Saturday, January 21, 2012

Chamomile + Honey = A Bowl of Soul

  The lovely and talented Maggie is hosting this month's "Go Ahead Honey."  When I saw her theme I thought, whoa, this is right up my alley.  
One of my favorite herbs immediately came to mind: chamomile.  I will share for a moment that during both my pregnancies, chamomile somehow instantly calmed my painful Crohn's flare-ups.  I love chamomile for so many reasons, I could go on and on, but let me just say that if you come over for a visit, I will offer you some chamomile tea and probably keep asking until you say yes. The next healing food that came to mind was honey.  I use honey all the time in baking, smoothies, homemade facial masks, and holistic healing remedies (such as cough syrup).  So below you will find the health benefits of chamomile and honey, as well as some easy, practical uses.  But firsthow about a warm Bowl of Soul...  
What's that you ask?  Well it's a fabulous, comforting warm drink made with chamomile and honey.  Years ago my friend, Heather, took me out for a birthday dinner.  And for a nightcap, a delicious drink she raved about from a local indie coffee house.  It was called A Bowl of Soul: chamomile steeped in warm soy milk and sweetened with honey.  It. Was. Delicious.  I don't drink soy milk anymore, but I make my own version of Soul  here at home with homemade almond milk (or any nut milk).  And I wanted to share it with you today.   
2 tablespoons loose-leaf chamomile
Honey to taste

How To:
1.  In a small sauce pan over medium low heat, bring almond milk and chamomile to a gentle simmer.  Immediately remove from heat and cover for about 10 minutes.
2.  Strain milk into large cup through a nut milk bag.
3.  Add honey to taste.
4. Turn on some jazzy soul music and enjoy this warm, calming drink on a cold winter evening.

*This is a great beverage for children in the evening (as a calming agent).  Chamomile naturally calms nerves and is super relaxing.  *You can use any dairy alternative milk, I happen to like the way almond milk works with the other flavors.  *Take care to not boil, burn, or scald the milk.  
Chamomile Health Benefits

*Check out this study linking health benefits 

*Chamomile can be used topically or orally to treat a number of everyday ailments, such as:

  • -Insomnia and other sleep disorders
  • -Anxiety and Panic Attacks
  • -Muscle twitches
  • -Wounds, burns, and scrapes
  • -Skin conditions such as psoriasis, eczema, chickenpox, and diaper rash
  • -Stomach problems such as menstrual cramps, stomach flu, and ulcers  *See more from this site 

*Take caution with chamomile if you have an allergy to ragweed
{Please always consult before taking herbs if taking prescription medications.}

Some Practical Uses

*Chamomile can be used in baking, such as muffins, cookies or cakes.  Chamomile has a very pleasing taste/aroma and makes a wonderful tea (1 tbsp to 8 oz boiling water). 

*Chamomile can also be used as an ingredient in beauty products, such as homemade lotion for dry skin/eczema, or as a facial toner.

*And here's a fun idea, use it as a natural hair highlighter.

Honey Health Benefits

*Interesting reads: world of honey & this site.

*Honey can be used topically or orally to treat a number of everyday ailments, such as:

  • -It may help fight cancer
  • -Used to heal minor cuts and burns
  • -Eases coughs
  • -May help with allergies 
  • -Contains antioxidants
  • -Raw honey: anti bacterial, anti viral, anti fungal 
  • -More easily assimilated by the body than refined cane-sugar 
Some Practical Uses

*Honey is obviously a great substitute for refined cane-sugar in baking and cooking.  Please take caution if you have digestive issues, as raw honey is difficult to digest and may irritate the digestive tract. 

*Honey is a great ingredient in homemade beauty products, such as facial masks, as a dry skin moisturizer, or for your hair!

*Due to its anti-bacterial properties, honey can be used as an acne remedy.

*I use honey as a cough syrup for my children (and often mix in herbs, such as thyme).

Salud - Be Well
Shared on: Traditional Tuesdays, Fat Tuesday, Slightly Indulgent Tuesdays & Allergy-Friendly Friday, & Whole Food Wednesdays, Allergy-Free Wednesdays,


  1. gfe--gluten free easilyJanuary 22, 2012 at 5:44 PM

    What a fabulous post, Amber! I love it and I'd love it even if I didn't already love both chamomile and honey. I especially love how you keep asking folks if they want a cup of chamomile until they say yes! Hehe. Have I said love enough already? ;-) I didn't know all the bennies of chamomile; I just know that it's one of my favorites. I do have the inside scoop on honey though, of course. ;-) Thanks for the education! I can't wait to make your Bowl of Soul, but I think all my chamomile is at work. Will be bringing that home so I can enjoy this delicious, healing concoction soon!


    1. Hello There Shirley,

      I'm loven' all the love! You can never have enough. Thanks for your sweet comment. Please let me know how you like (or love) your Bowl of Soul. :-)


  • This recipe really does equate to a bowl full of soul! I don't drink chamomile tea nearly enough as I should. I usually drink a lot of peppermint tea. This drink looks amazing-nourishing, warming, perfectly sweetened and oh so calming! Us mothers can use all the calming natural remedies we can get our hands on, eh?!

    1. Oh yes Laura, I hear you. It's important to take some time to relax. Mommyhood is off the chart crazy busy. People just don't tell you these things. But you're so right, a special drink can be a real treat at the end of a long, busy day. :-)


  • I drink chamomile tea all of the time, but I've never brewed it with almond milk and honey. That sounds delicious and quite relaxing. Chamomile is my calming tea. I have found through personal experience that using only local honey has caused my allergies to disappear. Great post!

    1. Hi Mjskit,

      I agree 100%. Local honey is the way to go. We are so lucky here in Northern California - so many options when it comes to honey. Love it all, and it really does help! Thanks for your comment. :-)

      Be Well,

  • This is so informative yet fun to read! I've known about the benefits of chamomile for some time and I have tried on numerous occasions to drink chamomile tea BUT I just can't like it at all. A colleague at work used to drink it every day! This post also reminded me of years ago when I was in my teens. I bought some dried chamomile flowers and I can remember stewing them in hot water. The smell was terrible! Anyway I used them to rinse my hair and I think I had to wash it all out because I hadn't filtered the flowers properly! I don't remember if it made my hair lighter but I do remember the smell! Since then I have used natural conditioners and shampoos with chamomile and they are very effective at lightening my hair! I will maybe try chamomile tea with honey and almond milk, it looks lush! Great photos BTW!

    1. Hi Vicki,

      I did have some fun playing around with photography for this post. And thanks for sharing such great info on the hair lightening. So interesting. I'm now remembering that a few years ago we used chamomile to color eggs for spring. Powerful stuff!

      Oh Vicky, I feel the same exact way about licorice root. My husband LOVES it and I can't stand it, not one bit! So funny. Well, let me know if you are able to drink chamomile mixed with some non-dairy milk and honey. You can always use green tea or another favorite tea. Your taste buds don't seem too keen on chamomile, so maybe something else? Let me know!

  • Hello! Thank you for linking this post to SSGF. It's bee a rough few weeks as I've been flaring with Crohns in my first much-anticipated pregancy. Reading at the top what you said in your situation made me cry (which is happening alot lately) and was also encouraging. I intend to give this a try, as soon as I am able to get some cammomile buds.
    Chrystal in Canada

  • Hello Chrystal,

    Oh my goodness, I can feel your pain and sadness! Please do try the chamomile (it's considered a very safe herb while pregnant, in moderation of course). I hope it helps for you too. I would also take 2 fish oils each day during your flare and try to follow the SCD. I have some recipes here on my blog, but please also note the other wonderful SCD blogs in my right side bar. Please let me know how you're feeling and if anything works to calm your flare! I wish you well dear Chrystal!


  • Michelle @ The Willing CookJanuary 26, 2012 at 5:55 AM

    This is great! I'm going to have to try it. Where do you buy your chamomile? Whole Foods, maybe, or online?

  • Hi There Michelle,


    Well, I'm lucky in that I have an awesome Natural Foods Coop right down the street, and also in the next town. Both Coops have wonderful, huge bulk sections. So I find my loose chamomile in these bulk section. You might want to try a Whole Foods. You can always use a chamomile tea bag if you can't find it loose, but the flavor will be a little different (loose-leaf is wonderfully strong and fragrant).


  • I love chamomile tea and will definitely be trying this bowl of soul :) Thank you so much for linking up to Go Ahead Honey. This is the perfect post for this month's theme :)

  • Thanks Maggie!



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