Camomile is one of the most commonly consumed herbal teas in the world. The camomile plant is a small flower which is harvested and then dried before being consumed. There are healthy compounds in all of the plant, but they are at their most potent in the flowers. This is also the tastiest part of the plant, producing a straw-yellow liquid that has a delicate floral taste and is enjoyable even without sweeteners.
It is often consumed for its health benefits, but do those health benefits extend to detoxing? Can you use camomile to help you with a detox?
Can You Detox with Camomile Tea?
You need to drink plenty of water and eat plenty of healthy food when undertaking a detox. The more antioxidants, the better, and that’s one of the man reasons to enjoy this tea as part of a detox. As with all plants, there is an abundance of natural antioxidant compounds in chamomile. Not as much as there are in tea and some other types of herbal tea, but enough to warrant drinking it.
It’s also great tasting, so it’s a good way to boost your fluid intake. What’s more, the relaxing effects of camomile can make you detox more comfortably. If you’re detoxing from drugs, alcohol, caffeine, sugar and other substances that your body has come to rely on then you will feel a little rundown, restless and agitated. When that happens then you need something like camomile just to level you out.
Can Camomile Tea Help me Sleep?
As mentioned above, one of the main benefits of camomile tea is the fact that it helps you to relax and can lull you into a comfortable, deep sleep. It is not as effective as other herbal sleep aids such as valerian, which is better equipped at helping you to fall asleep and to remain in a deeper sleep for longer periods of time, but it tastes a lot better than valerian and when it comes to its anti-anxiety properties and its use as a day-time relaxant, it is just as effective if not more so.
So yes, it can help you to sleep, but probably not in the way that you think. It is not going to send you to sleep instantly, it is not going to keep you in that deep sleep for long. But as part of a relaxing nighttime regime it can help you.
Benefits of Camomile Tea
One of the main benefits of camomile tea—and the main reason it is consumed—is its sedative properties, which we covered above. But there is more to camomile than its effects on the central nervous system as it is also consumed for its ability to soothe the stomach, aid with digestion, help with indigestion and reflux, and generally relax your digestive system.
There are also some anti-cancer properties and anti-inflammatory properties of camomile, making it one of the most potent medicinal herbs on the market, something much more than just a tea to help you relax or a tea to help you sleep.
How to Brew Camomile Tea
Camomile tea is one of the easiest herbal teas to make. You just need the camomile (preferably the flowers) and some hot water. Steep the flowers in a mug of water for 5 minutes or more, add a little sweetener if you want and then drink.
It is not the sort of drink that will become bitter when it is too strong, and because the compounds are at their best in larger doses, it is always best to err on the strong side. Use two teaspoons of flowers per cup and if you’re happy with the taste and don’t mind it a little stronger than usual, then leave the tea to brew in the mug while you drink it, ensuring you leech every last beneficial compound out of the flower.
Where to Find Camomile
Camomile grows in dry regions and seems to favor those with temperate climates. This is why it flourishes in Germany and nearby countries. They sit perfectly in a temperate zone that allows for rapid growth of potent camomile flowers. There may be better alternatives, however, and we have tried a few of these ourselves.
One such alternative is camomile grown in Greece. It’s a very hot country, far from temperate, but it is also mountainous and when camomile is grown high up on these mountains then it seems to produce a better flavor.
Not only is it cooler up in these mountains, with a temperature not too dissimilar to the ground temperature in Germany, Austria and France, but because Greece gets considerably less rainfall and the mountainous slopes allow for optimal drainage, it is also much dryer. In other words, it may be the perfect zone to grow this amazing little flower.
There is also something to be said for Chinese camomile, which can be grown in similar conditions. But the problem with buying Chinese camomile is that most of it comes from places unknown. The companies who sell it tend to buy in bulk from sites like Alibaba, never really knowing which region it comes from.
This causes problems with regards to origins, whether it’s organic or not, and many other things. China produces some fantastic tea, but they don’t have as strict standards as other countries when it comes to herbal teas like this.
Camomile Flowers or Not?
You should always buy camomile flowers as opposed to the whole plant or worse, camomile teabags. The majority of teabags use camomile plants that have been ground to a dust, stalks and all. The end result is that you get something that has a weaker taste, something that is not as potent and something that just doesn’t taste or smell as good.
You can buy camomile flower teabags and these are convenient, potent and great tasting, but they are rare and as far as we know there are only a few companies out there doing them.