Chamomile seen to be very helpful in older Mexican American women.

Chamomile seen to be very helpful in older Mexican American women.

wellness items

An interesting study from the Universtiy of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston has recently suggested that older American women who were from Mexico who drink the herbal tea chamomile (manzanilla in Spanish), showed a dramatic decrease in all causes of death. A similar effect was not seen in men from Mexico. The study was looking specifically at people from Mexico, it is not clear if this protective effect can be generalized to other populations. The study was observational rather than interventional, it was part of a larger study looking at different factors in this population, from 2000 to 2007, it looked at many health habits and items in their diet. While earlier studies had seen a similar protective effect in \"real\" green tea of 12% reduction in mortality in Japanese women, this study showed a 29% decrease in all causes of 29% in women from Mexico.

Chamomile has been suggested to be useful for hay fever, inflammation, muscle spasm, menstrual disorders, insomnia, ulcers, gastrointestinal disorder, and hemorrhoids. Research has identified compounds that have anticancer, antiinflammatory, anticoagulant, antimicrobial, antispasmodic and mild sedating neurological effects. When looking at herbs and herbal medicines, it is difficult to determine if there is any one component that has efficacy, or if it is a combination of a few different ones. Some herbal medicine experts suggest that this combination can be more powerful for some clinical entitiies, in that the body does not have an excess amount of a single molecule to metabolize, but a mix. It is also possible that the women who saw a protective effect from chamomile were actually getting benefit from avoiding overuse of over the counter medicines, many of which have known risks when overused. Chamomile is not recommended when pregnant or nursing, and some individuals who are allergic to ragweed could conceivably get a reaction to chamomile, though this is rare.

As a doctor with a background in alternative medicine in the Rockville area, I am commonly asked questions about these types of remedies, and I do my best to stay current on these topics. If you have any questions on this or other alternative approaches to pain or dysfunction, or questions on overall health, please contact me at Rosa Chiropractic & Physical Therapy Center located on Gude Drive in Rockville.

The study was published in the March issue of Gerontologist. The entire article is currently available. Download it now before they hide it behind a paywall.

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