Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Figgy Rants: The Wonders of Chamomille Tea


GOTCHA! You thought this was gonna be a hate-filled post, didn't ya? Well shows how much you know,  Smartypants McSmarty. Today, I am here to love. Because Chamomile Tea is a miracle and everyone should know about it.

Let me give you some background.

There are two things I'll always associate with my grandmother: Clouds of Givenchy perfume, and chamomile tea. One of my earliest memories is of her fixing me a cup with plenty of honey and lime juice to make my stomach feel better after I'd eaten way too many cookies at her house. She's one of those grandmas, you know: when they're not feeding you, they're giving you money to go buy more food. Pretty awesome until you start getting stomach cramps at night because your stomach didn't like the fifteen million cheetos you tried to cram it with earlier.

Anyway. Chamomile tea has always been my grandmother's (and thus, my mother's) solution to anything that ails you. Stomach pains? Chamomile tea! Headache? Chamomile tea! Cramps! Chamomile tea! Sleeplessness? Chamomile tea! Puffy eyes? Chamomile tea!

And you know what? That shit works! I won't waste time trying to enumerate the chemical properties and supposed benefits of chamomile, I'm just telling you for experience: chamomile tea is miraculous.  I  know that part of it must be the simple combination of something hot and mild to calm you down, and maybe some of it is a placebo effect, but all I know is that nothing will make my stomach calm down after some indigestion than a nice hot cup of tea. It'll help settle your stomach if you're in the middle of a bad stomach flu, and it'll give you some much needed fluids without the harsh effects some medicines might have. It's also amazing for cramps, headaches, and to help with insomnia. I had friends in school who swore that washing their hair with chamomile tea made it more shiny and brought out the best colors in it.

I'll usually brew it very hot, add a lot of honey and lime juice (you could use lemon too, of course), and drink it while trying not to hug the mug for how good it's making me feel. Hmm. That sounded weird. Moving on! If I feel especially bad (as I did last night) I'll brew a couple of bags at once. It's the only kind of tea I can drink without gagging, though that might just be how I'm used to it. Another great thing about it is that it's caffeine free, so you won't be all hyped up after drinking it.

I'll highly recommend you try it next time you're feeling sick to your stomach, or for a million other little uses. Here are some ways I've used it through the years; ways I learned from my mom and my grandmother, supported by legions of Honduran mothers through the years:

-The obvious: Any stomach ailment you might be having. It'll help settle and calm your stomach down and the warmth of the tea will feel very comforting.

-Menstrual cramps:  This, plus two of your painkillers of choice and you'll feel infinitely better. It might also help you calm down enough for a much-needed nap.

- Puffy eyes: Brew a cup and place the tea bags in the fridge, then place them over your eyes. It's soothing and also smells nice!

-Mouth sores: This is a little gross, but I swear it works. Brew a cup (with less water than you'd normally use so the tea will be stronger) then mix a teaspoon of salt, then swish it around your mouth for about ten seconds, making sure not to swallow (obviously). Repeat two or three times.

-Sore throat: Same as above, but mix in some honey, and do some gargles for about ten seconds. It's gross tasting but I swear it'll help.

These are only a few I remember off the top of my head. I'm sure my mom could rattle off a few more. Just be careful to drink it when you don't have anything too crazy to do; as it'll probably make you sleepy.

1 comment:

  1. Chamomile is one of my favorite teas ever (I went to the National Tea Museum in China...such is my devotion to teas of all kinds). And I agree - it works for everything. Have you had the Honey Vanilla Chamomile Tea from Celestial Seasonings? I have an anxiety/depressive disorder and I swear to God, nothing sets me to rights more successfully than that. Which reminds me that I need to buy more. CHAMOMILE FOREVER!