Benefits of chamomile tea and potential risks that you should know
Chamomile tea is good for better sleep, may help you reduce stress and anxiety, is also good for digestion, and may improve your heart health.
In this article, we will introduce you to the benefits of chamomile tea, possible side effects, who shouldn’t drink this beverage, and how much to drink per day!
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What is chamomile herbal tea?
Chamomile is not a ‘true tea’ in the sense that it does not come from Camellia Sinensis, the tea plant. Instead, it is technically a herbal infusion, or ’tisane’ – but it is called tea to keep things simple.
Made from chamomile flowers that have been picked and dried, chamomile tea is one of the most popular herbal teas consumed all around the world. Its use dates back to Ancient Egypt where it was used to treat fever and as an early cosmetic.
Chamomile is a flowering plant that has white petals and a bright yellow center. There are several different varieties of chamomile, and the most popular are Roman (called English) and German chamomile.
It has a pleasant earthy and floral taste. It is so delicious and now you can read why it is good for you.
Not just the taste there are many benefits associated with consuming this herbal tea, let’s see some of them.
What is chamomile tea good for?
Chamomile tea can help you sleep better
Chamomile tea is one of the best herbal teas for sleep. This is one of the most well-known benefits of this tea.
Chamomile contains a special antioxidant compound called ‘apigenin‘ which is believed to have sedative effects. This antioxidant binds to certain receptors in your brain that may promote sleepiness and reduce insomnia, or the inability to sleep.
Apigenin can be found in many fruits, vegetables, and herbs. While many foods contain apigenin, parsley is a great way to get high amounts of it.
Dried parsley contains about 45mg/gram, and dried chamomile flowers contain about 3-5 mg/gram of apigenin.
The amount of apigenin in chamomile tea varies, but teas prepared from chamomile usually have between 0.8% to 1.2% apigenin content.
A randomized control trial published in the Journal of Advanced Nursing in 2015 evaluated the effects of chamomile tea on sleep quality, fatigue, and depression in postpartum women.
Results showed that women who drank chamomile tea for two weeks reported better sleep quality compared to a group that didn’t drink chamomile tea.
Despite the fact that more studies are needed to determine the extent of chamomile tea’s effect on sleep, drinking chamomile tea before bed will certainly relax you and may help you fall asleep faster.
There are many herbal teas that may help you fall asleep faster and don’t wake through the night more about these herbal teas for sleep here!
Chamomile may reduce stress and anxiety
One of the reasons why chamomile tea is good for better sleep is because it reduces stress and anxiety.
Thanks to its warm, soothing nature this beverage can help increase the levels of melatonin and serotonin in your body. These hormones can successfully eliminate stress and worry.
In an article signed by Stephanie Maxine Ross, MH, HT, CNC published in the Holistic Nursing Practice the author explains the effect of chamomile on soothing the mind.
She says that chamomile tea increases melatonin and serotonin in the body, and by increasing these hormones you can relax easily and let the stress of the day slip away.
Another small 2016 study published in Phytomedicine evaluated the long-term chamomile use for prevention of GAD (Generalized Anxiety Disorder) the most common anxiety disorder.
The results of this study showed that long-term chamomile use “significantly” reduces moderate to severe symptoms of generalized anxiety disorder.
There still isn’t enough information about how exactly chamomile works to ease anxiety but still, it’s shown to at least be helpful.
May help with digestion
Everyone experiences mild digestive discomfort from time to time. Chamomile tea’s stomach-soothing properties may relax muscles to improve sluggish digestion, lessen stomach pain and settle unpleasant gas.
Chamomile is especially helpful in dispelling gas, soothing the stomach, and relaxing the muscles that move food through the intestines.
There are many ongoing animal studies that evaluate the effects of chamomile tea on the digestive system, but more human research is needed to confirm these positive effects of chamomile tea on digestion.
Nevertheless, many people claim that drinking chamomile tea is soothing to the stomach.
Traditionally it has been used to treat nausea and gas. To get the most out of these health benefits consume a cup of chamomile tea 30 minutes before a meal.
May reduce menstrual pain
Chamomile tea is a popular choice for women dealing with the symptoms of menstruation, think bloating, cramping, sweating, anxiety, inability to sleep, and mood swings.
A study from 2010 found that consuming chamomile tea for a month could reduce the pain of menstrual cramps. Women in this study also reported less anxiety and distress associated with period pain.
May boost the immune system
Drinking chamomile tea is good for your immune system. The phenolic compounds that may be present in chamomile tea can help to strengthen your immune system and ward off infections.
The aromatic scent of this tea helps to clear congested sinuses, and the antibacterial properties work to defeat any unwanted bacteria and viruses that wreak havoc on your immune system.
Studies have shown that drinking chamomile tea may increase body levels of a chemical called hippurate, a breakdown product of certain plant-based compounds known as phenolics, some of which have been associated with increased antibacterial activity.
Despite the fact that more studies are needed to identify the link between drinking a few cups of chamomile tea per day and an improved immune system, scientists believe that there is a connection between the polyphenols present in the chamomile tea and improved immune system in regular tea consumers.
Improves heart health
Chamomile’s heart health benefits can be due to the flavonoid compound. Flavonoids have been studied for their potential to lower blood pressure and cholesterol levels which are important markers of heart disease risk.
In a review of 20 studies published in the Nutrition Review scientists looked for a link between consumption of flavonoids and lower risk of cardiovascular disease.
This review found that flavonoids present in tea were shown by the majority of these studies to reduce the incidence of heart disease in the American and European populations.
According to this review, more research is needed to confirm chamomile tea’s role in promoting heart health, but it certainly couldn’t hurt to include it in your daily beverage list.
Potential side effects of chamomile tea
The risks of drinking chamomile tea are far less than other herbal teas. Drinking chamomile tea is generally safe for most people.
When it comes to the potential risks of chamomile tea there are few things to keep in mind.
There have been reports of chamomile allergies, which are most likely to occur in individuals who are allergic to plants in the daisy family, such as chrysanthemums and ragweed.
People with a history of severe allergies, particularly to pollens should also avoid chamomile tea. Chamomile may be contaminated with pollen from other plants so can cause an allergic reaction.
Furthermore, chamomile has small amounts of coumarin, which can act as a blood thinner. You should avoid drinking chamomile tea two weeks before surgery to avoid interactions with drugs.
Also, it is recommended that if you’re pregnant or have asthma you stay away from chamomile tea just in case. This is the recommendation for most herbal teas as the effects are still widely unknown.
Infants and very young children should also avoid drinking chamomile tea. Chamomile tea similar to honey and many other natural products may be contaminated with botulism spores. Most healthy adults can fight off the infection but infants may not be able to.
If someone is taking any medications they should consult with their doctor about the potential interactions with chamomile tea.
How much chamomile tea is too much per day?
As with any herbal tea, the answer to this is going to vary from one person to another. Typical consumption is one to four cups a day.
If you are considering drinking 3 or more cups a day or brewing it stronger, you should rump up your consumption gradually and pay attention to how you feel.
You can order your chamomile tea from Amazon here and we recommend this Organic Chamomile Flowers Herbal Tea free from additives, pesticides, and herbicides.
Final thoughts about the benefits and side effects of chamomile tea
Chamomile tea is very good for you. This healthy beverage can:
- Help you sleep better
- May reduce stress and anxiety
- Helps with digestion
- May reduce menstrual pain
- Improves heart health
- May boost the immune system
Chamomile tea has been used in folk medicine for thousands of years. Despite its long use, there aren’t many human studies that confirm the positive effects of chamomile tea on humans health.
Most of the studies available today are animal or test-tube studies. But with all, we got from the finished studies they all show that drinking chamomile tea is good for you.
Like any herbal tea, there are some side effects that you should consider. People with allergies to pollen and plants in the daisy family should avoid drinking this tea.
Also, infants, young children, and pregnant women should also avoid drinking this tea. People who are taking any kind of medications should consult with their doctor before start consuming this beverage because it may interact with some medications.
Finally, drinking chamomile tea generally is safe for most people. This is an especially delicious tea that is good for you and you definitely should add it to your list of herbal teas if you don’t belong to the list of people who should avoid drinking it!