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11 Unbelievable Benefits And Risks Of Chamomile Tea

The benefits of chamomile tea seem to be somewhat unlimited. And if you aren’t already on board the chamomile train, you’re actually a few centuries behind… chamomile has been used for its medicinal properties for centuries! 

Chamomile tea a natural home remedy for allergies, inflammation, muscle spasms, insomnia, ulcers, chickenpox… and the list goes on.

Despite chamomile being one of the safest herbal teas to drink, there are still some risks of chamomile tea to watch out for. Chamomile isn’t like other herbal teas, hibiscus and yerba mate for example, which have a lot more potential risks.

So is it safe for you to be drinking chamomile tea? Let’s find out!

Psst! This blog post contains affiliate links in it which sends me a bit of extra money if you use them… at no extra cost to you! 

The Unbelievable Benefits & Risks of Chamomile Tea! #benefitschamomile #chamomiletea #riskschamomile #drinkchamomiletea
Tea Essentials To Enjoy Chamomile Tea

Chamomile Tea BagsWalmart.ca | Walmart.com
Loose Leaf Chamomile TeaAmazon.ca | Amazon.com

Useful Tea Resources

An electric kettlefind at the Bay.com | find on Amazon.com
A teapot & teacup setfrom Anthropologie.com
Filters or steeperDavidsTea.com
A Tea Tasting Journal:  Keep Track of the Teas You’ve Tried | Etsy Canada

Quick Disclaimer!

First, I’d just like to say that I’m in no way a doctor. I researched chamomile tea to give you the best information possible. I was interested in the benefits and risks of chamomile tea because it’s one of my favourite herbal teas that I pretty much drink everyday.

It’s also important to note that the studies with chamomile tea do not actually use tea or even human data most of the time. There are many ways to use and test the effects of chamomile, and steeping it in water is only one of them.

You can steam it, make a topical treatment or chamomile extract, and even add it to pills. If you consume chamomile as a pill or extract, it’ll have a much higher concentration of chamomile than it has steeped in tea. The studies that have been conducted are either in a lab setting or on rats; it’s rare to have a human study.

That doesn’t mean drinking one cup of chamomile tea a day doesn’t have it’s benefits (and risks)!

chamomile tea live longer

So, What Is Chamomile Tea?

Chamomile tea is made from the flowering plant in the Asteraceae plant family, a.k.a, the daisy family. It has white petals with a bright yellow center. You use the flower itself to make chamomile tea.

There are actually several different types of chamomile, depending on where it was grown. The most popular varieties are Roman (also called English) and German chamomile. Although much less common, there’s also Egyptian and Moroccan chamomiles.

The difference between each chamomile isn’t just its country of origin. Though it’s still unclear, they may also have slight differences in their chemical makeup. In general, chamomile is loaded with 120 unique compounds including countless antioxidants and flavonoids (P.S. don’t know what a flavanoid is? I delve more into it in my post 5 Ways Can Tea Help You Live Longer?).

For the most part, German chamomile is what’s used in medicine and in most of the studies. Read more about the differences between each chamomile here.

chamomile-flowers

The Benefits Of Chamomile Tea… All Thanks To Apigenin

Most of the health benefits of chamomile can be linked to the antioxidant apigenin (remember, antioxidants help rid the body of harmful free radicals!). It’s what makes chamomile the powerful flower it is!

You can find apigenin in onions, oranges, celery, and grapefruit. It also appears in other herbs like oregano, parsley, cilantro, and basil.

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What Is Chamomile Tea Good For? The Benefits…

Over the years, chamomile tea has acquired a long list of health benefits associated with consuming it. The most well known is that chamomile tea before bed can help you sleep better. Chamomile tea for anxiety and stress has also had positive side effects. As if it couldn’t get any better, chamomile tea also has anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial properties which leads to an entire other set of benefits. For example, it can be good for diabetes, your heart health, and so much more!

Although not all of them have been scientifically proven, and it’s been discussed whether or not drinking chamomile tea is simply a placebo effect. Either way, drinking chamomile tea is still a very good for you with very few associated risks.

Let’s dive a bit more into the benefits of chamomile tea…

You might also be interested in reading…

The Benefits & Risks of Hibiscus Tea

1. Chamomile Tea Before Bed Can Act As A Sleep Aid

Chamomile as a sleep aid is one of the most well known benefits of chamomile tea, and we have apigenin to thank for it! 

Apigenin links certain receptors in your brain to promote sleep. It’s actually used as a main ingredient for minor tranquilizers. It’s no wonder chamomile tea is great to drink before bed!

Surprisingly, there aren’t enough conclusive studies showing that chamomile does in fact help you sleep better. It’s not for lack of trying though. There have been studies with new mothers, the elderly, and insomniacs. The results just aren’t enough to say anything for certain.

The only study that showed promising results used chamomile extract. They had participants consume it twice daily for a month. They fell asleep, on average, 15 minutes earlier, and didn’t wake up as much throughout the night. So that’s something right!?

Nonetheless, people will swear by chamomile’s relaxing qualities, and have so for centuries. Perhaps that’s all it takes. A study did show that if you believe that chamomile tea before bed will help you sleep – then it will!

Read a full overview of the studies on chamomile and sleep

chamomile-benefits-and-risks-teapot

2. What About Chamomile Tea For Anxiety & Stress

Part of the reason why chamomile tea helps you sleep better is because it reduces anxiety and stress. The studies on the benefits of chamomile tea for anxiety shows more promising results than those on sleep.

A 2016 study found that if you drink chamomile tea long enough it has beneficial effects on anxiety. More specifically, it reduced moderate-to-severe symptoms of generalized anxiety disorders (GAD).

Again, there still aren’t enough studies to know exactly why this is, and chamomile tea for anxiety still isn’t as effective as medication.

tea-and-cookies-for-two
You might also be interested in reading…

Top 10 Best Teas For Anxiety To Stay Calm & Stress Free!

preparing-chamomile-tea-benefits-and-risks

Can Drinking Chamomile Just Be A Placebo Effect?

It has been suggested that the mere act of drinking tea reduces anxiety and helps us sleep better at night. Perhaps it isn’t the type of tea that matters, but rather the tradition of boiling water, smelling your tea, and finally settling down with a nice warm cup in your hands.

I know it’s always relaxing for me. It’s also the time of day that people drink chamomile tea. For example, you’re not going to drink any caffeinated tea after supper so chamomile tea before bed is just perfect! Relaxing with a cup of tea definitely helps clear my mind from the stress and anxiety of the day.

Although there is a component to the act of drinking a hot beverage that is relaxing, I’m happy to report that chamomile tea did show added benefits to just having hot water. 

medicinal-teas-books-about-tea
You might enjoy reading

The Good Living Guide to Medicinal Teas by Jennifer Browne
Shop at Indigo.ca Barnes & Nobles

pouring-benefits-of-chamomile-tea

3. Chamomile Tea Side Effects: Boosting Immunity With Anti-Bacterial Properties

As if this powerhouse flower couldn’t get any better, chamomile contains anti-bacterial properties too. So chamomile can also help us fight off the common cold!

This is one of the few benefits of chamomile that was observed by merely steeping tea. Breathing in steam with chamomile extract is also recommended.

study was conducted with tea and humans where the participants drank 5 cups of tea daily for 2 weeks. Their urine saw increased levels of hippurate and glycine. These are associated with increased anti-bacterial activity, essentially boosting your immunity!

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4. Chamomile Tea Has Anti-Inflammatory Properties

Chamomile is already used in traditional medicine for its anti-inflammatory properties. It’s used as a treatment for mild skin irritations and to soothe eye inflammations. 

It can help with gastrointestinal disorders too. Chamomile has been shown to inhibit the bacteria that causes stomach ulcers and smooth muscle spasms (yes, it’s one of the best teas to drink to ease menstrual cramps!

teas you should drink and avoid on your period
You might also be interested in reading…

Teas You Should Be Drinking To Improve Your Period

How Is Chamomile Good For Your Skin?

The benefits of chamomile for your skin is mainly if you apply it topically (in a cream).

It’s used as a topical treatment to help psoriasis and eczema. In fact, it was 60% effective as a cream for atopic eczema.

It may even help reduce your acne (acne is basically inflamed bacteria filled pores). There still aren’t enough studies to say anything conclusively, but it’s the same reason it was used as a natural home remedy for the chickenpox.

Chamomile might even be able to lighten your skin and give you that extra glow you’re searching for!

cup-of-chamomile

5. Benefits Of Chamomile For Diabetes

There have been several studies examining the relationship between chamomile and diabetes. Those anti-inflammatory properties protect your pancreas (which is at risk when blood sugar levels get too high).

It’s also linked to lowering blood sugar levels. There was a promising study conducted with people drinking tea with every meal for 8 weeks. They all saw significantly lower blood sugar levels than if they just drank water.

benefits-and-risks-chamomile-tea

6. Chamomile Tea Side Effects Heart – Makes Your Heart Healthy

Chamomile tea side effects heart health can be due to the flavonoid compound. (Flavonoids are also in black and green tea – it’s one of the reasons why tea can help us live longer!).

Flavonoids lower blood pressure and cholesterol levels which both lead to a happier heart.

Apigenin also helps with your heart. It improves HDL function, proteins that help clear extra cholesterol in your body. 

hand-on-teacup-chamomile

7. Chamomile Has Anti-Cancer Activity

Apigenin and flavonoids can also be thanked for chamomile having anti-cancer properties. Studies used chamomile extract on models of different cancer cells such as skin, breast, ovarian, and prostate cells.

The extract inhibited the growth effects on the cancer cells. It was especially good against prostate cancer.

Learn more here, and here.

chamomile--above

So Many Benefits Of Chamomile It’s One of My Favourite Teas To Travel With

The benefits of chamomile tea are so great that that it’s one of my top 5 teas I travel with

As I mentioned chamomile tea before bed has soothing properties which may help you sleep better. This can be extremely helpful to deal with jet lag. Not to mention the benefits of chamomile tea for anxiety – travelling comes with a lot of added stressors in our life.

Plus, it can even boost your immune system so you increase your chances of staying healthy while on vacation!

Find out which other teas I always take with me when I travel.

tea-for-travel

Potential Risks Of Chamomile Tea

The risks of chamomile tea are far less than any other herbal teas I’ve researched so far (like yerba mate and hibiscus tea).

Even though there aren’t as many studies on chamomile tea as we’d hope, it’s been around for so many centuries that there really isn’t much to worry about.

8. Risk Of Chamomile Tea For Pregnancy & Asthma

Even though chamomile tea side effects are for the most part positive, it’s still recommended that if you’re pregnant or have asthma you stay away from chamomile tea just in case. This is the recommendation for most herbal teas, as the effects are still widely unknown.

For pregnant or nursing women, it may act as a uterine stimulant or cause miscarriages. 

chamomile-tea-closeup

9. Risk of Chamomile Tea: Severe Allergic Reaction

One of the main risks of chamomile tea is that you might be allergic to it. Because chamomile is a flower, it’s more likely to cause an allergic reaction than when drinking other teas.

You’ll want to stay away from chamomile if you’re allergic to flowers in the daisy family. This includes ragweed, marigolds, and chrysanthemum.

But if you’ve already tried chamomile tea, then obviously you don’t have to worry about this risk.

10. Chamomile Can Interact With Your Medication

One of the main concerns with herbal teas are their ability to interact with other medications, and chamomile tea is no exception. 

There still isn’t too much information about the interaction between chamomile and drugs, but it’s always best to be on the safe side.

It may increase the risk of bleeding if you are on blood thinners, or ibuprofen (Advil) or naproxen. If you take benzodiazepines, barbiturates, narcotics, anti-seizure medications, some antidepressants and alcohol it may cause increased drowsiness (read here).

If you’re already on medication to control your blood sugar or blood pressure, there are added risks as well. For example, it can cause them to drop too low (similar to hibiscus tea as well).

Chamomile is also comparable to estrogen, so, it can interfere with the effectiveness of hormone therapy.

If you’re unsure about how chamomile will react with a medication you’re taking, it’s always best to consult your doctor first.

holding-cup-of-tea-chamomile

11. Chamomile Tea Before Bed Might Make You Too Sleep

Chamomile already makes you sleepy, but it’s bad if it makes you too sleepy. 

The drowsiness it causes can be seen as somewhat as a risk… depending on how drowsy it makes you.

You don’t want to be falling asleep in a meeting or if you have to drive home after drinking chamomile tea!

chamomile-tea-benefits-and-risks

How Much Chamomile Tea Is Too Much Chamomile Tea?

There isn’t such a thing as too much chamomile. It is for the most part, a very safe tea to drink! Typical consumption of chamomile tea is from one to four cups a day!

There was a study where participants drank 5 cups of tea A DAY! That’s a lot of tea, but it just goes to show how you can’t really drink too much chamomile tea.

More To Read On The Benefits And Risks Of Chamomile Tea

For a good breakdown on the benefits and risks of chamomile tea, read this most in-depth and scientific article. Although it may be hard to understand, it details all the studies and outcomes. 

What You’ll Need To Make A Cup Of Chamomile Tea At Home

Tea Essentials To Enjoy Chamomile Tea

Chamomile Tea BagsWalmart.ca | Walmart.com
Loose Leaf Chamomile TeaAmazon.ca | Amazon.com

Useful Tea Resources

An electric kettlefind at the Bay.com | find on Amazon.com
A teapot & teacup setfrom Anthropologie.com
Filters or steeperDavidsTea.com
A Tea Tasting Journal:  Keep Track of the Teas You’ve Tried | Etsy Canada

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The Unbelievable Benefits & Risks of Chamomile Tea! #benefitschamomile #chamomiletea #riskschamomile #drinkchamomiletea
The Unbelievable Benefits & Risks of Chamomile Tea! #benefitschamomile #chamomiletea #riskschamomile #drinkchamomiletea

14 Comments

  1. I love chamomile too! I hadn’t thought about risks, and though they seem small, it’s so good that you have pointed them out!

    1. It’s one of my favourite teas and one with the least risks. It can definitely affect some people, always good to know about any risks before trying new herbal tea!

        1. Really! Can I ask why you use it? For Strength, softness? I’ll have to look more into it, thanks for letting me know 😀

  2. My baby had severe issues with burping and passing gas. I gave syringe of chamomile tea and this totally helped him burp much faster. Helped me get some 😴

    1. Wow that’s great to hear! I’ve never heard of that trick before but will definitely keep it in mind if I need to use it 😛 Thanks for sharing even another benefit of this wonderful tisane!

  3. I’ve been drinking chamomile tea for 2 weeks. First week was good and I have no migraine. But on the 2nd week my head is always heavy everyday and I’m having a mild migraine.

    1. Hi Matoki,

      How much chamomile tea are you drinking? I haven’t heard of migraines being associated with chamomile tea before, but perhaps you are having some sort of reaction to it. If you stop drinking chamomile does the heaviness and migraines stop?

  4. Been having chamomile tea for about 2weeks now..to help with my insomnia.. And it’s working.. and surprisingly I’ve had super smooth periods..no pain at all..I bet it’s the chamomile tea!!I like it!

  5. One of an informative blog!! Chamomile is one of my favorite flowers as well. I hadn’t considered the hazards, and even though they appear little, it’s great that you brought them up!

  6. Been drinking this tea for 3 nights now with 1 teaspoon of honey. It’s delicious and can have me falling asleep in 15 minutes (I suffer with insomnia) and I stay asleep . I steep the tea bag for 5 minutes

    1. Hi Cindy,

      Thanks so much for your comment! That’s really great to hear so happy chamomile is working for you 😀 😀

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