Prenditi una camomilla
Everyone knows that Italians are married to their Cappuccino but little known is their love affair with the Chamomile tea. Italians colloquially say “Prenditi una camomilla” which means take a chill pill or relax.
Chamomile is to Italy what turmeric is to India. At the mention of any illness, Italians will turn around with a cup of Chamomile tea in their hands.
Italians consider this as the cure-all tea, right from stomach cramps to headaches, it has a way with these common ailments. It alleviates stress and leaves you feeling refreshed.
Chamomile belongs to the daisy family and grows wild in the plains of Italy. You can find it along the sidewalks or in gardens of most Italian homes. Did you know that chamomile plants can revive sick plants around them? It’s even called the doctor plant. Now that’s a tid bit you will remember for a long time.
An herbal history
Chamomile comes from the Greek word “Chamomaela” which means ground apple. This is because they have a smell similar to that of apple blossoms. In the ancient days, chamomile was used primarily to flavor drinks and as an aromatic herb in incenses. Egyptians considered chamomile as a sacred herb and associated it with Ra, the son God. Chamomile is rich in anti-oxidants and its goodness is best derived in the form of tea. There are essentially two types of chamomile – Roman and German.
Chamomile tea must ideally be called as “Tisane” because it’s an herbal infusion which does not have caffeine, making it an ideal pre nap drink.
The Italian recipe for the refreshing Chamomile tea
Italians have the best recipe for tea brewed with freshly plucked chamomile flowers which has sweet undertones of apple sans the bitterness from dried petals. So, if you are someone who loves experimenting with tea or is just amused by the flavor of chamomile then this recipe is for you. The best way to pick chamomile flowers is to pop the flower head off the stem, this way its ready for immediate use. You can either use a tea infuser or a kettle to boil around 8oz/237ml of water. Pop in 3-4 tbsp. of chamomile flowers and a sprig of mint and let it steep for 5 minutes. Pour this into a tea cup with a strainer. Enjoy the drink with a dash of honey or lemon!
Health Benefits of Chamomile Tea
Chamomile is rich in anti-oxidants and has anti-inflammatory and anti-spasmodic properties. When brewed into a perfect cup of tea, it does more than just calm your nerves. Chamomile contains apigenin, a compound which influences brain chemicals and causes a sedative effect and helps you to have a peaceful sleep. Thus, many prefer to have it right before they go to bed.
The list of ailments that chamomile is effective for is endless. Some of the most common maladies that chamomile is known to treat are anxiety, indigestion, insomnia, diarrhea, eczema, minor wounds and hemorrhoids. People who have allergic reaction towards daisies and marigolds should take caution while considering chamomile for intake.
The one stop apothecary
Chamomile tea has numerous health benefits and is vouched for by many tea drinkers around the world. Look below and be amazed at what it can do:
- Chamomile infusions can treat irritable bowel syndromes and indigestion
- Chamomile based mouth wash can treat oral inflammations
- Babies are known to sleep peacefully when chamomile is mildly added to the bathwater
- Steam from infusions can ease upper respiratory problems
- Known to heal minor wounds and relive inflammations
- Chamomile tea is advised for anxiety relief and insomnia
- Flaky scalps are best treated by Chamomile essential oils
- Chamomile hair rinse can lighten or brighten hair color
Chamomile can indeed be called as the one stop shop for ailments that are common in our households!