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.
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.
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.