Chamomile has a long tradition of being utilised in natural medicines helping ailments from sore throats and digestive problems to aiding in stress relief and subsequently helping to get a good night sleep. It is a powerful flower that has been used as a herbal medicine even in ancient times.
Most commonly, people will recognise chamomile as being the main ingredients in sleep teas; this is due to its soothing properties and scientific links to its ability to reduce stress. Numerous studies on this powerful daisy-like flower have also demonstrated its abilities to soothe common colds, aid digestion by calming stomach muscle spasms and work as a natural anti-inflammatory as well as having antiviral properties. The dried flowers of chamomile contain many terpenoids and flavonoids which contribute to its medicinal properties.
Did you know that the chamomile plant is in the same family as the daisy?
When you see the plant, it's hard not to mistake it for its very common cousin, and they look so similar. The name "chamomile" originates from Greek words "chamos", which means "ground" and "milos" which means "apple". Hence it grows close to the ground and smells like apple.
In England, the Elizabethans grew chamomile lawns, when the ladies walked across the lawns the smell from the plant was very satisfying, mostly as their dresses were a bit pongy! Buckingham Palace has kept this tradition and still has a chamomile lawn, this may something to do with chamomile not going brown in hot weather like grass does!
Chamomile originates from Europe, Asia and North Africa but today is grown throughout the world, probably due to its endless uses. Chamomile was even used for the process of mummification in ancient Egypt. Ancient Egyptians valued the herb so much they dedicated chamomile to their sun god, Ra.
There are two varieties of chamomile, German chamomile and Roman Chamomile. Roman Chamomile usually grows to 8 to 12 inches. In contrast, German chamomile is taller and grows to 3 feet and is the flower that is most commonly used in herbal medicines and is the variety of chamomile we use in our Healthipops so as to ensure the best properties of the plant are present.
Make your own chamomile tea:
Chamomile tea is one of the world's most popular herbal teas, and about a million cups are consumed worldwide every day.
Add 2-3 tbsp of dried chamomile flowers (which you can easily find online) to a mug, top up with boiling water and leave to steep for 5 – 10 minutes depending on your personal preference for the flavour strength. If you are using fresh chamomile flowers, then steep for around 3 minutes as the flavour will be more intense when fresh.
Chamomile tea has a sweet but earthy flavour to it, and the smell is instantly soothing. There are also some great pre-made chamomile teas on the market which are just as full of goodness, and perhaps a little easier to brew.
Research is ongoing to fully understand the positive impacts that chamomile can have as a herbal medicine. It has been determined that it is safe to consume doses of chamomile daily, be that in the form of herbal tea or one of our delicious Healthipops. I'm sure you will agree this is a unique little flower.