrysanthemum, Chamomile may trigger vomiting and allergic reactions.
- Pregnancy – It may be a good idea to limit or avoid drinking chamomile tea, since there’s a lack of information regarding its safety.
- Anticoagulant and antiplatelet medications – A high risk for bleeding has been linked between chamomile and anticoagulant and antiplatelet medicines, so it may be best to not mix with medications like warfarin (Coumadin), clopidogrel (Plavix) and aspirin.
- Blood pressure medicines — Because chamomile may lower blood pressure, it may lower it too much if taken along with these medications.
- Diabetes drugs — Due to chamomile helping to lower blood sugar, taking diabetes medicines with chamomile may raise a person’s risk for hypoglycemia or extremely low blood sugar levels.
- Sedative medications & herbs – Chamomile may increase the strength of these medications & herbs (barbiturates, tricyclic antidepressants, benzodiazepines and antiseizure medications, valerian, kava or catnip), so it’s best to consult a doctor or herbalist to find out which medications or herbs will work best for you.
- Drugs broken down by the liver – As the liver is known to break down chamomile, it may interact with other medicines broken down in a similar manner like statins, antifungal drugs and fexofenadine (Seldane).
Chamomile + CBD
As CBD has been shown to be extremely effective at reducing anxiety and depression and promoting relaxation, combining chamomile oil with CBD is a true symbiotic relationship. To ensure maximum quality and effectiveness, our Anxiety CBD formula uses organic essential oils of chamomile along with lavender and 600 mg of CBD, available in THC-free or Whole Plant formulas. Find out how the power of Chamomile + CBD can work for you.