Chamomile tea is one of the most popular herbal teas in the world. This herbal mixture has many proven health benefits, has been used safely for centuries, and is easy to grow yourself. This herb is also popular to add as a component in herbal tea mixtures with other ingredients too.
Chamomile tea is an herbal tea prepared by steeping the flower heads of the chamomile plant in hot water. Chamomile tea was originally grown and drunk in Asia, Europe, and Africa, but is now cultivated worldwide. Chamomile has been shown to reduce anxiety, inflammation, and menstrual pain.
Chamomile is the first tea that many people reach for when they’ve had a hard day, and it’s not that hard to grow this delicious herbal brew yourself. Keep reading to learn everything you need to know about chamomile tea and whether you should give it a try for yourself.
What is Chamomile Tea?
While chamomile is technically a floral tea since it is created from the flowerheads of the German chamomile plant, it is usually considered an herbal tea.
Unlike black and green teas, which contain caffeine and are used for energy, chamomile tea is a non-caffeinated tea used as an herbal supplement to induce calm and relaxation. Chamomile tea has a translucent golden or greenish-golden color. Chamomile is often included in tea mixtures and can be used in combination with the following ingredients:
- Citrus: Dried citrus zest and peel are used in tea mixtures to add a floral scent and a bright, acidic flavor. Some of the most popular citrus flavors in tea include orange, lemon, and grapefruit.
- Mint: Mint is an herb with a refreshing flavor and a freshening effect on the breath. It’s usually included in tea mixtures made for easing digestion, and it is often included to help sweeten more grassy herbal teas.
- Mango: Since chamomile is a somewhat bitter-flavored tea compared to some others, adding fruit flavors can help mellow it. The smooth tropical flavor of mangoes acts as a nice complement to the more herbaceous flavor of the chamomile. Vanilla is another nice flavor that pairs well with chamomile and mango.
- Lavender: Lavender is included in many herbal tea mixtures that are designed to induce relaxation and sleep. Since chamomile is also valued for these properties, these two types of herbal tea are usually found mixed in “sleepy time” tea combinations.
- Honey: Honey is a natural sweetener added to many herbal teas to help soften their bitter edges. Raw honey is also a rich source of essential vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients.
Chamomile is a grassy tea foundation that can stand well on its own or help enhance many other flavors of tea. It can also be steeped with other herbal ingredients that create the same effects, such as combining chamomile with lavender for sleep or combining it with mint for digestive issues.
Where is Chamomile From?
Chamomile is a member of the daisy family and it grows in many temperate regions around the world, but the most ancient origins of chamomile sold in tea form are linked back to ancient Egypt. However, this useful little plant has been cultivated and grown in herbal tea gardens globally in countries from India to South America.
The two major types of chamomile grown for tea purposes are German chamomile and Roman chamomile. Neither of these chamomile species is native to the Americas. However, both are now cultivated worldwide since chamomile grows so easily in temperate climates and is adaptable to many different areas.
What Does Chamomile Taste Like?
If you’ve never had chamomile tea before, you may find yourself wondering exactly what flavors are similar to chamomile. Even though chamomile has a green, grassy flavor, it also has subtle notes of apple and honey.
Chamomile also has a silky, smooth mouthfeel with a crisp bite that makes it both soothing and refreshing to tea drinkers.
Is Chamomile Tea Good for You?
Chamomile tea is known worldwide for its medicinal benefits. It can be helpful to drink it as part of a holistic wellness regimen to aid with several different aspects of health. Here are just a few of the reasons that chamomile tea is good for you:
- Increases immune response: Chamomile has been shown to strengthen your immune system, making it great for fending off colds and the flu. Strengthening your immune system means you’re less likely to get sick and that you’ll heal more quickly if you do get infected with an illness.
- Improves your skin: Chamomile is commonly included in cosmetics that are designed to make your skin look brighter, radiant, and more clear. It can also have a beautifying effect when you drink it as a supplement, too.
- Eases depression and anxiety: Along with its physical health benefits, chamomile is commonly taken as a remedy for nerves. Whether it’s to lighten a bad mood or just to calm the jitters, this tea is perfect after a long, hard day.
These are just a few of the advantages that have been associated with drinking chamomile, but there are also a few situations where you might want to avoid it for safety reasons.
Is It Safe to Drink Chamomile Tea Every Day?
For most people, it’s perfectly safe to drink a cup of chamomile tea every day, or even a few cups. However, for those susceptible to allergies, especially those who are allergic to pollen or plants in the ragweed family, chamomile can actually cause or worsen allergic reactions like hay fever.
Can You Grow Chamomile Tea?
A major benefit of drinking chamomile tea is that this plant is very easy to grow and cultivate even for beginning gardeners.
Like many medicinal herbs, chamomile is easier to get started in your herbal tea garden from full plants or cuttings rather than seeds since it can be very slow and difficult to germinate. This perennial flower grows best in cool conditions and can tolerate either partial shade or full sun.
Once chamomile flowers, the flowerheads can be collected and dried to be steeped for chamomile tea.
Chamomile Is a Calming Cure-All
Chamomile has cheery white flowers that make it a beautiful filler in the garden, but this tea plant really shines when you brew it up in a pot. Whether you’re trying to put your feet up after work or you just want a little cup of something to help you ease off to sleep, chamomile tea is the perfect companion after a hard day.
If you find you like chamomile tea and want to explore more herbal teas made from flower blossoms, give chrysanthemum tea a try!