A Flower’s Secret. Health Benefits of Chamomile Tea - Rivertea Blog
Chamomile has been used as a medicine for thousands of years, dating back to the ancient Egyptians, Romans, and Greeks. Discover the health benefits of chamomile and how to use this wonderful infusion to your advantage.
Chamomile also known as “camomile” is a common name used to describe several plants which are part of the daisy flowers family. There are two main varieties of chamomile used for infusing, German chamomile known as Matricaria Recutita, a member of the sunflower family and Roman chamomile, otherwise known as Chamaemelum Nobile. These plants are famous for their use in medicinal infusions and tisanes, which are commonly consumed for their relaxing effects. The infusion becomes even better when served with honey or lemon or even both.
Chamomile naturally grows in Southern Europe and Northern Asia. The plant makes a round and branched stem which grows one to two feet in height. Its leaves are pale green and the flower heads consist of yellow disk surrounded by white petals. The medicinal part of the plant is the flower, which is used to prepare infusions.
Due to its chemical composition which consists of amino-acids, antioxidants, flavonoids, volatile oils and vitamin B complex, chamomile infusions help rejuvenate the texture of hair and skin. What is more, the tisanes can also be used as a sedative especially for babies and children. It is really helpful in colds, colitis or other stomach troubles. It is also recommended for nerves or menstrual cramps.
Chamomile is recognized by the doctors, especially in France and Spain, as an important medicine for the young, especially small children.
Chamomile tea and Insomnia
The University of Maryland Medical Center from USA confirms that chamomile is mostly used by Americans as a natural aid for both sleeplessness and anxiety. It seems that drinking 3 to 4 cups of these amazing, medicinal tisanes makes wonders when it comes to the nervous system. The plant’s efficiency on humans is still researched, while animal studies confirm that small quantities of chamomile is helpful for anxiety and larger quantities are useful as sleep aids.
Chamomile tea and Skin Issues
Both oral and topical use of chamomile tea is considered helpful for skin problems such as eczema, dermatitis and diaper rash. Chamomile is often used topically in a cream or ointment to soothe irritated skin, especially in Europe. Chamomile is also believed to be useful for people who suffer from psoriasis and acne. Before starting a chamomile based natural treatment make sure you aren’t allergic to any of its compounds.
Chamomile Tea, an Immunity Booster
An American study published in“Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry” in 2005, concluded that people who consume daily 5 cups of chamomile tea for at least 2 weeks show an increased level of hippurate, a chemical compound known for boosting one’s immunity by fighting with bacteria. The hippurate compound in chamomile tea can also be the key into explaining why chamomile infusions are effective in treating colds.
Chamomile Tea and Menstrual Cramps
Ancient Egyptians used chamomile tisanes to soothe menstrual cramps. For the same study in 2005 I previously mentioned, scientists also discovered another chemical compound besides hippurate, glycine, a chemical compound that relieves muscle spasms.
For this small study, 14 volunteers agreed to drink five cups of tea made from the German chamomile plant on a daily basis for two weeks. Daily urine samples were collected from each participant at the start of the study, during the tea-drinking, and then for two weeks after the tea-drinking part ended.
Drinking chamomile tea resulted in significantly higher levels of two compounds in the urine, hippurate, a chemical compound responsible for boosting the immunity of one’s body and glycine, chemical that relieves muscle spasms and also acts as a nerve relaxant. This glycine compound is considered responsible for the relaxations of the uterus muscles, thus relieving menstrual cramps.
Chamomile Tea and Infant Illness
Chamomile tea has been for centuries a traditional home treatment for infants and small children who suffer from diarrhea, fever or colic. The glycine compound which helps soothe the menstrual cramps is also really helpful when it comes to calming and soothing baby stomach cramps as well. The dosage recommended for children starts from 1/2 of a cup of tea per day up to 2 cups. More than 2 cups per day in case of small children are considered dangerous because of the allergic reactions it may cause.
Chamomile Tea and Side Effects
Chamomile tea is a medicinal infusion recognized as such even by the traditional medicine and like any other treatment it has its side effects, too. The most important side effect concerns allergic responses. Before using chamomile tea for therapy or relaxation you should test it first and be sure it doesn’t cause any allergic reactions in your body.
Another side effect when it comes to chamomile tea is the one related to pregnancy. This beverage can cause uterine contractions which can lead to miscarriage. Doctors from around the world recommend to pregnant women to avoid chamomile tea consumption.
Chamomile tea is truly a wonder beverage. It was used for hundreds of years as a pain soother and a treatment for insomnia. It seems that science nowadays tends to confirm what the ancients already knew; chamomile tea is amazing for health.
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