Chamomile Tea & Digestion

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The digestive system is made up of many parts such as your mouth, esophagus, stomach, intestines, rectum and anus. During the digestion process, the food you eat is chewed, swallowed and mixed with digestive juices that break the food down as it passes through the digestive system. Certain conditions involving any part of the digestive system can lead to digestion problems such as irritable bowel syndrome; diarrhea; gas; and gastrointestinal reflux, often referred to as GERD. Chamomile tea may help ease pain associated with digestive disorders. Speak with your doctor before drinking chamomile tea to treat any medical condition.

Importance

When you eat certain foods, they may not break down in the proper form for the body to use for nourishment, according to the National Digestive Diseases Information Clearinghouse. During digestion, the larger food molecules are broken down into smaller ones so that they can be absorbed by the blood and carried to the cells of the body.

Chamomile

Of the two chamomile species, German chamomile is more commonly used medicinally. The German chamomile plant is native to Europe, parts of Asia and north Africa. German chamomile often grows wild on a thin stem with tiny flowers that resemble daisies. German chamomile is available in the form of tea, liquid extracts, tinctures and dried herb.

Uses

Chamomile contains antispasmodic properties that help relax smooth muscles, such as those in the intestines and stomach. Chamomile has been used to treat digestive conditions such as colic, gas, diarrhea, stomach cramps, indigestion and irritable bowel syndrome, to name a few. Chamomile has also been used to treat menstrual cramps and as a sleep aid due to its calming and relaxing properties. According to the University of Maryland Medical Center, pour 1 cup of boiling water over up to 4 g of dried chamomile herb and steep for 15 minutes. You can drink chamomile tea as a digestive aid up to four times per day between meals, as needed.

Warnings

If you have been diagnosed with stomach ulcers, speak with your doctor before using any type of herbal remedy. Although herbs are all natural, that does not mean that they are always safe. You should talk with your doctor to determine if alternative remedies are right for you and the proper dosage. Women who may be nursing or breastfeeding should not use herbs, as they may have an effect on their babies.

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