Matricaria chamomilla widely known as chamomile is a herb that has been popular for its medicinal qualities since ancient times. Its usage and importance date back to ancient Egypt , where it was associated with their God- the Sun, and was often offered to the deity. The word chamomile comes from the Greek word ‘kamai melon’ meaning ‘ground apple’ because of its fragrance that closely resembles the apples. Chamomile is a daisy- like flower which is very versatile in nature as it can be processed to form not only the popular chamomile tea, but also oil, and it is believed that in the past it was also used to make beers.
Chamomile is a plant that has the qualities of getting blended with other herbs to help cure different ailments. If mixed with lemongrass chamomile can help nerves relaxation, and it can also be mixed with peppermint for different digestive problems. However, in the 17th century when its medicinal and curative properties had started spreading more widely, chamomile was used mostly as a sleep inducer and therefore, was used more often to treat insomnia as tryptophan present in the flower is an effective sleep inducer, this is still one of the best herbal sleep inducers. Besides insomnia, chamomile was then used for treating nervousness, anxiety, rheumatism and many muscular pains. By this time, the health benefits of chamomile are almost innumerable, and with so many researches being carried on we would definitely be witnessing the discovery of many more advantages of chamomile.
Chamomile is known to cure not only human beings but also plants and thus it is also known as ‘plant’s physician’, as in the past people practiced planting chamomile besides dead plants, doing so would lead to the recovery of the dead plant and after that within a week’s time the plant would start growing normally.
Chamomile oil formed from the extracts of chamomile is a very good remedy for inflammation as it can be used over the inflammations topically. Chamomile is also found to cause cell reactions that resemble anti inflammatory drugs, thus can help different types of inflammation including inflammation associated with hemorrhoids. Chamomile oil can be found also being used to treat different skin ailments like acne. Chamomile tea is found to be used very commonly to boost the immune system as it triggers the anti bacterial activity of the body. Besides boosting the immune system, chamomile tea also helps relieve the symptoms of muscle spasms and is hence good for menstrual cramps too, as it has the richness of amino acids. The benefits of chamomile is not limited to these uses, even hospitals are found to use chamomile tea to calm the patients, and healthy people consume it before bed time for sound sleep.
Another main quality of chamomile is that it also helps in easing intestinal pains and can also be helpful in other digestive problems like loss of appetite, flatulent colic and also Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS). Additionally, inhaling vapor in the form of steam of chamomile extracts help reduce congestion of nose and lungs, and also helps in headache. It is also known to prevent migraine headaches. Furthermore, chamomile tea is believed to be very helpful in gastritis and heart burn. However, there are some limitations and doctors suggest nursing mothers and pregnant women not to use chamomile as it can cause uterine contractions lead to miscarriages.
Although not indigenous, chamomile is found to grow in the Southern and inner Terai regions of Nepal Lumbini. It is also found growing in some hilly regions of Nepal between the altitudes of 100 and 2200 meters. With the growth in commercial farming of chamomile in Nepal the demand of chamomile tea is ever increasing in both local and international markets in Nepal. There are many local herbal shops and stores that sell chamomile tea and it is assumed that every year 125,000 kilograms of chamomile is sold in the Nepali market alone. Most of the brands that sell chamomile tea often blend it with other herbs like rosemary, lemongrass, ginger, mint, thymes and so on. One of the major exporters of chamomile tea from Nepal is Green Gold Herbal Pvt. Ltd.. It is also a manufacturer and along with chamomile tea also sells different other types of herbal teas. Some famous Nepali brands of chamomile tea are Himali aarogya herbal tea, Himali Okhati Herbal Tea, HImali Chamomile teaand Relaxing tea.