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Chamomile Tea

Chamomile Tea

Chamomile tea is a herbal beverage that has been consumed since various centuries. Dating back to the Ancient Egyptian era, this herbal tea is widely known for its relaxant properties and often consumed before going to bed.
Priya Johnson
Last Updated: Apr 22, 2018
Chamomile tea, a popular herbal tea is widely treasured not only for its sweet, apple-like fragrance and flavor, but also for its medicinal and curative properties. It is known to cure a number of ailments and has a reputation of being safe and effective.

History of Chamomile Tea

The origins of Chamomile tea can be traced back to Ancient Egypt, where the people associated this herb with their Sun God, Ra, and thereby presented it as an offering to their God. The people also used this herb to embalm the dead and cure the sick. The early Romans are known to have consumed this tea in the form of a beverage and even used it as incense.

Further, the ancient Greeks are known to have used this tea for curative purposes such as curing sunstroke, colic, and fever. In the 1600s, this herb was used for treating insomnia, nervousness, rheumatism, and back pain. This herb was also known as the Plant's Physician, because it was observed that if this herb was planted beside any dying plant, the dying plant would recover within a week's time and continue growing normally.

Chamomile Flower

The word 'Chamomile' comes from the Greek word 'kamai melon' which means 'ground apple', as the rich golden blossoms of the plant smell like freshly cut apples. The white daisy-like flowers (with yellow in the center) of the plant is what is used, and its remarkable apple-like fragrance is what gives the aromatic flavor when consumed as tea. Chamomiles are grown across the world, however, the finest Chamomile flowers are the ones cultivated in the Nile River Valley of Egypt. These flowers are edible and can even be consumed as salads or prepared as cold or warm beverages.

Types of Chamomile Tea

The two main types are Roman Chamomile tea and German Chamomile tea. Roman tea does not stem from Rome, instead, is native to Western Europe and North Africa. It got its name in the 19th century when a botanist came across some Chamomile plants growing in the Roman Coliseum. On the other hand, German tea is native to Western Asia and was even used to make beer at one point of time. Today, the Roman variety is mostly available in Britain, whereas the rest of the world has access to the German variety.

Health Benefits

Chamomile tea has been consumed over the centuries as a healing beverage that has the power to cure any ailment. Its medicinal properties are vast and it is usually consumed before going to bed. Some of the health benefits of consuming this tea are:

Relaxation and Sleep Inducer: The tryptophan present in the flower is an effective sleep inducer, which is why many people have this tea before going to bed. In hospitals, this tea is given to patients to calm them down and keep them relaxed. It is also used to fight insomnia, depression, and anxiety.

Muscle Relaxant: Ancient Egyptians used to ingest this tea in order to soothe menstrual cramps. Researchers believe that this tea increases the levels of glycine in urine, which in turn reduces muscle spasms, thus relieving the person of cramps. Overall, this tea reduces muscle contractions throughout the body, except the uterus, where the contractions are stimulated. Thus, it is quite effective in treating stomach cramps and upset stomachs.

Fever and Colds: Inhaling the vapors of this tea helps reduce congestion in the nose and lungs. Mild tea is given periodically to people having cold, sore throats, and body pain.

Cosmetic Uses: Blond hair when rinsed in Chamomile tea gets brightened naturally. If mixed with henna and then applied, natural highlights are formed in dark hair. This tea is also popularly used to reduce acne and skin allergies. It also acts as a moisturizer for dry skin.

Effective Remedy for Skin Ailments: Applying cooled Chamomile tea on a clean dressing will help soothe burns. For sensitive skin, Chamomile tea and powdered milk can be used in the form of an exfoliating paste. Skin irritations and allergies can also be cured by consuming this tea. Since this herb has antifungal properties, it can be used to treat fungal infections by dipping a ball of cotton in the tea and applying it on the infected area. Adding this tea into a hot bath helps soothe dry skin.

Side Effects of Chamomile Tea

Make sure you are not allergic to Chamomile tea. It is a member of the ragweed family, so if you are allergic to ragweeds, strictly refrain from consuming this tea. Pregnant and breast-feeding women are advised not to consume this beverage. Further, even asthma patients are advised to stay away from it. Since Chamomile has blood-thinning properties, people on blood thinners such as Coumadin and Warfarin should not consume this tea.

Chamomile Tea Preparation

Preparing Chamomile tea is extremely easy. All you have to do is boil some water in a pot and then add some Chamomile flowers (2-3 spoons per cup) into the boiling water. Place a lid on the pot and boil for half a minute. Remove the pot from the stove and leave it for a minute. Next, pour the tea (use a sieve) into a cup, add lemon juice, and honey to taste and sip away! If you are using tea bags, use one bag per cup, and keep it in the cup for some time.

Researchers are working on the health benefits of this tea, and are conducting various experiments to find out if it can help fight diabetes. Wouldn't it be great to fight diabetes with tea? Let's hope the results are positive!

Disclaimer: This NutriNeat article is for informative purposes only, and should not be used as a replacement for expert medical advice.