Chamomile Tea And Its Benefits
With close to 40 percent of adults showing an interest in complementary and alternative medicine, herbal remedies have become increasingly popular. Herbal teas are an easy, low-cost way to support overall health, and many of these teas are beneficial for common conditions, including sore throat, mild insomnia and skin irritation. What is chamomile tea good for? Read on to learn more.
Benefits of Drinking Chamomile Tea
Chamomile has a long history in traditional medicine, dating back more than 5,000 years, and teas, essential oils and tinctures are all used to treat a variety of symptoms and conditions. The plant is used mostly for its anti-inflammatory properties, but the tea also contains antioxidants, acts as a mild sedative and has a mild astringent affect. While preclinical studies on chamomile show that the tea may be a complementary therapeutic treatment for conditions such as diabetes, osteoporosis and even cancer, chamomile is most commonly used to treat the following:
- Digestive problems: Chamomile can help settle an upset stomach and is particularly helpful for indigestion, gas and constipation. The tea has also been shown to ease the inflammation associated with heartburn and slow down the growth of the bacteria responsible for stomach ulcers.
- Anxiety: Chamomile’s sedative properties are believed to stem from the flavonoid apigenin, which binds to the brain’s benzodiazepine receptors. Drinking chamomile tea for anxiety may have a calming effect on the brain and body and may also help those who have difficulty sleeping.
- Skin conditions: Roman chamomile is beneficial in treating mild eczema, and both types of chamomile has been used for centuries to speed wound healing and encourage the regrowth of healthy skin.
- Pregnancy-related issues: Chamomile tea is very mild with little to no side effects and can help ease pregnancy symptoms, including sleeplessness, anxiety, hemorrhoids and the itchiness associated with stretching skin.
- Colic: Chamomile tea is generally considered safe for children and babies of all ages and may help ease gastrointestinal upset and reduce crying time in colicky infants.
Possible interactions with chamomile include blood-thinning drugs, such as warfarin, and the photoenhancer verteporfin. Chamomile can also increase the effects of sedatives or decrease the efficacy of some hormonal birth controls.
Chamomile has no adverse side effects in most people, and allergic reactions are rare but possible. Chamomile is related to daisies, and those allergic to plants in that family — such as ragweed, marigold, celery and chrysanthemums — may need to avoid chamomile. Other herbs or ingredients used in combination with chamomile in teas or lotions may also cause allergic reactions or irritate the skin. Those who have estrogen-related conditions or are scheduled for surgery should talk with their doctors before drinking chamomile tea or using other herbs.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is Chamomile Tea Good for You?
For most people the lack of side effects and the many benefits of chamomile tea (also spelled camomile tea) make it a great option as part of a holistic health approach. Chamomile can ease inflammation in the body, help you sleep and act as an inexpensive home beauty treatment.
Is Chamomile Tea Good for Skin?
Chamomile is a popular ingredient in beauty products because of its anti-inflammatory properties and the presence of alpha-bisobolol, which may reduce the appearance of fine lines and increase skin elasticity. Drinking chamomile tea can improve the health of your skin from the inside out, but the used bags can also make great skin compresses for under-eye circles, redness or dry patches. Chamomile also has many benefits for hair, including reducing inflammation and itchiness associated with some scalp conditions, hydrating dry or brittle hair and even preventing hair loss.
Is Chamomile Tea Good for Acne?
Chamomile tea compresses can help soothe the redness and inflammation associated with acne, and the mild astringent properties of the plant may help treat the source of the acne as well, especially when combined with witch hazel.
Is Chamomile Tea Good for Digestion?
Chamomile’s antispasmodic properties can help soothe the stomach and encourage the intestines to move food through the body, relieving constipation and encouraging a healthy GI tract. Drinking a cup with your morning and evening meal is a good way to make chamomile a part of your daily routine.
Is Chamomile Tea Good for Diarrhea?
Clinical trials in children indicate that chamomile is effective at shortening the course of diarrhea. Chamomile tinctures have been used to treat diarrhea in the past, but the tea is milder and easier to administer, and the extra fluids can help decrease the risk of diarrhea-related dehydration.
Is Chamomile Tea Good for Anxiety?
Chamomile is known for its calming effect and mild sedative properties which can ease mild anxiety symptoms. The tea also contains magnesium, which has been shown to alleviate anxiety and reduce stress.
Is Chamomile Tea Good for Constipation?
The same anti-inflammatory and antispasmodic properties that make chamomile a good choice for alleviating diarrhea and encouraging healthy gastrointestinal activity also make it a safe and effective treatment for constipation. Drinking chamomile tea on a regular basis in combination with a healthy diet can also help prevent constipation.
Is it Good for Babies?
Chamomile tea is considered safe for babies of all ages and can be an effective natural remedy for common issues such as teething, constipation, diaper rash, colic, wakefulness and general fussiness. A general dosage guide is to limit the tea to four ounces over the course of a day. It’s also a good idea to check with your pediatrician if there is a history of allergies in the family, your child has other conditions or if symptoms worsen or do not improve.
Is it Good for Dogs?
Chamomile is safe for dogs and can help treat skin irritation or infection when used topically. It may also be beneficial in calming digestive issues associated with sensitive stomachs or irritable bowel syndrome. Getting your dog to drink chamomile tea may be difficult, but your veterinarian can usually recommend more concentrated supplements in pill form that you can hide in your dog’s food.
Is it Good for Sleeping?
Chamomile acts as a very mild sedative and doesn’t have the other side effects, such as morning grogginess, over-the-counter or prescription sleep aids can. Drinking a cup before bed as part of your nightly routine can also help your body associate chamomile with sleep.
Other Herbal Tea Benefits
The health benefits of herbal teas aren’t limited to chamomile. Many other herbs can treat mild conditions and promote overall well-being as part of a holistic health approach.
- Peppermint: Peppermint has a universally recognizable scent and is a popular choice for home herb gardens. Some peppermint tea benefits include relieving stomach discomfort and heartburn, reducing nausea and supporting overall dental health.
- Green tea: The antioxidants in green tea may help prevent cell damage, increasing overall health. Specific green tea benefits include improved circulation, decreased cholesterol levels and stabilized blood sugar.
- Rooibos: Rooibos is native to South Africa and has high levels of antioxidants and vitamin C. Rooibos tea benefits include helping reduce colic in infants, and there is some evidence that it may help prevent cancer by attacking free radicals.