Senior Health The Calming Effects of Chamomile 11/3/2021 | By Seniors Guide Staff Densie Webb, Environmental Nutrition Chamomile is an ancient medicinal herb that has stood the test of time. The dried flowers of the chamomile plant contain compounds collectively known as terpenoids and flavonoids that are believed to have wide-ranging medicinal qualities including antianxiety effects. Researchers are not sure yet what other chemicals are present in chamomile that account for its benefits, but chamomile may boost chemicals in the brain, such as serotonin, dopamine, and noradrenaline, that affect mood. These natural chemical messengers are present in the brain, and increasing them may help with anxiety and depression – contributing to the calming effects of chamomile. There are three different types of chamomile plants: German chamomile, Roman chamomile, and Egyptian chamomile. German chamomile is believed to be the most potent and is most widely used for medicinal purposes. Top 10 Reasons You’re Not Sleeping Well – And Chamomile Could Help Chamomile is available as a tincture, an extract, in topical creams, and a tea. Chamomile tea is most widely regarded as a mild tranquilizer and sleep aid, and it is one of the world’s most popular herbal teas. It is naturally caffeine-free and gluten-free. The taste and aroma of chamomile tea are apple-like. In fact, chamomile derives its name from the Greek word “chamaeleon,” which literally translates to “earth apple.” How much is enough to get the calming effects of chamomile? No standard dosage for chamomile has been established to alleviate anxiety, but one study found that 1,500 mg/day of pharmaceutical grade chamomile for 8 weeks reduced anxiety symptoms similar to that of common anti-anxiety drugs. The potency of various chamomile teas varies, with some containing significantly more chamomile than others. Chamomile tea bags generally contain 500 mg to 1,000 mg each, though some contain more. Check nutrition facts labels for amounts. Some products, but not all, spell out how much chamomile is contained in each tea bag. If the amount of chamomile is low, use two tea bags in 8 ounces of hot water and steep for about 5 minutes. Safety Chamomile is classified as GRAS (Generally Recognized As Safe) by the Food and Drug Administration, and it is estimated that about a million cups of chamomile tea are consumed each day – a testament to its safety. However, people who are sensitive to ragweed or chrysanthemums may be prone to develop contact allergies to chamomile. If you have either of these allergies, it is safest to start with a low dosage and work up to larger doses slowly. Reprinted with permission from Environmental Nutrition, a monthly publication of Belvoir Media Group, LLC. 800-829-5384. www.EnvironmentalNutrition.com. © 2021 Belvoir Media Group. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC. Read More Seniors Guide Staff Seniors Guide has been addressing traditional topics and upcoming trends in the senior living industry since 1999. We strive to educate seniors and their loved ones in an approachable manner, and aim to provide them with the right information to make the best decisions possible. Related Resources Welcome Over-the-Counter Hearing Aids Finally, hearing aids have become more affordable. Seniors Guide looks at the advent of over-the-counter hearing aids. There is no ... [Read More] 11/3/2021 | By Kari Smith Finding Time to Exercise is Easier Than You Think Finding time to exercise is easier than you think. Read on for some great practical tips on how to fit ... [Read More] 11/3/2021 | By Howard LeWine, M.D.