Here’s a surprising discovery about chamomile: It may help with diabetes management

When talking about chamomile, the first adjective that comes to mind is “calming.” This calming herb belongs to the same family as sunflowers, echinacea and marigolds, and is known for producing small, daisy-like flowers. Chamomile flowers give off a very pleasant scent — gently floral and almost apple-like — which can calm nerves and exert a relaxing effect on people. Because of these qualities, chamomile has carved out a niche for itself not just in the field of aromatherapy, but also in the world of herbal teas.

Today, chamomile tea is used as a supplement for other treatments. It is also very popular among people who have problems sleeping. Chamomile tea is said to help with stress and anxiety, upset stomach, gas and diarrhea. When used topically, medicines containing chamomile can fight breakouts, relieve inflammation and eliminate scars and spots. According to science, this is due to the herb’s abundance in anti-inflammatory and antioxidant compounds.

But chamomile’s medicinal uses don’t end there. In fact, continuous research on the benefits of this edible herb has led researchers to make another exciting discovery: Chamomile, the calming herb, can also be used for the management of diabetes. In his article written for The Conversation, Associate Professor Richard Blackburn, who is also the head of The Sustainable Materials Research Group at the University of Leeds, shared how his work on historical textile dyes helped identify the compounds in chamomile that make it effective against diabetes.

What makes chamomile a natural anti-diabetic?

Before the first synthetic dye was discovered in 1856, people used plants to dye textiles. Blackburn has been working for more than a decade analyzing historical artifacts in order to find out which compounds contributed to their colors and to which plant or plants these natural colorants belonged.

But one challenge that slowed down Blackburn’s progress was the lack of a dye extraction technique that didn’t damage the dye molecule. It was only recently that Blackburn and his colleagues were able to develop new “soft” extraction methods that can preserve the dye molecule during extraction and analysis. These methods, interestingly, made use of glucose......More Here

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