It was a reader’s question that reminded me of Chamomile tea again. Chamomile frequents the lips of herbalists and nature lovers but is not very familiar to the layman. At times, it makes me wonder why chamomile is not as popular as lavender.
Chamomile was born in the daisy family. Chamomile is not a single plant but a variety of flowering plants and, the chamomile (German Chamomile) which we use to make herbal infusions are of the family Asteraceae botanically called, Matricaria recutita.
For centuries, chamomile tea is being used as natural ayurvedic remedies for many bodily ailments out of which stress and anxiety are the most common ones. When the much awaited sleep suffers at the hand of stress, chamomile comes to your aid. Drinking a cup of chamomile tea half an hour before bed time ensures restful sleep at night. Here are some more uses of chamomile.
Health Benefits of Chamomile Tea
- If IBS worries you more than worry itself, try chamomile tea! Stress is primarily responsible for psychosomatic illnesses like IBS. In IBS, chamomile tea can take care of pains, cramps, nausea, excessive gas and bloating in the intestines and, insomnia as well. In all, it heals the body and calms the mind.
- Chamomile tea is also good in the care of digestive ailments. It is antispasmodic and anti-inflammatory.
- Works great as natural ayurvedic remedies for motion sickness. Sip mild chamomile tea before or during travel.
- It makes a good gargle against mouth sores.
- You can also use chamomile tea as a foot soak.
- It can help with the monthly hassles in women including cramps and PMS. However, pregnant women or those trying to conceive should NOT take chamomile.
- Don’t throw the used chamomile tea bags. You can use these for tired eyes. Alternatively, apply a cotton pad soaked in cold chamomile tea for dark circle removal.
- Like lavender, chamomile can soothe migraine headaches in many. Take chamomile during a trigger and see if it works for you.
- Chamomile are good natural ayurvedic remedies to cleanse the body with its antioxidant benefits. Cold, stuffy nose and sinusitis is highly relieved with chamomile. If you suffer from cold, take warm fluids and make a herbal tea with chamomile, ginger and honey.
- Arthritic pains can be helped with this anti inflammatory herb.
How to Make Chamomile Tea
Chamomile tea can be made with the herb alone or as an infusion with other herbs or just green tea. Add 2-3 tsps dried German Chamomile flowers per cup in to a hot cup of water. Allow the essence to steep in. Enjoy it with honey. You may also add in your favourite herbs like cardamom, cinnamon etc.
Chamomile or Green Tea, Which Is Better?
Both are soothing and are rich in antioxidants. One has caffeine that energizes while the other promotes sleep. If you want a nervine go for chamomile and when you need a shot of antioxidants that help metabolism choose green tea.
It is to be remembered that even nectar in excess is poison. High doses of chamomile can present as skin rashes,vomiting and other allergic reactions.