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About chamomile, what the elderly already know

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About chamomile, what the elderly already know

Popular culture

The chamomile that we usually find in Castilla La Mancha in particular, and in Spain in general, is also called: chamaemelum nobile, anthemis nobilis and anthemis arvensis, among other meanings. Among its popular names are: Roman chamomile, bitter chamomile, prao chamomile or edge chamomile, among others. It is a perennial herb of the Asteraceae family, native to Europe. Chamomile belongs to the popular medicinal culture and certain properties are attributed to it.

Although popular medicine is known as the “medicine of the poor”, it has a millenary tradition and is part of popular culture that has been passed down from generation to generation. However, in the case of chamomile, its properties are supported by various scientific studies, some of which we have consulted for this publication and which you can see in the “References” section.

Popular culture tells us that chamomile has antispasmodic (for digestive tract contractions), anticatarrhal and flu, anti-inflammatory, antiseptic (with bactericidal action like other plants rich in essential oils), carminative (they favor the expulsion of retained gases in the intestinal tract), healing, digestive, ophthalmological (for certain eye conditions), sedatives, vermifuge (for the treatment of intestinal parasites favoring the expulsion of these) and Vulnerary (for the healing of wounds).

What does science say?

There is extensive scientific bibliography that attributes to anthemis nolibilis properties such as: antibacterial, antifungal, insecticidal, hypotensive, anti-platelet aggregation, anti-inflammatory, hypoglycemic, antioxidant, soothing (acts on the nervous system), cytotoxic, bronchodilator, etc. The references are innumerable.

For example, we can find multiple references of its properties taken orally: antispasmodic, digestive, anti-inflammatory and sedative. And applied locally as a skin anti-inflammatory.

We also find references related to its cosmetic use. The anthemis nobilis flower contains a large amount of flavonoid compounds such as apigenin, apigenin-7-glucoside, luteolin and quercetin, which gives it antioxidant properties. In fact, the European Commission’s database of cosmetic substances and ingredients (COSING) recognizes the functions of skin conditioning, perfume and masking (smell and taste).

On the other hand, chamomile essential oil is hypoallergenic, being very beneficial for very sensitive skin affected by acne or dermatitis.

Specifically, the properties of essential oil for cosmetic and therapeutic use are referred to by various manufacturers and scientific publications, and can be summarized as follows:

  1. Topically: anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, toning, skin care, soothing, treatment of mild skin conditions, such as inflammation and irritations of the skin and mucosa (cracks in the skin, bruises, frostbite and insect bites) .

  2. For the eyes: protective and soothing (anti-inflammatory) and soothes discomfort from eye irritation (e.g. conjunctivitis).

  3. For hair: conditioner and lightener / illuminator.

  4. Stress reducer, treatment of restlessness and in mild cases of insomnia due to nervous disorders.

  5. Perfume (both as an ingredient in cosmetic products and in perfumery products).

  6. Flavor masker (used, for example, in toothpaste)

Fuentes:

Estudio etno-farmacológico de tres áreas de montaña de Castilla La Mancha, Universidad de Murcia, 2002.

Recursos naturales y etnobotánica, usos y aprovechamientos de las plantas de la Cañada Real Segoviana en Toledo. Diputación de Toledo. 2011

Guía de las plantas medicinales de Castilla- La Mancha (y otros recursos de usos medicinales de uso tradicional). Altabán Ediciones. 2008

Protección de la diversidad vegetal y de los recursos fitogenéticos en Castilla-La Mancha. Instituto de estudios albacetenses “Don Juan Manuel”. Diputación de Albacete. 2011.

MEDICAL IMPORTANCE OF ANTHEMIS NOBILIS (CHAMAEMELUM NOBILE) – A REVIEW. Asian Journal of Pharmaceutical Science & Technology. Vol 6|Issue 2| 2016 |89-95

WHO monographs on selected medicinal plants. Volume I. WHO, World Health Organization. Geneva. WHO monographs 1999.

WHO monographs on medicinal plants commonly used in the Newly Independent States (NIS). WHO, World Health Organization. WHO monographs. 2010

Community herbal monograph on Chamaemelum nobile. EMA – Committee on Herbal Medicinal Products (HMPC). 2011

Flavonoids In Today’s Cosmetologyhttps://www.personalcaremagazine.com/. 2009

Consoling Stressed Skinhttps://www.skininc.com/. 2009

Other websites consulted: