Chamomile tea is one of the most popular herbal teas or tisanes and for all the good reasons. With a very smooth delicious flavour, this herbal tea has extensive research to support its vast health benefits ranging from weight loss to reducing heart disease. (Chamomile Tea Benefits, Cup And Leaf, Retrieved on 1 January 2023)
What is Chamomile Tea?
Chamomile herd has medicinal and health benefits and tea is the most common form of this herb usage. There are two variants of the chamomile herb - Chamaemelum nobile, known as Roman Chamomile and Matricaria Recutita, also known as German Chamomile. (Reference - Herbal Medicine - Expanded Commission E, Americal Botanical Council, Retrieved on 1 January 2023) The most popular variant is the German Chamomile and it is native to Europe but now used and grown all over the world. Chamomile green tea is one of the most famous varieties of green tea available in the markets.
History of Chamomile Tea?
The chamomile blossoms have a sun-like appearance which is yellow in the middle with ray-like white blossoms opening outward. This appearance made the ancient Egyptians used it in offerings to the Sun God Ra and used in incenses. During the middle ages, Europeans used chamomile flowers as an air freshener and a multi-cure herb for many ailments. (Reference - German Chamomile Matricaria Recutitaman, Heritage Garden, Retrieved on 1 January 2023)
Health benefits of Chamomile Tea?
Chamomile tea has the strongest concentrations of beneficial nutrients and compounds that show its effects on those who drink it on a regular basis.
- Improve sleep quality
- Relieve Menstrual Cramps
- Helps to Regulate Diabetes
- Reduce Heart Disease Risk
- Alleviate Stress and Anxiety
- Promotes digestive health
- Improve Skin health
- Boosts Immunity
- Helps in Wound Healing
- Help in Cancer Prevention
1. Improves Sleep Quality
Chamomile tea is known for inducing sleep in people who suffer from sleep apnea or insomnia and those who struggle to relax during sleep, also called as sleepytime tea. Chamomile contains a natural tranquillizer called apigenin. Once you take the cup of soothing chamomile tea, the apigenin binds to the benzodiazepine receptors in the brain, thus becoming the mild sedative and hypnotic agent. Chamomile tea a.k.a sleepytime tea is also recommended to the new mothers to improve their sleep quality, depression and fatigue. (Reference - Health Benefits of Chamomile, Style Crazy, Retrieved on 1 January 2023)
2. Reduced Menstrual Cramps
There are several studies that support that chamomile tea leads to reduced menstrual cramps. One study found that consuming chamomile tea for at least 30 days could reduce the menstrual cramps as the chamomile tea has relaxing effects, and rightly said to be sleepytime tea. The women taking the tea also reported reduced depression and anxiety during the menstrual cramps. In another study, 80 participants of the study were divided into two groups, in which one group didn’t take any chamomile tea and the other group drank 2 cups of chamomile tea daily. The second group did this specifically 1 week prior to the menstruation and during the first 5 days of their ongoing period. It was found that the second group showed reduced cramps and distress associated with period pain. (Reference - 7 benefits of drinking Chamomile Tea, Bistro MD, Retrieved on 1 January 2023)
3. Regulates Diabetes
Chamomile contains a compound called apigenin in abundance which is a functional phytochemical. This flavonoid along with E-2-hydroxy-4-methoxy cinnamic acid glucosides and apigenin-7-O-glucosude (Z) can interfere in the activity of starch metabolizing enzymes. These polyphenols inhibit maltase and a-amylase activities. These enzymes do the work by breaking down complex starch into glucose and fructose. This modulation of carbohydrate metabolism and sugar absorption improve the glycemic control and thus regulate diabetes. (Reference - Effectiveness of Chamomile Tea, NCBI, Retrieved on 1 January 2023)
4. Reduced Heart Disease Risk
Chamomile tea is rich in flavonoids which have proven to help reduce the risks of heart attacks and coronary artery diseases. The research published by Tufts University, Boston, MA, shows that chamomile tea helps lower LDL cholesterol levels and blood pressure thus making the heart healthier. Many other studies suggest that chamomile tea also reduces the occurrence of various cardiovascular diseases. (Reference - Cardiac Effects of Chamomile Tea, ACCP, Retrieved on 1 January 2023)
5. Alleviates Stress and Anxiety
The soothing and relaxing effects of Chamomile tea helps to reduce anxiety and stress. A study was conducted to find out the effect of chamomile extract for generalized anxiety disorder. The results of the study were astonishing and found that chamomile showed a greater reduction in mean Hamilton Anxiety Rating (HAM-A) scores. Chamomile does this by reducing the level of stress hormones - serotonin and melatonin. Having 1-2 cups of chamomile can really help calm down the nerves and slow down the racing mind to help in anxiety and bring it closer to the impact of sleepytime tea. (Reference - 7 benefits of drinking Chamomile Tea, Bistro MD, Retrieved on 1 January 2023)
6. Promotes Digestive health
According to a study published in Phytomedicine, chamomile tea helped to prevent the development of gastric ulcers. The compounds and antioxidants in the chamomile flowers reduced leukotrienes and decreased acid output, which is the main cause of ulcers. The anti-inflammatory properties of chamomile tea can help prevent diarrhoea. (Reference - Chamomile Benefits and Digestive health, Research Gate, Retrieved on 1 January 2023) The anti-inflammatory properties of chamomile tea help to reduce bloating and irritable bowel syndrome along with abdominal pain and upset stomach.
7. Improves Skin Health
Chamomile Tea comes loaded with beneficial antioxidants that help in fighting free radicals. This helps in fighting bacterial infections on the skin, thus reducing acne. The anti-inflammatory properties of chamomile tea alleviate irritations and skin conditions like eczema. (Reference - Skin Photoprotection, Springer, Retrieved on 1 January 2023) This tea is also known to improve healing and lessen the appearance of wrinkles and blemishes on the face.
8. Boosts Immunity
Chamomile tea not only treats common cold and flu but also helps build immunity to prevent common diseases. It also helps to soothe the sore throats and provides relief in congestion. Anecdotal evidence and some preliminary studies show that inhaling chamomile flowers extract with steam helps to relieve some symptoms of common cold and flu. (Reference - Who should avoid Chamomile Tea, Medical Today, Retrieved on 1 January 2023)
9. Helps in Wound Healing
Some studies suggest that chamomile tea might be able to speed up wound healing. Some compounds in Chamomile tea can kill viruses and bacteria for many infections like staph infections. It also helps reduce inflammation and prevent the growth of ulcers. The combination of chamomile extracts and lavender oil is said to have magical healing powers. The wounds which are treated by using chamomile compress are found to be healed five to six days faster than those treated with hydrocortisone. (Reference - The benefits of Chamomile Tea, Very Well Health, Retrieved on 1 January 2023)
10. Helps in Cancer Prevention
A study done in 2012 found that chamomile has cancer-fighting powers and was able to target cancer tumours selectively. Some other studies also suggest that the compounds in chamomile tea may target the cancer cells and even prevent those tumour cells from developing. The anti-oxidant apigenin found in chamomile tea has fighting capabilities with cancer cells especially prostate, breast, skin tumour cells. (Reference - Chamomile & Marigold Benefits, Online Library, Retrieved on 1 January 2023)
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