CHAMOMILE-this tiny flower invokes such strong feelings amongst people. You have those who LOVE it and tout it as one of natures BEST gifts. On the flip side, you have people who turn their nose up at it because of it’s strong taste. Truth is, if you are one who turns your nose up at it, it’s time to revisit Chamomile.
Chamomile tea has been used for centuries as a sleep aid (babies included), as an anti-spasmodic (think menstrual cramps and IBS), as well as externally for psoriasis, eczema, diaper rash, etc. There are also claims of Chamomile lightening hair. Blondes claim if you send the tea thru your hair several times and then dry it in the sun, your blonde will become blonder.
Similarly, there are claims of chamomile presses helping to lighten dark circles around eyes and in bath form can help lighten your skin. The notion of anyone wanting “lighter” skin is kind of funny to me especially since we live in the age of the “tanning bed”. But a long time ago, to have light skin meant you had money because it meant you didn’t have to go out in the sunlight to work.
Chamomile does have a unique flavor that to me tastes a bit appleish. Paired with some honey, if you do not like the flavor plain, this herbal tea can help melt the stresses of a long day away while providing you some health benefits. Chamomile may help control your blood sugar. It has also been proven to be an anti-viral, anti-bacterial and anti-parasitic, meaning it can help keep away those nasty bugs. Or, conversely, if you have a nasty bug, can help your body fight off the cold or flu.
I found an article in the March/April 2010 WeightWatchers Magazine, page 58, about Chamomile that I found interesting. I am glad to see someone else is bringing Chamomile to the masses. It really is a Golden Herb!
“Could the same little daisy look-alike that produces the famed sleep-inducing tea also be a health hero? The jury is still out, but researchers have started to explore some of the flower’s potential health benefits. While the studies to date have been small, the results of one animal study do suggest that chamomile may help control blood sugar and prevent some complications of diabetes. Yet another study may help explain why the flowery brew eases menstrual cramps; subjects who drank 2 cups a day for 2 weeks had higher levels of glycine, a chemical compound that relieves muscle spasms.
Another healthy use for the tea? Try an at-home chamomile steam to help loosen your nasal passages if you’re suffering from a spring cold. Here’s how: Heat a large pot of water to boiling and then infuse it with a few drops of chamomile extract (available at natural food stores). Remove pot from stove and let it cool for 2 to 3 minutes.
And while you’re in do-it-yourself mode, why not skip the teabags the next time you have trouble sleeping? Boil water, then pour into a teapot; add 2 to 3 teaspoons of fresh or dried chamomile flowers per cup of water. Let steep for a few minutes and pour through a strainer. Now that’s a sleeper hit!”
One note is that if you have a ragweed allergy, Chamomile can possibly set off the same symptoms as it is in the ragweed family.
Chamomile is a VERY easy plant to grow, even in places like Pittsburgh. Try to get some into your garden this summer. Even if you never get around to drinking it, the smell and beauty of the flower is hard to beat!
In the meantime, visit our store for not only plain Chamomile, but also Chamomint and Sleepyhead tea. All three are fantastic for helping you to relax a little bit. Who doesn’t need that every now and again?!?
Bee Well. Drink Tupelo Honey Teas.