Chamomile tea is a popular beverage revered for its soothing and relaxing properties. The dried flowers of the chamomile plant are used to make this mildly sweet infusion. Chamomile tea has long been used as a traditional remedy to treat various ailments. Modern research has also found evidence that drinking chamomile tea regularly offers a number of health benefits. Here is an in-depth look at the key benefits of chamomile tea.
8 Key Benefits of Chamomile Tea
1. Relieves Stress and Promotes Relaxation
Chamomile tea is most widely known for its ability to reduce stress and promote relaxation. The flowers contain apigenin, a flavonoid that binds to benzodiazepine receptors in the brain. This produces a mild sedative effect that helps calm anxiety or restless thoughts. It induces relaxation without causing drowsiness or reducing mental clarity.
Many people drink a nice warm cup of chamomile tea after a long stressful day to unwind. The tea can also aid with relaxation and sleep troubles like insomnia. If you have a hard time falling asleep, sipping chamomile tea before bedtime may provide the soothing effects needed to drift off peacefully.
2. Soothes Upset Stomach and Improves Digestion
If you have an upset stomach, a hot cup of chamomile tea can help provide relief. The anti-inflammatory compounds found in chamomile flowers can soothe the lining of the stomach and intestines. This reduces irritation that may be causing nausea, cramping, or diarrhea.
Drinking chamomile tea after meals can also aid digestion. The apigenin, along with other bioactive compounds in the tea, stimulates the secretion of digestive enzymes and bile. This helps break down food more effectively and improves overall digestion. The tea’s anti-inflammatory properties further ease digestive disruptions.
3. Boosts Immune Health
With its high concentration of disease-fighting antioxidants, chamomile tea can strengthen the immune system to prevent and fight illnesses. Specific immune-boosting compounds found in chamomile include apigenin, luteolin, and quercetin.
These antioxidants defend the body against harmful free radicals that weaken immunity. The anti-inflammatory effects of chamomile tea further protect against cell damage from viral and bacterial infections. Drink a few cups of the tea regularly to keep your immune system in top form.
4. Promotes Heart Health
Chamomile tea has been shown to improve several important risk factors for heart disease. Its antioxidants lower LDL or “bad” cholesterol while increasing “good” HDL cholesterol in the blood. This reduces plaque buildup in the arteries and protects heart health.
The flavonoids in the tea also relax blood vessels, lower high blood pressure, and thin the blood. These effects increase circulation, ease strain on the heart, and reduce the chance of clot formation and strokes.
5. Manages Diabetes Symptoms
For those living with diabetes, chamomile tea may offer helpful effects to manage blood sugar. Studies indicate that routine consumption of chamomile tea significantly lowers fasting blood glucose levels in diabetics.
The tea also blocked spikes in blood sugar after eating due to its anti-inflammatory action and ability to regulate glucose absorption. This is important in controlling symptoms and reducing the risk of complications in diabetes.
6. Relieves Muscle Spasms and Cramping
Chamomile’s mild sedative properties can relieve muscle twitches, spasms, and cramps. Tensing up due to pain or stress often worsens muscle tightness and discomfort. The relaxing nature of chamomile tea helps loosen muscle contractions when they occur.
Sipping some tea when you start to feel sudden muscle spasms or cramps may provide fast relief. For ongoing issues like restless leg syndrome, regular chamomile tea consumption can minimize muscle spasms over time.
7. Improves Skin Health and Appearance
With antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects, chamomile tea can enhance skin health and appearance. Its flavonoids stimulate circulation underneath the skin to nourish cells and remove toxins. This helps reduce puffiness, spots, wrinkles and other signs of aging.
The tea also protects skin cells from free radical damage that leads to premature wrinkles. Chamomile’s antibacterial action further eliminates acne-causing bacteria. Applying cooled chamomile tea topically with a cotton pad can relieve skin irritation, rashes, and puffiness.
8. May Protect Against Cancer
Some of the compounds found in chamomile tea have demonstrated anti-cancer properties in research studies. Apigenin was shown to fight growth of cancerous tumors. Other phytochemicals in the tea inhibited Spread of breast, prostate, skin, uterine and colon cancer cells.
While more research is still needed, regularly consuming chamomile tea could potentially lower your risk of developing certain types of cancer. Its antioxidants neutralize cell damage that can lead to malignancies.
9. Offers a Pleasant, Mildly Sweet Taste
Beyond its many health virtues, chamomile tea simply makes for an enjoyable drink. It has a light, fragrant flavor and honey-like aroma that feels comforting. The tea tastes slightly sweet on its own without adding any sugar or honey. Kids and adults alike appreciate its mild, floral taste.
Chamomile blends nicely with other soothing herbs like peppermint, lavender, rosehips or lemon verbena. It can be enjoyed at any time of day whenever you need a relaxing tea break. The tea’s soothing qualities also make it a nice, caffeine-free drink before bed.
How to Brew Chamomile Tea
Now that you know the many benefits of chamomile tea, let’s look at how to brew it properly:
– Use about 1-2 teaspoons of dried chamomile flowers per 8 ounce cup of water. Allow flowers to fully steep for 5-7 minutes.
– Steep the tea in hot but not boiling water between 160°F – 190°F to avoid bitter flavors.
– You can steep in a teapot or infuser if you have loose dried flowers. Alternatively, steep chamomile teabags in hot water.
– Sweeten lightly with honey, maple syrup or stevia if desired. Avoid adding milk, as it alters the tea’s flavors and health benefits.
– Chill and refrigerate leftover tea to enjoy iced chamomile tea. Just add some ice cubes before drinking.
The Bottom Line
Chamomile tea is more than just a pleasant, soothing beverage. Drinking it regularly offers extensive benefits for your mental and physical wellbeing thanks to its unique combination of bioactive compounds. Chamomile tea promotes relaxation, eases stomach issues, boosts immunity and heart health, and improves diabetes and skin health among other benefits. Making chamomile tea a part of your self-care routine is simple and helps improve your health holistically.