As a plant, chamomile is known for its many health benefits, which is why it has become a widely spread plant. You can enjoy these benefits by using the plant in any of its many forms, including extract. Find out more about the health benefits and side effects of chamomile extract!
About Chamomile Extract
Chamomile is a flowering plant belonging to the daisy family of Asteraceae. It is a low-growing plant, having small flowers with yellow disc florets and various white petals. The plant is native to Asia and Europe, though it has easily spread to other continents, as well. The most common species are Matricaria chamomilla (German chamomile or wild chamomile) and Chamaemelum Nobile (Roman chamomile, English chamomile, or garden chamomile).
It has been used since ancient times due to its many health benefits, by the Greeks, Romans, and Egyptians. The plant contains important chemical compounds, such as alpha-bisabolol, terpenoids, flavonoids, coumarins, phenylpropanoids, and flavones (apigenin, as well as luteolin and rutin).
Chamomile extract is derived from the flowers of the plant. The chemical compounds are also found in the chamomile extract; therefore, the extract is known to have anti-inflammatory, anti-hyperglycemic, and anti-spasmodic properties, as well as mild sedative effects.
Chamomile extract is available in capsule, ointment, or tincture form.
Uses of Chamomile Extract
Chamomile extract is especially used for cosmetic products. It improves the condition of the skin, while also adding a refreshing fragrance to the product.
Many skin care products include chamomile extract, as it considerably improves skin condition. It is a key ingredient to care products for sensitive and irritated skin. It is also added to lotions for tired legs.
Chamomile extract is also an important ingredient when it comes to sun protection products, as well as after-sun products that help soothe the skin.
Last but not least, chamomile extract is added to various hair care products. It improves the condition of any type of hair, especially blond hair, and in some cases, it is added to products that help lighten the color of your hair. It is also an important ingredient to products that help soothe the scalp and improve its condition.
Benefits of Chamomile Extract
As it was already mentioned, chamomile extract helps improve the condition of the skin. Its compounds show important vasodilator action, which means that it helps with blood flow to the skin, therefore soothing irritation. It can also help treat various skin conditions, such as acne, eczema, and psoriasis. It helps wounds to heal faster, as well.
Chamomile extract is known to help with various stomach problems. As it has anti-inflammatory and anti-spasmodic properties, it can help with stomach ulcers, heartburn, morning sickness, nausea, diarrhea, Crohn’s disease, and irritable bowel syndrome. It is also recommended if you’re dealing with hemorrhoids. Also, if you’ve got diabetes, it can help keep the blood sugar levels under control.
Chamomile is known to have a soothing, relaxing effect, and chamomile extract has the same property. It has mild sedative effects and therefore helps with anxiety, stress, and insomnia. It also relaxes the muscles, which makes it helpful in case of muscle strains or menstrual cramps.
Chamomile extract can be useful when you’ve got a cold, for example. It also strengthens the immune system and helps the body fight against colds and flu.
When it comes to chamomile extract, the most common side effect is related to allergic reactions. If you’re allergic to plants from the Asteraceae family (ragweed, marigolds, chrysanthemums, daisies, echinacea, dandelions, sunflowers), it’s best to avoid chamomile extract. Just in case, watch out for allergic reaction symptoms: rashes, itchy skin, difficulty in breathing, chest pains, or swelling of the lips and tongue. If you notice you’re getting any of these symptoms, contact your doctor.
You should avoid chamomile extract if you’ve got a hormone-sensitive condition (breast cancer, uterine cancer, ovarian cancer, endometriosis, uterine fibroids). Also, check with your doctor if you’re on medication, as it can lead to adverse interactions between your medication and the chamomile extract. It is especially recommended not to use chamomile extract if you’re taking blood thinners (anticoagulants).