5 Health Benefits of Chamomile Tea

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Chamomile is one of the most ancient herbal medicine known to mankind. It is a member of Asteraceae/Compositae family and represented by two common varieties viz. German Chamomile (Chamomilla recutita) and Roman Chamomile (Chamaemelum nobile).

To make chamomile tea, the flowers are dried and then infused into hot water. The dried flowers of chamomile contain many terpenoids and flavonoids contributing to its medicinal properties.

Health Benefits of Chamomile Tea...

1. May Improve Sleep Quality
Traditionally, chamomile preparations such as tea and essential oil aromatherapy have been used to treat insomnia and to induce sedation (calming effects). Chamomile is widely regarded as a mild tranquillizer and sleep-inducer. Sedative effects may be due to the flavonoid, apigenin that binds to benzodiazepine receptors in the brain.

A 2015 study published in the Journal of Advanced Nursing demonstrated the effects of chamomile tea on sleep quality and depression. The study consisted of a group of 80 Taiwanese women who claimed to have poor sleep quality. The women were divided into two groups, a control group and an experimental group, which drank chamomile tea for 2 weeks. The experimental group scored significantly lower when it came to reporting sleep inefficiency compared to the control group.

These findings are promising, but more studies are necessary to determine the extent of chamomile tea’s effects on sleep. Nevertheless, drinking chamomile tea before bed is certainly worth a try if you have trouble falling or staying asleep.

2. May help in blood sugar control.
Some studies have found that chamomile tea can lower blood sugar in people with diabetes. Research does not show that chamomile is a viable substitute for diabetes medications, but it may be a helpful supplement to existing treatments.

Similarly, a 2008 study of rats found that consistent consumption of chamomile tea might prevent blood sugar from increasing. This effect reduces the long-term risk of diabetes complications, suggesting that chamomile could improve diabetes outcomes.

3. May improve heart health.
It has been suggested that regular use of flavonoids consumed in food may reduce the risk of death from coronary heart disease as it can help lower blood pressure and bad cholesterol known as LDL cholesterol.

One study took a group of 64 individuals between the ages of 30 and 60 and divided them into experimental and control groups. The experimental group consumed chamomile tea three times per day immediately after each meal for eight weeks. Those who drank chamomile tea showed significantly lower levels of serum insulin levels and insulin resistance related to diabetes.

More research is necessary to confirm chamomile tea’s role in promoting heart health, but it certainly couldn’t hurt to include it in your diet.

4. May slow or prevent osteoporosis.
Osteoporosis is the progressive loss of bone density. This loss increases the risk of broken bones and stooped posture. While anyone can develop osteoporosis, it is most common among post-menopausal women. This tendency may be due to the effects of estrogen.

2004 study found that chamomile tea might have anti-estrogenic effects. It also helped promote bone density, but the study's authors caution that further research is needed to prove this apparent benefit.

5. May prevent against Cancer
The antioxidants found in chamomile tea have been linked with a inhibition of certain types of cancer.
Most evaluations of tumor growth inhibition by chamomile involve studies with apigenin which is one of the bioactive constituents of chamomile. Studies on preclinical models of skin, prostate, breast and ovarian cancer have shown promising growth inhibitory effects. In a recently conducted study, chamomile extracts were shown to cause minimal growth inhibitory effects on normal cells, but showed significant reductions in cell viability in various human cancer cell lines. 

Additionally, one study of 537 people observed that those who drank chamomile tea 2–6 times per week were significantly less likely to develop thyroid cancer than those who did not drink chamomile tea.

Side Effects of Chamomile Tea
Chamomile tea is a fairly safe tea for the majority of the population to consume. There are, however, a few things to keep in mind including the amount you should consume and potential side effects. Chamomile also has sedative effects so that should be considered.

If you are allergic to flowers in the daisy family, you want to be careful consuming chamomile tea. Chamomile tea should be avoided if you have allergic reactions to chamomile, chrysanthemums, daisies, marigolds and ragweed.

Chamomile has small amounts of coumarin, which can act as a blood thinner. While typically only problematic in high doses, you should avoid drinking chamomile tea two weeks before surgery to avoid interactions with drugs.

Since long-term effects on chamomile and pregnancy are still in the infant stage when it comes to research, it is usually recommended to avoid chamomile while pregnant. You should consult with your physician before taking chamomile in conjunction with pregnancy or with supplements and medications.

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