Biochemistry of Relaxing effect of Chamomile?

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Hi, just curious: I have been using chamomile pretty successfully as a relaxant and sleep aid, by using compresses, so that the chamomile goes directly into the bloodstream. But, what kind of biochemistry underlies a relaxing effect, i.e., what kind of biochemical effect can a substance have to induce relaxation?
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I suggest you check out PubMed and/or PubMed Central and look for some reviews or relevant papers. The latter link will provide papers and reviews which are available to the public free of charge while the former will show papers which may or may not be behind pay walls. If you have access to journals through a library or university go with PubMed, otherwise use PMC if you want to read the full papers.
 
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Couple minutes in Wiki brings up a list of a couple dozen identified compounds in chamomile extracts with no claims that "global" assays have been done. i.e., it probably hasn't been studied in all that much detail to even make a guess.
 
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Thanks, but I am interested mostly in the bio-chemical aspects/parallels of relaxation, not only knowing the active ingredients in relaxation.
 
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Thanks, but I am interested mostly in the bio-chemical aspects/parallels of relaxation, not only knowing the active ingredients in relaxation.
Here you go.

5.13 Sleep aid/sedation
Traditionally, chamomile preparations such as tea and essential oil aromatherapy have been used to treat insomnia and to induce sedation (calming effects). Chamomile is widely regarded as a mild tranquillizer and sleep-inducer. Sedative effects may be due to the flavonoid, apigenin that binds to benzodiazepine receptors in the brain (68). Studies in preclinical models have shown anticonvulsant and CNS depressant effects respectively. Clinical trials are notable for their absence, although ten cardiac patients are reported to have immediately fallen into a deep sleep lasting for 90 minutes after drinking chamomile tea (47). Chamomile extracts exhibit benzodiazepine-like hypnotic activity (69). In another study, inhalation of the vapor of chamomile oil reduced a stress-induced increase in plasma adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH) levels. Diazepam, co-administered with the chamomile oil vapor, further reduced ACTH levels, while flumazenile, a BDZ antagonist blocked the effect of chamomile oil vapor on ACTH. According to Paladini et al. (70), the separation index (ratio between the maximal anxiolytic dose and the minimal sedative dose) for diazepam is 3 while for apigenin it is 10. Compounds, other than apigenin, present in extracts of chamomile can also bind BDZ and GABA receptors in the brain and might be responsible for some sedative effect; however, many of these compounds are as yet unidentified.
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2995283/

I think chamomile has had every imaginable benefit attributed to it at one time or another. It does nothing for me. Back in the 70's it was promoted as a hair bleaching compound. I guess some people are more sensitive than others and the power of belief can enhance any effects. If it works for you, don't worry about it.
 
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Thanks, Evo, all, have you tried using it as compresses for relaxation so that it goes directly to the bloodstream? Put some bags in room-temperature water, let the tea seep, then put the tea in towels and put your feet and back on these towels. It has worked amazingly well for me.
 
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Thanks, Evo, all, have you tried using it as compresses for relaxation so that it goes directly to the bloodstream? Put some bags in room-temperature water, let the tea seep, then put the tea in towels and put your feet and back on these towels. It has worked amazingly well for me.
I like chamomile tea for the taste, it's relaxing as a tea. Your routine sounds very relaxing, if only I could get my dogs to do this for me! :approve:
 

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