Does Chamomile Tea Have Caffeine?

Chamomile Caffine

The use of herbal medicines in the US market became widely popular after the 1994 passage of the Dietary Supplements Health and Education Act, according to  which herbal medicines and other natural products are placed under the new regulatory category of ‘‘dietary supplements’’. Chamomile, or camomile extract in the form of teas (German chamomile flower powder, either pure or blended with other popular medicinal herbs) has high levels of polyphenolic compounds present such as coumarins and flavonoids which are soluble in hot water, and the oils(especially the blue oil), is often used for its relaxation and calming effect.

Does Chamomile Tea Have Caffeine?

Now the question is; does camomile tea contains caffeine as a bioactive ingredient?The answer to that is “no” chamomile tea is caffeine-free to begin with, however to get a better idea we need to review the major components of chamomile. Chamomile constituent belong to three diverse chemical classes: coumarins including umbelliferone (a), herniarin (b), esculetin (c), isoscopoletin (d), flavonoids including apigenin (a), luteolin (b), and quercetin (c), and sesquiterpenes including R-bisabolol (a) and R-farnesene(b).

  • Several previous research has suggested that some of the camomile flavonoid ingredients yields anti-anxiety like effects through various neurogenic receptors in the brain and serotonin neurotransmission.
  • As previously mentioned chamomile tea has a calming effect (mild sedative) which suggests that it does not possess an herbal stimulant such as caffeine. Gould et al agreed as they evaluated the hemodynamic effects of strong chamomile tea in patients with cardiac disease. Their findings suggested that the patients fell into deep sleep (lasting 90 min) after taking the tea. This sedative effects of chamomile is mild, and could be due to the flavonoid apigenin, which binds to benzodiazepine receptors in the brain.
  • Several animal studies showed anxiolytic activity in mice, after camomile extract intake even though the effective dose was approximately 10 times higher than that of diazepam.
  • Moreover, anticonvulsant activity in mice, and CNS depressant activity in rats has also been observed. However, research studies on the effects of chamomile on sleep are lacking.
  • Pasechnik reported that infusion prepared from M. chamomilla exerted a marked stimulatory action on the secretary function of the liver.
  • Some other pharmacological characteristics comprise anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, carminative, healing, sedative, and spasmolytic activity.
  • Several research findings have suggested that this herbal tea and its components may be beneficial in diabetes by directly affecting the actions of key enzymes concerned in this disease, however the exact underlying mechanisms are unknown.
  • According to the American Pregnancy Association pregnant women should limit their intake of caffeinated drinks during pregnancy to avoid harm to their unborn child. Moreover, the intake of chamomile tea should also be limited as very little is known about its effects on the fetus.

Summary

Even though, chamomile tea is caffeine free it is one of the most commonly devoured single ingredient herbal tea worldwide.Another example for caffeine free tea is Rooibos tea.  Moreover, a lot of research has been done on chamomile and its major ingredients,however, much remains to be achieved to understand their safety and efficacy. The consumption of herbal stimulants, such as caffeine, which is a popular plant-derived stimulant, needs careful investigation in a health care or research settings.  As our scientific understanding pertaining to herbal medicines advances, the ability to incorporate significant findings on herbal stimulants and sedatives into clinical practices is around the corner.