ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Camomile Tea - Herbal Aid to Prevent Cancer?

Updated on February 3, 2015

What is Camomile?

There are actually two species of camomile that are used for herbal remedies. There is Roman, or English, Chamaemelum nobile, and German, Matricaria recutita. They are in the family of daisy plants called Asteraceae.

The name of the plants are derived from the word chamaimelon, which means earth apple. The plants posess a fruity odor. They tend to flourish more in dry areas, anywhere from roadsides to fields, and of course they are also grown in gardens. They require open soil to survive, and can reach as high as three feet tall.

A camomile flower.
A camomile flower. | Source

Common Uses of Camomile Tea

Herbal remedies are the main branch of uses of camomile. Though, it is also used in perfumes and cosmetics due to its sweet odor. For the same reason, it is also used to flavor foods.

The most common use in the modern day is as an anxiety reliever and sleeping aid. It has sedative properties, so a small amount should be taken to relieve anxiety, and larger amounts help promote sleep. It may be wise not to use camomile if you are taking medication that has sedative properties.

Camomile has also been shown to relax muscles. Hence, camomile tea is often consumed to relieve abdominal and menstrual cramps. Pregnant women should avoid camomile as it can cause uterine contractions that potentially could result in a miscarriage.

There are also analgesic properties associated with camomile. The tea can be used as a mouthwash, for everything from mouth sores and gingivitis to oral pain reduction from chemotherapy for cancer patients.

Camomile tea is not the only method of use. The oil from the flower has anti inflammatory properties and can be applied topically to relieve eczema and other skin irritations.

Some countries refer to this plant as a virtual cure all. While in reality there is no complete herb or drug that is a panacea, camomile has proven to be helpful in a wide variety of ailments and conditions. Its effectiveness varies from curing, accelerating recovery, and/or reduction of symptoms.

Active Chemicals

Both species have a variety of chemicals that enable it to be used as both a herbal remedy and as a health drink to prevent illnesses.

The first group of chemicals are known as flavonoids, which are powerful antioxidants that are also found in citrus, dark chocolate or pure cacao, red wine, and other tea.

Terpenoids are similar to terpenes, and are found in a wide variety of plants and fruits, such as tomatoes, cinnamon, cannabis, ginger, sunflower, and ginkgo.

Coumarins are also used in the medical and pharmaceutical field to aid in anticoagulation. They are also found among other plants in the tonka bean, vanilla grass, and cassia cinnamon.

The Anti-Cancer Active Chemical

The particular molecule given a lot of attention in cancer prevention is known as apigenin. Its chemical name is 5,7-Dihydroxy-2-(4-hydroxyphenyl)-4H-1-benzopyran-4-one. It is found in many plants, fruits, and vegetables, but there are particularly high concentrations in parsley, celery, and camomile tea.

Apigenin has been found in many instances to induce apoptosis, or cell death in malignant tumors in various cancers including breast, prostate, colon, and leukemia. As a flavonoid, it is a powerful antioxidant that binds to free radicals. Therefore it has both preventive and therapeutic effects on cancer.

One biochemical mechanism apigenin aids in therapy of cancer is by binding to a protein called hnRNPA2. This protein is responsible for the function of mRNA. The abnormal production of mRNA enables the development of most cancers. If apigenin is able to restore mRNA functions, that can have the effect of disabling cancer cells from preventing their own death. Cancer cells thrive partially because of their protective proteins which enable them to hide from the body's immune system.

There has been more research recently by scientists in finding other molecules in nature like apigenin, referring to them as nutraceuticals, or natural pharmaceuticals. Apigenin can bind to over 160 proteins as opposed to many drugs that are more specialized and targeted to bind to one protein.

One caveat in apigenin is that there is some concern that for cancer patients, it can interfere with the effect of some chemotherapeutic drugs, due to the fact that apigenin itself has chemotherapeutic properties.

In the area of gene therapy, apigenin has caught the attention of researchers because it has been shown to even be able to modulate some genes. It will almost certainly not be as potent in the area of gene therapy as the technological advancements when it comes to curing cancer. However, in the realm of prevention, if natural gene therapy prevents more people from getting cancer in the first place, there will be less people needing the cure.

Dried camomile flowers, ready to be used to make tea.
Dried camomile flowers, ready to be used to make tea. | Source


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)