The Healing Powers of Chamomile Tea

Discover how this organic chamomile, lemongrass and licorice root tea supports more than health.

In case you haven’t been introduced to my designated tea cupboard, I am a tea fanatic. While many high-paced individuals may rely on coffee to get through a day, tea is my drink of choice for numerous reasons. This article discusses the evidence-based healing powers of chamomile tea and highlights a local tea company committed to providing sustainable, fair-trade, high-quality tea.

Potential Health Benefits of Chamomile

1. Anti-Inflammatory

Studies have shown that chamomile can reduce inflammation (2010). Inflammation may be at the root of several medical conditions, including PCOS, IBD, Crohn’s, Alzheimer’s, atherosclerosis, non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, and more (2018). 

2. Cardiovascular Health

The antioxidants in chamomile tea can help reduce cholesterol levels and blood pressure. One study demonstrated that when diabetics drank chamomile tea with meals, their cholesterol profiles improved (2015).  

3. Immunity

Chamomile appears to be anti-bacterial and may help fight off colds. A study demonstrated that inhaling the steam of chamomile may reduce symptoms of the common cold (1990). Pre-clinical studies have shown that some of the bioactive components of chamomile can reduce the growth of skin, prostate, breast and ovarian cancer cells (2010).

4. Anxiety Relief

Several compounds of chamomile have a calming effect, particularly apigenin. Animal studies have shown that chamomile extract can act as a sedative that could alleviate stress, anxiety, and insomnia. Clinical randomized controlled trials have shown that oral chamomile extract can significantly decrease anxiety in those with mild to severe generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) (2016). 

5. Glycemic Control

Slowing the digestion of carbohydrates and the absorption of sugar can positively affect blood glucose levels and, therefore, prevent insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes. Compounds in chamomile appear to have this action (2018). 

6. Menstrual Cramps

Drinking chamomile tea may relieve muscle spasms, including menstrual cramps, by releasing glycine which acts as a nerve relaxant (2005).

Chamomile Tea - JusTea

Why JusTea?

When I learned the story behind JusTea, I fell in love with this tea company. Based locally in Vancouver, BC, JusTea is about justly made tea. Their fair-trade tea supports small-scale farmers in Kenya who would otherwise not receive fair or sustainable wages. Since 2012, JusTea has created over 200 jobs for women and children in rural Kenya. The hand-carved wooden teaspoons gifted with each tea order were made by and purchased from 30 woodworking families. Read more about JusTea’s story here.

Chamomile Tea - JusTea

This post was sponsored by JusTea. The Chamomile Cleanse (pictured above) is a blend of organic chamomile, lemongrass and licorice root.

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6 benefits of chamomile tea

Magnesium: My Must-Have Mineral While Traveling

Magnesium can assist with regulating our sleep cycles which is important to stay healthy while traveling. Chewable magnesium gummies make it easy!

Traveling is a joy and an incredible privilege, but it can also disrupt our sleep schedule. A change of time zones interrupts our circadian rhythm (especially when going from West to East). Early mornings fueled with caffeine and late nights accompanied by alcohol also affect our circadian rhythm. In addition, a change in eating habits can compromise our vitamin and mineral intake.

Magnesium is important for the proper functioning of our nerves, muscles, brains, and hearts. Several chronic diseases have been associated with low magnesium levels including insulin resistance, diabetes, hypertension, heart disease, migraines, ADHD and Alzheimer’s. Magnesium also binds to gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) receptors. GABA is a neurotransmitter that plays a critical role in relaxation and sleep regulation. Magnesium deficiencies have been linked to sleep disorders. Further, randomized controlled trials have shown that daily magnesium supplementation can improve sleep quality and quantity (20022012).

Magnesium for Travel- Phruitful Dish
On the Mediterranean Sea with my Natural Calm magnesium gummies.

As someone who has suffered from insomnia for most of my life, consuming magnesium has made a huge difference. Since I was a young child I would lay awake in bed at night wondering if I would fall asleep. Then, I would get frustrated with myself for not being able to sleep and the cycle of insomnia continued. I tried everything from inducing a relaxation response to counting sheep. A relaxation exercise I still use today looks like this: I begin by systematically tensing and relaxing each part of my body, starting at my head and ending at my toes. This is known as progressive muscle relaxation and can be helpful for reducing anxiety. Now, along with being mindful of consuming foods high in magnesium, I take a magnesium supplement one-two hours before bedtime. I find I fall asleep faster and wake less frequently (both huge reliefs!). 

Magnesium for Travel

On my recent trip to Europe, I packed my vegan, gluten-free Natural Calm magnesium gummies to help ensure a good night’s sleep, and benefit from the other health properties of magnesium. Chewable gummies eliminate the need to find clean water to take a pill which can be tricky in a foreign country. I also experience anxiety when I have to swallow a large pill so chewable vitamins have been a lifesaver. I would love to hear what your experience with magnesium and sleep has been.

This post is sponsored by Natural Calm Canada.

Mood-Boosting Spices to Beat The Winter (Or Everyday) Blues

Learn why these 8 spices are essential for boosting our mood and how we can incorporate them into recipes.

Many of us experience seasonal depression and if we battle clinical depression, this time of year can exacerbate our symptoms. Spices and herbs have been used in medicine to help heal disease for centuries. I have put together a list of evidence-based spices, along with how to use them in recipes, for improving our mental health. I bet you already have many of these in your home!

1. Turmeric

The beautiful yellow spice may be one of the most-researched spices on the planet. Evidence suggests curcumin, the active ingredient in turmeric, may be effective at treating depression. Curcumin boosts serotonin and dopamine, two neurotransmitters important for mood management. In addition, curcumin has powerful anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects which can help manage several chronic illnesses.

Golden Turmeric Mylk

2. Cinnamon

Adding this aromatic spice to meals can be helpful in alleviating anxiety and depression due to its ability to balance blood sugar levels. Even smelling cinnamon can enhance cognitive functioning. I add cinnamon to all my smoothies and oatmeal bowls as its ability to stabilize glucose levels can help keep our energy consistent through the day, as well as assist in lowering “bad” cholesterol, and decreasing triglyceride levels. 

Cinnamon cashew blender muffins (gluten-free, vegan, low-glycemic)

3. GINGER

Fresh ginger can boost feelings of happiness by increasing serotonin levels. Also, it can help us stay focused and increase productivity by supporting our dopamine levels. Its adaptogenic properties can help regulate cortisol levels and alleviate symptoms of adrenal fatigue. Other health benefits include decreasing fasting blood sugar and HbA1c levels.

Autumn Vegetable Bowl with Ginger Turmeric Hemp Heart Dressing

4. Fennel

While mostly known for its digestive health properties, fennel supplementation has also been shown to decrease anxiety in women with anxiety disorder. It can also relieve pain, bloating and cramps related to both PMS and menopause. Try this fennel tea by The Glowing Fridge.

Fennel Tea

5. Nutmeg

The warming, soothing properties of nutmeg help promotes relaxation, digestion and may decrease anxiety and depression. If taken before bed in a warm drink it may help us sleep if we suffer from insomnia. Its high magnesium content helps reduce nerve tension and can stimulate the production of serotonin. In the brain, serotonin is converted to melatonin, the hormone responsible for our sleep and wake cycles.

Pumpkin Spice PB Cookie Dough

6. Cumin

Cumin seeds, also known as jeera, are anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial and known to improve digestion. They have a high amount of melatonin which can help treat insomnia and may also alleviate anxiety. Try this Creamy Spicy Bean Curry by The Writer Eats.

Creamy Avocado Bean Curry

7. Cardamom

Related to both turmeric and ginger, cardamom has antidepressant potential as well as cardiovascular benefits. Research has shown it can help decrease high blood pressure by relaxing our arteries. It has also been reported to improve digestion and could inhibit the growth of colon cancer cells. 

PUMPKIN CINNAMON DATE SMOOTHIE

8. Teas: Matcha, Lavender & Chamomile

Matcha tea contains L-theanine which may relieve stress and improve cognitive function. I suggest matcha tea in replacement of coffee as it provides us with focused energy as opposed to anxious energy. It is very high in catechins which are antioxidants that help remove free radicals from the body preventing disease. Studies also suggest matcha tea may prevent blood glucose and lipid accumulation. Lavender is a soothing herb often used in aromatherapy for stress and anxiety. Culinary lavender is also edible in small amounts and lovely when steeped in tea. I often drink this in the evening or whenever I am feeling anxious. Chamomile tea is soothing for digestive issues but may also be helpful for people experiencing panic attacks, anxiety and/or insomnia.

Mint Mocha Matcha Smoothie

I would love to hear how incorporating these spices in your meals impacts your mood, energy levels and focus, so let me know if you try any recipes! For more mood-boosting recipes, check out this post by Bhumika of The Writer Eats.

Mood-boosting Spices to Beat the Blues