The Best Chamomile Tea For Your Health
Slip into sweet relaxation with a hot cup of chamomile tea. This subtly sweet beverage helps to relieve stress, encouraging relaxation. It's one of the most common bedtime teas and can be found in most household tea cabinets.
There are three main types of chamomile tea, but they're often sold interchangeably. That doesn’t mean that there aren't chamomile teas that are better than others. We'll show you how to identify the best chamomile tea so you can reap all the health benefits of this sweet drink.
What is Chamomile Tea?
Chamomile tea is an herbal tea made from the flowers and buds of the chamomile plant. Chamomile tea is naturally caffeine-free, gluten-free, and a popular bedtime tea. It is known for its soothing and calming properties. The tea is brewed by infusing pure chamomile flowers in hot water.
Chamomile tea was first used by the ancient Egyptians to treat fever and as an ingredient in cosmetics. The ancient Romans also used chamomile as a traditional medicinal to cure digestive and skin ailments. During medieval times, chamomile was used as a scenting agent during public ceremonies and as a flavoring agent for beer.
Flavor and Aroma
Chamomile tea offers herbal and fruity notes with a refreshing, smooth finish. The taste of chamomile tea is often described as similar to a crisp apple. In fact, chamomile derives its name from the Greek words “chamaimelon,” which literally translate to 'ground apple' or 'earth apple'.
Chamomile tea boats a light, airy taste with a sweet aromatic scent. The tea is light yellow in color, mimicking the look of gentle sunlight. The tea also boasts a range of health benefits that make it as good for you as it is tasty.
Health Benefits of Chamomile Tea
One of the most potent and widely known health benefits of chamomile tea is its soothing nature. Chamomile tea offers a potent calming effect that helps to relieve stress. Chamomile tea increases serotonin and melatonin in the body. These hormones alleviate feelings of stress and can help you unwind after a tough day.
Chamomile tea may also alleviate sleep disorders and pain such as that caused by migraines and headaches. Headaches are often caused by constricted blood vessels caused by inflammation. Anti-inflammatory chemicals and antioxidants in this tea open up blood vessels and increase circulation. Drinking chamomile tea can help soothe headaches caused by tension and stress.
Boosts Immune Health
Drinking chamomile tea can help boost your immune system to prevent colds and flus. The scent of chamomile can clear congested sinuses and make it easier to breathe.
Chamomile tea also has antibacterial properties that prevent pathogens from taking root and making you sick. The calming nature of chamomile can also soothe a sore throat.
Chamomile tea has long been used as an herbal medicine for digestive problems. In fact, it’s a popular natural remedy to treat colic in children. It can also relieve gas and prevent stomach ulcers.
The anti-inflammatory properties of chamomile may also prevent diarrhea. To reap these health benefits, drink a cup of chamomile tea 30 minutes before each meal.
Good For Skin
Chamomile tea can be used topically to treat skin conditions including rosacea and eczema. By adding chamomile flowers to a bath or applying topically, the calming effects help soothe itchy, scaly skin.
Natural polyphenols and phytochemicals in chamomile tea speed up scar healing and can minimize wrinkles and breakouts. That's due to the antioxidant activity of the tea, which eliminate free radicals that cause oxidative stress.
Best Chamomile Tea Types
This type of chamomile is regarded as the highest quality grade of chamomile tea. The plant is native to the valley region along the Nile River in Egypt. Egyptian chamomile tea offers an earthy flavor with fruity undertones. The tea's subtle sweet and floral flavor makes it suitable for most palettes.
Egyptian chamomile tea tastes differently from other chamomiles due to terroir. Terroir means that herbs and plants are impacted by the environmental conditions and regional location in which they are grown. The rich, fertile soil of the Nile valley makes Egyptian chamomile more full-bodied and smooth than other chamomile teas.
Many tea brands including Stash Tea use Egyptian Chamomile in their premium tea blends. It is typically not mixed with other teas such as white tea or green tea so that it's unique flavor can be fully appreciated.
German chamomile is known by the botanical name Matricaria chamomilla. German chamomile is an annual plant that is commonly called Italian chamomile, wild chamomile, or Hungarian chamomile. German chamomile flowers droop from hollow yellow cones along each stem.
German chamomile offers a subtle apple flavor that is suitable for most tastes. This type of chamomile tea is gentle and soothing, without any potent or astringent flavors. In essence, German chamomile is sweeter than other chamomile varieties.
These plants are native to Western Europe, but are also commonly cultivated in Asia, Australia, and North America. German chamomile plants can grow up to two feet high and do best in sunny growing locations.
German chamomile contains higher concentrations of chamazulene and bisabolol—two powerfully fragrant chemical compounds—than Roman chamomile. These two compounds are responsible for chamomile tea's soothing effects, making German chamomile slightly healthier than its Roman alternative. German chamomile is often blended with green tea and other herbs thanks to its subtle flavor profile.
Roman chamomile is known by the botanical name Chamaemelum nobile. Roman chamomile flowers appear as white and yellow discs that are slightly rounded. Each hairy stem produces one single flower. Roman chamomile tends to have a bolder, slightly more bitter taste than German chamomile.
As a result, the best brands often blend Roman chamomile with sweeter herbal teas to even out the strong, bitter notes. It's best suited for stronger tea drinkers and more nuanced palettes.
This type of chamomile is native to Western Europe and is characterized by silver-white flowers. The main difference between Roman chamomile and German chamomile plants is that the Roman variety has thicker leaves. The plant is also a perennial compared to the annual nature of German chamomile and only grows to about 12 inches high.
Fresh Chamomile Tea
There's nothing quite like a freshly brewed cup of chamomile tea using organic chamomile flowers. You can harvest organic chamomile flowers from your own garden, purchase them online at Amazon, or find some at your local farmer's market.
Always look for certified USDA organic flowers when brewing from scratch. Never use chamomile flowers that grow by industrial businesses or along roadways. These can be contaminated with chemicals that can make you sick. To brew fresh chamomile tea, simply place the flowers in hot water and steep for three to five minutes. Use a tea strainer to remove the flowers before drinking.
Certified organic loose leaf teas tend to have better flavor and health benefits when compared to tea bags. That's usually because tea bags only contain broken pieces and dust of the healthy plants.
Loose tea on the other hand contains the whole flowers, ensuring you get all the flavor and benefits from each brew. If you absolutely have to use a chamomile tea bag, opt for one that is large enough to let the flowers expand completely to infuse flavor.
For the best chamomile tea flavor, we recommend brewing using loose leaf chamomile flowers and buds. Organic chamomile tea also ensures your beverage is free from harmful chemicals that can cause side effects such as allergic reactions and toxicity.
Soothe and Relax With The Best Chamomile Teas
Chamomile tea is one of the best teas from Canada to India and Western Europe to Africa. Organic chamomile herbal tea offers a subtle crisp apple flavor that is softly sweet and floral.
Chamomile tea can help induce sleep and reduce pain or stress thanks to its calming effects. The best chamomile tea is Egyptian chamomile followed by German and Roman varieties. Try them all and you're sure to discover a chamomile tea you love.
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