Zhena’s Gypsy Tea founder Zhena Muzyka has come a long way since she was selling her specially crafted sachets out of a street cart just ten years ago. An herbalist and certified aromatherapist, the entrepreneur’s numerous blends are equal parts science and art—and they are useful in ways outside just your cup.
I sat down with the tea guru to discuss my favorite springtime flavor, Chamomile, and to learn more about why I enjoy it so much beyond its delicious taste. Little did I know that Muzyka has gone to great lengths to make hers particularly good for digestion, bloating, and even hair. Click through to find out what she adds to make her blend extra special.
What makes your Italian Chamomile special?
It’s a digestion recipe from Rome. It was my actually my girl friend’s grandmother’s classic recipe and she would have them drink it after a large meal or pasta.
What are some of the additional ingredients you’ve added?
I’ve added fennel, which is an antispasmodic that will help anyone whose digestion is off and it will flatten the tummy because it gets rid of bloating. I also added lemon to it, which a lot of people don’t realize is an antispasmodic as well. It cleanses the liver, which is great for weight loss, but it relaxes the intestines so you can digest your food properly.
How would you recommend using Chamomile other than for drinking?
A lot of people will set chamomile on their eyes and it’s one of the big misnomers when you look up beauty treatments with tea. About third of the population is going to have a negative reaction because Chamomile is actually a ragweed, so if anyone has a ragweed or pollen allergy and they put it on their eyes, it will be a major irritant.
So what is a good beauty treatment you can use Chamomile for?
A hair rinse! One of the other ingredients I added was hibiscus, which Caribbean women use on their skin and in their hair because it helps strengthen collagen and adds shine. I make a hair rinse for myself by steeping two sachets in twelve ounces of water and then putting it in the fridge to cool. Use it as the final step after you shampoo and condition by just pouring it over your hair and don’t rinse it out. The hibiscus will strengthen the hair and the chamomile will bring out any highlights. The colder the water, the higher the gloss, so it’s good for the rinse to be chilly.
To purchase your own tin of Zhena’s potent Italian Chamomile, visit our Birchbox Shop.