WHAT IS CHAMOMILE TEA?
The name ‘chamomile’ comes from the Ancient Greek words Kamai (earth) and melon(apple). It’s an apt description: these delicate flowers thrive in almost any soil and have a sweet apple-like scent. A close cousin of the daisy, Chamomile’s yellow flower heads and white petals follow the sun across the day.
Chamomile has been used for medicinal purposes since Ancient Egyptian times, where it was revered for having healing properties and was even used as a skincare cosmetic, a tradition that continues to this day in the form of hair oils and face washes.
HEALTH BENEFITS OF CHAMOMILE
Chamomile is renowned for its sleep-inducing properties, which have led to its nickname: sleepy-time tea. It’s a natural sedative and muscle relaxant, meaning it’s the perfect cup to drink in bed to prepare for a refreshing night’s sleep. However, Chamomile is well-loved for many other health benefits too. It’s believed to soothe indigestions and period pain due to its muscle-relaxing properties, as well as being a natural way to boost the immune system and relieve symptoms of anxiety, making it far more than just a sleep aid.
1. Promote digestive health: Chamomile flowers contain apigenin, which helps relieve stomach upset. It can also neutralize the cause and heal any damage caused by intestinal parasites.
2. Treat anxiety: Chamomile flowers contain flavonoids, which help depress the central nervous system, reducing anxiety while not disrupting normal performance or function.
3. Anti-inflammatory properties: Chamomile flower is a popular remedy for inflammation on the outside of the body, with it being commonly used to treat sunburn, mild burns, rashes, sores, and eye inflammation.
4. Lower blood sugar: The anti-inflammatory effects of chamomile tea may promote blood sugar control, especially when it’s consumed with a meal.
5. Promote heart health: Chamomile is a great source of flavone antioxidants that may play a role in improving heart health.
CHAMOMILE TEA NUTRITIONAL VALUE
The nutrient composition of chamomile includes macronutrients like carbohydrates, protein, fats, and fiber. There is a significant amount of protein and fiber in chamomile, but the calorie content is low. It contains nutrients like vitamin C, calcium, copper, zinc, and iron that are essential for the body. This flower also possesses certain active chemical compounds like chamazulene, apigenin, luteolin, beta-carotene and bisabolol. Certain phenolic compounds like tannins, terpenoids, flavonoids, and steroids are also present in chamomile.
WHAT DOES CHAMOMILE TEA TASTE LIKE?
True to the origins of its name, Chamomile has gentle notes of apple, and there is a mellow, honey-like sweetness in the cup. It has a silky mouthfeel and yet remains a clean, delicately floral herbal tea, and even from the very first sip it feels wonderfully soothing.
HOW TO BREW CHAMOMILE TEA
Water temperature: 90-100 degrees
Amount: 1 teaspoon of loose flowers per 250 mL water
Steeping time: 5-10 minutes
Approx. refills: 2-4 times
WHAT CAN I DO WITH CHAMOMILE TEA?
Popular ways to use Chamomile tea are to add:
Citrus: You can add a splash of juice before serving. Or infuse extra flavour by adding the citrus zest while steeping the tea. Lemon juice, lime, or orange will work with chamomile.
Lavender: Add edible dried lavender to steep. Adjust the amount to taste. Or, sweeten the tea with a bit of lavender syrup.
Vanilla: Use around 1/8 teaspoon of pure vanilla extract to make a delicious honey vanilla chamomile tea recipe. Adjust the amount to taste.
Herbs: A small amount of basil or mint (regular or flavoured options like apple mint) can be added to the teapot or serving glasses for a subtle aromatic flavour.
Milk: Chamomile tea with milk is soothing and slightly creamy. Use the dairy or dairy-free milk of your choice. For a chamomile tea latte, use equal parts water and milk for the drink.
Iced chamomile latte: Make a double-strength brew, allow it to chill, then top it up with milk and ice. These taste lovely with vanilla too.
Apple juice: Replace some water with apple juice (to taste) for a delicious, refreshing warm, or iced version. It will naturally sweeten it, too.
Green tea: Add a green tea teabag (or loose-leaf green tea).
Hibiscus: Add a small amount of hibiscus for a tangy flavour and several health benefits.
CHAMOMILE TEA FOOD PAIRINGS
Chamomile is perfectly paired with berries, cinnamon and ginger
It is also used topically for skin conditions and for mouth sores resulting from cancer treatment.