Natural remedies and homeopathic medicine are popular worldwide, even in countries with heavier use of modern medicine.
You might look to natural remedies to ease symptoms of minor upsets or to help treat more serious chronic health conditions.
Tea is the most widely consumed beverage worldwide. There’s black tea, green tea, oolong tea, white tea, and countless varieties of herbal tea.
Chamomile tea is one of the most popular types of herbal tea. You might be wondering what the chamomile tea benefits are, so we’ve comprised a list of eight potential health benefits of drinking chamomile tea.
What Is Chamomile Tea?
Chamomile is a daisy-like plant that has been used since ancient times in Egypt, Greece, and Rome. There are two main types of chamomile – Roman chamomile and German chamomile. Both have similar benefits and properties, but Roman chamomile is more well-known.
Chamomile is a popular type of tea due to its numerous potential health benefits. One of the reasons chamomile tea is popular is because it’s free of caffeine, unlike black tea and green tea.
You make chamomile tea by pouring hot or boiling water over dried chamomile flowers. You can prepare chamomile tea using loose leaf tea or in pre-prepared tea bags.
8 Health Benefits Of Chamomile Tea
Drinking chamomile tea may help promote sleep. Chamomile contains a specific antioxidant called apigenin. Apigenin binds to benzodiazepine receptors in your brain, which makes it act as a mild tranquilizer and a sleep-inducer.
A study used chamomile extract on elderly patients living in a nursing home. Before taking chamomile (or the control), both groups’ sleep quality was poor. After 28 days, the sleep quality in the chamomile extract group significantly improved compared to the control group.
In addition, people have used chamomile to treat nightmares, insomnia, and other sleep problems.
2. Blood sugar
According to a study of people with type 2 diabetes, drinking chamomile tea reduced hemoglobin A1c levels (a measure of long-term blood sugar control), insulin levels, measures of insulin resistance, triglycerides, and LDL “bad” cholesterol after eight weeks.
Drinking chamomile tea may help protect the cells of the pancreas that are responsible for making insulin. One of the potential benefits of chamomile tea for diabetes is that it may promote better blood sugar control, regardless of your body’s insulin secretion.
Drinking unsweetened beverages like chamomile tea can help promote healthy blood sugar levels in people with diabetes. Replacing soda, fruit juice, and other sweetened drinks with unsweetened (or lightly sweetened) chamomile tea can help reduce high blood sugar levels associated with drinking sugary beverages.
3. Mental health
According to a study, the use of chamomile extract resulted in a significant reduction of generalized anxiety disorder symptoms. However, researchers noted that the use of chamomile didn’t reduce the rate of relapse of symptoms. Further research would be helpful to determine chamomile’s efficacy in reducing anxiety symptoms.
A study of 57 people with a history of anxiety and depression concluded that chamomile may have “clinically meaningful antidepressant activity” in addition to its potential ability to ease anxiety symptoms.
If you aren’t a big tea drinker, don’t fret. Chamomile’s use in aromatherapy may result in similar benefits. Lavender and chamomile essential oils reduced symptoms of depression, anxiety, and stress levels.
4. Digestive health
A study was conducted on over 1,000 patients with diarrhea due to digestive disorders such as irritable bowel syndrome and inflammatory bowel conditions. A combination of chamomile flower extract and other herbs was well-tolerated, safe, and effective at reducing symptoms of acute diarrhea.
Drinks like chamomile tea may be beneficial for the treatment of gastrointestinal reflux disease, also called GERD or acid reflux. With acid reflux, caffeinated and carbonated drinks can worsen symptoms.
Chamomile tea is caffeine-free and has anti-inflammatory properties, making it a good choice for acid reflux sufferers.
5. Heart health
Chamomile is an excellent source of flavonoids, a type of antioxidant. Antioxidants help protect your cells from damage and inflammation. Inflammation is the leading cause of many chronic diseases including heart disease, the leading cause of death among men and women.
Flavonoids may also help lower blood pressure levels. Chronic high blood pressure can stiffen your arteries and reduce circulation, which can then increase your risk of heart disease. Chamomile tea contains quercetin, a type of flavonoid.
6. Cancer prevention
Apigenin, one of the antioxidants in chamomile tea, may help protect against certain types of cancer. Studies suggest that diets rich in flavonoids may reduce the risk of breast, digestive tract, skin, prostate, and certain blood cancers.
A study examined chamomile’s impact on various types of human cancer cells. When exposed to chamomile, normal cells weren’t hindered in growth while cancer cells experienced slowed growth.
Chamomile also caused cell death in cancer cells while preserving normal cells. This means that chamomile may be beneficial for cancer prevention and/or treatment in conjunction with other treatment modalities.
7. Immune system
According to a study, drinking chamomile tea was associated with markers of increased antibacterial activity. Fighting bacteria and viruses can help you from getting sick. However, we need more studies to determine how effective chamomile is in preventing illness.
8. Weight management
While it hasn’t specifically been studied, it’s well-known that replacing sugary beverages with unsweetened (or lightly sweetened) drinks may help promote weight loss. Plain chamomile tea doesn’t contain any calories or sugar on its own.
If you add small amounts of sugar or a sugar substitute like Stevia, drinking chamomile tea may help you achieve an overall calorie deficit which is when weight loss occurs.
Chamomile tea has several potential health benefits. Drinking chamomile tea is safe and well-tolerated by most people. The only people who should avoid drinking chamomile tea are those who have developed an allergic reaction to chamomile.
There are several studies suggesting potential health benefits of drinking chamomile tea or taking chamomile extract. It’s important to note that many of the studies on chamomile were limited in terms of small sample sizes, and some of the studies were on animals or test tubes.
While test-tube and animal study results can be promising, the results can’t be directly translated to use in humans.
If you want to drink chamomile tea for its potential health benefits, you should do so in conjunction with your current healthcare plan. You should always speak with your healthcare provider if you have concerns, and don’t stop taking any prescribed medications to use chamomile instead.