Chamomile tea is refreshing and popular – between 750,000 and one million pounds are imported into the US each year. As well as being a hot drink favorite, this sweet tea might also be good for our health and wellbeing.
Imagine the scene, it’s a busy day, or you can’t sleep. You’re looking for one moment to yourself – a little piece of calm. You open your cupboard or tea chest and see all your herby and floral favorites.
It’s likely chamomile will be among them – and if it’s not, it should be! This light, fresh and caffeine-free tea is more than just a tasty, soothing cup. It packs a ton of potential health benefits.
If you are looking for a relaxing cup of tea Chamomile is perfect. Inhaling the pleasant aroma of chamomile in the morning before work or just before bed is a great way to improve your day.
We know it’s popular, but what does chamomile tea do? There is a lot of interest in what it contains, from health and wellbeing to benefits of chamomile tea for weight loss. Not forgetting how to drink it too. We’ll be exploring all that here. First, let’s look at where this intriguing flower comes from.
What is Chamomile?
Chamomile is a plant with pretty, daisy-like flowers. It is part of the Asteraceae family, also home to sunflowers and marigolds. Its full name is Matricaria chamomilla. Chamomile can be found growing on almost every continent, but it’s Germany that produces the most flowers when they bloom in the summer months.
The flowers have been used as a natural remedy for thousands of years, at least as far back as Egyptian times. As with many teas, the flower itself was used in medicine and cosmetics before it became popular as a tea. Because of its sweet smell and flavor, the Romans added chamomile to other drinks and in medieval times it was used to scent rooms for events.
As a flower not from the Camellia sinensis plant, chamomile cannot produce what is known as a “true tea”. Technically, all other drinks made with plants and water are herbal infusions called tisanes. However, in general, it’s easier to call all varieties of our favorite hot drink, “tea”. Indeed, when you go to your local tea shop you are likely to find chamomile tea on the menu. And all around the world cupboards are full of cozy chamomile tea.
This versatile flower has had many uses over the centuries. Today its uses are plenty and although it is primarily used for tea it is a powerful herbal ingredient in many recipes. Now let’s look at some specific chamomile tea effects.
Health Benefits of Chamomile Tea
As an age-old, natural supplement, there has been much interest in and hope for the benefits of chamomile tea for health.People have been consuming chamomile tea in a variety of ways for many years in an attempt to improve wellbeing. Let’s jump into the findings and understand what it is about this flower that’s believed to be so good for us.
Much of our health is linked to cell damage, and some of the agents protecting against this are antioxidants.“Antioxidants are substances that can prevent or slow damage to cells caused by free radicals”(medicalnews). Vegetables and fruits that help to form a balanced diet are very high in anti-oxidants.
The great news is that chamomile is packed with them, contained in plant substances called flavonoids. Many of the health benefits of chamomile tea come from these antioxidants.
These super-substances act to increase heart health by lowering blood pressure and “bad” cholesterol. In a review of 20 studies, flavonoids were found to reduce the incidence of cardiovascular disease. Similarly, research on 64 diabetic participants found “noteworthy improvements” to cholesterol levels when drinking chamomile tea with meals.
One of the main roles of antioxidants, and so hopefully one of the benefits of chamomile tea, is in fighting free radicals, the agents of cell damage which can be the cause of some cancers. Apigenin, contained within chamomile, tackles various types of the disease, with thyroid cancer seeing a significant fall in likelihood with regular chamomile tea drinking.
If you want to increase your levels of antioxidants you should consider adopting a healthy diet full of fruits and vegetables and try drinking some chamomile tea on a regular basis.
Like many teas, chamomile contains anti-inflammatory substances. Reducing inflammation can help with a range of conditions, as well as improving overall health and wellbeing. Some studies have looked into how chamomile tea effects:
- Nausea and gas
- Stomach ulcers
- Irritable bowel syndrome
- Period pain
One of these anti-inflammatory substances is called chamazulene. It is a compound which also has pain-relieving and antispasmodic properties for help in aiding the above conditions. Other chemicals found in chamomile are sesquiterpenes, which are antiseptic and antibacterial.
If you are having inflammation problems then maybe try some lipton chamomile tea which promises to be more soothing than a long soak in a hot bath.
Looking into the benefits of chamomile tea for anxiety, some research has found that it increases the production of serotonin and melatonin – the chemicals involved in mood control. A 2012 study over 8 weeks into chamomile extract saw a 50% reduction in anxiety symptoms.
A particular piece of research also saw a reduction in symptoms of postpartum depression in those taking chamomile for two weeks.
Tea drinking is often associated with tranquility. Whether you are sipping a cup of 7 blossoms tea at the end of a long day or you are trying to start your day quietly, a good warm drink is great for your mood.
Many chamomile teas are caffeine-free so you are unlikely to get the kick of energy that you might get from a cup of coffee or a heavily caffeinated tea. Chamomile tea has the opposite effect. A great cup of chamomile can lessen anxiety, calm nerves and allow you to take control of your mood.
Closely related to worrying and low mood is sleep. A lack of or poor quality sleep can greatly affect our state of mind and worsen symptoms of anxiety and other health conditions. As well as being a relaxing, stimulant-free drink, there have been specific research into this; so, does chamomile tea help you sleep?
Chamomile’s secret weapon, apigenin, has also been found to bind to certain receptors in the brain. This may inhibit activity and so help to bring on sleep. Participants taking 270mg of chamomile twice a day found that they fell asleep faster and had a third reduction in their night-time waking.
Apart from these potential chemical benefits of chamomile tea, having a warm cup before bed is also habit-forming. Positive, calming routines, and rituals are helpers on the path to a good night’s sleep.
Sleep is a highly undervalued aspect of everyday life. In order to be a productive member of society, it is important to get a good night’s sleep. If you struggle to concentrate during meetings or if you lose energy throughout the day you have probably not slept well.
When it comes to the general stress and anxiety reduction, chamomile tea is soothing, calming, and caffeine-free. Having a warm cup before bed is a great way of improving your sleep. These elements can all help you to relax and to ease symptoms associated with poor sleep.
If you want to improve your sleep you should try some tevive tea. Their chamomile tea infusion is known for its calm and soothing properties. Drinking tea is an easy way of making a positive impact on your sleep schedule.
Lavender Chamomile Tea
Along with chamomile, lavender is another hero of the calm and relaxation world. Have you ever come home from a long or stressful day, looking for a little ‘me time’ and thrown some lavender in your tub? Us too!
Lavender as an essential oil, fresh or dried is said to have many properties. Among them are anti-inflammation, antidepressant, antiseptic, antibacterial and pain-relieving. Wow, what a powerful purple plant!
And guess what, so similar in nature, this flower is best buds with our favorite white one. Lavender chamomile tea brings together all the best bits of both. Drawing on those soothing, tension-easing feelings, it packs a double-hit of relaxation.
Check out some of our favorite sweet, fresh and herby lavender chamomile teas.
There is plenty of room for experimentation when it comes to tea. If you are not a fan of lavender you can also try some ginger with your chamomile tea. For thousands of years people have been brewing tea with different ingredients to find the perfect mixture. Herbal infusions are a great area for tea lovers to try different flavors and search for new health benefits.
Looking at all this research, does chamomile tea help you sleep? Potentially! There are some chemical elements that may help, and non-stimulant tea as part of a low-energy routine could contribute to relaxation and sleep.
As always, everyone needs different things and won’t react in the same way. If it’s safe for you to do so, why not give it a try and see what works? If it doesn’t work for you there are plenty of other infusions you can try. Sweet chamomile dreams!
Looking into the health benefits of chamomile tea, it’s worth noting that much of the research is based on taking chamomile extract and small, animal studies. However, the results are encouraging. Let’s hope we see an increase in the positive nature of chamomile tea effects.
Benefits of chamomile tea for weight loss
As with many teas and infusions and their potential health benefits, chamomile tea has also been linked to weight loss. Obviously, there are limits to the weight loss effects of tea. The most important thing is to exercise regularly and have a healthy balanced diet.
Chamomile tea can certainly be a key component of a balanced diet. Let’s look into whether this flowery tea favorite can help us drop some pounds.
Unlike research into its nutrients and antioxidants, there isn’t any conclusive proof supporting chamomile tea weight loss. However, the many wellbeing effects we’ve explored could help in the following ways as part of a healthy lifestyle. A warm cup of chamomile tea when your counting calories can certainly help feel good about yourself.
As some of its compounds are mild diuretics, drinking chamomile tea could contribute to reduced bloating and water retention.
We’ve seen that chamomile may help tackle symptoms of low mood and anxiety. This can aid weight loss as overeating is sometimes a symptom of stress. As well as the proven benefits of sleep on weight loss, less night-time waking could also mean fewer sugar cravings at night. Chamomile is a great way of getting a good night’s sleep. This, in turn, can lead to better eating habits which increase the likelihood of weight loss.
In the cases where there was an increase in serotonin when consuming chamomile, this is good news for dieters as this so-called “happy hormone” helps to suppress appetite. Saying goodbye to unhealthy cravings is worth raising a cup to!
Another element linked to this is the health benefits of chamomile tea for weight loss in terms of healthy options and appetite. If you’re dieting, you might turn to drinks or shakes to fill you up instead of those sugary snacks. However, soda and shakes often hide a lot of the sweet stuff too.
A fresh, additive-free tea like chamomile, with no sneaky extras, could be the answer. It will refresh and potentially keep you fuller for longer, keeping those cravings at bay. You will have no need to reach for an unhealthy fizzy drink or a fat-filled shake- chamomile tea will do the job just fine!
There isn’t anything directly linking the benefits of chamomile tea to weight-loss like a magic trick. However, when consumed safely, it can be a beneficial part of a healthy diet. Chamomile tea can certainly be part of your fat-fighting kit as an alternative to unhealthy sugary drink options.
It is the perfect drink to help you form good habits throughout your day which may lead to weight loss. Good sleep, less stress, and fewer cravings may all result from drinking a regular cup of warm chamomile tea.
How to Drink Chamomile Tea
We know there are potential health benefits of chamomile tea, but what’s it like to drink and how can you incorporate it into your routine?
As a tea, chamomile has a light, refreshing flavor with fruity notes. If you find a hint of apple in the taste, you’re right on! In fact, chamomile’s English name comes from the Greek words chamai (or kamai) and mílo, meaning “ground apple”.
If you’re a Spanish speaker, you’ll see the ‘apple’ doesn’t fall far from the tree. They’ve stuck to its roots. Chamomile in Spanish is ‘manzanilla’, close to ‘manzana’, meaning apple.
This fruity heritage gives chamomile tea a uniquely pleasant taste. It is a cup of tea that lingers enough to make you feel refreshed but not so much that it leaves an unpleasant aftertaste. Unlike some black tea, you don’t need to add milk to make it palatable.
One of the benefits of chamomile tea is that you can make it from fresh flowers, dried chamomile flowers or a tea bag – which is just the flowers pre-packaged. When brewing from fresh flowers, remember to remove the head from the stem.
This means that it’s really versatile and suits all types of tea drinkers. Whether you like a bag, to make it yourself or keep it totally fresh and natural, there’s no excuse not to drink up some chamomile!
In terms of quantities, here’s a guide if you’re not using a tea bag:
- 1 heaped teaspoon per 8oz of water for dried chamomile
- 3-4 teaspoons (depending on desired strength) per 8oz of water for fresh flowers
As with many infusions, try to avoid using boiling water as this can scald the flowers and change the flavor. It may also decrease the quantity of some of the helpful nutrients and compounds. You don’t want to lose all that good stuff! Once boiled, allow the water to cool to around 200°F.
Pour over your flowers or tea bag and leave to stand, known as “steeping” for 3–5 minutes. Again, how long you steep your tea for depends on how strong you like the flavor. Maybe you need a stronger infusion in the morning to help you wake up and the evening calls for a more soothing infusion.
You can actually reuse the petals and tea bags a few times to make multiple cups as the flavor is quite concentrated within the flowers. The flavor of the tea does not degrade. In fact on the 3rd and 4th cup you may get some nuanced and interesting flavors. The recommended amount to drink is 2–5 cups per day.
It’s worth mentioning here that as above, there are some safety guidelines and limits. Chamomile has been known to cause drowsiness and occasional allergic reactions. As usual, pregnant women should definitely check with their doctor first. In any case, if you’re worried, seek advice.
Add a slice of apple or some honey if you like it sweeter. Remember, natural additions will help you to reap all those potential health benefits of chamomile tea. Mixing flavors with fresh and new ingredients can also help liven up your cup of tea. This is especially important if you are bored of drinking the same ta every day.
However you like to drink it, there’s a delicious cup of tea waiting for you. Have a look at some of our favorite chamomile teas to get started.
They even have advice on how to pair your chamomile tea with food. “Its slightly sweet floral flavor with light earthy undertones, pair terrifically well with savory dishes that contain a hint of sweetness. Think a salmon fillet baked in a honey dressing or a fresh crunchy salad speckled with raisins”
Consumer Rating: 4.8/5 stars | Read Reviews
If you are really looking for a tea to warm your soul during long and cold wintery nights the cozy chamomile tea may be the one for you. “As soothing as a field of daisies, cozy chamomile herbal tea is a wonderful way to unwind and relax any time of day.”
Consumer Rating: 4.7/5 stars | Read Reviews
Consumer Rating: 4/5 Stars | Read Reviews
So, is Chamomile Tea Good for You?
We’ve looked at some of the research into, and possible benefits of, chamomile tea. It contains potential disease-fighting substances and can also help your health in other ways. Chamomile tea is soothing, relaxing, and a great alternative to hot drinks high in sugar and stimulants.
It’s worth pointing out that as with all chemical and nutrient-containing compounds, there are potential side effects for some people. Although the risk is minimal, pregnant women, those with severe pollen allergies and very young children should take care.
Remember that nothing should be used as a full substitute for prescribed medication. Ask a doctor if you’re concerned and start with a one or two cups of tea per day to be safe.
When asking “is chamomile tea healthy?”, in general, the answer is yes! As always, you know your health and how your body responds best, so make sure you check it out first. However, it looks like chamomile tea could make a great, relaxing, mood-boosting addition to your daily routine.
Have you come across any other benefits of chamomile tea?
Tell us what you’ve found in the comments below!