Chamomile, also referred to as “Babune ka Phal” in Hindi, is known for the many health and beauty benefits it offers. Chamomile is a daisy-like flower, a member of the “Asteraceae” plant family which is native to Asia, Australia, Europe, and North America. The beautiful chamomile flowers bloom during the early summer months which are later used to brew tea.
Chamomile tea is prepared by drying the flowers and then infusing them in hot water. The tea has a fruit-like flavor, similar to apple and, besides being delicious, it has many valuable therapeutic properties. It contains 28 terpenoids and 36 flavonoid compounds including coumarins and mucilage. Together, these properties give the little flower its healing touch.
Additionally, chamomile is also known for its anti-inflammatory, antifungal, antioxidant, anti-ulcer, antispasmodic, and astringent healing properties. Here are 11 wonderful benefits of chamomile tea that you should know:
Those who suffer from frequent colds, flu, and are prone to catching diseases should make it a habit to drink a cup or two of chamomile tea daily.
In a study conducted by the American Chemical Society’s Journal of Agriculture and Food Chemistry, it was found that the participants who drank chamomile tea five times a day for two weeks had increased antibacterial activity.
The antispasmodic and anti-inflammatory properties of chamomile make it an effective remedy for stomach cramps, gas, diarrhea, colic, indigestion, nausea, and irritable bowel syndrome. It is recommended to consume it twice a day, in the morning and evening, to relieve pressure and pain.
May improve sleep quality
Chamomile tea contains apigenin, an antioxidant that binds to certain receptors in that brain to promote sleepiness and reduce the symptoms of insomnia and other sleep disorders.
A recent study also found that those who consumed 270 mg of the chamomile extract twice daily for four weeks had 1/3 fewer nighttime awakenings. They were also found to fall asleep 15 minutes faster than those who did not consume the tea at all.
Can protect against cancer
The antioxidant properties of chamomile tea have been linked to the prevention of several types of cancers. As mentioned earlier, chamomile contains the antioxidant apigenin. Studies have shown that apigenin has been shown to fight cancer cells, especially those of the breast, digestive tract, prostate, skin, and uterus.
Helps with diabetes
Research has shown that diabetic individuals who consumed chamomile tea daily with meals had significantly lower blood sugar levels than those who drank plain water. This may be because of the anti-inflammatory properties found in chamomile which protect the pancreas against any damage. In case you didn’t know, the health of our pancreas is important as it produces insulin, the hormone responsible for controlling sugar in the blood.
Calms muscle spasms
A study conducted in England found that drinking chamomile tea daily can raise levels of glycine – a compound responsible for controlling muscle spasms. Moreover, research also claims that drinking chamomile tea helps relieve menstrual cramps as well.
Promotes healthy skin
Reduces headaches associated with a migraine
Chamomile tea also helps reduce headaches linked with a migraine. The key is to drink the tea as soon as you feel a headache approaching as the healing properties of the daisy-like flower will mitigate the symptoms before it gets worse.
Treats cuts and wounds
Chamomile can also be used topically for wounds, cuts, and burns. The Greeks, Romans, and Egyptians used a poultice made from chamomile to expedite the healing of a wound.
In a recent study, rats that were given chamomile flavored water healed faster than those who were given the elixir. This is because the chamomile plant has anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and anti-inflammatory properties that work well for burns and wounds.
Lightens and soothes dark circles
If you dislike the tired look on your face because of the bags under your eyes, you may want to try chamomile tea. The tea is beneficial in reducing inflammation and tightens skin – leaving the skin looking refreshed.
Simply dip two tea bags in warm water for five minutes. Once they cool down, place them on your eyes for a soothing compress.
Reduces stress and refreshes the mind
Most importantly, a cup of warm chamomile tea can perk you up almost instantly and allows you to perform daily tasks with enhanced focus. In several studies, participants who underwent brain tests showed that those who drank chamomile tea had increased levels of concentration, focus, relaxation, and clarity of mind when compared to green and black tea drinkers.
Dietician Anshul Jaibharat also believes in the benefits of chamomile tea and says, “Chamomile tea is a gentle relaxant and acts as an effective natural sedative, thereby reducing stress significantly.”
Are there any adverse side effects of drinking chamomile tea?
Generally, the consumption of chamomile tea is found to be safe and well-tolerated by most people. However, chamomile allergies, though relatively uncommon, do happen and those who are allergic to the plant variety of the Asteraceae should not consume it.
Additionally, the safety of chamomile tea in young children, pregnant or nursing women, and people with kidney or liver disease have not been established yet and, therefore, should not be used by individuals who fall under these categories.
Nevertheless, there haven’t been any reports of life-threatening conditions from the use of chamomile tea.
All in all, chamomile tea is a healthy beverage. It is generally safe to drink and most people have it on a regular basis to enjoy its many health benefits. If you are also looking to explore the benefits of chamomile tea, then it is definitely worth brewing a cup to experience its effects.