Recently one of my friends quit smoking. It was the hardest things he ever had to do.. and one of the most difficult parts of quitting smoking was severe anxiety and irritability. I started looking on the internet to find a solution that could help him with the withdrawal symptoms when I discovered Chamomile Tea. I thought I would share the knowledge, so here’s what I found.
What is Chamomile?
Chamomile (or camomile) is a plant which is native to Western Asia, India and Western Europe. Its flowers are known to have medicinal value and have been used since ancient times as a mild sedative and are said to have a calming effect on the nerves. Its flower looks like Daisy with white petals and yellow stamen (see picture above). Chamomile plant is now found in abundance in America and people have even started growing it in their own homes. It is generally consumed in a form of a tea made out of its flowers.
Health Benefits of Chamomile Tea
Chamomile Tea is made of dried flowers of sweet chamomile. The health benefits of Chamomile Tea are numerous. Here are a few most talked about benefits
1. Chamomile Tea helps calm your body and mind. It reduces anxiety, irritability, depression and mental tiredness. Helps in all kinds of neurological disorders.
2. It helps diminish insomnia. It helps you sleep by creating an effect of a mild sedative. It improves sleep quality as well.
3. It has anti-inflammatory properties hence it is helpful in reducing all issues related to inflammation in the body, like muscle cramping, back pain, joint pain and inflammation of ENT(Ear, Nose, Throat).
4. It is a natural antibiotic and It helps in healing of wounds quickly.
5. Chamomile Tea is also known to treat all sorts of stomach issues like flatulence, constipation, acidity, stomach ulcers, heartburn, nausea, vomiting, and gas. It treats all digestive ailments soothes the digestive system.
6. Recent studies have revealed that people who consumed chamomile tea after meals instead of water, were found to have lower blood sugar levels. It controls blood sugar levels in fasting and nonfasting states.
7. Increases immunity and treats cough and cold easily.
8. Regular intake of Chamomile Tea may help reduce weight and maintain a healthy body weight since it reduces all digestive problems.
9. Since Chamomile Tea is a green tea, it is very high in antioxidants and helps eliminate free radicals from the skin. Free radicals are one of the main reasons for skin dullness and aging. It helps reduce tanning, acne and pimples, scars and makes skin color lighter by cleansing the toxins from the inside. The antioxidants also help in building up the immune system of the body, improving its ability to fight against infection. It has anti-inflammatory and astringent and is beneficial for skin irritation, abscesses, and eczema.
10. It is known to slightly lower blood pressure.
11. It helps reduce menstrual cramps in menstruating women. It relaxes the muscles lining the walls of the uterus resulting in pain relief.
12. Chamomile Tea is also a great remedy for migraine. Regular usage can help relieve headache and symptoms of migraine.
13. Rinsing the hair with Chamomile Tea after washing is said to prevent dandruff and scalp itching. It stimulates hair growth and natural shine.
14. Recent studies have also shown it to also contain chemicals which help reduce cancer cells in the body, although the research is still in progress and the results are not totally conclusive as yet.
15. Chamomile tea has been found to help relieve eye fatigue and dark circles.
Side Effects of Chamomile Tea
If you are planning to make Chamomile Tea as part of your daily routine, there are a few things you need to keep in mind.
1. If you are suffering from low blood pressure, it is advised not to take chamomile tea as it can reduce blood pressure further.
2. Chamomile Tea contains coumarin, which is similar in effect to Coumadin. Coumarin acts as a blood thinning agent, so if you are on blood thinning medication or you are about to go through surgery where blood thinners are used, stay vary from Chamomile.
3. Pregnant women are also adviced not to consume chamomile as it can increase the risk of miscarriage.
4. Cosmetic products made out of Chamomile can cause eye irritation and conjunctivitis.
Is it OK to drink Chamomile Tea every day? How much can one consume in a day?
Yes, if you are not on blood thinners, pregnant or suffering from low blood pressure, you can drink up to 2 cups of chamomile tea every day with no side effects. You have to consider that chamomile is used as a medicine, so over-consumption can lead to problems. For anxiety, you can take up to 3 cups a day.
Does Chamomile Tea Contain Caffeine?
No, Chamomile Tea does not contain caffeine. It is made from Chamomile plant flowers, so it is a green tea.
How long does it take for Chamomile Tea to take effect?
It takes about 30 minutes for chamomile tea to take effect.
When is the best time to take chamomile tea?
Best time to consume it will be 30 minutes before bedtime. You can take in anytime during the day too but not with or just after meals.
How to prepare Chamomile Tea?
1. In a strainer, add dry chamomile flowers. Place the strainer on top of a suitably large container.
2. Hot required amount of water in a pan. When the water is medium-hot (should not be too hot or boiling as it would destroy the medicinal ingredients of tea), pour it in the strainer and cover with a lid.
3. Leave the container for 3 to10 minutes with a covered lid depending on how strong you want the flavor to be. Don’t leave it for more than 10 minutes.
4. Remove the strainer and drink the tea when lukewarm.
Can I add sugar to taste?
It is advisable to not to add sugar, but it is ok if you add just a little bit of honey for taste. Sugar itself is harmful to health. You can also add a bit of honey and lemon for good taste.
Does Chamomile Tea help lose weight?
Chamomile Tea does not have a direct effect on weight loss but It can help in reducing weight indirectly. What indirectly implies is because of the effect of chamomile on the digestive system. As I have discussed in my earlier posts also that one of the key factors of weight reduction is the proper elimination of waste. Since Chamomile Tea aids digestion, remedies digestion issues and helps dispose of waste, it is also considered an effective remedy for weight loss.
Does Chamomile Tea Lighten Hair Color?
Yes, application of chamomile tea on hair for up to 3 or 4 weeks, will reduce the melanin in hair which gives the hair its color, but this happens only if your hair is naturally not very dark. If your hair naturally have a light color, chamomile tea can be used to decrease its color further but it might not work on extremely dark hair.
What are some of the best Chamomile Tea brands?
It is best to get your hands on an organic tea brand. There are many available on Amazon these days. Here are my top 4 picks for the US and UK
1. Taylors of Harrogate Organic Chamomile Herbal Tea
2. Twinings of London Camomile Tea K-Cups for Keurig
3. Yogi Comforting Chamomile
4. Teamonk Nilgiri Chamomile Green Tea
For India, Here are my top 4 picks
1. Teamonk Natural Loose Leaf Nilgiri Chamomile Green Herbal Tea
Price: INR 405.00/-
2. TeaTreasure Chamomile Flower with Green Tea
Price: INR 259.00/-
3. The Indian Chai – Organic Chamomile Detox Tea
Price: INR 345.00/-
4. TE-A-ME Chamomile Infusion Tea Bags
Price: INR 152.00/-