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Chamomile Tea Lowers Thyroid Cancer Risk: Study

The tiny, daisy-like flowers from the chamomile plant have long been valued for their medicinal properties. At least as far back as Roman times, chamomile was used in teas and extracts to promote relaxation and restful sleep as well as to support the health of the digestive system. Topically, it was used to even skin tones and to bring out highlights in blonde or light-colored hair. It is a popular treatment for the conditions mentioned above even today. However, apparently the healing power of chamomile goes far beyond promoting digestive function and sound sleep. Modern research is also discovering that the bio-active compounds in these tiny, sweet-smelling flowers can also help to reduce the chances of thyroid cancer. While this form of cancer can often be treated successfully with either surgery or radioactive iodine treatment (or both), it is even better to prevent it in the first place! Let’s look at the research.

The new study

The study that has everyone talking is one that was recently published in the European Journal of Public Health. Three groups of volunteers were studied for this research: The first was a group of 113 thyroid cancer patients who were compared to another group of 138 cancer-free patients and 286 patients who have a history of benign thyroid disease. All three groups received detailed questionnaires so that researchers could determine such factors as their daily dietary habits, overall medical history, general lifestyle and beverage consumption (including the consumption of coffee and tea).

The results

What the researchers found was that those who consumed the highest amounts of chamomile tea had the lowest chances of developing thyroid cancer. And the percentage was significant: A person consuming 2-6 cups of chamomile tea on a weekly basis has a whopping 70 percent less chance of thyroid cancer development; if this practice had been going on for 30 years or longer, they were 80 percent less likely to suffer from the onset of this disease.

Reactions of the researchers

Researchers working on this study noted that while many studies have been done to study in the effects of green or black tea consumption and its relationship to disease development, no studies have looked at the same effects for different kinds of herbal teas. They noted that “our study suggests, for the first time, that consumption of chamomile tea is linked to a lower incidence of thyroid cancer as well as other benign thyroid diseases”. They believe that this correlation between chamomile tea consumption and reduced thyroid cancer risk is due to one of the compounds in chamomile called apigenin, which has clinically proven anti-cancer properties.

In short, this research is important because it identifies the consumption of herbal teas to be a healthy behavior akin to that of consuming green tea on a regular basis. It is also the first proof clinicians have of chamomile’s ability to fight off thyroid cancer rather than being used solely for insomnia or digestive complaints. Hopefully, more research like this will be done in the future to determine the healthful effects of other herbal teas as well.

Article originally posted on Natural News.

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