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A Very Nice Cuppa: The Health Benefits of Chamomile Tea

A Very Nice Cuppa: The Health Benefits of Chamomile Tea

tea in a small clear cup

Now that the weather has gotten chillier, you may want to curl up under the blankets with a hot cup of chocolate or coffee and binge watch Korean medical dramas. Although both these beverages are delicious in their own right, why don’t you try something just as tasty but much healthier? Why don’t you try drinking a nice cup of chamomile tea?

If you’re not a tea aficionado, you may be wondering what is chamomile tea? And what are the benefits of chamomile tea?

Continue reading and find out.

An Ancient Beverage

pouring milk on chamomile tea
“Chamomile” comes from the Greek words khamai and melon, meaning “ground apple.” Hippocrates noted its medicinal properties and the Saxons considered it as one of the nine holiest of herbs. Photo by Cottonbro on Pexels

Chamomile is plant that has been steeped and brewed into medicinal drinks for perhaps thousands of years. The plant originates in West Asia and Europe as has been cultivated by ancient cultures in these areas because even they knew of the health benefits of chamomile. The Ancient Egyptians believed chamomile plants were holy and had been given to mortals by the sun god Amon-Ra.

The word chamomile comes from the Greek words khamai and melon, which means “ground apple,” due to the distinct apple-like aroma of the plant’s flowers. Hippocrates, sometimes called the father of Greek medicine, praised the medicinal properties of the plant. This knowledge made it to the Roman Empire and even as far as the Saxons in the north. To the Saxons, the chamomile plant was one of their nine holiest herbs discovered by the god Woden.

But why did these ancient cultures and civilizations revere chamomile tea so much?

What is Chamomile Tea Good For?

Tea has been used as a medicine in cultures around the world for thousands of years. In China, records show emperors consuming green tea for its medicinal effects since 2700 BCE. Chamomile has also been used in the Western Hemisphere for a similar amount of time.

Enjoy a cup of steaming hot chamomile tea along with its health benefits:

  1. Better Sleep

Chamomile has gotten a reputation of being a great beverage to sip before you go to sleep. Turns out, this has more basis in scientific fact than you’d think. Scientists and medical health researchers have been studying the alleged sleep-aid properties of chamomile tea for years.

One recent study decided to look into the power of chamomile tea in improving sleep quality of women who’ve just given birth. The researchers discovered the women who drank chamomile tea regularly showed fewer symptoms connected with not getting enough sleep. So the next time you have trouble sleeping, instead of counting sheep, steep the chamomile tea of your choice and take a long relaxing sip.

  1. Calms the Stomach

Chamomile tea has also been used a remedy for fevers for hundreds of years. This may be because of the tea’s ability to soothe upset stomachs. Flue symptoms often include vomiting and diarrhea, symptoms which chamomile can be sovereign for.

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Research discovered that a single cup of chamomile tea has anti-inflammatory properties equivalent to taking a pill of aspiring or even ibuprofen. The chemicals found in chamomile tea can also reduce the effects of acid reflux. This means less stomach upset and sick people can keep food down.

  1. Soothes Cramps

Chamomile’s anti-inflammatory property extends beyond the gastrointestinal track. Menstrual cramps can range from merely uncomfortable to unbelievably excruciating, depending on the woman in question. Studies show chamomile can reduce menstrual cramps among women. Scientists tested the effects of chamomile on menstrual cramps by having women drink five cups of the tea every day. Analysis of their urine revealed increased glycine. This amino acid is connected with relieving painful spasms in the muscle and is also a nerve relaxant, acting as a low-grade sedative.

  1. May Prevent Cancer

Of all the health benefits sipping a cup of chamomile tea regularly can give, this is perhaps the most intriguing. Chamomile planta are rich in a naturally occurring chemical known as apigenin. Apigenin has been studied intensely because there have been research that indicates a diet that includes lots of it can help reduce certain cancers. According to research, apigenin can decrease the risk of cancers in the breast, prostate, skin and even along the digestive tract. So far, trials and studies have not yet found conclusive proof that the chemical is sufficiently capable of significantly reducing the risk of developing these malignancies.

How to Make Chamomile Tea

flowers next to a glass of tea
When making chamomile tea, it’s best to use purified or spring water because it preserves the flavor of this calming, healthy beverage. Photo by Anete Lusina on Pexels

Given all these health benefits, you should definitely include a box of chamomile tea in your December shopping lists. Where do you buy chamomile tea? The beverage is stocked abundantly in most grocery and health food stores nationwide. If you’re lucky enough to get fresh chamomile flowers instead of the usual tea bags, even better.

Boil water in a kettle and pour over your tea. You’ll want to use an infusion tea kettle for fresh flowers because it keeps the chamomile in the built-in device, imparting an aromatic brew without making you sip on flowers. To preserve its full flavor, use purified water when brewing. Allow the tea to steep in the pot or the infuser for five minutes before pouring.

So feel warmer and get healthier with a nice cup of chamomile tea today.

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