Chamomile herbs are pretty, little daisy-like flowers which have been traditionally used as therapeutic herbs for centuries.
The herb belongs to the Asteraceae (daisy) family of flowering plants, which emit apple-like aroma. Flowers handpicked particularly during early morning hours for making herbal tea.
It has a slightly aromatic and bitter taste. Chamomile is generally used by alternative medicine practitioners to solve sleep problems.
The word chamomile was formed from two Greek words—“khamai” which means on the ground and “melon” which means apple. These flowers grow low on the ground and have an apple-like smell. They have mythological significance in some countries like Egypt and Germany.
Chamomile Tea Nutrition
There are several varieties of chamomile grown naturally in the wild, under temperate climates of Northern Hemisphere. However, the two most popular varieties are cultivated for their flowers and other herbal parts are German Chamomile (Matricaria chamomilla) and Roman Chamomile (Chamaemelum nobile).
Chamomile tea is naturally caffeine free. According to researchers, a cup of chamomile tea contains only two calories and half a gram carbohydrates. It also contains small amounts of calcium, magnesium, potassium, fluoride, folate and vitamin A, plus traces of several other nutrients.
Benefits of Chamomile Tea
1. Boosts immune system
Regular consumption chamomile tea boosts antibacterial compounds in the body and increases hippurate levels. Hippurate helps stimulate the immune system as it fights harmful bacteria in the body. This tea also helps with common colds or other viral infections.
2. Has cardiovascular benefits
Chamomile tea is rich in antioxidants, and has anti-inflammatory properties as well, which can prove very beneficial in keeping the heart strong and functioning in a healthy manner. Chamomile tea contains flavonoids which have been proven to help reduce risks of coronary artery diseases and heart attacks.
3. Reduces stress
Today’s busy, chaotic world leaves us feeling increasingly anxious and stressed. According to Dietician Anshul Jaibharat, “Chamomile tea is a gentle relaxant and acts as an effective natural sedative, thereby reducing stress.”
4. Improves sleep
Many people rely on the relaxing effects of chamomile tea blends and tisanes to help them sleep. The simple act of sipping a hot cup of tea is generally calming, and folk medicine has long used chamomile for its ability to soothe the body into a state of restfulness. A caffeine-free tisane such as chamomile “tea” isn’t habit-forming and can be used as often as necessary to promote restful nights.
5. Cancer treatment and prevention
Some studies suggest that chamomile tea may target cancer cells, or even prevent those cells from developing in the first place. However, research so far is inconclusive, and scientists say more work is needed to prove chamomile’s anti-cancer claims. Also, most research has looked at clinical models in animals, not humans.
6. Improves skin and hair
Chamomile extract can be applied topically on wounds as it has anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties. It can be used to clean the face and hair by applying it on the skin and scalp.
7. Treats sunburn
The harmful ultraviolet (UV) rays of the sun can cause various problems for your skin. Chamomile tea is known for its antioxidant, soothing and anti-inflammatory properties. You can brew the tea, chill it thoroughly, soak a towel in it and then apply to the sunburned area.
What is Chamomile Tea?
Chamomile Tea is likely one of the most soothing you will sip. This naturally caffeine-free herb boasts refreshingly sweet yet relaxing and grounding herbal and fruit notes. And it brews into a light gold color, like soft sunshine.s, dating back thousands of years, at least to ancient Egyptian times. The daisy-like flowering plant comes from the Asteraceae family of plants (which also includes sunflowers, Echinacea and marigold) and is most famously known as a relaxing herb. Even Peter Rabbit’s mother used the herb, sending the mischievous young bunny to bed with a cup of chamomile tea when he returns home after narrowly escaping from Mr. McGregor’s garden.
Chamomile Tea Side Effects
In case of Allergy – If you are allergic to plants related to the daisy family (especially chamomile, ragweed, daisies, marigold and, chrysanthemums plants), chamomile tea can trigger an allergic reaction. It can cause anaphylactic shocks (severe allergic responses), skin reactions and many more.
During pregnancy – Chamomile tea is not safe during any stage of pregnancy because of its powerful anti-inflammatory properties. Drinking chamomile tea during pregnancy has the potential of miscarriage. It is not recommended during breastfeeding either.
Pregnant women are advised to consult their doctors before consuming any type of herb during pregnancy.
While using blood-thinning medications – If you take blood-thinning medications, you should avoid drinking chamomile tea. It’s because chamomile tea has blood-thinning properties. Chamomile tea, when combined with anticoagulant drugs, may cause internal bleeding.
Prior Surgery – Chamomile tea may interact with anesthetic drugs (a drug that induces insensitivity to pain). That’s why it is advised not to use chamomile at least 2 weeks before surgery.
When to take medical advice
If you are taking medications for the following conditions, you should consult your doctor before you drink chamomile tea.
- Infection such as malaria, tuberculosis
- asthma or allergies
- any heart condition
- psychiatric disorder
- erectile dysfunction
- migraine headaches
Some people may have an allergic reaction because of chamomile tea. If you have hives, swelling of your face or throat and difficulty in breathing, you should seek medical help immediately.