What Is Chamomile

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.

 

Contraindications

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.

 

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20 comments to What Is Chamomile

  • Chad

    Albert, thank you for posting that comment, I never thought about the fact that raising your body temperature before bed was a bad thing when trying to sleep. If that is the case why do people give babies warm milk and a warm bath before putting them to bed? I would think that being warm would help your body sleep. Now being cool on the surface would e better I think as well.

  • Mary

    I love tea and any herbal tea that is out that has an added benefit I will try just to see if it works. Unfortunately I read that if you are allergic to Ragweed you shouldn’t use Chamomile because they are very similar. Is there anything out there that gives you the same benefits as the Chamomile that isn’t related to a weed?

    • Charles

      Perhaps you could try rooibos, either fermented or green.It has calming properties,, helps with allergies, and is calming to skin conditions as well as boosting the immune system. Green rooibos tastes better than the unfermented variety, as well as being better for you. I hope this helps.

  • Albert

    I want to try drinking a cup of Chamomile tea before going to sleep to see if it can help me sleep longer. My problem is that I tend to sleep for only 2 or 3 hours at most. This results in my having to take a nap later in the day just so I get enough sleep. I also don’t want to drink a cup of hot tea is that it would raise your body temperature and this is apparently not conducive to sleep.

  • Eric

    I have been hearing a lot of buzz about Chamomile tea. It is interesting that it is considered a weed. Some of the more medicinal herbs are considered weeds, such as pine needles – they make for a vitamin C rich tea when boiled. I learned a lot more about this tea after reading this article. I did not realize it has such soothing effects for so many maladies. What a wonderful gift of mother nature.

  • Jacqueline

    Oh boy heed that warning at the bottom about being allergic, I didn’t and found out the hard way about it. Ragweed is something that is common for people to be allergic to, but I had no idea that it was a relative to Chamomile. Thank you for this article I will show this to all my tea drinking buddies, because just like me I am sure they didn’t know either.

  • William

    I had heard all of the good things about Chamomile before so I decided I would try it, however that was before I had heard about the allergy if you are allergic to ragweed, which I am. That was a very unpleasant time and I highly recommend to everyone that they take that into strong consideration before drinking this tea. Other than that I am sure it is great for all the things listed.

  • John

    I have heard so much about the health benefits of this type of tea. The famous Pop star, Gwen Stephanie, even used chamomile tea in the hook to one of her hit songs (look it up: “I’m just sipping on Chamomile, if you want to know which song). I also read that it can help you relax at night and that having a cup can help you go to sleep. Which teas boost your energy?

  • sakinelfachn

    My girlfriend’s mother always gives me chamomile tea anytime I’m in their home. It does smell great but the taste is somewhat various, although I cannot say it is distasteful. Maybe her mother was getting second thoughts about me that she always provides me chamomile tea each time?

  • Christopher Ruane

    The comments on this article are very incredible! I’d wish to try chamomile tea now!

  • masteven

    I would highly suggest chamomile tea! I am an avid drinker of chamomile tea for nearly two years, and I never knew that it benefits the body until I read this article.

  • Richard

    I’m not a tea lover or enthusiast, but when I tried chamomile tea in the afternoon, it resolved symptoms of my generalized anxiousness disorder (I am not fairly sure I have it, but I do encounter its signs and symptoms). So I usually drunk chamomile tea.

  • sturbeedno

    I’m an avid fan of chamomile tea, particularly when heavily laced with honey! It’s my luscious dessert at every meal. I even eat the macerated petals, believe me they’re edible!

  • slensergon

    I have my own story about chamomile tea. Whenever I was down with sore throat, my mother would usually give me chamomile tea with honey three occasions daily and the soreness would surely be gone the following day.

  • Brian

    I’m not a fan of herbal teas, but my sister purchased chamomile tea bags and decided to try 1. It tends to make me feel sleepy so I take care not to drink it within the mornings or prior to driving.

  • Dan

    Good and interesting article, but does it really work?

  • Susan

    In our nation (I’m from Egypt), we frequently drink chamomile tea as a remedy for stomach problems and anxiety, frequently with out any sugar or honey, and it functions!

  • David

    Thanks for this short article! Because I was diagnosed with type two diabetes a year ago, I’ve been trying herbal tea to assist lower my blood glucose levels. I will definitely attempt chamomile tea!

  • wynselubiran

    I was introduced to herbal tea by a buddy, and my first is chamomile tea. It is a great choice simply because it is fragrant and relaxing to drink, so I usually have 1 at night. I generally soak dried petals for ten minutes or more to extract more flavors.

  • Kevin

    Chamomile tea is great not just for drinking but also for bath! I will share a tip: heat five teabags to create a liter of chamomile tea while fill the tub with warm water and suds. Pour the tea in to the hot tub and soak in! It’s a really relaxing and good way to bust out weekly tension!

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