Chamomile (Matricaria recutita) is a plant of the Asteraceae family. The name derives from the Greek chamàimēlon word formed by chamài “of the soil” and mēlon, “apple” due to the smell that resembles that of dwarf apple.
Well known since ancient times, chamomile has a sedative and calming action, as well as hypoglycemic effects useful in case of diabetes. Let’s find out more about the characteristics and side effects of chamomile.
Chamomile: characteristics and properties
Chamomile is an aromatic plant with a bushy habit. The leaves are alternate and oblong; the flowers are gathered in flower heads and have a white ligule and a yellow corolla. The fruit is an achene about 1 mm long, light in color.
Chamomile flowers are used for the preparation of infusions with a mildly sedative action. The plant has mainly antispasmodic properties capable of producing muscle relaxation, due to the presence of flavonoids and coumarins in its phytocomplex.
These combinations of active ingredients make chamomile an excellent muscle relaxant, useful in case of intestinal cramps and poor digestion, but also in case of nervous tension and stress, because it causes a feeling of pleasant relaxation with a calming effect on nervousness and anxiety.
Chamomile is also endowed with good natural anti-inflammatory properties, and is used as a soothing, decongestant, softening and calming remedy, in all types of irritation of the external and internal tissues.
The side effects of Chamomile
Chamomile has no particular side effects. If taken in excessive quantities, chamomile can give rise to the so -called paradox effect characterized by agitation and irritability.
The only side effect that could occur is quite rare and is linked to allergic reactions due to the presence of sesquiterpene lactones in the plant.