I hope your week has been peachy so far. Today I wanted to cover two questions we at Affect Health get pretty often:
Too often we take what people have been saying for years as fact without taking a more critical look at how factual they actually are. For years german chamomile ( matricaria recutita) or chamomile tea made from chamomile flowers has been used as a sleep aid in various herbal teas and remedies. But does it actually make you sleepy?
I dove into the internet research jungle and even had to pull out some old textbooks (yes I have medical herbalism textbooks, yes they are dusty) to make sure I was getting my facts straight.
So here is what I found:
Chamomile contains several compounds that might have therapeutic effects. In laboratory studies, Apigenin demonstrates anti-anxiety properties which appear to be a consideration to why it may help make you wind-down.
That being said, the strongest study performed to date failed to show a significant difference in placebo vs chamomile on sleep effects. 36 patients were randomized to 270 mg of chamomile twice daily or placebo for 28-days.
They measured sleep quality in terms of:
Let's also keep in mind that they were CONSUMING 540mg of chamomile/DAY. Eating the active parts of a herb whole is very different than just having 1 cup of steeped chamomile/day. Yikes.
But don't get me wrong... I'm not getting my hate on for chamomile, I still love chamomile!
It's still a valuable medicinal herb but maybe not for sleep, and definitely not alone as a sleep aid or sedative. Chamomile teas benefits are primary seen as an anti-spasmodic with some anti-inflammatory effects. Also, it's caffeine free and can still be enjoyed as a relaxing warm drink in the evening — which may end up having a positive effect on your ability to wind down for a good sleep.
Finally, to answer the first question: Why don't we use chamomile in our Nightly Zen blend?
We don't use chamomile flowers due to the above as well as because we chose four medicinal herbs that have a synergistic effect on each other. These herbs have an anti-anxiety effect, calming the mind and helping to relax the central nervous system for a more restful sleep.
It's always good to take a look at the ingredients list on any herbal products you are thinking of taking and doing a little research before wasting your money.
If you or someone you know has a hard time winding down in the evening and needs a little ZEN I highly recommend trying our blend out. Keep in mind a good night's sleep is SO SO SO important and getting to the root of why you aren't sleeping well is step 1.
It's been a slice!
Questions? Comments? Collaboration ideas? Let's chat!
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