We all love a good cup of chamomile tea before bed, but the health benefits of chamomile tea go far beyond relaxation. From better digestion to protecting heart health and more, chamomile tea has been used as a natural remedy since ancient times. Chamomile is also a very mild herb, making it a safe choice for daily use. If you’ve been wondering whether chamomile tea is good for you, look no further. This overview will reveal all the amazing health benefits of your favorite bedtime tea. Who knew that golden infusion had so much to offer!
What is Chamomile Tea
Chamomile tea is made from the small, white flowers of the chamomile plant. There are two main varieties that are harvested for tea: German chamomile (Matricaria chamomilla) and Roman chamomile (Chamaemelum nobile). It is part of the daisy family and is native to Europe, Africa, and Asia. It has a long history of medicinal use, dating back to the ancient Egyptians and ancient Romans. Chamomile is now grown and consumed all over the world as a popular tea and natural remedy.
Chamomile flowers are dried to make tea and sold as either loose leaf tea or tea bags. Tea bags are usually made with crushed chamomile flowers, while loose leaf chamomile tea is made of whole flowers. Loose leaf chamomile tea will have a stronger taste and aroma, since the unbroken flowers retain more of their fragrant volatile oils.
What Does Chamomile Tea Taste Like?
Chamomile tea is a real crowd pleaser with its gentle, floral taste. It is mild and slightly sweet with notes of fresh apple. In fact, the name ‘chamomile’ comes from the Greek words for ‘ground apple’. Chamomile tea pairs especially well with a spoonful of honey to bring out the sweetness. You can find many varieties of chamomile tea blends with other herbs and spices that compliment its soft flavor profile. We offer a variety of chamomile teas with other soothing herbs and unique flavors. Try chamomile with lavender and rose petals in our Chamomile Bilberry Bliss tea or indulge in our dessert themed Chamomile Cookie tea for a real treat.
Does Chamomile Tea Have Caffeine?
Chamomile tea has zero caffeine. This makes it a smart choice for the evening, or for people who need to avoid caffeine in general. Since it also has a relaxing effect, Chamomile makes for a perfect caffeine-free bedtime tea. But be sure to check the ingredients on your chamomile if you are buying a blended tea. Some blends may include caffeinated teas or caffeinated herbs (like Guayusa and Yerba Mate) added in with the chamomile flowers.
Does Chamomile Tea Help You Sleep?
One of the most widely known health benefits of chamomile tea is its ability to help with sleep. But how does chamomile tea make you sleepy? It contains a particular antioxidant called apigenin that binds to receptors in the brain to promote drowsiness. Because it is a mild sedative, it is best to drink chamomile later in the day or about an hour before bed. Interestingly, apigenin in chamomile works similarly to common pharmaceuticals used to treat insomnia. But there aren’t enough clinical trials to know whether chamomile tea could help with chronic sleep issues. For now, chamomile is generally regarded as a mild promoter of sleep and relaxation.
Benefits of Chamomile Tea
As we mentioned, there is much more to chamomile beyond its calming effect. Some of the other potential health benefits of chamomile tea include:
- Reduced Inflammation
- Better digestion
- Lower blood sugar
- Balanced cholesterol
- Less anxiety
- Better Sleep
Chamomile tea is anti-inflammatory, which helps with a variety of health issues. There are so many things in modern life that can cause excess inflammation: junk food, stress, chemicals, injury, and even strenuous exercise. Chronic inflammation may lead to other health conditions, so it is important to incorporate anti-inflammatory herbs in your diet. A soothing cup of chamomile tea could be just what you need.
There are quite a few digestive benefits associated with chamomile tea:
- Chamomile tea is considered anti-spasmodic, which means it can help to relax cramped muscles. If you tend to feel knots in your stomach after eating, it may help to drink a cup of chamomile tea 30 minutes before and after a meal.
- Chamomile tea may also reduce stomach acid, which could potentially lessen acid reflux. Next time you feel heartburn after a meal, try a sip of soothing chamomile.
- People suffering from diarrhea may also benefit from chamomile tea. But since diarrhea can be a sign of a more serious health concern, consult a doctor first before using chamomile for this use.
- The volatile oils in chamomile flowers are thought to relieve excess gas, which can be helpful if your stomach tends to bloat after meals. A warm cup of chamomile after meals may ease your tummy troubles.
Lower Blood Sugar
Regular consumption of chamomile tea may help lower blood sugar. This could help mitigate the effects of a blood sugar spike after a sugary meal. For people at risk for type 2 diabetes, chamomile tea could be a healthy choice to keep blood sugar balanced. And the anti-inflammatory effects of chamomile are complementary by helping to reduce any inflammation caused by high blood sugar.
Chamomile tea may help to lower ‘bad’ LDL cholesterol levels. High LDL cholesterol is associated with heart disease, so it is important to regulate cholesterol levels carefully. Although the research is promising, it is mainly based on animal studies, so we don’t know yet for sure how it works in humans. The anti-inflammatory properties of chamomile also have potential to improve heart health overall.
Traditionally, chamomile has been used to soothe the nervous system and treat symptoms like anxiety. Whether or not chamomile has potential to treat anxiety disorders has yet to be confirmed. Some clinical research suggests it may have a positive effect in people with Generalized Anxiety Disorder, but it will take larger studies to know for sure. What we do know is that chamomile tea has a mild calming effect, so for day-to-day stress you may find it helpful.
As we mentioned earlier, chamomile tea for sleep is widely used. The natural sedative effect calms the central nervous system, cueing your body that it is time to rest. Some animal studies suggest that chamomile may specifically shorten the time it takes to fall asleep. If you find yourself laying in bed for an hour trying to fall asleep every night, perhaps an evening cup of chamomile would help.
Traditional Uses for Chamomile Tea
Some other traditional uses of chamomile tea include treating colds and flus, menstrual cramps, and even chamomile baths for skin care. Although not yet proven clinically, these effects may prove to be useful in the future. Overall, chamomile is a great tea for everyday wellness and long term health.
Risks and Side Effects of Chamomile Tea
Before using chamomile tea to help with a health condition, it is important to first consult your doctor. And if you have an allergy to plants in the daisy family (including goldenrod and ragweed) you may need to avoid chamomile. Chamomile tea is also not safe for babies and very young children who are at risk for botulism. But for the general population, chamomile is considered quite safe to consume daily.
How to Make Chamomile Tea
To make a fragrant cup of soothing chamomile, first select the highest quality loose leaf tea. We recommend only buying loose leaf tea to get whole, unbroken flowers that contain more of the aromatic oils. This will maximize both the health benefits and flavor in your cup. Next, follow our easy, step-by-step instructions for brewing:
- Boil 8 oz of water.
- Add a heaped teaspoon of loose leaf chamomile tea into an infuser basket.
- Place the infuser in a mug and pour in the water.
- Steep for 7 minutes.
- Remove the infuser and sip your delicious infusion!
By now you are probably craving a sweet cup of chamomile tea to start enjoying its many health benefits. Don’t hesitate to browse our collection of chamomile tea blends to find the flavors you love. From fruity and floral to sweet and spicy, there is a perfect blend for everyone. Cheers to healthy living and a good night’s sleep.