What is a chamomile?

The Link Between Chamomile Tea & Sleep

We’ve all had one of those nights, or maybe even a few, where we just can’t seem to catch some really good Z’s or fall asleep at all for that matter. We sometimes lay there for hours upon hours just thinking about the day and all of the stress in our lives, which is no good for our health or our hearts.

So, rather than pumping your body full of sleeping pills or taking a sleep aid that does more damage than good, try a natural herbal route, such as chamomile tea. This powerful herb has a wide variety of benefits for you that you may not even be aware of. It’s one of the most versatile medicinal herbs known to man thanks to its antioxidants for disease-fighting and sleep assistance properties.

What Is Chamomile Tea?

This is the first question that comes to a lot of people’s minds when they hear about this natural sleep aid. What on earth is chamomile tea? Well, let’s break it down, shall we?

Chamomile is an herb that has been utilized for centuries, dating back to ancient Egypt, to treat a number of issues. Today, it is widely used for sleeping. It’s very easily accessible in pretty much all supermarkets, large retail stores, and drug stores. You can buy it already in a tea bag or you can make one yourself. Once consumed, the apigenin goes to work. It’s a phenolic flavonoid that is linked with sleep and tranquility enhancing effects. The best part about it is that it does not contain caffeine!

Back in 2009, there was a study funded by the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine that reviewed the effectiveness of chamomile tea in patients who were diagnosed with anxiety. Long story short, this herb was found to reduce stress and anxiety. But what about sleep? Well, if you’re anxious or stress do you think you’re going to sleep well? Probably not! This is why it’s recommended that you drink a glass of this tea before bedtime to help relax your body.

For some chamomile tea recipes, !

What Is Chamomile Tea Good For?

The scientific name for it is Matricaria recutita and it’s used by a lot of natural healers to treat a wide range of health issues such as inflamed gums, infections, rashes, muscle spasms, colds, and digestive disorders. Today, it’s mostly used to combat insomnia, reduce anxiety and elevate your mood.

There have been a number of proven benefits of drinking this powerful herb and here’s the best part for those who are worried about their diets or too many calories, this drink only contains two calories, two milligrams of sodium and absolutely no cholesterol. The proven effects of improvement of certain health conditions of this drink include:

  • Reduction of anxiety and depression
  • Allergy fighter
  • Insomnia Cure
  • Ulcers
  • Wounds
  • Anti-inflammatory
  • Natural arthritis cure
  • Hemorrhoids
  • PMS
  • Muscle spasms
  • Gastrointestinal disorders

There may be more lingering around, but these are the main ones that have been 100% proven effective.

How Can It Do So Much?

You see, chamomile can be used in dozens of ways to soothe the body and it all depends on how you prepare the herb in question. You can diffuse it at home to help you sleep or drink it as a tea, apply the oil to the skin for bug bites, itching and eczema, you can also add it to toothpaste or mouthwash to cure toothaches and inflammation. The most popular way to use this herb is to ingest it. It can clean your liver and heal digestive tissues, among other things. In this day and age, it’s possible to use this herb in just about anything and in any way to promote better health and healing.

Is Chamomile Tea Safe?

Generally, yes it’s safe. However, if you have a pollen allergy, especially to ragweed, it may cause an allergic reaction and you should not use it. It may also interfere with anticoagulants. The FDA does not regulate dietary supplements as it does regular medications and can be sold with limited to no research on how effective it really is.

The University of Maryland Medical Center recommends limiting your intake of chamomile to half a cup per day for children under 5 years old. Adults may be able to consume 1 to 4 cups per day or you can use it as an extract, which is standardized to 1.2 percent apigenin in capsule form. You can also add 5 to 10 drops of it in the essential form to bath water for a relaxing soak.

Chamomile Tea Side Effects

Although this herb is considered relatively safe, there are some side effects associated with it such as:

  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Allergic reaction
  • Blood thinner interference

As always, consult with your doctor before taking this herb in any form if you have allergies or take prescription medications.

Best Chamomile Tea For Sleep

Honestly, there really isn’t a “best” chamomile tea for sleeping, it should all taste the same if it’s prepared properly, no matter what brand you choose. In terms of ingredients, you should look closely for any other herbs or additives. The best chamomile is organic if you can find it, however, you may have to travel to a health food store or buy it online.

One issue that you may have is whether you want it in a tea bag or loose leaf variety. Some people say that loose leaf tastes better, but it can be rather difficult to locate and it’s inconvenient to prepare.

Preparing The Tea

If you are looking for a simple way to prepare your tea, here it is.

  • Place your tea bag or infuser in the bottom of your favorite mug
  • Pour boiling water over it
  • Let steep for at least 3 minutes
  • Add any flavoring you want such as honey or lemon
  • Drink up!

The longer you allow it to steep, the richer and stronger the flavor. Don’t let it steep for any more than 10 minutes. The best time to drink this chamomile tea creation is about 30 minutes before bed. It’s widely regarded as a mild tranquilizer and sleep-inducer. The sedative effects from the apigenin occur because it binds to the benzodiazepine receptors in the brain.

Conclusion

Chamomile is by far the most recommended natural sleep aid that there. It’s caffeine-free, contains no cholesterol and it’s proven to reduce stress and anxiety, among other things. Why is it that it feels so good to drink this tea before bed? Well, it’s called the placebo effect. We think that it relaxes us, therefore it does. It’s the same concept behind the warm milk idea.

The other part of it is that by brewing it every night, you’re creating a ritual, which is another way to wind down for a restful night’s sleep. No matter how you choose to ingest this herb, it’s been proven to cure insomnia, amongst other things. So, read up on some recipes, get yourself into a comfy bed and drink your tea.

5 Chamomile Tea Benefits Your Body and Mind Need

Real Simple

Some people believe certain teas contain magical properties, and when it comes to chamomile, they wouldn’t necessarily be wrong. Chamomile tea benefits range from helping with sleep to aiding digestion, and the drink can even play a role in heart health. So what exactly is chamomile tea? Chamomile flowers contain flavonoids, sesquiterpenes, and antioxidants, and once dried, they can be used for herbal and natural remedies.

While chamomile tea is good for many things and is a great caffeine-free drink option, it’s important to know that it’s not for everyone. Here are some of the most well-known chamomile tea benefits for adults.

Anxiety

According to Medical News Today, 40 million Americans suffer from anxiety disorders, making it the most common mental illness in the United States. For some people, treating with medication isn’t always the best fit, but there are many natural alternatives worth a try. Chamomile tea has been known to benefit anxiety symptoms by helping ease insomnia and provide calmness. Many people who use chamomile as a stress-reducer will either drink it as tea or use it in capsule form for convenience. Keep in mind, chamomile tea may not work the same way for everyone. If you suffer from anxiety or depression, you should consult a doctor.

Sleep

Enjoying a cup of chamomile tea before bed is nothing new for most people. In fact, it’s long been viewed as a gentle sleep inducer. The calming effect of chamomile tea is thanks to an antioxidant called apigenin, which binds to certain receptors in your brain that help decrease anxiety and initiate sleep. A 2016 study of the links between chamomile tea and sleep quality and depression in women found that those who drank chamomile tea every night for two weeks had better sleep quality than those who did not—and the effects were reversed when they stopped drinking the tea.

Stomach Issues

Chamomile tea contains anti-inflammatory, antispasmodic, and carminative properties, which help in soothing the stomach line. Drinking a cup of chamomile tea may relieve an upset stomach, menstrual cramps, irritable bowel syndrome, indigestion, and abdominal gas. Although more research needs to be conducted, chamomile tea may also help decrease acid reflux.

Heart Health

The antioxidants in chamomile tea, like flavones, may help lower the risk of heart disease. Over the years, flavones have been studied to measure their effectiveness in lowering blood pressure and cholesterol, including triglycerides and “bad” LDL cholesterol. Drinking chamomile tea regularly may help maintain healthy blood pressure levels because it helps to reduce stress, promote sleep, and relax blood vessels and arteries. Although chamomile tea benefits heart health potentially in many ways, it may increase the risk of bleeding for people on blood thinners. That’s why it’s important to also consult a doctor before consuming.

Blood Sugar

Research from Tabriz University of Medical Sciences in Iran suggests drinking chamomile tea may help lower blood sugar, benefiting people with diabetes. Chamomile contains an antioxidant called quercetin, which has an impact on certain enzymes that are part of the diabetic response. While there’s still more research to be done, the small-scale study from Tabriz University observed 64 participants with type 2 diabetes, all between the ages of 30-60. Half the group consumed chamomile tea daily with every meal for eight weeks, while the other half drank water with meals. At the end of the two month period, the chamomile group had significantly lower average blood sugar levels than those who only drank water.

After reading all of the possible chamomile tea benefits, it’s no surprise so many people like to end their evenings with cup of chamomile tea. But, just like many other herbal teas, there are some side effects to be aware of. If you’re consuming chamomile in tea, liquid or capsule form, the most common side effects include: severe allergic reaction, eye irritation, hypersensitivity reactions, and vomiting. Chances are, drinking a cup of chamomile tea won’t harm your health, but it’s important to consult your doctor if you plan on incorporating it into your daily routine.

Chamomile is one of the most recognized and used herbs in the western world. Many people think of it first for anxiety and insomnia, but it’s far more than a gentle nervine. From tea and tinctures to salves and soap, chamomile’s versatility and aroma have long-been welcomed into our lives.

To read about chamomile’s use throughout the ages, read this article or stop by The Herbarium for an in-depth plant monograph. Check out the links below for 23 ways to use chamomile in many different applications – not just tea!

Chamomile for Kids

Healthy, Homemade Herbal Kool-Aid for Kids

Kids love this summer drink. It tastes like fruit punch, but unlike its sugary counterpart, it is full of nutrient-rich herbs, including chamomile. Get the recipe here: http://www.thehippyhomemaker.com/flowerchild-refreshment-tea-healthy-homemade-herbal-kool-aid-alternative/

High-C Herbal Ice Pops

Tame summer heat with these frozen herbal pops for kids. Take heart knowing that you’re offering a tasty, nutritious treat, without the unwanted ingredients in most store-bought popsicles. Make a few extras for mom and dad, too! http://herbalacademyofne.com/2014/05/put-the-healthy-back-into-summer-with-high-c-herbal-ice-pops/

Throat-Soothing Chamomile Ginger Popsicles with Lemon and Honey

Summer colds and sore throats are a bummer for kids (and adults too). Try this easy and delicious recipe for a ginger and chamomile throat-soothing popsicle. http://portandfin.com/throat-soothing-chamomile-ginger-popsicles-with-lemon-and-honey/

Herbal Sock Bath with Chamomile and Other Herbs

Herbal baths are making a comeback for kids and adults alike. Check out these instructions for assembling your own herbal bath sock, along with suggestions on what herbs you might want to include. This makes another great project to do with kids. http://herbalacademyofne.com/2015/03/how-to-make-a-childs-herbal-sock-bath/

Chamomile in the Kitchen

Chamo-berry Banana Smoothie

Smoothies are a great way to get more fruit into your diet. A new twist on an old standby, this smoothie–made with chamomile–will delight your taste buds. Here’s the recipe for this summer-inspired treat. http://herbalacademyofne.com/2013/07/chamomile-herbs-we-love-for-summer/

Chamomile Latte

This latte is a delightful way to enjoy a cup of chamomile before bed, or any other time you want it or need a little relaxation. The herbal blend can be mixed ahead of time, so it’s ready when you want a cup. Find the recipe and directions here: http://returntothegarden.blogspot.com/2012/03/chamomile-latte.html

Chamomile Flower Tea Cookies

When I first stumbled upon this recipe, I immediately got to work in my kitchen and whipped up a batch. I can vouch for their deliciousness! Easy to make and a perfect cookie to enjoy with a glass of iced tea! http://www.growingupherbal.com/chamomile-flower-tea-cookies/

Chamomile for Healing, Relieving Stress, and Easing Pain

Home Remedy for Pink Eye

Looking for something natural to use for pink eye? Chamomile is the traditional go-to herb we reach for when dealing with this troublesome infection. Learn how to use chamomile to help the eyes and get other practical advice here. http://gwens-nest.com/home-remedy-for-pink-eye/

Healing Salve

This “aches and pain” salve recipe uses Roman chamomile essential oil. If you’re new to salve making, you’ll appreciate the step-by-step instructions in this post: http://herbalacademyofne.com/2014/01/how-to-make-a-healing-salve/

Chamomile for Toothache Relief

Nip tooth pain in the bud with the herbal recipes that follow. You may even consider including some of these remedies in your herbal first aid kit. http://herbalacademyofne.com/2015/02/9-herbal-remedies-for-a-toothache/

Cough-B-Gone Tea

Long used for treating headaches associated with colds and the flu, chamomile is a good herb to keep in your apothecary. Here are ten recipes you can make so you’re ready for the upcoming cold and flu season, three of which include chamomile: http://herbalacademyofne.com/2014/09/ten-homemade-herbal-teas-for-cold-and-flu-season/

Tummy Tea

Chamomile blends well with many other herbs to give us even more benefits. In this article about mints, you’ll learn how chamomile aids with digestions problems. This Tummy Tea recipe is wonderful for stomach aches and restlessness. There are other mint recipes you might want to try as well! http://herbalacademyofne.com/2014/07/herbal-remedies-the-medicinal-mint-family/

Quick and Easy Itch-Relief Recipe

As much as we all love summer, we can’t always escape the “itches” that come from bug bites or run-ins with troublesome plants. Here’s a homemade calamine lotion you can make and keep on hand for just such problems. http://herbalacademyofne.com/2014/05/natural-itch-relief-recipe/

Chamomile Herbal Steam for Allergy Relief

Have allergies? Itchy eyes and a stuffy nose? Check out these recipes and instructions for herbal eyewashes and steams, along with a number of other suggestions for dealing with allergies. http://herbalacademyofne.com/2015/06/natural-allergy-relief-nasal-rinses-eye-washes-herbal-steams/

Chamomile for Sunburn-Relief

Summer sunshine can sometimes come with downside—a hot, painful sunburn. Here are eleven different recipes for mists and baths that can help relieve the discomfort of a sunburn. http://simplelifemom.com/…/02/homemade-sunburn-remedies/

How to Use Chamomile to Reduce Stress

Chamomile Burn Salve

Chamomile salve is a quick and easy way to soothe burns. It’s equally effective as a way to quiet “butterflies” in a nervous tummy. Find the instructions for making a salve and a calming tea here: http://oneashplantation.blogspot.com/2014/08/chamomile-for-burns-and-churns.html

Moon Time Chamomile Tea

Chamomile has been a woman’s ally herb for centuries. This article explains how and why women turn to this gentle herb for help. http://mamarosemary.com/blog/2011/11/11/moon-time-chamomile-bittersweet-change

Chamomile for Your Hair and Skin

Chamomile Hair Rinse

Making your own herbal hair rinses can help you avoid the questionable hair ingredients found in many commercial products. No matter your hair type or color, you’ll find a recipe here that works for you. The recipes are simple and are made with easy-to-find ingredients. http://simplelifemom.com/…/10-herbal-organic-hair-rinses/

Chamomile-Infused Coconut Oil

Soapwort Shampoo and Body Wash

Soapwort shampoo and body wash is a simple recipe you can make at home. Add in herbs like chamomile for added benefits. http://herbalacademyofne.com/2015/04/natural-soapwort-shampoo-and-body-wash/

Honeybee Chamomile Lotion Bars

Get ready for the months ahead when cold weather leaves us with chapped, dry and cracking skin. These lotion bars are easy to make and a boon for troubled skin. Look for a chamomile and calendula-infused oil recipe here, too. http://mamarosemary.com/blog/2014/12/15/honey-bee-chamomile-lotion-bars

Four Herbal Skin Toners

Chamomile conditions the skin and reduces puffy eyes. Even better, you probably have the three ingredients this recipes calls for on hand. http://simplelifemom.com/2012/11/04/4-herbal-skin-toners/

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Chamomile is a potent herb with wonderful healing benefits. Learn 10 amazing things to do with chamomile from a sleep-aid to a DIY eye treatment.

A wild patch of chamomile lined the driveway of my childhood home. I remember picking the flowers, mashing them between my little hands, opening my palms, and inhaling the sweet apple-like scent of fresh chamomile.

I didn’t know squat about chamomile as a kid, and yet somehow, instinctively, I was accessing it’s healing power.

Smart cookie I was, and wouldn’t you know, I was calm and anxious free.

Chamomile has been used since ancient times for it’s calming properties, but also boosts many other healing properties.

While visiting a friend a few weeks ago I noticed her incredible garden filled with gorgeous chamomile. She so kindly sent me home with a big bunch. I was in bliss, and decided to find out all the different ways I could use my loot. Let the researching begin! Here I have compiled my top 10 list of amazing things you can do with chamomile; from puffy eye relief to a soothing sunburn spray.

Read on friends, comment below which one of these 10 you are going to run out and try!

  1. Calming Sleep Aid

    A warm cup of chamomile tea at bedtime can do wonders for your evening wind down routine since chamomile is known for it’s calming affect on the nervous system. Additionally, a warm liquid before bed can make you sleepy by raising body temperature.

  2. Natural Digestive Relief

    My mom used to put diluted chamomile tea in our bottles as babies to help relieve digestive upset. As it turns out, this works great for grown-ups too (minus the bottle of course). Chamomile’s active constituent, bisabolol, has anti-inflammatory properties and relaxes the smooth muscle lining of the digestive track. Drink chamomile tea after meals to relief belly aches. Be sure to cover the tea while brewing, as many of the active compounds are lost in the steam.

  3. Cooling Eye Treatment

    Chamomile contains natural circulation boosters which can help reduce dark under eye circles. It can also help calm puffy, tired, or irritated eyes. Simply use previously brewed and chilled chamomile tea bags as cool compresses on your eyes.

  4. Soothing Mouth Rinse

    Chamomile has anti-inflammatory properties and can help sooth mouth ulcers, canker sores, or irritated gums. Brew a cup of chamomile tea, cool, and rinse your mouth with it. Simple.

  5. Rough Skin Treatment

    Chamomile is a natural moisturizer and delivers antioxidants deep into the skin where they can help repair and prevent free radical damage. I used my fresh chamomile buds to make this homemade rough skin treatment and holy cow I love it! (note: If you don’t happen to have fresh chamomile growing in your back yard you can order some here)

  6. Natural Hair Lightener

    Chamomile is one of the top ingredients used in hair care for brightening blond locks! As a matter of fact my favorite shampoo is chamomile based. You can enjoy the benefits of chamomile without seeking out specific products by simply saving the chamomile tea bag next time you make a cup. After shampooing, rewet the tea bag and squeeze it through your hair, wait a bit, then rinse and condition as usual. I typically will squeeze the chamomile through my hair several times. I’ve also brewed a strong cup of chamomile tea, allowed it cool and poured it over my head after shampooing (this was when I really needed a quick blond fix!) It’s a great treatment in between salon appointments!

  7. Teething Tincture for Babies

    This is such a great gift idea for any new Mom in your life! Due to both it’s calmative affect and it’s ability to reduce pain, chamomile happens to be a fantastic natural remedy for teething babies. I found this recipe for a homemade chamomile tincture on one of my favorite websites, Wellness Mama, check it out here.

  8. Sun Burn Cooling Spray

    I have had my fair share of awful sunburns in my life. I have always used fresh aloe to sooth the pain of the sunburn but it turns out that adding chamomile to aloe makes a fantastic sunburn spray. Grab the full recipe here for Chamomile Power Mist.

  9. Acne Scar Treatment

    Chamomile has been used for centuries to reduce skin inflammation and improve wound healing. To help reduce the appearance of scarring from acne use a chamomile tea compress. It is best to use dried chamomile flowers rather than chamomile tea bags for this application, you can purchase some here. Pour 8 oz of boiling water over 1 tbsp dried chamomile flowers, steep covered for 5 minutes. Allow to cool slightly. Soak a washcloth in the tea and place over acne scars (be sure your face is freshly washed). Leave for 10-15 minutes.

  10. Anti-Itch Cream for Bug Bites

    Yes, my friends one more amazing thing to do with chamomile! I am a country girl at heart and love spending time outdoors, but hate itchy bug bites. Ugh, the worst. Chamomile to the rescue!! Chamomile can calm the annoying itchy bug bites due to the anti inflammatory properties, and it’s ability to neutralize allergies and regenerate skin. I found this groovy recipe for an all natural homemade anti-itch cream. I also thought freezing chamomile tea in ice cube trays and putting a cube directly on the bug bite would work? It’s just a theory… someone give it a try and let me know.

Whew. That’s quite a list! Now the only thing left to do is acquire a hefty bunch of chamomile and get to work! This is my favorite source for dried organic chamomile flowers, unless you grow them in your own garden – then please send some along to me 🙂

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