Saturday, November 16, 2013

Health & Nutrition: Benefits Of Chamomile Tea

I've gotten into the practice of having a cup of hot chamomile tea every night as part of my wind down routine. It is well known that Chamomile tea is soothing and helps you to relax, but after doing a bit of research, I discovered it has many other benefits.

Chamomile is a flowering plant in the sunflower family. This plant is believed to have originated from Europe and Asia. Chamomile require open land to grow, usually growing wild. Chamomile plants can grow as tall as 15 to 60 cm. The leaves are long and small groups of two or three leaves on one stalk. The flowers are similar to sunflower and mostly white.

Chamomile is a source of phytonutrients and minerals, such as flavones, glycosides, bitter glycosides, valeric acid, tannins, salicylic acid, coumarin derivatives, copper, potassium, zinc, iron, phosphorus, magnesium, vitamin C, and vitamin B1.

A Few Benefits Of Chamomile Tea

Antibacterial –Boosts levels of hippurate and is known to provide antibacterial activity. These plant-derived compounds called phenolics are known to boost immune function and improve our ability to fight off infections and colds. 

  •    Promotes Healthy Skin – With it’s anti-inflammatory and antiseptic              properties, chamomile helps in clearing up skin irritations such as eczema, acne, and allergies. Can be used internally and externally for this purpose.

Soothing stomach, menstrual and muscle painsDrinking chamomile tea raises urine levels of glycine, a compound that calms muscle spasms. It has potent anti-spasm effects and alleviates cramps and discomfort.

WarningsIf you are allergic to ragweed pollen or have hay fever, you may have difficulty using chamomile.  I have allergies to ragweed pollen and very bad spring allergies, but don't have any issues with it. Using chamomile during pregnancy is not recommended. Chamomile is also not recommended if you are currently taking blood thinners, since chamomile contains a substance called coumarin (which is also a blood thinner). As with all natural remedies, consult your doctor before ingesting anything that might cause conflicts with your current medications and/or supplements.

My favorite brand is from Stash Premium Herbal Teas. Great taste and high quality.

Tip: Save your used tea bags in a ziploc baggie in the fridge to use for eye area depuffing and soothing!


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