Chamomile – a Natural Anti-inflammatory
Chamomile a plant which belongs to the family of sunflowers has natural anti-inflammatory properties. It contains antioxidants from flavonoids, such as quercetin and luteolin, and chamazulene(an essential oil).
A background on inflammation:
The onset of inflammations like arthritis, acne and rosacea constricts the blood vessels as the tissues become inflamed. This results to a less blood supply going to the cells in the area of inflammation.
Less Blood Supply Lesser Cell Functioning
Cells need ample amounts of blood for it to function properly. Lesser blood supply deteriorates the cell’s performance until it becomes almost useless. Since it does not function normally anymore, our body treats it as a threat and attacks them.
Our antibodies attacks threats by encapsulating them and produces free radicals to kill the invaders. Free radicals can cause a chain reaction and eventually kill the cells inside the encapsulation. The term for this is respiratory or oxidative burst.
This process can cause some free radicals escaping the encapsulation and could trigger free radical chain reactions to healthy cells.
Therefore the cell’s functions in inflamed tissues deteriorates which then triggers our own antibodies to attack them leading to exposure of free radicals to nearby healthy cells. The more the tissues are inflamed the more our cells are exposed to free radicals which could result to cell damage caused by oxidative stress.
Antioxidants can neutralize or quench these free radicals escaping the encapsulation. Our bodies are equipped with its own antioxidants to neutralize free radicals but may become depleted as the demand rises.
The need for extra antioxidants become apparent. Chamomile is a source for antioxidants to protect the cells from oxidative damage and subdue the inflammation with its anti-inflammatory properties.
Chamomile can be taken internally or externally.
Dried leaves of chamomile can be used as an herbal tea. Drinking this tea can introduce the antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties of chamomile inside your body. It is commercially available in tea bags.
Other Health Benefits of Chamomile – to name just a few.
-As an herbal home remedy for rosacea and acne.
-treatment for diarrhea, indigestion, irritable bowel movement, ulcers
-treatment for anxiety, insomnia
-treatment for eye irritations and conjunctivitis
-helps in healing wounds
As you can see, chamomile has many other medicinal uses. It maybe good to consider chamomile as a part of an anti-inflammatory diet but it is not advised for pregnant or breast feeding women. People allergic to ragweed are also not advised to use chamomile. If you are taking other medication, please consult a health professional before embarking on a chamomile diet.