German Chamomile

German ‘Blue’ Chamomile (Matricaria chamomilla)

What Is German Chamomile Oil?

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German chamomile (Matricaria chamomilla), which is often referred to as blue chamomile or true chamomile, comes from the Compositae sunflower family. It is one of the two chamomile species that can be used medicinally. The other one is the Roman or English chamomile (Chamaemelum nobile).

This plant, which hails from Southern and Eastern parts of Europe, grows from 6 centimeters up to 60 centimeters (2.3 to 23.5 inches) tall with heavily branched and furrowed stems. Like Roman chamomile oil, German chamomile essential oil is extracted either through solvent extraction or steam distillation of its golden yellow flowers that have ray-like blossoms.

You can find German Chamomile in Mother Jai’s Deep Sleep Oil.

Major Constituents

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  • Bisabolol
  • Farnesol
  • Azulene
  • Farnasene
  • Thujanol

Composition of German Chamomile Oil

Some of the most important chemical components of German chamomile oil are sesquiterpenes, 36 flavonoids, coumarins and polyacetylenes. Other constituents include chamazulene (which has antiseptic capabilities), as well as 28 terpenoids and 52 additional compounds with potential pharmacological activity that gives it antimicrobial and fungistatic capabilitiesfarnesene, sesquiterpenes, cadinene, furfural, spanthulenol, and proazulenes (matricarin and matricin).

Chamazulene (or azulen when isolated), which provides German chamomile oil its deep bluish color, is formed from matricin during steam distillation. Prolonged storage and light exposure destroys this effect. This often results in a lighter blue color, which can turn into a pale green, yellow or even brown shade.

When it’s still fresh, German chamomile oil has a viscous quality and has a sweet, herbaceous scent with fruity undertones. However, in its concentrated and dried-out form, German chamomile oil can sometimes be nauseating and unpleasant for some individuals. German chamomile oil blends well with rose oil, lavender oil, cedar oil, neroli oil and geranium oil.

Blending: Chamomile Oil forms very pleasant blends with Bergamot, Clary Sage, Lavender, Jasmine, Geranium, Grapefruit, Tea Tree, Rose, Lemon, Lime and Ylang-Ylang Oil.

Benefits of German Chamomile Oil

German chamomile oil provides antispasmodic, antiseptic, antibiotic, antidepressant, antineuralgic, antiphlogistic, carminative, cholagogue, cicatrisant, emmenagogue, analgesic, febrifuge, hepatic, sedative, nervine, digestive, tonic, antispasmodic, bactericidal, sudorific, stomachic, anti-inflammatory, anti-infectious, vermifuge, and vulnerary properties. This beneficial essential oil penetrates deep into the layers of your skin where its potent anti-inflammatory action can restore and soothe irritated skin, mouth ulcers, burns, bruises and other skin conditions. Aside from possibly helping lift up your mood and letting go of your anxieties, German chamomile oil has other reported benefits when used in tandem with other essential oils in aromatherapy.

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Uses of German Chamomile Oil

German chamomile oil is broadly used in the cosmetic industry, especially in formulations designed to improve dry, inflamed or irritated skin. It is also added in shampoos and conditioners. Other practical uses of German chamomile oil include:

Allergic reactions — Apply topically on the affected area in a balm or coconut oil for instant relief.

Anogenital disorders — Add in baths and irrigation.

Candida infection — Can help alleviate itching caused by yeast fungus in the vaginal area by having a warm sitz bath regularly until your condition improves. Add one drop of German chamomile oil and two drops of tea tree oil in a gallon of warm water.

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Hair moisturizer — Blend two drops of German chamomile oil, rosemary oil, and lavender oil with 4 tablespoons of sweet almond oil. Massage it onto your hair and scalp once a week. For best results, leave it on overnight.

Inflammation and irritation of the respiratory tract — By inhalation either through diffusion or spraying.

Improves Digestion – Being a stomachic, they tone up the stomach and ensure its proper function. They also promote the secretion of digestive juices into the stomach and facilitate digestion. Being Hepatic, which means being good for the liver, they ensure good health of the liver and the proper flow of bile from it. They are also considered Cholagogues, meaning that they increase the secretion of Hydrochloric Acid, bile, and enzymes in the stomach, thereby promoting digestion.

Open leg sores, wounds, hemorrhoids, mastitis, eczemas, gingivitis and ingrown nails — Use topically as a poultice, salve or compress. To make a compress, take a damp cloth, add a few drops of German chamomile oil, and place it on top of the affected area with the essential oil facing away from the skin. This way, the oil’s healing properties will seep into the cloth without putting the skin at risk of any potential hypersensitivity.

Menstrual cramps — Take a five-minute sitz bath (a warm, shallow bath that cleanses your perineum, the space between your rectum and the vulva or scrotum) in a gallon of warm water with two drops of German chamomile and lavender oil.

May help relieve migraine — Moisten a towel with cool water and add a few drops of German chamomile oil. Place the damp cloth on your forehead, close your eyes and relax.

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May provide relief from joint pain or tense, stiff and cramping muscles —Blend 2 tablespoons of sweet almond oil and two drops of German chamomile oil and rosemary oil. Massage this blend onto the affected areas to ease up the tensed muscles and increase circulation.

Moisturizing skin mist — To make your own natural skin mist, blend two drops of German chamomile oil, two drops of lavender oil, one drop of rose otto oil and 4 ounces of purified water in a ready-to-spray bottle. This natural moisturizing mist will surely be handy for your sunbathing sessions.

PMS Aide – The symptoms of PMS can be very debilitating for many women. German chamomile’s anti-inflammatory and antispasmodic properties help in relieving many of the symptoms commonly associated with PMS as well as with menopause. It can help to reduce cramping, pain and nausea commonly associated with PMS as well as menopause. It also helps to balance the hormones which can be very unbalanced during PMS and menopause; this helps a woman to be more calm and relaxed or less irritable and emotional during this time.

Prevents Infections – Both varieties have very good antiseptic and antibiotic properties which do not let biotic infections develop, which arise due to biotic factors such as bacteria and fungi. They also eliminate infections that are already present. These are good vermifuge agents as well, which kill all sorts of intestinal worms. If applied to the hair, it kills lice and mites, keeping the hair and scalp free from infections and damage.

Reduces Anger – While Roman Chamomile is found to be effective in calming down annoyance, anger, and irritation, particularly in small children. The German variety, on the other hand, is found to be more effective on adults for curing inflammation, particularly when it is located in the digestive or urinary system. They also reduce blood pressure and curb the swelling of blood vessels.

Relieves Depression – Both varieties have been seen to be very effective in fighting depression and for raising spirits. They eliminate feelings of sadness, depression, disappointment, and sluggishness while inducing a sort of happy or charged feeling. Even smelling these oils can help a lot in overcoming depression and bringing about a good mood.

Removes Toxic Agents – As a sudorific, both varieties of chamomile oil induce profuse perspiration, which helps to remove toxins and agents that cause infections while simultaneously cooling down the body and effectively providing relief from fever, thus serving as a Febrifuge.

Sedative – German chamomile is well known for is sedative properties. It allows the body and the mind to relax and calm prior to bedtime allowing for a more restful and deeper sleep. This property is also important when it comes to relieving stress, depression and anxiety because it allows the body and the mind to calm and stop racing allowing a person to relax enough to fall asleep faster and stay asleep longer. Getting a proper night’s sleep is also very important when having a cold or flu as sleep helps to heal the body from said infection.

Shingles — Use topically as a poultice. Combine 10 drops of German chamomile oil, two drops of geranium oil, four drops of bergamot oil, six drops of balm, and five drops of lavender. Mix it in water to use as a compress or in 1 3/4 fluid ounces of almond oil.

Skin toner — German chamomile oil has astringent properties, which makes it ideal for pore-cleansing treatment. Simply add the essential oil to your own homemade facial cleanser and apply using cotton balls.

Treats Rheumatism – They cure dysfunctions of the circulatory system, stimulate circulation and detoxify the blood from toxins like uric acid, thereby helping to cure ailments like rheumatism and arthritis, which are caused due to improper circulation and accumulation of uric acid. These abilities classify them as good antiphlogistics, any agents which reduce swelling and edema.

Side Effects of German Chamomile Oil

Never use German chamomile oil during pregnancy as it may induce menstruation and/or premature labor due to its emmenagogue and uterotonic side effects. It also contains coumarin, so care should be taken to avoid potential drug interactions, e.g. with blood thinners. Although there are no existing cases of allergic reactions or hypersensitivity linked to the proper use of German chamomile oil. It is suggested to avoid this essential oil if you have a known allergy to any plant from the Asteraceae or Compositae family (daisy, rag weed, chrysanthemum) to prevent any untoward reactions. If you are not sure whether you’re allergic to it or not, a skin patch test is advised. Apply German chamomile oil on a small portion of your skin and wait for a few hours. If irritation occurs, discontinue use immediately.

Possible Interactions

If you take any of the following drugs, you should not use German chamomile without first talking to your health care provider:

  • Blood-thinning medications (anticoagulants and antiplatelets): Chamomile may increase the risk of bleeding when taken with blood-thinners such as warfarin (Coumadin), clopidogrel (Plavix), and aspirin.
  • Sedatives: Use caution with sedatives since chamomile can make these drugs stronger.
  • Anti-seizure medications, such as phenytoin (Dilantin) and valproic acid (Depakote)
  • Barbiturates
  • Benzodiazepines, such as alprazolam (Xanax) and diazepam (Valium)
  • Drugs to treat insomnia, such as zolpidem (Ambien), zaleplon (Sonata), eszopiclone (Lunesta), and ramelteon (Rozerem)
  • Tricyclic antidepressants, such as amitriptyline (Elavil)
  • Alcohol
  • The same is true of sedative herbs, such as valerian, kava, and catnip.
  • Blood pressure medications: Chamomile may lower blood pressure slightly. Taking it with drugs for high blood pressure could cause blood pressure to drop too low.
  • Diabetes medications: Chamomile may lower blood sugar. Taking it with diabetes drugs could raise the risk of hypoglycemia or low blood sugar.
  • Hormonal therapies: Due to its similarity to estrogen, chamomile may potentially interfere with drugs such as nolvadex (Tamoxifen) among others.
  • Other drugs: Because chamomile is broken down by the liver, it may interact with other drugs that are broken down the same way. Those drugs may include:
  • Fexofenadine (Seldane)
  • Statins (drugs that can lower cholesterol)
  • Birth control pills
  • Some antifungal drugs

Available Forms

German chamomile is available as dried flower heads, tea, essential oil, liquid extract, capsules, and topical ointment.

How to Take It

Pediatric – Ask your doctor before giving chamomile tea to a child. Children under 5 should not take more than half a cup of tea per day.

  • To relieve colic: Some doctors suggest 1 to 2 oz. of tea per day. Your doctor may recommend other doses.

Adult

  • Tea: Pour 1 cup of boiling water over 2 to 3 heaping tsp. (2 to 4 g) of dried herb, steep 10 to 15 minutes. Drink 3 to 4 times per day between meals.
  • Tincture (1:5, 45% alcohol): 30 to 60 drops of tincture, 3 times per day in hot water.
  • Capsules: 300 to 400 mg taken 3 times per day.
  • Gargle or mouthwash: Make a tea as above, then let it cool. Gargle as often as desired. You may also make an oral rinse with 10 to 15 drops of German chamomile liquid extract in 100 ml warm water, and use 3 times per day.
  • Inhalation: Add a few drops of essential oil of chamomile to hot water (or use tea) and breathe in the steam to calm a cough.
  • Bath: Use 1/4 lb. of dried flowers per bath, or add 5 to 10 drops of essential oil to a full tub of water to soothe hemorrhoids, cuts, eczema, or insect bites.
  • Poultice: Make a paste by mixing powdered herb with water and apply to inflamed skin.
  • Cream: Use a cream with a 3 to 10% chamomile content for psoriasis, eczema, or dry and flaky skin.

History of German Chamomile

The word chamomile comes from the Greek word chamomaela with means ground apple because of its pleasant scent like that of apples and because it grows along the ground. German chamomile also goes by the names Matricaria, Hungarian chamomile, Blue chamomile and True chamomile.

The medicinal uses of German chamomile have been documented throughout the ages. German chamomile has been used for over 2000 years in many cosmetics and perfumes as well as being commonly used medicinally for its many health benefits. Asclepius, Galen, Hippocrates and Culpepper have all written about the amazing soothing and calming properties that it possesses. Back in 78 AD German chamomile was listed in the European standard reference book Dioscorides De Materia Medica because of its many health benefits and uses.

The Egyptian god Ra was said to have used it at a symbol of his almighty power. While the Egyptian people used to use it as offerings to the gods ask for help with healing the body. The Egyptian people also worshipped the plant and had many festivals in honor of the plants many healing properties. They would often crush the flower and apply it to their skin to bring out the youthful glow in hopes to reduce the signs of aging.

The Anglo-Saxons considered German chamomile to be one of the nine scared herbs and not only wrote a poem about these herbs but gave instructions and recipes on how to use these herbs along or together to heal disease and poison.

During the Middle Ages, 476-1500 AD, German chamomile was used as a strewing herb. This means that the herb was scattered or strewn around on the floor and when walked on would release the fragrance within. This strewing was important during gatherings and festivals to help make the event not only smell nice but to give a sense of calm to those attending.

Today German chamomile is used not only as an essential oil because of its many health benefits, but it is also used in many perfumes, cosmetics, food and drinks because of its calming effect, taste, scent and of course it’s many health benefits.

Recipes

Bathtub Scrub-a-Dub-Dub

½ cup baking soda

½ cup vinegar

5 drop German chamomile EO

5 drops bergamot EO

Directions: Mix all of the above ingredients together in a glass jar. Massage the mixture into the skin focusing on sore muscles. Soak in a warm bath for at least 15 minutes to calm and relax the body and the mind. Use as needed, daily if desired.

Bedtime Face Lotion

15 drops German chamomile EO

15 drops lavender EO

15 drops peppermint EO

¼ cup olive oil

¼ cup coconut oil

¼ cup beeswax

¼ cup shea butter

2 Tbsp. vitamin E

Directions: In a glass bowl added olive oil, beeswax, coconut oil and shea butter. Place the glass bowl over a pot of simmering water on the stove and melt together. Mix well. Once the four ingredients are melted and mixed well together remove from heat and place in the refrigerator for at last an hour or until solid. Once the mixture is solid remove the bowl from the fridge. Taking a hand mixer beat the mixture in the bowl until it is fluffy in texture. Add in the essential oils and vitamin E and mix well. Place in a glass container and store in a cool dry place. Apply to the face focusing on the temples prior to bedtime to help promote rest and relaxation of the mind and body.

PMS Saver Blend

2 drops German chamomile EO

2 drops sage EO

2 drops basil EO

2 drops rosemary EO

Directions: Combine all of the essential oils together in a bowl. Pour the essential oils onto a warm moist hand towel and place on the stomach for 5-10 minutes or longer as needed to help relieve the pain, inflammation and cramping of PMS

Sunburn Salve

10 drops lavender EO

6 drops German chamomile EO

4 drops peppermint EO

4 oz. fractionated coconut oil

Directions: Melt the coconut oil over low heat on the stove. Once melted remove from heat and add in the essential oils. Mix well. Transfer into a 4 oz glass jar and allow to cool. Apply to affected area as needed at least twice a day.

German Chamomile Body Wash

1 cup water

¼ cup raw honey

⅔ cup liquid Castile soap

30 drops German chamomile EO

1 tsp. vitamin E

2 tsp. carrier oil of your choosing (argan, coconut, sesame, sweet almond, jojoba, grapeseed, macadamia)

Directions: Mix all of the above ingredients in a glass bottle and mix well. Shake prior to use.

Bonus ways you can experiment with when it comes to using German chamomile essential oil:

  • To help relieve the symptoms of anxiety and depression add a few drops of German chamomile and rose essential oil to a warm bath or mix and diffuse in a room.
  • To help with motion sickness, inhale a combination of German chamomile, peppermint, lavender and ginger essential oils.
  • Try having some German chamomile tea to help reduce stress, anxiety and depression. It can also help to soothe and calm the stomach.

References:

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Catnip

Catnip Leaf (Nepeta cataria)

The flowering perennial known commonly as catnip, catmint, or catswort actually has the scientific name of Nepeta cataria, and although most people don’t realize, this treat so commonly reserved for its sedative, calming effects on cats, also has extensive benefits for human beings. It’s native range is quite extensive, stretching across much of Europe and parts of Asia, including China, but it has since become a global export and can be found throughout the world. It is primarily potent due to a certain terpenoid, called nepetelactone, but various other chemical constituents and nutrients also affect various aspects of human health.

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Nepeta cataria is a short-lived perennial, herbaceous plant that grows to be 50–100 cm (20–39 in) tall and wide, which blooms from late-spring to the autumn. In appearance, N. cataria resembles a typical member of the mint family of plants, featuring brown-green foliage with the characteristic square stem of the Lamiaceae family of plants. The coarse-toothed leaves are triangular to elliptical in shape. The small, bilabiate flowers of N. cataria are showy and fragrant, and are either pink in colour or white with fine spots of pale purple.

Catnip can be applied topically via the leaves or the essential oil, while catnip tea brewed from the leaves is also popular. The extracts and essential oils are also quite popular. The historical range of catnip uses include teas, juices, tinctures, extracts, salves, and even as an herb to be smoked, in addition to its culinary applications. The various forms of catnip have been used for generations in alternative medicine, and modern research has also shown it to be a reliable treatment for some common maladies.

Health benefits of catnip for humans include:

Stress Relief: The same quality that makes catnip so attractive to cats, namely because it makes them slightly “high” and sedates them, can also apply to humans in a more controlled way. Catnip can provide stress relief and reduce chronic anxiety as an herbal remedy when eaten, consumed in the form of a juice or tea, or when smoked as an herb. This can also help to reduce the secondary symptoms of chronic stress and strengthen your immune system.

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Swallowed Emotions: A favorite use for this plant is to address the specific kind of stress and anxiety created in the body when people can’t express their emotions. This is perfect for someone who isn’t able to tell the boss or the in-law just what they’d like to say because it wouldn’t be polite, or good for the family budget.

Sleep Aid: Catnip has been used by people with insomnia or sleep restlessness for hundreds, if not thousands of years. The sedative nature helps to slow down the body’s natural cycles and induce a calm, relaxed state. People are better able to sleep through the night for undisturbed, restful sleep. Many people choose to drink a cup of catnip tea before bed to ensure a refreshing sleep.

Reduces Digestive Issues: Catnip is particularly effective in clearing up digestive issues, especially constipation, excess flatulence, cramping, and bloating. The relaxing, anti-inflammatory effects of catnip’s organic compounds can ease the knots and inflammation in your gastrointestinal system and relieve tightness and discomfort.

Colic: Catnip is a digestive herb. The scent that we get when we rub its leaves between our fingers is evidence of a high amount of volatile oils. This plant chemical is responsible for its ability to calm the stomach of an adult or a nursing child with colic.

Menstrual Cramps: For women suffering from particularly painful menstrual cramps, catnip tea is often recommended as an alternative treatment, because it can quickly relieve those cramps and stresses on the body. Furthermore, the sedative, calming effects of catnip can also soothe other symptoms of menstruation, such as mood swings and depression.

Headache Reliever: Although the exact mechanism isn’t completely understood, catnip has proven to be very effective in the treatment of headaches, even chronic migraines. Rubbing the essential oil on the affected area can work, but drinking catnip tea or rubbing a catnip leaf salve on the temples can also offer quick relief.

Fever: This is one of the most popular herbs for reducing a fever. It is part of a class of herbs called febrifuges. These herbs have the ability to cool the body by inducing a sweat. It is almost never a good idea to interrupt a fever. For the rare times that a fever has been particularly prolonged (your patient is becoming dehydrated and listless) or too high (over 102° for a typically healthy adult, around 104° for a typically healthy child) it can be helpful to have a fever tincture around.

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Speeds-up Healing: In terms of colds and flus, one of the fastest ways to clean out the body is to induce sweating and get the toxins flushed from the system. This is particularly true in the case of fevers, when the lack of sweating before the fever breaks is only keeping those toxins and pathogens in the body. Catnip induces sweating, so is often recommended by alternative practitioners for treating the common cold.

Anti-inflammatory Activity: As mentioned above, the chemical constituents of catnip are particularly effective as anti-inflammatory agents. This means that catnip can be effective in the treatment of arthritis, gout, sprained muscles, aching joints, and even hemorrhoids. Topical application or normal consumption of leaves, juice, or tea can be effective for all of these situations.

Treats Skin Conditions: The natural repellent quality of catnip makes it ideal for keeping bugs away from gardens when kept as an ornamental plant, but the organic compounds in the plant make it ideal for soothing bug bites and relieving irritation on the skin. Applying salves or extracts to irritated or broken skin can speed the healing process and reduce inflammation quickly.

Complete Nutrient: Although eating catnip leaves is the least common form of consumption for human beings, catnip actually has a rather impressive collection of nutrients, from beneficial chemicals and unique organic compounds to essential acids, minerals, and vitamins that our bodies need. In other words, the plant can do a lot more than knock out a cat!

Cautions: For people suffering from liver or kidney disorders, the use of catnip may be risky, particularly if you are regularly consuming the tea. Furthermore, pregnant women should avoid catnip, as it can prematurely induce labor. Other than those specific concerns, catnip is generally considered non-allergenic and harmless to users. The high potency of the essential oil should be considered, however, and extracts should always be mixed with carrier oils.

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Catnip for Cats

Catnip contains the feline attractant nepetalactone. Nepeta cataria (and some other species within the genus Nepeta) are known for their behavioral effects on the cat family, not only on domestic cats but also other species of cats. Several tests showed that leopards, cougars, servals, and lynxes often reacted strongly to catnip in a manner similar to domestic cats and while lions and tigers can react strongly as well, they do not react as consistently.

With domestic cats, N. cataria is used as a recreational substance for pet cats’ enjoyment, and catnip and catnip-laced products designed for use with domesticated cats are available to consumers. Common behaviors cats display when they sense the bruised leaves or stems of catnip are rubbing on the plant, rolling on the ground, pawing at it, licking it, and chewing it. Consuming much of the plant is followed by drooling, sleepiness, anxiety, leaping about and purring. Some growl, meow, scratch or bite at the hand holding it. The main response period after exposure is generally between five and fifteen minutes, after which olfactory fatigue usually sets in.

Cats detect nepetalactone through their olfactory epithelium, not through their vomeronasal organ. At the olfactory epithelium, the nepetalactone binds to one or more olfactory receptors.

Not all cats are affected by catnip; roughly 33% are not affected by the plant. The behavior is hereditary. An early 1962 pedigree analysis of 26 cats in a Siamese breeding colony suggested that the catnip response was caused by a Mendelian dominant gene; however, a 2011 pedigree analysis of 210 cats in 2 breeding colonies (taking into account measurement error by repeated testing) showed no evidence for Mendelian patterns of inheritance, and instead demonstrated heritabilities of h2=0.51–0.89 for catnip response behavior, indicating a polygenic liability threshold model.

Other plants that also have this effect on cats include valerian (Valeriana officinalis) root, silver vine (Actinidia polygama) and Tatarian honeysuckle (Lonicera tatarica) wood. It has been shown that many cats who do not respond to catnip do respond to one or more of these three alternatives.

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Health benefits of catnip for cats include:

  • The chemical compound in the plant that attracts and affects cats is called nepetalactone. It is found in the leaves and stems.
  • Nepetalactone is a stimulant when sniffed by a cat, producing a “high” that is described as being similar to either marijuana or LSD. (How this was determined, I do not know.) And the effects last for about 10 minutes before wearing off and the cat going back to normal.
  • When a cat eats catnip, it acts as a sedative, but when smelled, it causes the cat to go crazy. It is thought to mimic feline pheremones and trigger those receptors.
  • Cats may react to the plant by rolling around, flipping over, and generally being hyperactive.
  • About 50 percent of cats seem to be affected by catnip, and the behavior that results varies widely between individuals, and it is believed to be an inherited sensitivity.
  • And if your cat does have the sensitivity, it will not emerge until your cat is several months old, young kittens are not affected by the chemicals in the plant.
  • Cats may rub against and chew on catnip to bruise the leaves and stems, which then release more nepetalactone.
  • Catnip is safe for cats. If they eat a lot, they may vomit and have diarrhea, but will return to normal given time (and no more catnip).
  • It is also known to help humans, it has been used for its sedative properties in humans for centuries, having similar properties to chamomile and is a very potent mosquito repellent
  • If cats are exposed to catnip frequently, they may no longer respond to it. Some people recommend that it shouldn’t be given more than once every two or three weeks to prevent habituation.

References:

  1. https://www.organicfacts.net/health-benefits/herbs-and-spices/catnip.html
  2. http://science.sciencemag.org/content/146/3649/1318
  3. http://pubs.acs.org/doi/abs/10.1021/ja01851a019
  4. http://europepmc.org/abstract/med/10711131
  5. https://books.google.co.in/books?id=mlyszsVFQ1kC
  6. http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/j.1875-9114.1997.tb03786.x/abstract
  7. https://books.google.com/books?id=ZP6QVep-x24C
  8. https://metapress.com/
  9. http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0378874104005859
  10. http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1365-2915.2009.00809.x/abstract
  11. https://www.diynatural.com/how-to-use-catnip/
  12. http://www.petmd.com/blogs/thedailyvet/jcoates/2011/june/cats_and_catnip-does_it_really_get_them_high_and_why-11271
  13. https://www.webmd.com/vitamins-supplements/ingredientmono-831-catnip.aspx?activeingredientid=831&
  14. http://www.catster.com/lifestyle/catnip-cat-health-facts-tips-nepeta
  15. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Catnip
  16. Schultz, Gretchen; Peterson, Chris; Coats, Joel (25 May 2006). “Natural Insect Repellents: Activity against Mosquitoes and Cockroaches” (PDF). In Rimando, Agnes M.; Duke, Stephen O. Natural Products for Pest Management. ACS Symposium Series. American Chemical Society.
  17.  “Termites Repelled by Catnip Oil”. Southern Research Station, United States Department of Agriculture – Forest Service. 26 March 2003.
  18. “Catnip Repels Mosquitoes More Effectively Than DEET”. www.sciencedaily.com.
  19. Wilson, Julia. “Catnip (Nepeta cataria) – Everything You Need to Know About Catnip! | General Cat Articles”. www.cat-world.com.au. Retrieved 6 October 2015.
  20. “How Does Catnip Affect Humans?”. RealClearScience.
  21. http://plants.usda.gov/java/profile?symbol=NECA2

Calendula

Yellow Calendula

True Marigold – Calendula officinalis

Common Names

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Aklelmulk, Atunjaq, Calendula, Chin Chan Hua, Garden Marigold, Gold Bloom, Holligold, Kamisha Bahar, Maravilla, Marigold, Marybud, Mercadela, Oqhuwan, Poet’s marigold, Pot Marigold, Qaraqus, Tibbi Nergis, To-Kinsen-Ka, Tuingoudsbloem, Virreina

Chemistry

The plant contains several oleanolic acid glycosides. Flavonol and triterpene glycosides have been isolated from C. officinalis via high pressure chromatography. Calendulin (also known as bassorin) has been identified in the plant as have sterols and fatty acids such as calendic acid. Additionally, the plant contains triterpenoid in free and ester forms, tocopherols, mucilage, and a volatile oil. Enzymatic activity of calendula extracts has been described. The carotenoid pigments have been used as coloring agents in cosmetics and the volatile oil has been used in perfumes.

The major chemical constituents of Calendula oil are a-cadinol, limonene, a-cadinene, p-cymene, 1, 8-cineol along with other flavonoids, terpenoids, coumarins, flavonol glycosides, carotenoids, sesquiterpene glucoside, amino acids, triterpene oligoglycosides, saponins, and oleanane-type triterpene glycosides.

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Properties

Anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, anti-infective, anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidant, anti-phlogistic, anti-septic, anti-spasmodic, anti-viral, aperient, astringent, cholagogue, detoxifier, diaphoretic, emmenagogue, estrogenic, hemostatic, immunostimulant, vulnerary.

Indicated for

Acne, athlete’s foot, blepharitis, candida, cold sores, conjunctivitis, coughs, cramps, eczema, fungal infections, gastritis, good digestion, hemorrhoids, HIV, menopausal symptoms, menstrual cramps, minor burns, phthiriasis (dry), relieving colitis, ringworm, sore throats, skin ulcerations, snake bites, sprains, sunburns, varicose veins, viral infections, warts, wounds.

Calendula has been used medicinally for centuries. Traditionally, it has been used to treat conjunctivitis, blepharitis, eczema, gastritis, minor burns including sunburns, warts, and minor injuries such as sprains and wounds. It has also been used to treat cramps, coughs, and snake bites. Calendula has a high content of flavonoids, chemicals that act as anti-oxidants in the body. Anti-oxidants are thought to protect body cells from damage caused by a chemical process called oxidation. Oxidation produces oxygen free radicals, natural chemicals that may suppress immune function.

Calendula flower is used to prevent muscle spasms, start menstrual periods, and reduce fever. It is also used for treating sore throat and mouth, menstrual cramps, cancer, and stomach and duodenal ulcers.

Calendula is applied to the skin to reduce pain and swelling (inflammation) and to treat poorly healing wounds and leg ulcers. It is also applied to the skin (used topically) for nosebleeds, varicose veins, hemorrhoids, inflammation of the rectum (proctitis), and inflammation of the lining of the eyelid (conjunctivitis).

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Don’t confuse calendula with ornamental marigolds of the Tagets genus, which are commonly grown in vegetable gardens.

The plant has been grown in European gardens since the 12th century, and its folkloric uses are almost as old. Tinctures and extracts of the florets were used topically to promote wound healing and to reduce inflammation; systemically, they have been used to reduce fever, control dysmenorrhea, and treat cancer. The plant is listed in the German Commission E Monographs for wound healing and anti-inflammatory actions.

The dried petals have been used like saffron as a seasoning and have been used to adulterate saffron. The pungent odor of the Calendula has been used as an effective pesticide. Calendula flowers are often interspersed among vegetable plants to repel insects.

Calendula infusion

Medicinal Uses and Indications

Today, calendula is not usually taken by mouth. The exception is when it is used in extremely small amounts in homeopathic preparations. Calendula is usually applied topically, to the skin.

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Burns, cuts, and bruises: Calendula tinctures, ointments, and washes are often applied to the skin to help burns, bruises, and cuts heal faster, and to fight the minor infections they cause. Calendula cream is also used to treat hemorrhoids. Animal studies show that calendula helps wounds heal faster, maybe by increasing blood flow to the wounded area and by helping the body make new tissue. There are no scientific studies looking at whether calendula works in humans, but using it on your skin is considered safe. Professional homeopaths often recommend using ointments with calendula to heal first-degree burns and sunburns.

Dermatitis: Early evidence suggests that calendula may help prevent dermatitis, skin inflammation, in people with breast cancer who are undergoing radiation therapy, however, other studies show no effect. Calendula is also a safe and effective remedy for diaper rash.

Ear infection (otitis media): Ear drops containing calendula are sometimes used to treat ear infections in children. A few scientific studies have found no side effects. More research is needed to determine whether calendula helps treat ear infections.

Oral Health: There are also certain antibacterial properties of calendula that have made it very popular in recent years. You will often find it on the ingredients list of various herbal health and hygiene products, including toothpastes, mouthwashes, soaps, and shampoos. In terms of oral health, toothpastes and mouthwashes that contain calendula are very effective in killing bacteria that cause everything from gingivitis to cavities.

Skin Care: Aside from stimulating healing, calendula oil can significantly boost the appearance of your skin. It can affect blood flow to the skin cells, provide antioxidant protection that reduces the appearance of wrinkles and ages spots, and even the visibility of scars. If you want smooth, even-toned skin that glows with youthful vitality, consider adding some organic products that contain calendula or consume calendula in another form, such as tea.

Vision Health: Research has shown that calendula contains certain antioxidant compounds that directly impact your vision. Beta-carotene is essential for the health and functioning of your eyes, and it is a wonderful source of this compound. You can prevent macular degeneration and the development of cataracts in this way.

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Reduced Inflammation: Regardless of where you inflammation is occurring, calendula can significantly reduce the discomfort. If you are suffering from a cough or congestion, calendula tea can be a wonderful remedy. If your joints are hurting from arthritis or gout, add some calendula oil to a skin balm and enjoy a rapid reduction in pain. Finally, if your stomach is upset, calendula can help normalize your gastrointestinal system and eliminate any inflammation that may be causing discomfort.

Cancer Prevention: Calendula oil has certain anti-tumor properties that make it very valuable in new cancer research exploring natural solutions to this global epidemic. Cancer remains one of the great mysteries of our species in terms of collective health, and compounds like those found in calendula offer an interesting new angle on this critical issue.

Reduced Cramping: There are also some anti-spasmodic properties of calendula that are also taken advantage of by many people. If you suffer from a nervous system disorder, have painful cramping in relation to menstruation, or some other type of spasmodic condition, adding calendula to your diet may be a wise choice.

Available Forms

Fresh or dried calendula petals are available in tinctures, liquid extracts, infusions, ointments, and creams.

Calendula products should always be protected from light and moisture, and should not be used after 3 years of storage.

Calendula petals

Special Precautions & Warnings:

Pregnancy and breast-feeding: Don’t take calendula by mouth if you are pregnant. It is LIKELY UNSAFE. There is a concern that it might cause a miscarriage. It’s best to avoid topical use as well until more is known.

Allergy to ragweed and related plants: Calendula may cause an allergic reaction in people who are sensitive to the Asteraceae/Compositae family. Members of this family include ragweed, chrysanthemums, marigolds, daisies, and many others. If you have allergies, be sure to check with your healthcare provider before taking calendula.

Surgery: Calendula might cause too much drowsiness if combined with medications used during and after surgery. Stop taking calendula at least 2 weeks before a scheduled surgery.

References

  1. http://www.herbwisdom.com/herb-marigold.html
  2. http://www.webmd.com/vitamins-supplements/ingredientmono-235-calendula.aspx?activeingredientid=235&activeingredientname=calendula
  3. https://chestnutherbs.com/calendula-sunshine-incarnate-an-edible-and-medicinal-flower/
  4. http://www.umm.edu/health/medical/altmed/herb/calendula
  5. https://draxe.com/calendula/
  6. https://www.herbal-supplement-resource.com/calendula-herbs.html
  7. https://www.organicfacts.net/health-benefits/other/calendula.html
  8. http://www.ajol.info/index.php/tjpr/article/view/48090
  9. http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/J157v06n03_08
  10. http://europepmc.org/abstract/med/25941793
  11. http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0002817714640265
  12. http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0378874109007740
  13. http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1744388112000096
  14. http://europepmc.org/abstract/med/7809203
  15. http://bmccancer.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/1471-2407-6-119
  16. http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/ptr.1980/abstract
  17. http://www.woundsresearch.com/article/9064
  18. https://www.drugs.com/npp/calendula.html
  19. https://theherbalacademy.com/calendula-uses-our-14-favorite-recipes-and-remedies/
  20. Akhtar N, Zaman SU, Khan BA, Amir MN, Ebrahimzadeh MA. Calendula extract: effects on mechanical parameters of human skin. Acta Pol Pharm. 2011;68(5):693-701.
  21. Alnuqaydan AM, Lenehan CE, Hughes RR, Sanderson BJ. Extracts from Calendula officinalis offer in vitro protection agains H2O2 induced oxidative stress cell killing of human skin cells. Phytother Res. 2015;29(1):120-4.
  22. Barajas-Farias LM et al. A dual and opposite effect of Calendula officinalis flower extract: chemoprotector and promoter in rat hepatocarcinogenesis model. PLanta Med. 2006;72(3):217-21.
  23. Basch E, Bent S, Foppa I, et al. Marigold (Calendula officinalis):An evidence-based systematic review by the Natural Standard Research Collaboration. J Herb Pharmacother. 2006;6(3-4):135-59.
  24. Duran V, Matic M, Jovanovc M, et al. Results of the clinical examination of an ointment with marigold (Calendula officinalis) extract in the treatment of venous leg ulcers. Int J Tissue React. 2005;27(3):101-6.
  25. Fronza M, Heinzmann B, Hamburger M, Laufer S, Merfort I. Determination of the wound healing effect of Calendula extracts using the scratch assay with 3T3 fibroblasts. J Ethnopharmacol. 2009 Dec 10;126(3):463-7.
  26. Hematology/Oncology Clinics of North America. Dietary supplement use in cancer care: Help or harm. Hematology/Oncology Clinics of North America. 2008;22(4).
  27. Jimenez-Medina E, Garcia-Lora A, Paco L, Algarra I, Collado A, Garrido F. A new extract of the plant Calendula officinalis produces a dual in vitro effect: cytotoxic anti-tumor activity and lymphocyte activation. BMC Cancer. 2006;6:119.
  28. Kassab S, Cummings M, Berkovitz S, van Haselen R, Fisher P. Homeopathic medicines for adverse effects of cancer treatments. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2009 Apr 15;(2):CD004845. Review.
  29. McQuestion M. Evidence-based skin care management in radiation therapy: clinical update. Semin Oncol Nurs. 2011;27(2):e1-17.
  30. Panahi Y, Sharif MR, Sharif A, et al. A randomized comparative trial on the therapeutic efficacy of topical aloe vera and Calendula officinalis on diaper dermatitis in children. Scientific World Journal. 2012;2012:810234.
  31. Pommier P, Gomez F, Sunyach MP, D’Hombres A, Carrie C, Montbarbon X. Phase III randomized trial of Calendula officinalis compared with trolamine for the prevention of acute dermatitis during irradiation for breast cancer. J Clin Oncol. 2004 Apr 15;22(8):1447-53.
  32. Saini P, Al-Shibani N, Sun J, et al. Effects of Calendula officinalis on human gingival fibroblasts. Homeopathy. 2012;101(2):92-8.
  33. Sarrell EM, Cohen HA, Kahan E. Naturopathic treatment for ear pain in children. Pediatrics. 2003 May;111(5 Pt 1):e574-9.
  34. Sarrell EM, Mandelberg A, Cohen HA. Efficacy of naturopathic extracts in the management of ear pain associated with acute otitis media. Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med. 2001;155(7):796-799.
  35. Sharp L, Finnila K, Hohansson H, Abrahamsson M, Hatschek T, Bergenmar M. No differences between Calendula cream and aqueous cream in the prevention of acute radiation skin reactions–results from a randomised blinded trial. Eur J Oncol Nurs. 2013; 17(4):429-35.
  36. Ullman D. The Consumer’s Guide to Homeopathy. New York, NY: Penguin Putnam; 1995:254-255;334.

Mouth Breathing

Mouth Breathing

You have two air passageways to your lungs, through the nose and the mouth. Healthy people use both their nose and their mouth to breathe. Breathing through the mouth ONLY becomes necessary when you have nasal congestion due to allergies or a cold and when you are exercising strenuously it can help get oxygen to your muscles faster. Breathing through your mouth all the time or even just when sleeping can lead to health problems.

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Nasal breathing has been well documented to providing various benefits. The nose is equipped with a complex filtering mechanism which purifies the air we breathe before it enters the lungs. Breathing through the nose during expiration helps maintain lung volumes and so may indirectly determine arterial oxygenation.

Many of us are habitual mouth breathers, either in our daily life or when we are physically active or stressed out. For most of us, this habit began in childhood and not only diminishes our energy but also undermines our health and well-being.

Side Effects of Mouth Breathing

ADD/ADHD in Children: When tired children tend to overcompensate and speed up. For this reason, sleep deprivation is sometimes confused with ADHD in children. Children may also be moody, emotionally explosive, and/or aggressive as a result of sleepiness. Children with sleep problems were more likely to be inattentive, hyperactive, impulsive, and display oppositional behaviors.

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Anxiety/Panic Attacks: Mouth breathing from the upper chest triggers the sympathetic nervous system, accelerating the heart rate and increasing blood pressure, stimulating our fight or flight response, hence the link with anxiety symptoms. If you’re prone to catching every bug going, often have a sore neck and shoulders, feel tired all the time, tend to have nasal congestion or suffer from anxiety and panic attacks, breathing from the upper chest and through the mouth could be the cause.

Asthma: insufficient carbon dioxide in our blood leads to the symptoms of asthma, various other breathing disorders, and even angina, as the body struggles to maintain the correct balance of oxygen and carbon dioxide. In order to keep the right balance in someone whose carbon dioxide level is too low the body automatically tries to increase the amount of carbon dioxide in the blood by constricting the airways, swelling tissues, secreting mucus, and so on, thus making it more difficult to quickly inhale and exhale large volumes of air.

Cancer Formation: mouth breathing leads to the oxygen and carbon dioxide imbalance in the body which leads to oxidation. Cellular oxidation is the cellular damage that leads to cancer. It is caused by the imbalance of oxygen in the system for cellular use and causes damage to cells during cellular reproduction. These damaged cells reproduce into tumors or cancer.

Enamel Erosion: breathing through your mouth cause over drying of teeth, thus weakening the tooth enamel. Our saliva cleans and protects tooth enamel. If your mouth is always open the saliva evaporates.

Facial Deformities: children who mouth breathe develop crooked teeth, facial deformities, gum disease, bad breath, and poor growth. Over time, children whose mouth breathing goes untreated may suffer from abnormal facial and dental development, such as long, narrow faces and mouths, gummy smiles, gingivitis and crooked teeth. The poor sleeping habits that result from mouth breathing can adversely affect growth and academic performance. Many of these children are misdiagnosed with attention deficit disorder (ADD) and hyperactivity.

Gum Disease: mouth breathing over dries the mouth and causes damage to gum tissues, leading to gingivitis. Our saliva cleans and protects gum tissue. If your mouth is always open the saliva evaporates.

Headaches: many mouth breathers have chronic headaches, shoulder and neck pain, and chronic fatigue. The imbalance of oxygen and carbon dioxide in the blood causes the flight or fight response in the body which over time stresses the muscles and joints especially of he neck and shoulders, leading to tension headaches. It also causes over secretion of adrenal hormones which then causes adrenal fatigue, which leads to headaches and chronic fatigue.

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Hyperventilation: breathing excessively fast for the actual conditions in which we find ourselves. When we breathe through our mouth we usually inhale and exhale air quickly in large volumes, this can lead to hyperventilation. It is important to recognize that it is the amount of carbon dioxide in our blood that generally regulates our breathing. If we release carbon dioxide too quickly, the arteries and vessels carrying blood to our cells constrict and the oxygen in our blood is unable to reach the cells in sufficient quantity. This includes the carotid arteries, which carry blood (and oxygen) to the brain. The lack of sufficient oxygen going to the cells of the brain can turn on our sympathetic nervous system, our “fight or flight” response, and make us tense, anxious, irritable, and depressed.

Low Immunity: Mouth breathing makes us vulnerable to viruses and infections since the nose is essentially a sterilizing unit for anything airborne. It also means the tiny cilia, that are meant to clear away mucus, stop working properly, leading to a feeling of being “snotty” all the time.

Sleep Apnea: mouth breathing causes interruptions in breathing during sleep and dries out the tissues causing inflammation and mucous production that also interferes with breathing, especially at night while lying down.

Tooth Decay: mouth breathing dries the saliva in the mouth causing a decrease in pH (more acidic) in the mouth allowing for bacterial growth, plaque formation, and tooth decay.

How to Stop Mouth Breathing

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Now it is not easy, but it is so worth it to train yourself to use your nose as it has evolved to be used. You will feel more energized every day, have fewer colds and allergies, and will get more oxygen in and carbon dioxide out. You will also reduce your risk of developing cancer by simply getting a better balance of oxygen and carbon dioxide in the blood.

So what is the perfect breath?

It should come from the lower chest and abdomen. An adult at rest ought to have a rate of about 10 to 14 breaths a minute, and exhalation should be longer than inhalation and finish with a short pause. Most importantly, breathing should be through the nose rather than the mouth.

One of the most important reasons for nasal breathing, is due to the production of nitric oxide (NO). NO exists in the human breath, but little is known about its site of origin or enzyme source. Most NO in normal human breath derives locally from the nose where it can reach high levels during breath-holding.

This molecule, produced in mammalian cells by specific enzymes and is believed to play a vital role in many biological events including regulation of blood flow, platelet function, immunity, and neurotransmission. Although this gas is produced in minute amounts, when it is inhaled through the nose into the lungs, it will follow the airstream to the lower airways and the lungs where it aides in increasing arterial oxygen tension; hence enhancing the lungs capacity to absorb oxygen. Nitric Oxide also plays an important role in reducing high blood pressure, maintaining homeostasis, immune defense and neurotransmission.

A SIMPLE PRACTICE

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Here’s a simple, beneficial practice you can try. Over the next few days or weeks, see if you can observe and sense your breathing several times a day in the middle of your activities. Notice whether or not you are breathing through your mouth. Also notice how often you hold your breath. For some of you, mouth breathing or breath holding may be a frequent activity. For others, it may occur mainly in physically, emotionally, or mentally stressful situations. When you notice yourself breathing through your mouth or holding your breath, remind yourself to breathe through your nose and to stop holding your breath.

Simple Steps to Try

1. Practice: Breathe in through your nose and out through your mouth. What has probably stopped you from breathing correctly is not your lack of knowledge about breathing techniques. It’s more likely that you just need to be aware and to practice.

2. Clearing any nose blockage: It may seem obvious, but many people breathe through the mouth because their nose is blocked. By blowing your nose or using a nasal wash, you can clear your nasal passage of obstructions.

3. Stress Reduction: When people are stressed, their breathing is more rushed. You are more likely to use your mouth to take deep breaths during stressful situations. You may need to see a doctor or change your environment but reducing stress will help improve the way you breathe.

4. The right pillows: If you struggle with mouth breathing when you are sleeping, try changing the height of your head. Prop your head up with an extra pillow or use a thicker pillow.

5. Exercise: By exercising regularly with a regimen of a daily walk or run, you will increase your need for deep breaths; and your nose will naturally take the breathing away from your mouth.

References:

https://www.healthyplace.com/anxiety-panic/articles/the-importance-of-breathing-through-your-nose

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3805119

https://www.nopanic.org.uk/important-breathe-properly-help-anxiety

https://www.fadc.com.au/the-negative-effects-of-mouth-breathing

https://askthedentist.com/mouth-tape-better-sleep

https://www.drsamsavar.com/blog/2018/9/17/negative-effects-of-mouth-breathing

http://www.coloradoent.com/blog-7-ways-to-stop-mouth-breathing.html

https://www.webmd.com/sleep-disorders/qa/are-there-products-that-help-correct-mouth-breathing-and-decrease-nasal-congestion-to-help-with-snoring

https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/04/100406125714.htm

https://www.healthline.com/health/mouth-breathing

Buttermilk

Buttermilk (aka Chaas)

Buttermilk is a milk product or dairy ingredient which widely used in the food industry since it contains emulsifying properties and it can enhance the flavor of the food. Commercial buttermilk which we found in market is categorized as sweet buttermilk. The sweet buttermilk is a by-product from the churning process of sweet cream into butter. Buttermilk has sour characteristic taste due to the lactic acid which formed during the process of culturing by bacteria.

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You will find dried buttermilk in Mother Jai’s Mineral Milk Bath.

Nutrition Facts

Buttermilk itself is prepared by churning the curd of milk and it is considered a good after-dinner-drink especially after the consumption of heavy foods like vegetables, meats, and grains. Here is the list of nutrients in 100 g buttermilk (percent daily value are based on 2000 calories diet)

  • Energy 40kcal
  • Carbohydrates 4.8 gr
  • Fat 0.9 gr
  • Protein 3.3 gr
  • Calcium 116 mg/12% DV (Daily Value)
  • Potassium 54 mg
  • Cholesterol 10 mg
  • Magnesium 8 % DV
  • Folate 4 % DV
  • Zinc 8 % DV
  • Riboflavin 20% DV
  • Vitamin B6 4 % DV
  • Vitamin B12 10% DV
  • Vitamin A 1 % DV
  • Vitamin C 4 % DV
  • Iron 1 % DV

Health benefits of Buttermilk

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Buttermilk provides many nutrients to the body that provide multiple health benefits. It can stimulate digestion function and it also can be used to treat of many disorders including abdominal disorders.

Promote healthy digestion: Buttermilk contains probiotic which can promote healthy digestion. Buttermilk contains prebiotic which known as a substance that can enhance the growth of good bacteria inside the colon. These bacteria will keep the intestine and the digestion tract healthy and prevent it from any infection that caused by pathogen microorganism such as Helicobacter pylori. These bacteria are the common cause of stomach or gut ulcer.

Boost immune system: Not only enhance the function of digestion system, the prebiotic content of buttermilk also can promote the body immune system against infection of pathogens. Buttermilk also contains zinc, a mineral that can improve the immune system response and strengthen the immune cells together with Vitamin C.

Maintain strong bones: Calcium is a mineral that effective in maintain the bone mass and keep it strong. Buttermilk contains high level of calcium which can help keep the bone from losing its mass and maintain the bone structure.

Make a glowing skin: Buttermilk will enrich your skin with dozens of nutrients and it will make your skin glow. Buttermilk not only used in food commercial product but it also used in the cosmetic and skin care products. It contains protein, vitamin C and antioxidant that can nourish the skin and make it clearer.

Promotes healthy pregnancy: During pregnancy, mom needs more nutrients to enhance her health and promote the development of her baby. Buttermilk contains protein and other nutrient and prebiotic which can keep mother from suffering any illness or disease. It also contains folate that improve the brain and organs development of the fetus inside the womb. Taking buttermilk once a day is beneficial to both mother and baby.

Treat upset stomach: If you are feeling sick after enjoying spicy food or even bad or spoiled food, try buttermilk. Buttermilk contain protein and amino acids which can bind chemical or harmful substances within the food and protect the stomach lining from infection.

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Keeping healthy heart: Heart is one of the most vital organ of human body and it also needs to be nourished. Buttermilk contains some potassium which plays important role in maintaining normal heart beat and helps the body control blood pressure.

Lowering cholesterol: Even though buttermilk has creamy texture and taste it doesn’t contain high amounts of cholesterol. According to study, buttermilk contains milk protein globule that can bind the cholesterol and prevent it from entering the blood vessel and causing atherosclerosis. If you consume a heavy food that contains high amount of cholesterol, consuming buttermilk after eating will significantly help you to stabilize the cholesterol inside the body.

Rehydrate the body: The nutrients in buttermilk assist the body in rehydration. One half cup with sunstroke or dehydration will have you back to feeling good in no time.

Maintain normal metabolism: Metabolism is a body process to produce energy and it required the presence of some metabolic enzymes. Buttermilk contains some nutrients including Vitamin B6, Vitamin B12, and other B Vitamins that are the component of metabolic enzymes produced by the body. Without the existence of these substances, the body can’t produce the energy needed for maintaining all body cells.

Treat insomnia: Buttermilk contains magnesium that can help the body to relieve some types of sleep deprivation or sleep disorders like insomnia. Magnesium is a mineral that play important role in controlling nervous system and it help to soothe and relax the nerves within the brain. Consume buttermilk one hour before going to sleep.

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Improve healthy vision: Not only does it contain protein, fat and other nutrients, buttermilk is also complete with Vitamin A which is mostly required to keep healthy function of retina or eyes. Consuming buttermilk regularly will also help to prevent any eyes disorders like age related macular degeneration.

Treat sunburn: Buttermilk contains smoothing and calming properties that help to treat sunburns. Apply directly to sunburn or pour in bath the soothe burned skin.

Treat diarrhea: It is mentioned in a study that the milk fat content in buttermilk is effective in adding bulk to stool and loosen it so it will be easy to pass the colon. Buttermilk has been used as an Ayurvedic medication for thousands of years to treat diarrhea and other digestive problems.

Prevent anemia: Buttermilk contains iron that plays important role in the red blood cells formation and function. Without the presence of iron, the body can’t form a healthy red blood cell and it will cause poor oxygen and nutrient transport within the body which leads to anemia.

Prevent cancer: Buttermilk contains anti-inflammatory properties and provides antioxidant affects that can help prevent the development of cancer cells.

Moisturize dry hair: Buttermilk can be used in hair treatment as hair mask and it will result in a smooth and shiny hair. Just apply some buttermilk on your hair and leave it for 15 minutes. Rinse it out with warm water. The protein and other nutrients within the buttermilk will nourish your dry hair and make it supple and smooth.

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Homemade buttermilk is very easy to make and tastes excellent in pancakes and other flour-based foods. To make buttermilk at home, use the following steps.

  1. Mix 1 cup of milk with 1 cup of lemon juice. Use a milk product with a higher fat content, such as 2 percent milk, whole milk or cream.
  2. Let the milk and lemon juice mixture sit for up to 10 minutes. The milk should start to thicken and curdle.
  3. Substitute the commercial buttermilk for the homemade buttermilk in any recipe that calls for the ingredient.

Another method of making buttermilk involves churning heavy cream into solids and liquids. To use this method, blend some cream in a food processor or mixer until it separates. Strain the solids through some cheesecloth and use the strained buttermilk in any recipe that calls for the ingredient. Rinse out the solids well and set them aside. The solids create an excellent homemade butter that can keep for several weeks.

If homemade or commercial buttermilk are not available, yogurt or sour cream can make good substitutes in recipes that call for the ingredient.

References:

  1. http://food.ndtv.com/beauty/12-incredible-benefits-of-buttermilk-for-hair-and-skin-adding-chaas-to-your-beauty-regime-1679951
  2. http://www.wildturmeric.net/2015/06/buttermilk-benefits-health-skin-hair.html
  3. http://www.livestrong.com/article/411954-how-to-lighten-skin-with-milk/
  4. http://www.southernliving.com/fashion-beauty/beauty-makeup/buttermilk-your-secret-beauty-weapon
  5. https://drhealthbenefits.com/food-bevarages/processed-food/health-benefits-of-buttermilk
  6. https://www.hindawi.com/journals/isrn/2013/481651/
  7. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4815005/
  8. https://nccih.nih.gov/health/probiotics/introduction.htm
  9. http://jfoodprotection.org/doi/abs/10.4315/0022-2747-35.5.302?code=fopr-site