Research indicates that apigenin, an antianxiety agent found in the chamomile flower, binds to the same receptors in the brain as prescription sedatives. But chamomile calms more than the mind—it's also effective at relaxing the gastrointestinal tract to ease gas and indigestion, thanks to bisabolol, an antispasmodic, as well as to glycine, which may help relax the uterus. Also, regular chamomile tea drinkers have elevated levels of hippurate, an antibacterial compound that can help fight infections brought on by colds.
Choose It & Use It
Buy fresh chamomile flowers (they're edible) at the farmers' market, or dried German chamomile in the bulk spice or tea section of natural food stores. Fortea, steep chamomile 10 minutes to bring out flavors.