Amazing Health Benefits of Chamomile
A Cup of Chamomile Tea
What is Chamomile
Chamomile is a group of flowering plants which look similar to daisy plants. The two types of chamomile plants mostly used for its healing capabilities is the German chamomile plant (Matricaria recutita) and the Roman chamomile plant (Chamaemelum nobile). Both these plants are used to treat a variety of illnesses including insomnia, skin irritations and digestive problems.
The chamomile plant gives off a fragrance similar to apples when its leaves are crushed. Chamomile is derived from the Greek word ‘chamaimēlon’ which means “ground apple.”
How Often Do You Drink Chamomile Tea?
Healing Benefits of Chamomile
It’s the flowers of the plant which gives chamomile its therapeutic power. The white colored flowers are made up of a large number of constituents including flavonoids like apigenin. Apigenin has anti-inflammatory properties and acts as an antioxidant which has the potential to destroy cancer cells.
The National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine has an interesting article on the types of constituents found in chamomile and the numerous healing capabilities of the herb.
German Chamomile Flowers
What Color is Chamomile Oil?
Chamomile flowers are used fresh, dried or in the form of oil. What’s interesting about the oil is once it’s extracted from the flower there is a change in color and fragrance.
German chamomile produces a dark blue color oil whereas Roman chamomile a light blue with a fruit like fragrance similar to apples. So what causes the oil to turn blue? During the steam distillation process when oil is being extracted from the flowers a substance called ‘azulene’ is formed. Azulene is what causes the oil to turn blue.
Loose Chamomile Tea
Difference Between German Chamomile and Roman Chamomile
Another significant difference between German chamomile and Roman chamomile is in its height and the number of flowers it produces.
The German chamomile plant grows to a height of about 2 to 3 feet and has more flowers whereas the Roman chamomile plant hardly grows taller than a foot and yields less blooms but the flowers tend to be larger in size.
Skin Lightening The Benefits of Chamomile Tea
How to Make Chamomile Tea
To make chamomile tea first add 2 teaspoons of dried chamomile flowers into a cup. Fill the cup ¾ full with hot water. Steep for 2 to 3 minutes and strain the tea into a new cup. Stir in ½ teaspoon honey or lemon juice before drinking.
Women who are pregnant are usually advised not to drink chamomile tea because there was one period in the distant past the tea was given to pregnant women to induce abortion.
In ancient times chamomile was also made into a poultice and applied on wounds. At present it’s a popular remedy used in treating hemorrhoids. Some hemorrhoid sufferers are known to apply chamomile ointment or compress the affected area with warm chamomile tea.
Home Remedies Using Chamomile
Chamomile flowers are used in a variety of ways in home remedies. One of the oldest remedies used with these flowers is to consume it in the form of tea.
Chamomile tea has been taken for centuries as a relaxant to calm the nerves and as a sleeping aid. The tea has also been a popular beverage to treat stomach problems such as gas and stomach aches.
© 2013 Suranee Perera