Constipation is defined as having fewer than three bowel movements a week. The most common cause of constipation is straining to move stool because the rectum and anus are too tight, dry, or sore to allow passage of the stool. Other causes may be inadequate fiber intake; lack of exercise; pregnancy; heavy lifting; certain medications such as antidepressants or antacids; irritable bowel syndrome (IBS); neurologic problems like multiple sclerosis (MS) or Parkinson’s disease (PD). If you have had an episode of severe constipation for more than two weeks, it should be evaluated by your physician.
The following Chamomile Tea Recipe will help relieve abdominal pain caused by chronic constipation: 1 tablespoon dried Chamomile flowers (flowers only) 1 cup water (distilled or filtered) Place the Chamomile flowers in a teapot and pour boiling water over them. Let steep for 5 minutes, then strain the tea into mugs. Add honey to taste. Drink three 8-ounce cups of this tea daily until symptoms resolve.
Be sure to drink at least 8 glasses of fluid each day when using any herbal remedies. Do not take Chamomile if you are allergic to ragweed, marigolds, chrysanthemums, daisies, or other members of the Aster family or have an allergy to the Compositae family of plants which includes some edible vegetables such as lettuce, artichoke, chard, dandelions, and sunflower.
Some other benefits of chamomile tea are as follows:
Chamomile Tea is an Anti-Inflammatory
When applied topically, chamomile tea may help with a variety of skin disorders. This includes contact dermatitis and bug bites for which it can soothe itching and irritation. If taken internally as a tea, chamomile has also been shown to have anti-inflammatory properties that can reduce soreness from tendonitis, sprains, and strains. Drinking one cup of Chamomile Tea per day for three weeks is thought to be as effective as taking 200 milligrams of ibuprofen for reducing inflammation from an exercise-related injury. Studies have found that chamomile tea helps combat inflammation in the body by inhibiting histamines released during allergic reactions, as well as the production of pro-inflammatory chemicals, such as prostaglandin.
Chamomile Tea is a Natural Anti-Depressant
Chamomile tea is known to affect serotonin levels in the brain, which can help reduce stress and anxiety. It contains apigenin, ursolic acid, and flavonoids that are known inhibitors of monoamine oxidase (MAO). Monoamine oxidases are enzymes that break down neurotransmitters like serotonin which help regulate mood. By inhibiting these enzymes, chamomile may increase levels of serotonin in the brain. Drinking one cup per day for eight weeks has been found to reduce symptoms of depression by 42% in adults with mild to moderate depression.
Chamomile Tea is a Natural Sleep Aid
Chamomile tea tends to have a mild sedative effect on the body, which can help improve sleep. It contains apigenin and luteolin which are thought to reduce anxiety levels in the brain when taken before bedtime. A study of people with moderate insomnia found that drinking chamomile tea before bed helped them fall asleep faster with an improved quality of sleep. To get the most out of your cup, drink chamomile tea around two hours before you plan on falling asleep for maximum effect. Drinking one week before surgery has also been shown to reduce oral endotoxin concentrations, resulting in a reduced risk of post-operative infection during healing.