Monday, June 16, 2008

Chamomile Tea As a Sleep Aid

Upon coming home from a hard day's work, you unwind and try to relax only to find out that you actually can't sleep. You do all you can, but to no avail as you toss and turn on your bed throughout the majority of the night. In this case, you may want to try chamomile tea as a sleep aid.

Chamomile is an annual plant belonging to the sunflower family Asteraceae. It grows mostly in Europe and temperate Asia and has been introduced to temperate regions in America and Australia. Its seeds require open soil to grow and survive, it is usually found near roads and landfills, posing as a weed. Its other names include Wild Chamomile, Hungarian Chamomile, and Scented Mayweed. The stem is erect and smooth and grows up to fifteen to sixty centimeters. Its long and narrow leaves are either bipinnate or tripinnate.

The word chamomile comes from the Greek word chamomelon - "earth-apple", from chamai - "on the ground", and from melon - "apple". This is because of the plant's scent, which is akin to that of apples. Its flowers bloom in early to mid summer.

However, its long-reputed effectiveness in promoting sleep has been debated in the scientific community. Despite the dissent, chamomile is definitely among the top five choices of remedies for sleep difficulties. Its effects are anecdotally popular and there have been nearly no reports of adverse side effects. While it may have medicinal properties, it can also be reputed to placebo effect. As it is taken as a tea, it may have promoted relaxation and ease of tension more because of its preparation.

If you do give chamomile tea a try, then it is best to prepare it as a tea that is to be taken at half an hour to an hour before bedtime. This, along with other preparations, will bring you eventually to sleep. Measures like taking away distractions and stimulators such as the television and other people, as well as doing whatever is possible to relax can help maximize the effect of chamomile tea as a sleep aid.

Chamomile tea has been shown to work as a depressant that can soothe one's nerves and bring in relaxation, which can lead to sleep. As most people in the work force are fueled by caffeine and stress, chamomile can alleviate the gradual deconstruction of one's digestive system due to caffeine, which usually leads to stomach upsets at nighttime when in a reclining position.

Chamomile's possible side effects relates to it being a relative of ragweed, which means that it can cause allergies in individuals with ragweed allergies. It is also a coumarin and should be avoided by those who are currently taking blood thinners. Also, in extremely rare cases, very large doses can lead to nausea and vomiting. However, moderation can keep these things from happening.

It can be said that chamomile tea as a sleep aid may not be the total cure, but it is an invaluable option for curing insomnia and relieving stress. As long as it is taken in moderation, then it can work its magic.

Chamomile Tea As a Sleep Aid
By Anne Rivera