Daily News: Nutrition

Chamomile Has a Life-saving Secret: the Power of Apigenin

Tulsa World

06-18-12

Dear Pharmacist: Recently, you wrote about the medicinal action of herbal teas, and got my attention. I have serious health concerns like diabetes, hypertension, pancreatitis and insomnia. - J.Y., Gainesville, Fla.

As far as tea goes, chamomile is perfect. I've emailed you a free copy of my ebook "Understanding Pancreatitis & Pancreatic Cancer." Researchers report that drinking chamomile tea daily helps prevent complications of diabetes, such as loss of vision, nerve damage and kidney damage.

After reading a study about chamomile's benefits to those with diabetes, I theorized that it must have other benefits for the pancreas. Lo and behold, I found numerous studies discussing apigenin and its ability to inhibits growth of pancreatic cancer cells through various mechanisms. Apigenin is a citrus bioflavonoid compound found in chamomile (and other fruits/vegetables) that gives it a yellow color, and as well as that familiar sedative effect. And apigenin appears to inhibit pancreatic cancer!

Apigenin found in chamomile suppresses pancreatic cancer growth through suppression of "cyclin B-associated cdc2 activity" and "G2/ M arrest," according to the study published in Molecular Cancer December 2006. To spare confusion, apigenin is a compound found in chamomile; it's not a drug. You can get apigenin by purchasing it as a supplement. Another way is to drink chamomile, or take supplements of chamomile.

There are very few warnings associated with the lovely centuries- old flower, but being a natural sedative, chamomile could enhance the effect of prescribed tranquilizers, anti-anxiety medications and prescribed sleepers (alprazolam, diazepam, zolpidem) or dietary supplements/herbs such as kava kava, passionflower, GABA. High-dose supplementation could enhance the effect of anti-seizure medications (necessitating the need to lower drug dosage). Teas are weaker than supplements, make your own by steeping one tablespoon of chamomile herb in hot water for 15 minutes.

info@dearpharmacist.com

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