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Health benefits of Chamomile tea and How to grow Chamomile at Home

My latest passion has become watching lovely dry chamomile seep its essence into water when brewed, Chamomile tea and the health benefits of chamomile tea is the one best thing I discovered in these past few months. Most of us have sleepless nights pondering into darkness and thoughts that play hide and seek. Sleep disorders are disturbances in the circadian cycle or sleep cycle. Stress at the workplace, family issues, and lifestyle changes sure have an impact on body and health. Sleeping pills are of course a no-no for the body and its organs.

Regular intake of sleeping pills will worsen the sleeping problems rather than resolving the sleep disorder. Most people who take sleeping pills have side effects such as chronic health conditions. Sleeping pills has hypnotic properties and cause exhaustion the following day. Chamomile tea is an excellent alternative to sleeping pills. Chamomile tea is a natural sleep inducer with positive effects on the mind and body.

Chamomile Tea – What, Why and How


What is Chamomile tea? This is the first question that pops up in your brain. How can this little flower be a natural sleep remedy? How to make chamomile tea? 

Chamomile tea is a herb that has its origin in the west. This flowering herb has medicinal value to bring calmness and tranquillity to the mind and body. There are two types of chamomile tea – Roman tea and English tea. Roman and English chamomile tea has the same medicinal value but are from two different plants. Chamomile plants are easier to grow at home. Chamomile is good to grow in full sunlight and partial sunlight. In Hindi chamomile is called Babune ka Phul and in Tamil, it is Seemai chambanthi.

the health benefits of Chamomile tea

How does Chamomile tea help to induce sleep?

Chamomile tea is brewed from dried flowers of the herb. Chamomile flowers are also dried and powdered to make the tea. The Chamomile flower have an active ingredient apigenin. Apigenin is antioxidant and binds with benzodiazepine receptors in the brain. When apigenin binds with receptors called benzodiazepine and sleep is initiated. Chamomile contains terpenoids and flavonoids. These biochemicals are responsible for the aroma of the little pretty Chamomile flowers.

Studies have confirmed that Chamomile tea is a mild tranquillizer and induces sleep. Most sleep disorders like insomnia are caused by stress at workplace or family issues. A cup of chamomile tea at bedtime relaxes your mind, reduces anxiety and induces sleep.

How does Chamomile tea taste?

Chamomile flowers have yellow centre with white petals. Chamomile tea has a sweet aroma of crisp apple. Chamomile tea is yellow gold in colour and is made from dried flower heads. The chamomile tea flavor is a herbal infusion of crisp apple with a sweet aroma. Usually, chamomile tea is prepared from tea bags or fresh flowers steeped in hot water for 2- 3 minutes. Chamomile tea is naturally caffeine and theobromine free and great herbal beverage with multiple health benefits.

How much Chamomile tea to drink in a day?

Take chamomile tea twice a day. Chamomile tea at bedtime helps to cure inflammation and muscle spasms. Chamomile tea relaxes and drifts the body into a peaceful sleep.

How to make Chamomile tea?

Chamomile tea is made from dried flower heads or fresh flowers. It is a good idea to grow chamomile herb at home. Freshly brewed chamomile tea tastes better and is rich in antioxidants.
There are 3 simple ways to make chamomile tea.
Ingredients
· 1-2 teaspoons of Chamomile tea or 1 tea bag
· 1 cup of water
· Honey
· Apple slices
· Milk

Recipe 1Chamomile tea with honey
Boil 1 cup water in a pan or pot.
Place 1 chamomile tea bag or add 3 teaspoons of chamomile tea in a cup.
Pour the hot boiling water to chamomile tea or tea bag.
Let chamomile tea steep for 2-3 minutes in hot water.
Remove or filter chamomile tea and add honey for more taste.
Add apple slices to make chamomile tea naturally sweet.
Recipe 2 Chamomile tea with milk
Prepare chamomile tea as in recipe 1.
Add milk to chamomile tea.
Milk contains enzymes that induce sleep.
Recipe 3 Chamomile tea with ginger and mint
Prepare chamomile tea as in recipe 1.
Add ginger slices and mint leaves to the tea.
Filter chamomile tea and serve hot.

How to prepare chamomile tea from fresh flowers?

Chamomile tea from fresh flowers tastes and has the same benefits as a tea prepared from dried flower heads. The flower head is removed from the stem and washed. Flower heads can be refrigerated for 2 days in an airtight container.
Ingredients
· Handful of Fresh chamomile flower
· 1 – 2 cups of water
· Honey

Recipe for tea from fresh chamomile flowers

Heat the water in a pan till it boils.
Place chamomile flowers in the cup.
Pour the boiling water into the cup with chamomile flowers.
Let the water with chamomile flower steep for 2-3 minutes
Filter the tea and add honey
Serve hot.
Chamomile tea tastes better with other add ons like lemon wedges, hibiscus flower, apple slices, and rose petals.

Does chamomile tea increase body immunity?

Chamomile tea relieves cold and congestion. It boosts body immunity to fight infections like common flu virus and cold. Flavonoids in chamomile tea have anti-microbial, anti-viral and antifungal attributes. Chamomile tea with honey and ginger is an excellent home remedy for congestion and cough. Roman chamomile and English chamomile reduce inflammation associated with sore throat, cough and chest congestion. Inhale the stream from the chamomile tea to relieves the nasal congestion and flush the virus out of the body.

Drink Chamomile tea for healthy skin and hair

Chamomile tea boosts body immunity to resolve skin disorders. Regular intake of chamomile tea eliminates acne scars and prevent acne breakouts. Chamomile tea is a home remedy to remove suntan, lightens up and bring a natural glow to skin.
Topical application of chamomile tea to skin make scars due to acne, shingles, chickenpox,  burns, and boils to fade away. Chamomile tea improves complexion and brightens skin naturally with no side effects. The positive effect of chamomile tea can be compared to skincare products loaded with chemical ingredients.
Chamomile tea or powder is applied to hair for the treatment of dandruff. After shampooing, apply chamomile tea before the final rinse. Chamomile tea cures scalp infection and promotes hair growth.

health benefits of Chamomile tea

Chamomile tea reduces puffiness and dark circle under the eyes

Apply Chamomile tea under the eye to reduce puffiness and under-eye dark circles. Do not throw away the used chamomile tea bags, store the bags in the refrigerator and use it under the eyes. See a noticeable reduction in eye puffiness and dark circle under the eyes.
Apply Chamomile tea is a natural hair lightener because chamomile tea has brownish-yellow pigment.
Chamomile tea is rich in antioxidants. These antioxidants binds to free radicals in the skin and prevent skin ageing and wrinkles.

Chamomile tea for pain in menstrual periods

Chamomile tea is antispasmodic, and it relaxes the uterine walls during menstruation. Chamomile tea reduces inflammation and pain associated with menstrual periods and decreases the production of prostaglandins. Prostaglandins are associated with pain and inflammation of uterine walls.

Chamomile tea for stomach ailments

Chamomile tea helps in treatment of indigestion, anorexia, diarrhoea, stomach sickness, and vomiting. Chamomile tea reduces inflammation and relaxes the gastrointestinal tract muscles. Chamomile tea with ginger is an excellent home remedy for acidity.

What are the other health benefits of chamomile tea?

Relives rheumatic pain
Relief from Joint pain
Pain relief while teething in kids – Apply a cold patch of chamomile tea-soaked cloth on the gums.

What are the side effects of Chamomile tea?

Chamomile tea is not recommended for pregnant women. Chamomile tea will trigger vaginal contractions which will result in miscarriage.
Allergic reactions to ragweed and pollen from daisy plants should avoid chamomile tea. Avoid Chamomile tea if you are diagnosed with respiratory problems or asthma.
Chamomile tea has blood-thinning properties and has drug interactions with blood thinners. Avoid  chamomile tea with blood thinners or talk to your doctor about chamomile tea with blood thinners.

How to grow and care chamomile at home?

Chamomile tea soothes the soul and mind. To grow chamomile plants at home is a great choice. All Chamomile plant need is plenty of sunlight for at least 8 hours. Chamomile cannot sustain the scorching sun and its heat. Chamomile grows best in-ground and grows perfect as a potted plant.

Chamomile plant from seeds and nursery transplants

There are two methods to grow chamomile plant.
1.Seeds
2.Nursery transplants

How to grow Chamomile plant from seeds?

1.To start with prepare the area to grow the Chamomile. Remove the weeds, add compost and garden soil in equal parts. The soil should have good drainage.
2.Scatter the seeds on top of the soil and partially cover the seeds. The seeds must be exposed to sunlight for proper germination. The seed germinates in 7 -10 days.
Water the seeds once a day, do not overwater the seed. Waterlogging or overwatering will cause seeds to rot.
3.Thinning or remove the weak seedling to prevent overcrowding and promote the growth of the healthy plant. Cut or snip the weak seedling with scissors. This prevents root damage in healthy seedling. The space between the plants should be a minimum of 4 inches square apart.
4.The Chamomile plant is resistant to most pests and pathogens. Chamomile plant does not require pesticide or fertilizers. Top the soil with organic compost for the healthy growth of chamomile herb.

How to grow Chamomile plant in a pot or container?

1.To grow chamomile plant in a pot or container is as simple as it is grown on the ground. Plant chamomile seed or nursery transplant at a distance of 4 square inches. The pot should have good drainage. Compost is added to the topsoil before seeds are sown. Small plants from the nursery can be planted in a wide pot.
2.Seeds need warm sunny day to germinate. Water the seeds regularly at least once in a day. The seeds will germinate in 8 to 10 days and plants will come to bloom 6 to 8 weeks after seed germination.
3.Chamomile plants in pots do not need fertilizer but for more bloom use organic compost once in a month. The chamomile plants in containers are less likely to be affected by a pest like mealybugs or aphids.
4.When the temperature is above 32 degrees centigrade moves the pot to partial sunlight. 5.During winter protect the chamomile plant from frostbite by moving it indoors.

Harvesting chamomile flowers 

The Chamomile flowers bloom in 6 -8 weeks after seed germination. The plant grows to a height of 6- 18 inches. The flowers have a yellow centre with white petals and a pleasant aroma.
When in full bloom gently pinch the flowers away from the stem. Leave a few plants without harvesting for the flowers to produce seeds for the next season.
Roman chamomile is perennials, which means they grow or start to bloom every year all by themselves without seeds. German chamomile is annuals and needs to be planted each year.

When to harvest Chamomile flowers?

The best time to harvest chamomile flowers is when flowers are in full bloom and early morning hours when the number of essential oils is high. Harvest the flowers before they turn droopy and change colour. Do not harvest the buds, wait for them to bloom before harvesting. The flowers come to bloom within 6- 10 weeks of seed germination.

How to store Chamomile flowers at home?

1.Harvested flowers can be sundried or partially shade-dried. The chamomile flowers are placed in a single layer on a sheet of paper or mesh filter. The chamomile flowers are dried and stored in an airtight container for 6 months. The dried flowers have less aroma than fresh flowers but both flowers same health benefits.
2.Fresh Chamomile flowers are dried in the microwave for 30 seconds to 2 minutes. The dried flowers are stored in a dry airtight container for 6 months.
Fresh chamomile flowers are dried in an oven at low temperature and stored in an airtight container.
3.Fresh chamomile flowers are washed, pat dried and refrigerated for 1-2 days.
Chamomile tea tastes the best whether it is from fresh flowers or dried ones. The goodness of chamomile tea is maximum as it is all organic from your garden.

Why my Chamomile plant won’t bloom?

Chamomile plant needs less care and gets hold on into any soil or space. When the chamomile plant does not bloom it may be due to a few reasons such as
1.Poor drainage in pot or soil.
2.Usage of nitrogen rich fertilizer.
3.When chamomile plants are overcrowded or densely grown.
4.Weather conditions like too much sun or cold winter temperatures

Final Tips

In conclusion, the chamomile plant is a resilient and versatile addition to any garden. Its flowers, whether fresh or dried, brew an exquisite tea that embodies the essence of organic goodness. However, despite its overall hardiness, there are circumstances that may prevent your chamomile from blooming.

These include poor drainage, excessive use of nitrogen-rich fertilizer, overcrowding in the plant area, and extreme weather conditions. Understanding these factors can help you troubleshoot any issues you encounter and ensure the thriving growth of your chamomile plant. Ultimately, with proper care and a little patience, you can enjoy the relaxing benefits of home-brewed chamomile tea straight from your garden.

Dr Menaka Bharathi
Dr Menaka Bharathihttps://www.simpleindianmom.in
Dr Menaka Bharathi aka Simple Indian Mom is an Agricultural Microbiologist and helps moms to keep their family and kids naturally healthy both mentally and physically.
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