Chamomile Tea: Benefits and Uses
Chamomile tea is one of the most popular varieties of tea on the market, and it also has many health benefits and uses, including the ability to lower stress levels, aid sleep, soothe menstrual symptoms, protect the skin, boost the immune system, treat gastrointestinal issues and manage diabetes, among others.
If you’ve ever shopped for herbal teas, chamomile tea is probably one of the first varieties that you found. Derived from certain members of the Asteraceae family of plants, the flowers of this plant can be dried and prepared for many different herbal and natural remedies and poultices, as well as its most popular form – tea. These plants come in many different forms, so chamomile tea in one part of the world may not be exactly the same as somewhere else, but the fundamental components of the plants should be quite similar, and will provide similar effects. Studies have found that German and Roman varietals of chamomile tend to have the strongest concentrations of beneficial compounds and nutrients that can be imparted to those who drink this popular tea on a regular basis.
Aside from the pleasant taste and accessibility of chamomile tea, it has been praised over the years for its many health benefits, due in large part to the presence of many flavonoids, sesquiterpenes, and other powerful antioxidants, which can have significant effects on the human body. While chamomile tea is commonly consumed as a beverage, the liquid can also be topically applied in certain cases for relief of various issues. Due to the powerful nature of the compounds and chemicals found within chamomile, caution is advised for those who are pregnant or prescribed a number of medications, due to possible interactions. Before making chamomile tea a regular part of your health regimen, it is best to speak to your doctor. That being said, most people benefit greatly from chamomile tea, so let’s take a closer look at some of its benefits and uses.
Benefits and Uses of Chamomile Tea
Skin Health: Due to the anti-inflammatory and antioxidant-rich nature of chamomile tea, it is not exclusively used as a beverage. You can topically apply warm or cold chamomile tea to the site of irritations or skin conditions, such as eczema. Research has shown that this sort of direct application can significantly improve healing and lessen the appearance of blemishes and wrinkles on the face. Eliminating oxidative stress and boosting the immune response in these areas can do wonders for your skin!
Immune System: If you want to strengthen your immune system to ward off infections, chamomile tea is a great system booster. There is a certain amount of phenolic compounds in chamomile tea that are specifically linked to fighting bacterial infections in the body. Studies have shown that 5-6 glasses of chamomile tea over the course of two weeks significantly improved the body’s ability to fight infections.
Menstrual Discomfort: The anti-inflammatory and relaxant nature of chamomile tea makes it a popular choice for women dealing with the symptoms of menstruation. This can include bloating, cramping, anxiety, sweating, inability to sleep, mood swings and others. Chamomile tea can directly affect many of those symptoms, soothing the mind and body, and reducing inflammation that may be causing some of the discomfort.
Stress Reducer: One of the most popular uses of a cup of chamomile tea is as a stress and anxiety treatment. After a long day at work, the warm, soothing nature of this beverage can help increase the levels of serotonin and melatonin in your body, which can successfully eliminate stress and worry, while also slowing down your mind and eliminating the classic symptoms of anxiety. 1-2 cups of chamomile tea per day can do a significant amount to your chronic stress symptoms. Again, while pregnancy can be a stressful time, chamomile tea can cause an increased risk of miscarriage.
Sleep Aid: In a similar way that chamomile tea can ease stress and worry, it can also be an overall sleep aid, particularly for people who struggle with restless, non-restful or rejuvenating sleep. Even those struggling with sleep apnea and other disorders may benefit from the effects of chamomile tea. Drinking a warm cup of non-caffeinated chamomile tea can help you fall asleep faster and wake up feeling more refreshed.
Manage Diabetes: Research has shown that chamomile tea can even be useful for people suffering with diabetes. By helping to lower blood sugar levels and regulate the amount of insulin in the blood, the powerful organic chemicals contained in chamomile tea help eliminate massive drops and spikes in blood sugar. As a diabetic, it is always recommended that you speak with your doctor before pursuing any new herbal treatments.
Improve Stomach Issues: If you are suffering from stomach irritation, ranging anywhere from mild bloating to full-on IBS symptoms, then chamomile tea can be a major help to your happiness. Chamomile tea has anti-inflammatory properties that help to ease the twisting nature of your gut and allow for the passage of gas and bowel movements. A single mug of chamomile tea can make you feel better, but continual use of this can help prevent more serious conditions from developing in your gut as well.
Strengthen Hair: Aside from all of these other impressive attributes of chamomile tea, many users claim that it improves the appearance and strength of the hair. While the anti-inflammatory components can help alleviate any irritation on the scalp, the stronger chemicals can fortify the strands of your hair, eliminate dandruff, and generally give your hair a better, silkier look.
Allergic Reactions: Although chamomile is an allergen to some people, such as those who are allergic to ragweed, daisies or chrysanthemum, it can also help to modulate the immune response to allergens in the body. By working as an anti-histamine, a cup of chamomile tea can soothe those allergic reactions throughout the body, preventing symptoms before they become too serious.
Final Word of Warning: As mentioned earlier, pregnant women should not consume chamomile tea, as it does increase the risk of miscarriage. Secondly, many people are allergic to ragweed, so regular use of chamomile, particularly in topical applications, can worsen symptoms. Speak with your doctor before making any major changes to herbal or dietary regimen.