The flowering herb called chamomile looks like a tiny daisy with a yellow central disc surrounded by white petals. The chamomile gives off a gentle floral fragrance which is like an apple-like aroma that tends to be very relaxing. This is one of the reasons why it has been reported to have a wide range of health benefits. The health benefits of chamomile tea are popularly known worldwide and chamomile also happens to be used in aromatherapy.
What is Chamomile Tea
Chamomile is related to marigolds, daisy-like flowers, and sunflowers. Its name comes from the Greek word chamaimēlon which translates to “ground apple”. This flowering herb has been used in topical remedies and as medicinal tonics for thousands of years. In fact, the Romans used chamomile as a beverage as well as incense.
There are two main types of chamomile- Anthemis Nobilis or Roman chamomile and Matricaria chamomilla or German wild chamomile. The Roman chamomile has a sweet fragrance and appears to be fruitier. The wild or German chamomile is rather robust and has a pungent scent.
When the chamomile flower buds open, they are harvested for tea production. Depending on which climate they are grown in, they can bloom continuously for months. Though chamomile may be grown worldwide, and German chamomile often grows in the wild, Egypt and Eastern Europe lead in chamomile cultivation. After the flowers are harvested, they are dried to prolong their shelf-life. Once they are dried the white petals turn pale yellow and some even fall off the yellow head. But this is also the easiest way to recognize them.
Also read – Health Benefits of Green Tea
What are the health benefits of drinking chamomile tea?
People suffering from sleeping disorders can drink chamomile tea to help them have a sound and peaceful sleep. The health benefits of chamomile tea involve a soothing and tranquilizing effect that can enable you to fall asleep naturally. Besides this, chamomile tea can solve many other health issues you may face.
It helps in boosting your immune system
Chamomile tea can help in treating your cold and coughs. The antibacterial properties of chamomile tea help in strengthening the immune system and promote its optimal functioning. You can reduce your chances of catching colds and coughs by consuming chamomile tea regularly.
It solves digestive issues
Digestive issues such as irritable bowel syndrome or IBS, which is one of the most common gastrointestinal disorders, can be treated with chamomile tea. One of the main health benefits of chamomile tea for many years has been to treat digestive issues.
Cramping which happens in the inner lining of the stomach can be lessened with chamomile tea. This helps in releasing any unnecessary gas that causes bloating in the digestive tract. You can avoid all sorts of digestive problems by drinking chamomile tea on a regular basis.
It can treat stomach cramps
The anti-inflammatory properties of chamomile tea can help in soothing menstrual and other stomach-related cramps. The tea helps in relaxing the muscles of the uterus which provides relief from the pain. It even reduces the intensity of the muscle spasms by increasing glycine levels in the body.
It has cardiovascular benefits
Chamomile tea has strong anti-inflammatory properties and is full of anti-oxidants. These are very beneficial for keeping the heart strong and functioning in a healthy manner. The risk of coronary artery disease and heart attacks are reduced by the flavonoids contained in chamomile tea.
It can help in treating anxiety
One of the many health benefits of chamomile tea since ancient times has been for treating anxiety. This is because chamomile has a soothing and calming effect on the body which helps in soothing frazzled nerves and ultimately reducing anxiety. Drinking chamomile tea every day will help your de-stress and even rejuvenate your mind.
Is beneficial for your skin
The number of antioxidants contained in chamomile tea helps in eliminating free radicals in your body. This helps in improving your overall skin health as it destroys the bacteria causing acne and other skin issues. Drinking chamomile tea daily can even help in keeping your skin moisturized and nourished from deep within. You can use chamomile tea in homemade beauty remedies to improve and maintain your skin health.
For treating wounds and infections
The various health benefits of chamomile tea besides being used as an herbal infusion also include topical treatment of wounds and infections on the skin. All you need to do is rub a small amount of chamomile tea on scrapes and burns to help accelerate the healing process.
It helps in controlling blood sugar levels
According to studies, drinking chamomile tea has proven beneficial in keeping blood sugar levels low. Chamomile tea can greatly help people who suffer from diabetes and who always need to maintain their blood sugar levels adequately. Chamomile tea helps in regulating the glucose and insulin levels in the body thereby preventing any spikes or drops which can prove dangerous for those struggling with diabetes.
It reduces the risk of thyroid and breast cancer
The flavonoids contained in chamomile tea like apigenin are extremely potent anti-cancer compounds. Some research has shown that people who consume chamomile tea on a regular basis are much less susceptible to developing cancer. In fact, cancerous tumors can be shrunk, and thyroid diseases can be prevented by the regular consumption of chamomile tea.
The best way to prepare chamomile tea
Now that you know about most of the health benefits of chamomile tea, it would be best to know how to prepare this herbal tea to get the most out of it. Moreover, chamomile tea is a great stress reliever after you had a long hard day at work.
It makes one extremely relaxing cup of tea before going to bed and is also a popular afternoon tea because of its lovely floral flavor. Here is the best way to prepare this hot beverage:
- Use 1 to 4 tablespoons of freshly dried chamomile flowers for each cup of water
- Boil the water to a temperature of 200 degrees Fahrenheit or until it reaches its boiling point
- Steep the herb in the hot water for 3 to 5 minutes (depending on how strong you prefer your tea to be)
- Add a little honey or a similar sweetener with a splash of lemon juice to improve the flavor of the tea and there you have it a nice hot cup of fragrant chamomile tea.