Many people believe that certain herbal teas have magical properties, and they are not far from the truth, especially when it comes to chamomile tea. Chamomile tea benefits range from aiding digestion to helping with sleep.
This tea has been around for centuries, and its popularity is now growing every day all over the world. It is known to have numerous health benefits for people who regularly consume it. Majorly known for its benefits as a restorative and recuperative tea, this tea is often used by people who want a good night sleep and the sickly.
More about Chamomile Tea
Chamomile, which is a herb from Asteraceae family commonly referred to as daisy family, has been used for many years thanks to its therapeutic properties.
It comes in different varieties, but the two main varieties used by many include German Chamomile and Roman Chamomile.
Commonly, chamomile is brewed as a tea, and it is in this form that it provides the most benefits. When brewed as tea, chamomile produces a flavor that consists of fruity and herbal notes and leaves a refreshing, smooth taste in the mouth. Many people compare the taste to that of a crisp apple.
It is caffeine-free, and this makes it a perfect night-time drink.
Let’s talk about the history of this tea before we discuss the benefits
History and Usage of Chamomile Tea
As mentioned earlier, chamomile tea has been used for many centuries, and its usage can be dated back to Ancient Egypt, where it was used for skin therapy and to treat fever.
Romans added it to beverages to add flavor and as a medicinal herb to treat different ailments. In mediaeval times, this restorative herb was used to add aromatic scent during public events. It was sprinkled on fresh leaves around to create a sweet smell. The most interesting usage of this herb is that it was used as an ingredient in the production of beer to add flavor.
Let’s now take a look at the many chamomile tea benefits you can get by drinking or applying it.
Chamomile Tea Benefits
1. It Helps to Provide Calmness Thus Good For People with Anxiety and Stress Problems
Over 40 million Americans suffer from anxiety-related disorders, making it one of the most common mental disorder in the US. This is according to Medical News Today. (1) Many people prefer natural methods of providing relief from anxiety symptoms instead of medication. And although there are many natural remedies to anxiety, the use of chamomile tea is known to be the most effective.
Chamomile tea is known to calm anxiety symptoms by providing calmness. In fact, this tea offers relief from stress-related symptoms. For best results, you are advised to drink a cup or two of chamomile tea daily or when you feel stressed out.
A study published in Holistic Nursing Practice Journal on the effects of chamomile in soothing the mind revealed that chamomile tea increases melatonin and serotonin amounts in the body, thereby alleviating stress. These two hormones are known to relax the mind, and thus alleviate stress and anxiety. (2)
Another study published in the Vegetarian Times revealed that chamomile can help relieve symptoms of migraines and headaches. The study revealed that chamomile has antioxidants and compounds that increases blood supply to the brain, thereby alleviating aches and pains. (3)
Drinking a cup of chamomile tea before bedtime can give you a good night sleep. In fact, chamomile is widely known for its ability to induce sleep. It does this thanks to its calming effect which is brought by an antioxidant called apigenin. Apigenin is known to bind receptors that induce sleep in your brain.
A study done in 2016 on links between chamomile tea and inducing sleep and helping with depression in women, revealed that women who drank this herbal tea every night consistently for two weeks experienced better sleep quality than those who did not drink this tea. Once they stopped drinking the tea, this effect was reversed. (4)
The same compounds in chamomile that helps your brain relax and alleviate stress and anxiety are the same that induce sleep and improve sleep quality. People suffering from sleep disorders such as insomnia and sleep apnea will find it easier to sleep once they begin to take this tea.
A study done on the effects of Chamomile tea on sleep quality and depression revealed that indeed, chamomile helped to improve sleep quality. The study was done on a group of 80 Taiwanese women who were experiencing difficulties in getting consistent sleep.
The women were divided into two- control group and experimental group. The latter drank chamomile tea for 2 weeks. In those two weeks, they experienced lower rates of sleep inefficiency compared to those in the control group.
However, it is important to mention that chamomile offers short term results, and thus, you have to keep drinking this tea to continue enjoying the benefits. This means that efficiency of chamomile tea as a solution to your sleep condition is less effective, and thus, you have to be consistent in drinking this tea before bedtime.
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3. Aids In Digestion
For people with digestive tract problems such as irritable bowel syndrome, abdominal pain, and upset stomach, chamomile tea can help relieve the symptoms. In ancient times, chamomile was used to treat colic in kids. It is also exceptionally effective at preventing stomach ulcers and relieving gas.
A study aimed at looking at how chamomile can prevent gastric ulcers indicated that when coupled with peppermint leaves and liquorice root among other ingredients, chamomile can prevent the development of stomach ulcers. This is because the antioxidants in chamomile tea reduce acid production and decreased leukotriene, which are linked to ulcers. (6)
Also, thanks to the anti-inflammatory properties of chamomile, drinking this tea can help prevent diarrhea. In a study conducted on animals to test the effectiveness of chamomile extract, it was suggested that chamomile can help prevent diarrhea. The study was done on mice whereby chamomile extract was administered to them using castor oil. This led to lower levels of digestive problems.
While there is a need for more studies to be done to prove that indeed chamomile aids in digestion, there are reasons to believe that this tea can help regulate and improve the digestive system. For maximum benefits, drink a cup of chamomile tea before each meal.
4. May Help Protect Against Different Types of Cancer
As mentioned earlier, chamomile tea has antioxidants that help to fight certain types of cancer. For instance, it contains antioxidant apigenin, which has shown to fight cancer cells, especially those in breast, skin, digestive tract, uterus, and prostate area.
In a study conducted on 537 people, it was observed that people who drank chamomile tea 2-6 times a week had significantly less chances of developing thyroid cancer than people did not drink this tea. (7)
Of course, there is a need for more studies to conclusive say that chamomile tea is a potent drink for cancer prevention.
5. Has Pain-Reducing and Anti-Inflammatory Properties
Often called ‘herbal aspirin’ because of its usage as a home remedy for reducing pain, chamomile can help with redness, swelling, and congestion. It is effective at reducing skin irritations, facial swelling, pain from infections, toothaches, and inflammation. This is the main reason chamomile extract is added to most beauty products such as body lotions, facial products, bathing soaps, and toothpaste.
A study published in Neurological Science found out that a chamomile gel can reduce migraine pain and also pain associated with injuries, arthritis, fevers, back pain, and pregnancy. In fact, in ancient years, chamomile extracts were used to sooth women bodies after giving birth. For example, in Mexico, women were given chamomile tea after labor to help their abdominal muscles relax and also help them rest. (8)
6. Improving Heart Health
As a leading cause of death in the United States, heart disease is affecting many people because of dietary choices, hereditary factors, as well as smoking. Fortunately, you can keep your heart healthy by regularly drinking chamomile tea.
Studies have shown that chamomile tea can help reduce the amount of bad cholesterol in the body and also lower blood pressure. (9)
In another study, a group of 64 individuals were divided into two- control group and experimental group. The experimental group drank chamomile tea three times a day for eight weeks. At the end of the period, those who drank chamomile tea were found to have lower levels of insulin levels and insulin resistance. (10)
In another study, scientists were reviewing 20 studies that were done on heart health. It was found that flavonoids in tea, including chamomile tea, can reduce the risks of heart disease. (11)
The antioxidants in this ancient tea, such as flavonoids, may lower the risks of various heart diseases and also reduce bad LDL cholesterol.
Therefore, drinking chamomile tea on a regular basis may help maintain healthy blood pressure by promoting better sleep, relaxing blood vessels, and reducing stress.
However, it is important to point out that although chamomile tea benefits the heart in different ways, it may increase bleeding for people with thin blood. Therefore, in case you have this problem, it will be advisable that you avoid drinking this herbal tea.
7. Regulating Blood Sugar
A study done by a recognized University in Iran suggested that drinking chamomile tea may lower blood sugar, thereby benefiting people with diabetes. This ability was attributed to an antioxidant called quercetin, which impacts on certain enzymes that helps to regulate blood sugar.
The study carried out by Tabriz University in Iran on 64 people aged 30-60 where half the group drank water with meals while the other drank chamomile tea with meals. After eight weeks, people who were taking chamomile tea with meals showed lower blood sugar levels than those who were drinking only water. (11)
While there are ongoing studies to determine if chamomile tea has abilities to regulate blood sugar, there is a reason to believe that it is beneficial to people with diabetes.
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Other benefits of Chamomile tea
- Boosts immune system. The phenolic compounds in chamomile tea help to boost the immune system, thereby enabling your body to ward off infections. Also, some compounds in chamomile tea may help fight flu, sinus, and cold issues, thereby relieving nasal congestion.
- Skin Care. The antioxidant-rich nature and anti-inflammatory properties of this tea make it more than a beverage. Topical application of this tea alleviates skin irritations and offers relief from symptoms of conditions such as eczema. Also, this tea has shown abilities to speed up healing of skin blemishes and lessen the appearance of wrinkles on the face. By eliminating oxidative stress, your skin will begin t glow. (12)
- Relieves Menstrual Pain. As discussed above, chamomile tea has anti-inflammatory properties that make it a relaxant. This is why many women dealing with menstruation symptoms turn to this tea to reduce cramping, mood swings, bloating, and anxiety.
- Hair Care. In addition to the many health benefits of chamomile tea, many people have claimed that it improves the strength and appearance of the hair. One study looking into the anti-inflammatory components in chamomile showed that it can help strengthens hair follicles, alleviate scalp irritation, reduce dandruff, and give your hair a silkier look. (13)
- Oral Health. Chamomile tea has antiseptic properties which may help fight oral infection, protect teeth and gum and also prevent cavities. Besides, its anti-inflammatory properties may help soothe toothaches.
There you have them- health and topical benefits of chamomile tea. Before we wind up this post, let’s discuss the possible side effects that you can encounter from using this tea.
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Side Effects and Allergies of Chamomile Tea
In general, chamomile tea has no side effects. However, pollen that finds their way into chamomile during its preparation can cause allergies in some people.
Therefore, it is important to drink this tea in moderation to avoid side effects such as nausea and vomiting that are caused by over-consumptions. Asthmatic people should also avoid drinking this tea as it can worsen the symptoms of asthma.
Chamomile tea is a great beverage that boasts of many health benefits. It is rich in antioxidants that make it reduce the risks of heart diseases and cancer.
And although further research needs to be done to prove its effectiveness in offering most of the benefits we have discussed in this article, we can make a conclusion that it is a safe beverage for virtually everyone. Its delicious taste and potential benefits it offers make it worth including in your daily diet.