Have you had babuna tea? Well, you probably have but under a different name.
Babuna is the Indian (Hindi) word for chamomile, which are small, white, daisy-like flowers that grow in the northern parts of India. Chamomile tea, one of the most popular tisanes or herbal teas in the world, is made by steeping dried chamomile flowers in hot water.
While it’s brewed like tea, the beverage actually does not have any tea leaves. In fact, it’s mainly consumed because it’s caffeine free and great for physical and mental health. Chamomile tea is rich in flavonoids, which is a chemical compound that acts as an antioxidant and prevents cell damage in the body. Apart from being a good source of antioxidants, the tea has a host of other merits.
Chamomile for Sleep
While tea or any caffeine at bedtime can keep you awake, chamomile is known to have the opposite effect. Chamomile flowers contain apigenin, a natural-occurring product, that can induce relaxation and mild sedation. These effects of chamomile have made it a completely safe beverage to have before bedtime. In fact, many studies have confirmed its sleep-related benefits and therefore, it is considered a good remedy for insomnia. Those with sleep troubles are advised to have a cup of warm chamomile tea about 30 to 45 minutes before they turn in for the night so that the body can assimilate the compounds in the tea.
Chamomile for the Skin
The earliest known use of chamomile tea can be traced back to ancient Greece and Egypt. Soldiers are believed to have used chamomile to treat their battle wounds. Chamomile has anti-inflammatory properties that can reduce redness or damage caused to the skin. In fact, it is a common ingredient in skin creams and other beauty products. Having chamomile tea is believed to delay the signs of ageing: the antioxidants not only fight cell damage but also help in cell recovery.
Chamomile for the Gut
The best way to digest a heavy meal is by sipping on a lukewarm cup of chamomile tea. The tea has a naturally sweet taste, with notes of honey, so it works well as a post-meal beverage. It is also a well-known gut relaxant that can relieve bloating, gas, diarrhea and other causes of stomach discomfort. Medical studies show that drinking chamomile can prevent stomach ulcers, and it has also been used to treat colic in children.
Chamomile for Anxiety
Linked to its sleep-inducing benefits are the effects of chamomile on anxiety and mood. Consuming chamomile tea has been shown to have calming effects on those suffering from anxiety. Research shows that it is beneficial, both in the short and the long term, for those with generalized anxiety disorder. It is believed that the compounds in the tea bind to certain neurotransmitters in the brain to trigger calming effects, although this has not been confirmed. It is also estimated that the improved sleep quality of those consuming chamomile plays a role in reducing the frequency of anxious episodes.
Chamomile for Menstrual Cramps
The overall relaxing effects of chamomile on the mind and body prove to be beneficial in addressing painful period cramps. The anti-spasmodic effect of the tea soothes and relaxes the muscle walls and lessens the impact of period pain. Discomfort during periods is also linked to inflammation of the organs, and chamomile acts to curb this condition. For experiencing optimum benefits, experts recommend that chamomile tea should be consumed regularly starting 10 days before the period. Consumption during the periods is also advised, especially to replace caffeinated beverages that cause dehydration.
Who Can Have Chamomile
Because it is one of the oldest known medicinal herbs, chamomile is largely safe for widespread consumption. However, it is not safe for those with pollen allergies or those who are on blood-thinning medication. While it is considered good for those who are pregnant, consulting a medical practitioner before consumption is advised.