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Wednesday, 28 May 2014

Herbal Chamomile and Insomnia

Chamomile is also known as camomile, common name of many species daisy-like plants in the family Asteraceae. The herb has been used in traditional medicine as antispasmodic and anti-inflammatory constituents and to treat menstrual cramps and sleep disorders, reduce cramping and spastic pain in the bowels, relieve excessive gas and bloating in the intestine, etc.

Ingredients
Guaianolides matricarin and achillin, acetoxyachillin and leucodin (= desacetoxymatricarin), corresponding C-11 stereoisomers(a),(Z)-2-β-d-glucopyranosyloxy-4-methoxycinnamic acid (cis-GMCA), chlorogenic acid, (E)-2-β-d-glucopyranosyloxy-4-methoxycinnamic acid (trans-GMCA), quercetagetin-7-O-β-d-glucopyranoside, luteolin-7-O-β-d-glucoside, apigenin-7-O-β-d-glucoside, chamaemeloside, apigenin 7-O-(6″-O-acetyl-β-d-glucopyranoside), apigenin] and one polyacetylene (tonghaosu)(b).

Insomnia is a sign and symptom of sleep disorder and defined as a condition in which a person has a difficulty falling asleep and/or staying asleep or sleep of poor quality that can lead to substantial impairments in the quality of life and functional capacity of an individual. Most adults have experienced insomnia sometimes in their life. According to statistic, more than 30% of the population suffers from insomnia, one in three people suffer from some form of insomnia during their lifetime and women suffer from insomnia more often than men.

Chamomile, is one of most popular herb used for sleep disorders in herbal medicine. According to the Dr. Srivastava JK and research team at the Case Western Reserve University, many different preparations of the herb have been developed, the most popular of which is in the form of herbal tea consumed more than one million cups per day(1).
 In a standardized chamomile extract for chronic primary insomnia study, in adults with chronic primary  insomnia, the herb showed a modest benefits of daytime functioning and mixed benefits on sleep diary(2). According to DR. Wheatley D., the anxiolytic or sedative properties of chamomile chamomile, Ylang-Ylang) would appear to improve sleep, but how practical a form of treatment this may be remains to be determined(3).
But in the assessing the benefits of chamomile in sleep time (TST), sleep efficiency, sleep latency, wake after sleep onset (WASO), sleep quality, and number of awakenings, researchers at the1University of Michigan, indicated that it may be the modest advantage on daytime functioning, but did not reach statistical significance(4).


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References
(a) Guaianolides and volatile compounds in chamomile tea by Tschiggerl C1, Bucar F.(PubMed)
(b) Quantitative determination of phenolic compounds by UHPLC-UV-MS and use of partial least-square discriminant analysis to differentiate chemo-types of Chamomile/Chrysanthemum flower heads by Avula B1, Wang YH, Wang M, Avonto C, Zhao J, Smillie TJ, Rua D, Khan IA.(PubMed)
(1a) Anxiety disorder(Canadian mental health association)
(1) Chamomile: A herbal medicine of the past with bright future by Srivastava JK1, Shankar E, Gupta S.(PubMed)(2) Preliminary examination of the efficacy and safety of a standardized chamomile extract for chronic primary insomnia: a randomized placebo-controlled pilot study by Zick SM1, Wright BD, Sen A, Arnedt JT.(PubMed)
(3) Medicinal plants for insomnia: a review of their pharmacology, efficacy and tolerability. by Wheatley D.(PubMed)
(4) Preliminary examination of the efficacy and safety of a standardized chamomile extract for chronic primary insomnia: a randomized placebo-controlled pilot study by Zick SM1, Wright BD, Sen A, Arnedt JT.(PubMed)