Chamomile, meaning ‘ground apple,’ has been imbibed for centuries in the Roman Empire, during Egyptian rule, and in ancient Greece. Prized for its special flavanoids, chrysin, chamomile (Matricaria recutita, or Matricaria chamomilla) offers numerous health-boosting benefits. Here are 9 amazing health benefits of chamomile tea that every foodie should know about.
- 1. Treats Cuts and Wounds – Chamomile tea was used by the Greeks, Romans, and Egyptians as a salve for wounds to expedite healing. In a recent study, rats given chamomile flavored water healed faster than those who were not given the elixir. It worked especially well for burn wounds. This is because Matricaria chamomilla has anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial and antioxidant effects.
- 2. Helps with Diabetes – Some research has shown that chamomile can help those suffering from diabetes. It also helps with hyperglycemia.
- 3. Antibacterial – The antibacterial effects of drinking chamomile tea can help to prevent and treat colds while protecting against bacterial-related illness and infection.
- 4. Calms Muscle Spasms – One study from England found that drinking chamomile tea raised urine levels of glycine, a compound that calms muscle spasms. Researchers believe this is why chamomile tea could prove to be an effective home remedy for menstrual cramps as well.
- 5. Soothes Stomach Ache – Further adding onto chamomile benefits, the herb is a wonderful for soothing an upset stomach. Helping to soothe and relaxe the muscles and lining of the intestines, chamomile can help with poor digestion and even those suffering from irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).
- 6. Promotes Sleep – Drinking chamomile tea soothes the nervous system so that you can sleep better. It has been used as a solution for insomnia for centuries.
- 7. Natural Hemorrhoid Treatment – Chamomile ointment can help to relieve hemorrhoids.
- 8. Fights Cancer – It’s very likely that chamomile tea can help reduce cancerous cells, although research is still ongoing to see exactly how chamomile reverses abnormal cellular growth.
- 9. Promotes Healthy Skin – With it’s anti-inflammatory and anti-septic properties, chamomile helps in clearing up skin irritations such as eczema, acne, and allergies.
Chamomile is known as a ‘tisane’ is any non-caffeinated herbal concoction made by pouring hot water over the leaves, stems, and roots of plants. You can make your own chamomile tea with other plants like lavender or tulsi to vary the flavor, or drink it alone.
There are many applications for dried chamomile including tinctures and essential oils though the easiest and most often used is an infusion or tea. For stomach ailments, muscle spasms, and help in falling asleep, use about one tablespoon of dried herb per cup of water. Pour boiling water over the herbs and allow to steep for about 5 minutes. Strain and enjoy.
Christina Sarich is a humanitarian and freelance writer helping you to Wake up Your Sleepy Little Head, and See the Big Picture. Her blog is Yoga for the New World. Her latest book is Pharma Sutra: Healing the Body And Mind Through the Art of Yoga.