Chamomile is an herb (Matricaria chamomilla) that grows in temperate areas in Europe, Asia, North America and Australia. It often grows in areas with open soil, like cultivated fields, so it’s often considered as a weed. It bears daisy-like flowers with apple-like scent, in which petals are used to make chamomile tea.
The use of chamomile for ceremonial and medicinal uses date back thousands of years in regions where it grows. Ancient Egyptians used chamomile flowers in ceremonies to honor their deities and royalties, as an ingredient for embalming the dead and as medicine to cure the sick. In the days of Roman Empire, chamomile is used to flavor beverages and to make incense.
Historically, chamomile is used to promote sleep, ease anxiety and to hasten recovery of bedridden people due to various illnesses tweet this quote Today, there is renewed interest on the medicinal properties of chamomile as research is slowly uncovering its effects on the body.
Ease Anxiety with Chamomile tea
Before anxiolytics became available, chamomile tea is used to ease anxiety. Animal studies show that chamomile tea is effective against anxiety in animal models. Another clinical trial showed that chamomile extracts are beneficial for people with Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD). Chamomile is often used in various calm drinks.
For inflammation and viral infections
It is also shown in experiments that chamomile can help relieve inflammation because its extracts can protect cells against oxygen radicals. It is also effective against viral infections, most especially against viruses that cause herpes.
For digestive disorders
Chamomile tea is a good remedy for stomach cramps and irritable bowel syndrome. It can help soothe rapid stomach cramps that cause sore stomach and erratic bowel movements in irritable bowel syndrome.
For high blood sugar
People who have high blood sugar levels may benefit from the glucose-lowering levels of chamomile tea. Symptoms of high blood sugar include frequent, pronounced hunger and thirst, blurred vision and poor healing of wounds.
Chamomile tea and wound healing
Regular intake of chamomile tea can help heal wounds more quickly. In an experiment, animals fed with chamomile extracts had faster wound healing.
Pregnant and nursing mothers are not recommended to drink chamomile tea on a regular basis because it contains Coumarin that reduces the blood’s ability to form clots.
People with bleeding tendencies or taking drugs such as aspirin, Coumadin and ibuprofen are not allowed to drink chamomile tea at any time.
People who are allergic to it and its related cousin ragweed are also not recommended to drink chamomile tea because of the risk of intense allergic reaction.
Chamomile tea may cause sedation, so it is not recommended for people who are driving or operating heavy machinery.
Preparing chamomile tea
This herbal tea is relatively easy to prepare. It can be prepared from slightly dried chamomile blossoms. Tea bag forms are also available and can be used. It can be distinguished by its apple-like scent.
To prepare tea, use two tablespoons of chamomile petals per cup. Then add freshly boiled water, cover to prevent escape of volatile oils, and let steep for 10 minutes. Before drinking, gently crush petals on the side of the cup.