Roman chamomile is one of the two chamomile plant species that is popularly used to prepare chamomile tea. You may also know it as low chamomile, whig plant, or garden chamomile. Its scientific name is Chamaemelum nobile and is also known to some as English chamomile.

It is a perennial plant which is found in Europe, North Africa, North America and parts of South America such as Argentina.

The flower heads of Roman chamomile are used to make tea and other preparations such as creams and ointments.

Word Origin

‘Chamomile’ comes from the Greek word chamaimÄ“lon which literally translates to ‘earth-apple’. This might be because of the apple-like aroma of chamomile.

It is said that ancient Romans used to enjoy chamomile as a drink and also use it for fragrance. But this is not how Roman chamomile got its name. It is believed that a 19th century botanist came up with the name for an herb that they found in the Roman Coliseum.

How to make Roman chamomile tea?

Chamomile tea

Making Roman chamomile tea is an easy affair. All you do is pour boiling water over the dried Roman chamomile and steep for a few minutes.

Things You’ll Need

  • 2-3 tsps. dried Roman chamomile
  • Hot water
  • A small sieve/strainer

Directions

  1. Put the dried herb into a cup
  2. Pour hot water into the cup.
  3. Let the flowers infuse for about 10 minutes.
  4. Using a sieve/strainer, strain the tea into another cup.
  5. Add honey or lemon juice to taste.

Enjoy your Roman chamomile tea!

Why drink Roman chamomile tea?

Roman chamomile tea is packed with a range of polyphenolic compounds such as apigenin and luteolin, in fact, 340 mg per liter of tea. The most potent polyphenolic compound found in this tea is chamaemeloside. [1]

Roman chamomile tea also contains traces of the essential oil that is known to have several health benefits. Roman chamomile oil has been used in the treatment of heartburn, anxiety, migraines, allergies, sunburn, insomnia and muscle spasms.

The infusions of Roman chamomile contain flavonoids (flavonols and flavones) and organic acids that act as antioxidants and have antitumor properties.[2]

Research shows that

  • Extracts of wild Roman chamomile have chemopreventive properties i.e. inhibit growth of tumorous cells.[3]
  • Roman chamomile is rich in nutrients like carbohydrates, proteins and fatty acids.[4]

Things to Consider

  • Roman chamomile is an herb, so it may have side effects when mixed with medications such as anti-coagulants and sedatives.
  • Do not drink chamomile tea if you have a ragweed or daisy allergy.
  • When taken excessively, it can cause vomiting.
  • Pregnant women should avoid Roman chamomile tea as it has been linked to causing miscarriages.
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