Chamomile tea is a delicious herbal drink made from the dried flowers of the Asteraceae family of plants. It has many health benefits and has been used as a natural remedy for centuries. It can help us to relax and sleep better, boost our immunity, and it’s also an effective remedy for common colds.
Different forms of Asteraceae plants grow in many parts of the world. Chamomile tea is made from two different species of Asteraceae: German chamomile (Matricaria chamomilla) and the perennial Roman chamomile (Chamaemelum nobile). The flowers of chamomile contain flavonoids, antioxidants, and sesquiterpenes, which have antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties. German chamomile typically has a higher concentration of beneficial compounds.
I like to drink chamomile tea usually before going to bed. I feel like just inhaling the steam with the scent of chamomile relaxes me immediately. Also, the pleasant taste of it relieves stress and helps me with calming down after a busy day. Go ahead and read this article to learn about the many health benefits of chamomile tea!
Helps with Sleeping and Relaxing
Chamomile tea is a traditional remedy for treating insomnia and anxiety. The relaxing qualities of chamomile are at least partly achieved by apigenin, an antioxidant that has tranquilizing properties. It binds to the benzodiazepine receptors in our brain and acts as a sleep inducer together with several other compounds found in chamomile.
A study from 1973, published in The Journal of Clinical Pharmacology suggests that chamomile tea can be used as a sleep aid for people who suffer from restless sleep and sleep apnea. In this study, 10 out of 12 patients fell asleep soon after drinking chamomile tea. Another study from 2017 had 60 elderly people consuming chamomile extract and it improved their quality of sleep considerably.
In addition, chamomile tea seems to work well with relieving chronic stress. A night of good night sleep is an important part of keeping our body’s main stress hormone, cortisol, at normal levels. Chamomile doesn’t contain caffeine, so it is suitable for drinking before bedtime. Research from 2015 concludes that drinking chamomile tea daily helped postnatal women with depression and sleeping problems.
Boosts Immunity and Helps with Preventing Cancer
Chamomile tea is rich with phenolic compounds that help with strengthening our immune systems and protecting our bodies from pathogens. It also contains compounds that may reduce inflammation and boost antibacterial activity. This may be explained by the fact that drinking chamomile tea increases urinary levels of hippurate, which is a metabolite of plant-based phenolic compounds associated with increased antibacterial activity.
There are studies suggesting that the apigenin found in chamomile tea can target cancer cells, especially digestive tract, breast, skin, prostate, and uterus cancer. In addition, a study from 2015 with 537 participants concludes that frequent consumption of chamomile tea significantly reduces thyroid cancer and benign thyroid disease development.
Remedy for Colds and Pain
Drinking chamomile tea is a well-known remedy for colds with cough and sore throat. It lubricates an irritated throat and it also helps with headache (and migraine). A 2011 research found that inhaling steam that contains chamomile helps with relieving the symptoms of common colds.
There are many studies suggesting that chamomile tea can reduce menstrual pain and cramps. For example, an Iranian study from 2010 had 80 university students divided into study and control groups, and the study group was drinking two cups of chamomile tea per day one week before menstruation and for five first days of the cycle, for a three month period. The women participating in this study reported that chamomile tea relieved their menstrual pain and related psychosocial problems.
Prevents or Slows Osteoporosis
Osteoporosis is a result of losing too much bone or making too little bone, or both at the same time. The result is that the density of bones decreases and they become weaker and can break more easily. It is most common with women who are over 50 years old and relatively common with elderly men as well. Chamomile can help with stimulating osteoblast activity and thus enhance the density and strength of bones.
Chamomile Tea Health Benefits
And that’s not all! Chamomile tea has even more health benefits:
- It may aid with digestion and help with preventing stomach ulcers. It also has the potential for protecting us against pathogens that cause diarrhea.
- It can lower blood sugar levels of diabetic people. However, it is not a substitute for medication prescribed by a doctor but rather a helpful addition.
- The flavones, abundant in chamomile tea, can help with lowering blood pressure and bad cholesterol, thus promoting heart health.
Next, I recommend that you watch this short video about the amazing benefits of chamomile tea:
In addition to all the previously mentioned health benefits, chamomile tea also contains a small concentration of various nutrients. It has some vitamin A, riboflavin, thiamin, and folates, but the amounts are very low. It also contains minerals like iron, calcium, magnesium, and zinc, but only in minor amounts as well. However, these are all beneficial nutrients, and even the amounts are small, as part of a healthy diet, they are good for our wellbeing.
As conclusion, we can say that chamomile tea is a drink that can benefit us in many ways. Being able to sleep well and relax is not always easy, with all the stimulus from the digital devices and other stress of the modern world. Drinking chamomile tea frequently can be a part of a healthy lifestyle, keeping us fit, happy, and well-rested.
Be aware, however, that some people can get allergic reactions from drinking chamomile tea. This is most common with people who are allergic to other plants in the daisy family (e.g. marigolds, chrysanthemums).
Have any questions? Please share your questions and experiences related to chamomile tea below.