In Spanish, chamomile tea is called manzanilla tea. It is different from a “true tea”. In fact, it is a tisane’ or “herbal fusion” that has various health benefits. It is also used as a traditional remedy for various health issues.
This article focuses on chamomile tea, its health benefits, and its adverse effects.
The researchers are conducting various studies, to explore its potential to manage several illnesses including diabetes and cancer. So far, most studies show promising positive results.
However, chamomile tea is safe to use as a supplement only. It may not replace mainstream medication, especially for those who suffer serious illnesses.
What is Chamomile and What Are Its Uses?
Chamomile is a popular flowering plant. It is a member of the daisy (Asteraceae) family of plants. The dried flowers of this herb are used in several medical applications. However, chamomile is most widely consumed in beverage forms all over the world.
Nowadays, these plants come in various types from different parts of the world. So, the taste and characteristics of chamomile tea may vary from one part of the world to the other.
However, the basic fundamental components remain the same, providing similar effects.
Although there are different varieties of chamomile available, Roman chamomile and German chamomile are the most popular ones. Among them, German chamomile is a more potent variety. Hence, it is most widely used in medical applications.
The chamomile tea, typically, is made from dried chamomile flowers. Some manufacturers also add certain herbs or chemicals, to enhance the quality and taste of this beverage.
As a caffeine-free alternative to green or black tea, most people enjoy this beverage for its floral, earthy, and mildly sweet taste. It also has sesquiterpenes, flavonoids, and other powerful antioxidants, that have significant effects on several conditions in the human body.
Some manufacturers use chamomile extract in aromatherapy oils and capsules. Due to the soothing nature of this herb, some companies use it in their baby products such as shampoos, soaps, and wipes. It is also used in some skin lotions to soothe certain skin problems.
How to Prepare Chamomile Tea?
There are a number of ways in which you can prepare this herbal beverage. However, we have listed a basic and easy way to prepare it.
1.) water – 1 cup
2.) Chamomile tea bag – 1 No.
3.) Raw Honey – Add to taste, according to your preference.
4.) Fresh mint leaves – 2 Nos. (Optional)
1.) Boil water – It is easy to boil the water precisely (100° C or 212° F) using an electric kettle.
2.) Pour the boiled water into a mug and place the teabag in it for at least 5 minutes. In fact, this helps the tea flavors to infuse in hot water.
3.) Add raw honey to taste, as you prefer. You can also add mint leaves to further enhance the taste of this beverage.
After that, serve the beverage hot to your guest. Note that, you can increase the quantity of water and number of tea bags, depending on the number of people you wish to serve.
What Nutrition Does Chamomile Tea Contain?
Chamomile tea, according to USDA NNDSR has very small amounts of minerals, magnesium, sodium, thiamin, potassium, riboflavin, calcium, and vitamin A. It also includes zinc, iron, and folate.
One cup or 237 ml of chamomile tea (brewed) provides – carbohydrates – 0.47 g, Energy – 2 Kcal.
What Are the Health Benefits of Chamomile Tea?
There are many health benefits of consuming chamomile tea regularly. They include:
1.) Chamomile Tea Can Improve Quality of Sleep
This herb contains an antioxidant called apigenin. Upon ingestion, this antioxidant sticks to certain brain receptors and promotes sleepiness. It also reduces chronic inability (to sleep) or insomnia.
Moreover, consuming this herbal beverage before sleeping, helps in falling asleep faster.
For example, in a study, some participants consumed chamomile extract (270 mg), twice a day for about 28 days. Compared to other participants who did not take the extract, they fell asleep almost 15 minutes earlier. They also experienced fewer nighttime awakenings (1/3, comparatively).
Although these studies show promising results, more studies are essential for determining the extent of effects, these beverages have on sleep. if you have sleep troubles, consuming this beverage before going to bed is worth a try.
2.) Chamomile Tea May Promote Digestive Health
For maintaining overall health, digestion is one of the important factors.
According to one study, the anti-inflammatory properties of chamomile tea have the potential to protect or treat mice from diarrhea.
Another study indicates this herb may decrease the acidity in a rat’s stomach. It also shows this herb can inhibit bacterial growth associated with ulcer development.
In spite of these studies, more human research is essential to confirm the effects of this herb on digestion.
Some people suggest, drinking this herbal beverage, soothes the stomach. They also claim it reduces risks associated with some gastrointestinal conditions. However, these claims do not have established scientific evidence.
In any case, some traditional medical practitioners use this herb to treat various digestive problems including gas and nausea.
3.) Protection Against Certain Types of Cancer
Apigenin, an antioxidant contained in this herb, effectively fights against certain cancer cells. It fights especially those of the digestive tract, prostate, skin, uterus, and breast.
In a study, participants who consumed this beverage are found to have fewer chances of developing thyroid cancer, compared to others.
Although these studies show positive results, it is essential to conduct more human research. This is necessary before concluding the effects of this herb on cancer cells.
4.) Lowering Blood Sugar and Fighting Diabetes
Several studies indicate this herbal beverage can help to lower blood sugar levels in diabetic patients. However, it may not be a replacement for mainstream medications. It can only serve as a supplement to them.
For example, a 2008 study (on rats) showed regular chamomile tea drinking can prevent blood sugar levels from rising further. Therefore, this herbal beverage can reduce diabetes complications.
5.) Improving Heart Health
Naturally, Chamomile tea contains flavones abundantly. These antioxidants can potentially lower blood pressure levels and also cholesterol levels. Thereby this herbal beverage may help to reduce the risks of heart diseases.
A study showed participants who consumed this beverage with meals had improvements in their triglyceride, cholesterol, and LDL cholesterol (bad) levels. Other participants who drank water did not experience these advantages.
However, to confirm these effects, researchers have to conduct more detailed human studies. But you can try it including in your diets.
6.) Boosting Immune System
Chamomile tea contains phenolic compounds and other elements, that can help boost the immune system in human bodies. As a result, it helps fighting flu, common cold, and some sinus problems, relieving congestion.
7.) Reducing Menstrual Pain
Consuming chamomile tea regularly may reduce menstrual pains. It also can reduce the associate distress and anxiety.
A study conducted in 2010, confirmed these statements. After consuming this herbal beverage, several participants in the study experienced fewer menstrual cramps.
8.) Preventing or Reducing Osteoporosis
Generally, the progressive loss in the density of bones is called Osteoporosis. As a result, the patients may experience stooped postures or broken bones, with time.
Although anyone can suffer this condition, it is most commonly seen among postmenopausal women. Some medical experts suggest that this may be due to the estrogenic effects in such women.
A study conducted in 2004 showed that chamomile tea may have potential anti-estrogenic effects. This beverage also helped improving bone density.
However, the researchers suggest conducting more detailed scientific human studies to confirm these benefits.
9.) Reducing Inflammation
When you suffer an infection or injury, your body automatically signals the immune system to repair or heal the damaged tissue. It also defends itself from foreign invaders such as bacteria and viruses. This all happens as a reaction through inflammation.
In other words, Inflammation is a reaction of the immune system towards an injury or infection. However, long-term inflammations are associated with many health problems. They include autoimmune disorders, gastrointestinal pain, hemorrhoids, arthritis, and even depression.
Chamomile tea has various chemical compounds that can decrease inflammations to a large extent.
10.) Aiding Skin Care
In fact, chamomile tea has good antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Therefore, applying chamomile topically can help soothing skin irritations. It can also alleviate some skin conditions like eczema.
However, most medical experts suggest hydrocortisone creams to treat these conditions, as they are more effective.
Some traditional medicines, use this herb to heal the wrinkles and blemishes on the face. It also boosts the immune response and reduces oxidative stress. Hence, it is can be one of the best herbs that provide significant skincare.
What Are the Side Effects of Chamomile Tea?
In General, chamomile tea is a safe herbal beverage. However, people with certain conditions may suffer side effects.
People who are allergic to daisy family plants such as chrysanthemums and ragweed may suffer chamomile allergies, upon consuming this beverage.
Some cosmetic companies use this herb to make their products. Such products, upon contact, may cause irritation in the eyes. This may also further lead to inflammation on eye linings, a condition called conjunctivitis.
Moreover, chamomile tea may not be perfectly safe for all individuals. Kidney or liver patients, nursing or pregnant women, young children, and those on medications may need expert consultation, before going for this beverage.
Fortunately, there are no reports that this beverage causes toxicity or life-threatening negative reactions.