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Chamomile is a member of the daisy family, and its buds and blooms have been used to make tea for many centuries. Many people drink it purely for pleasure, but that’s not the only reason to make the brew. Chamomile also has many proven health benefits without any known side effects, and here are nine of the most important.

Relieves Stomach Problems

Chamomile possesses natural antispasmodic and anti-inflammatory properties. This makes the tea highly effective in reducing stomach cramps and the discomfort of bloating. Drink a single cup as an immediate remedy, or brew chamomile twice daily if you’re a regular sufferer from these problems.

Irritable Bowel Syndrome

These same properties can soothe the symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). The cramping and pain caused by the condition will be reduced, and chamomile can also help to relieve excessive gas.

Helps Insomnia

Chamomile can also help people suffering from insomnia. This is thought to be because it contains a substance called apigenin, a flavonoid which calms brain activity and produces a mild soporific effect. Whatever the science behind it, many insomnia sufferers find that a warm cup half an hour before bed is a gentle but effective way of bringing on naturally restful sleep.

Strengthens the Immune System

If you’re one of those people who seems to catch every bug that’s going around, then introducing regular chamomile tea to your diet may help. Studies have shown that drinking at least two cups a day leads to a detectable increase in immune system activity after as little as two weeks.

Joint Pain Relief

Overworked joints such as knees and elbows can bear the brunt of a busy lifestyle, becoming swollen, aching, and sore. Chamomile’s anti-inflammatory action will help reduce the swelling, bringing relief from mild to moderate pain.

Balances Blood Sugar

Drinking a cup of chamomile tea after each meal has been shown to help balance blood sugar levels over the following hours. This is helpful if you regularly experience weakness and hunger pangs between meals, as it lowers the temptation to snack on unhealthy and fattening treats.

Alleviates Menstrual Symptoms

Chamomile’s wide range of benefits makes it effective for reducing many of the unpleasant side effects of menstruation. It calms bloating and abdominal cramps, and can also work to stabilize mood and induce sleep.

Reduces Stress and Anxiety

Thanks to its high glycine levels, chamomile is known to have soothing relaxant effects. This helps to combat the stress and anxiety of hectic modern life, but without causing drowsiness or mental fogging.

Helps Allergies

Lastly, chamomile has a natural anti-histamine effect, which makes it great for treating allergies from hay fever to pet intolerance. Either drink the tea regularly to provide ongoing protection, or inhale the steam for immediate relief of the symptoms.

Few things are quite as relaxing as a cup of tea during a pause in a busy day. However, you don’t need to stick to caffeine-laden black tea or the green tea that not everyone finds palatable. Making chamomile tea a regular part of your day is not only a delicious way to take a break, but it provides many excellent health benefits as well.

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Small-Scale Agribusiness Opportunities

Agribusiness is a business that involves agricultural production. People all over the world make their living by raising livestock and large-scale crop production, but there are also ways you can make money with a small-scale agricultural operation. Here are some ideas for agribusiness opportunities that don’t need acres of space.

Raising Rabbits

You can raise rabbits for their meat, hides and urine (which is used as manure). Rabbit farming has great potential as a small agribusiness because it requires a relatively small capital investment. Rabbits reproduce quickly — many can start breeding from four months old — and they produce a healthy meat that is popular as a delicacy in many parts of the world.

Raising Poultry

There are many breeds of poultry to raise for eggs, meat and feathers. You can choose layers for eggs, broilers for meat, or certain breeds of rooster for the hackle feathers, which are in demand for fly-fishing lures. Broilers kept for meat mature very quickly compared to laying breeds. With proper feeding, vaccination and maintenance, you can make a decent income from the sale of poultry products.

Hydroponics

Hydroponics is a relatively new technology that grows plants without soil, using only water and nutrients. It is increasingly popular everywhere from developing countries to major urban centers, where space is at a premium and outdoor gardens are impractical. Popular crops include lettuce, chard, tomatoes, root vegetables and fruits, though out-of-season flowers are also profitable. The advantages of hydroponic production are that it requires little space and crops mature quickly.

Aquaculture

Aquaculture is the rearing of aquatic products such as fish, crustaceans and aquatic plants. Fish farming is the most common option, with tilapia and catfish the most popular. Another market is ornamental fish for aquariums in homes and offices. Aquatic animals are a good source of lean protein and will therefore always be in demand. And there is also the trend of combining aquaculture with hydroponics (aquaponics) as a way to expand your business opportunities.

These are just a few of the many agribusiness opportunities available for small-scale production. In addition to raising agricultural products, you can consider expanding into processing — making sausages from rabbit meat, for example, provides another earning opportunity. Picture yourself just doing it!


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