Anxiety is a common problem. Some anxiety is good for us--it is functional. It can make us work harder, study harder, show up on time, and pay careful attention. However, often in modern life, anxiety about work, money, health, and relationships can be debilitating and can keep us from functioning well and living our best lives. Chamomile is one of my "go to" natural treatments for anxiety because it is non-sedating, non-addictive, and extremely safe.
German or true chamomile (Matricaria recutita) contains a range of essential oil components and high levels of flavonoids. A wide variation in the levels of these constituents is found between different chemical races or varieties of the chamomile plant. Some varieties do not contain alpha-bisabolol which is an important active component. Also, it is important to be aware that Roman chamomile (Chamaemelum nobile = Anthemis nobilis) can be an adulterant in, or substituted for, true chamomile and should be avoided due to possible allergic reactions.
Chamomile contains an essential oil (containing alpha-bisabolol, chamazulene, and bisabolol oxides), flavonoids and other compounds. These phytochemicals in chamomile work together to:
- reduce gas buildup in the intestines
- encourage relaxation and support a healthy nervous system response to stress
- support normal intestinal motility
- support the integrity of the intestinal mucosa (that is, possibly help with "leaky gut")
- support healthy digestion and appetite
- stimulate the body's normal tissue restoration functions (Chamomile is anti-inflammatory.)
In my practice I use Standard Process herbs and supplements because I trust that company's products to contain what the labels say they do. Many herbal remedies only work well if you use a high grade extract. If you have excessive anxiety, and especially if it often manifests in your GI tract (constipation, diarrhea, eating too much or too little, or just a queasy feeling), chamomile might be of some help.
Posted on Fri, July 1, 2016
by Heidi Gilchrist