Chamomile Tea Health Benefits and Side Effects

Written by: Christopher Karam | ✔️ Medically Reviewed by: Dr. Riad M., M.D - G.P and Micheal B., M.D | Last Updated: 2020 April 27

Tradition, Origins, and History of Chamomile Tea

With roots as far back as ancient Egypt, chamomile tea has been used by a variety of ethnicities for cold remedies, incense, and of course, a healthy beverage. Chamomile is made up of daisy-like flowers that come from the daisy family called Asteraceae.

The Romans who are credited with the discovery of chamomile have been said to have found chamomile flowers growing in the Roman Coliseum amid the 19th century.

Floral chamomile tea petals are dried and put into tea bags, or simply dropped right into hot water.

The two herbal types that have been discovered in the 19th century are the Roman and German varieties found in their respective countries of origin.

pouring hot tea from a kettle

People all through time have been enjoying this world-renowned herbal infusion of hot water and dried chamomile flowers for centuries, and this daisy-look-alike flowery plant expands its roots back to thousands of years since its existence.

Traditionally chamomile was used to treat anything from bruises, open wounds, burns and canker sores, to ulcers, gout, hemorrhoids, as well as other pains and ailments.

Additionally, chamomile tea has a lot of medicinal and practical uses, ranging from having anti-inflammatory as well as antioxidant properties, preventing cancer, improved heart health, skin health, and preventing irritable bowel syndrome.

Many past and research studies have shown that there are numerous potential benefits of drinking chamomile tea drinks daily.

Most people consume chamomile tea without fully realizing the health benefits that it can have on your health and wellbeing. The health benefits of drinking chamomile tea aren't common knowledge and somewhat vague.

The main ingredient of most non-herbal teas is chamomile flowers and its stems. Chamomile flowers have been found to lower your risk for several chronic diseases such as cancer.

Not only does chamomile have a great fruity taste, but it can be used for its powerful health benefits making it a healthy option you can consume daily.

The beautiful chamomile flower is almost readily available worldwide, being native to Asia, Europe, Australia and North America. It blooms during the early summer months and is ready to be cultivated in 7 to 8 weeks.

German chamomile tea contains a good amount of chamazulene, chamazulene is an aromatic chemical complex that has anti-inflammatory, antispasmodic, and analgesic attributes.

Whether you're stressed out or going through a cold, having just one cup of chamomile tea can give you instant relief and a sense of calmness, especially since it has a beautiful aroma.

Chamomile Tea Health Benefits

There are many health benefits of chamomile tea when taken regularly. It’s able to treat a wide variety of symptoms, complications, diabetes and cardiovascular disease, low blood sugar, reducing menstrual pain and inflammation, prevention of cancer, and improved sleep.

1. Improves Sleep In People Suffering From Sleep Disorders

An important segment of chamomile tea’s health benefits is that it contains an antioxidant called apigenin that can bind with certain receptors in our system and influences the impact of sleep and calmness on our physiology, such as our circadian rhythm.

Apigenin functions as an antioxidant, anti-inflammatory agent, can lower blood pressure, as well as having antibacterial and antiviral properties. This ultimately results in the improved ability to fall asleep and reduces symptoms related to insomnia.

A recent study published on postpartum women (women who have recently given childbirth) revealed that sleep quality was better for test subjects who’ve been drinking chamomile tea during pregnancy compared to those that haven't had any.

rosebud lemon saffron tea

Experts still maintain the position that more research and experimental evidence is needed before making a conclusive assumption about the chamomile tea’s health benefits on sleepiness.

It’s been widely reported and scientifically documented that people who frequently consume chamomile tea have found that the health benefits can oftentimes be life-changing.

2. Very Effective in Preventing Many Types of Cancer

Frequent consumption has been associated with a lowered risk for certain types of cancers. Apigenin, one of the antioxidants found in chamomile is capable of fighting cancer cells located in the breast, skin, digestive tract, prostate, gastrointestinal, and uterus areas.

The antioxidant apigenin is best known for its anti-inflammatory, anti-carcinogenic, antioxidant properties, as well as stimulating adult neurogenesis (the creation of new neural stem cells in adults).

3. Lowers of Blood Sugar Levels and Cholesterol

The USDA’s national nutrient database claims that it's important to monitor our glucose since it could have several potentially disastrous reactions if kept elevated. High blood sugar levels are associated with constant damage to the cells of your pancreas.

Another thing to note is that your pancreas is tasked with the production of insulin, therefore having consistent exposure to this issue may incur additional expenses. Such as exocrine gland damage that can cause acne, excess sweat, mucous, and lacrimal glands.

Furthermore, chamomile tea has anti-inflammatory properties that can prevent any disease related to the pancreas from occurring. Studies suggest that this benefit has been displayed in many animal testings.

On top of that, chamomile tea can also be used to regulate your blood sugar levels and control the release of sugar into the bloodstream shortly after eating.

4. Improves Heart Health and Reduces Heart Disease Risks

Chamomile has an abundance of antioxidants from a compound called flavones (white or yellow plant pigments). Flavones have been the subject of countless studies that have proven the relation between the consumption of these pigments with lowered blood pressure and cholesterol levels.

A study was done using diabetic patients, who consumed flavones daily resulted in improvements to their (bad) LDL cholesterol and triglyceride levels.

Sweetened chamomile tea products are a much healthier substitute for people drinking sodas and other sugary drinks.

5. Helps Relieve Stress and Anxiety

Consumption of an iced tea version of chamomile can raise your dopamine and serotonin levels. Serotonin is a neurotransmitter that contributes to happiness and well-being.

While Dopamine is another neurotransmitter used by the brain for promoting a sense of motivation and the reward-driven parts of the nervous system.

bunch of daisy flowers on table

These neurotransmitters reduce stress levels and calm the mind as well as your muscular system, the chemical chain reactions are amplified when they're released simultaneously.

To achieve this desired effect, chamomile tea is recommended for people to consume two cups a day during periods where you're experiencing high levels of stress, and one cup on a regular day.

6. Menstrual Cramps and Pain Relief

This tea also contains antioxidants and chemical compounds that can open up blood vessels and reduce inflammation in many areas of your body.

These anti-inflammatory properties are often responsible for relieving symptoms related to inflammation such as muscle spasms, nausea, and joint pain. Consuming this herbal tea daily is a natural way to treat both cramps and muscle spasms.

7. Boosts Immune System and Resistance To Viruses

The healthy medicinal properties of chamomile tea make it efficient in treating symptoms related to stomach flu and other similar viruses.

The strong aroma of chamomile flowers can decongest sinuses, the antibacterial properties are also excellent at removing any harmful bacteria from your system when it's used in aromatherapy.

It can also treat sore throats if taken in while it's warm. While a firm relationship between an improved immune system with the consumption of this herbal tea is not major, it's recommended to consume a cup each day. Many small improvements have a big impact on your health.

8. Healthier Hair and Treating Adverse Skin Conditions

Having dandruff on your head is a sign of poor scalp skin health, and drinking herbal teas can easily help you avoid that.

Its anti-inflammatory compounds are capable of promoting the health of your scalp by removing the itchiness, reducing the redness, and dryness that leads to dandruff formation.

For even better results, it can also be used to lighten the color of your hair and also create highlights simply by applying an iced tea version of chamomile to your scalp while showering, and letting it sit for 5 to 10 minutes.

Chamomile’s anti-inflammatory properties make it a viable option for treating various inflammatory skin conditions and symptoms such as eczema, acne, psoriasis, and hives.

If you're looking for an effective natural remedy, having just one drink of chamomile tea will give you a huge list of benefits!

fancy cup of tea

9. Better Digestion and Healthier Digestive Tract

It’s a very well-rounded ingredient for benefiting your health and wellness. It can boost the health of your nervous, immune, circulatory, and even digestive system!

Chamomile extract can be used to eliminate digestive tract related issues such as irritable bowel syndrome, constipation, abdominal pain, and poor nutrient absorption due to maldigestion.

The tea is also efficient at reducing the frequency of stomach ulcers, diarrhea, and acid production. To maximize the outcome of its benefits make sure to have some once a day, thirty minutes before a meal.

Chamomile Tea Side Effects and Detriments

1. Possible Allergies and Worsened Allergic Reactions

It's important to keep in mind that chamomile is a flower, and it may cause an allergic reaction in people who are allergic to plants related to the daisy family.

If you are unsure about yourself, there are a few plants that can safely and accurately predict if you'll be allergic to chamomile: daisies, marigolds, chrysanthemums, and ragweed. The symptoms can be as acute as mild itching, skin irritation, or could be as severe as an anaphylaxic shock in rare cases.

Other life-threatening symptoms of these allergic reactions may include itchy throats and difficulties breathing. If experiencing any of these symptoms, contact 911 or local emergency services right away. Latter informing your medical professional or physician.

blooming daisies orange center

2. Natural Blood Thinner

Avoid drinking all teas, especially chamomile before surgery. It can be hazardous and potentially fatal for the patient.

Chamomile extracts contain a small amount of coumarin, a colorless crystalline which acts as a blood thinner. Before going into surgery or taking any prescription drug or medications, you should take precautious measures and lessen your intake of any herbal teas at least two weeks prior.

Some of these side effects include:

  • Excessive Menstrual bleeding

  • Coughing out red mucus or blood

  • Severe headache or stomachache

  • Dizziness, fatigue, or weakness

  • Blood in your urine or bowel movements

A scientific study was done using coumarin, it was shown that it may interact negatively with blood-thinning drugs to have a fatal effect depending on the severity, dose, and frequency.

One of the side effects of chamomile tea is that it interacts badly with anticoagulants such as warfarin, clopidogrel, ticlopidine, and heparin.

3. Issues For Pregnant or Nursing Women

Women who are pregnant or nursing need to also ask their doctor beforehand to see if it's okay to have any while going through a pregnancy, as its strong potency could pose multiple risks.

However, the concern and safety regarding this tea under these circumstances is still not fully proven or well studied.

4. Unsafe When Drinking Too Much

In general, the consumption of chamomile tea is very safe until taken in excessive amounts, as with all other foods. If this happens, you may experience strong abdominal pain, bouts of vomiting, or even diarrhea.

Finally, as far as any potential negative effects go among this and other types of herbal teas, chamomile shouldn’t be consumed in excess.

Ingesting a large amount has been known to cause intense drowsiness, dizziness and can even induce vomiting in more intensive cases.

bush of blooming daisies

Nevertheless, it’s common to consume as much as four to five cups a day and not show any negative or harmful effects of over-consumption. We recommend having 2 to 3 cups at most per day.

All these major consequences of overusing chamomile are not factually proven, but they’ve been observed in a handful of individuals and smaller case studies.

It depends on the person because as with anything, some people are more sensitive or might be allergic to certain foods compared to others, that’s why it’s important to contact your doctor or health care professional if you’re unsure.

Rating and Recommendation

Extremely Recommended

From helping those who are struggling with insomnia, or other sleeping disorders, who want to have a good night’s rest, or for even helping fight off multiple types of cancer, chamomile tea can have a role to play in each scenario.

In addition to relieving aches and pains, easing stress, symptoms of depression, helping your sleeping schedule, and even possibly fighting off cancer growth, it's also great for battling off common viral infections, easing digestive problems, fighting external irritations and so much more.

You need to also ask your doctor or physician to see if it's safe while you’re on other forms of medication, pregnant or nursing.

Chamomile tea is one of the best tasting, herbal teas out there, and for good reason. It has many remarkable health benefits and can even reduce your risk for chronic or acute ailments.

flower tea on marble table

Here’s the full list of the health benefits of chamomile tea:

  1. Can Aid Sleep In People Suffering From Sleep Disorders

  2. Very Effective in Preventing Many Types of Cancer

  3. Lowers Blood Sugar Levels and Cholesterol

  4. Improves Heart Health and Reduces Heart Disease Risks

  5. Has antioxidants that can fight cancerous cells

  6. Helps Relieve Stress and Anxiety

  7. Menstrual Cramps and Pain Relief

  8. Boosts Immune System and Resistance To Viruses

  9. Healthier Hair and Treating Adverse Skin Conditions

  10. Better Digestion and Healthier Digestive Tract

Here’s the list of side effects of chamomile tea:

  1. Possible Allergies and Worsened Allergic Reactions

  2. Natural Blood Thinner

  3. Issues For Pregnant or Nursing Women

  4. Unsafe When Drinking In Excess

Chamomile tea is caffeine-free and part of the family of herbal teas, these are better alternatives to black or oolong tea if you’re looking to reduce your caffeine intake.

These harmful reactions may be found on the packaging of products that contain chamomile tea, so be sure to thoroughly read any labels on the packaging before making a purchase.

It's a good habit to read the packaging and nutrition facts label on any tea box because certain products may have undesired ingredients and warnings that require attention.

If you drink any while having a medical illness requiring medication, you may want to disclose this fact to your doctor. Due to the limited knowledge available, the interactions between herbal teas and certain drugs should be revised by a health care professional.

Chamomile tea has amazing nutrition facts, great-tasting, and extremely healthy for you! That is why we recommend giving it a try, at least for your first time and continuing to have some to make it part of your daily diet and dining routines.

After several days, you'll begin to notice overall improvements to your mood, energy, and stress levels.

Frequently Asked Questions

Chamomile tea is a herb derived from the flowering plant called Roman chamomile (Chamaemelum Nobile), which is known for its medicinal qualities and calming effects.

The primary use for chamomile flowers is to make tea, a delightfully calming beverage with a subtly sweet, apple-like flavor.

Over the years, its become scientifically proven to be the best type of tea for relaxing your sore muscles, entire endocrine muscular system, and central nervous system.

Chamomile tea has an overall calming effect in addition to having 0 mg of caffeine.

Because chamomile tea is caffeine-free, it's been a popular choice for consumers who are looking for an alternative to caffeinated teas such as black or oolong tea, which are both high in caffeine, like all non-herbal teas.

Chamomile is also very safe to have regularly, it's popular among people who use herbal remedies because of its efficiency, healthy essential oils and plant-based compounds, as well as convenience.

The list of chamomile's healthy essential oils and plant-based compounds include:

1. Chamazulene

2. Bisabolol Oxide A and B

3. Apigenin and Apigenin-7-O-Glucoside

4. Isobutyl Angelate

5. 2-Methyl butyl Angelate

6. Farnesene

7. Beta-Farnesene

8. Farnesol

9. Alpha-Bisabolol

10. Guaiazulene

11. Matricin

12. Umbelliferone

13. Herniarin

14. Caffeic Acid (Caffeine)

15. Chlorogenic Acid

16. Luteolin and Luteolin-7-O-Glucoside

17. Quercetin

18. Z-Enyne Dicycloether

Having relaxing, sedative, and calming effects, helping treat insomnia and promoting good quality sleep.

The chamomile flower is so versatile that it can be grown in the comfort of your own home or backyard, requiring little attention and maintenance.

Like any other flowering plant, it may take a long period to bloom but the wait is worth it due to all of its health benefits.

Chamomile tea has no caffeine. The Chamomile flower is naturally caffeine-free (0 mg per cup), which is a great alternative to green tea or earl grey tea, all of which have high amounts of caffeine ranging between 40 mg to 110 mg per cup depending on the blend.

That's why chamomile tea is such a convenient drink to have at night before going to sleep to help you relax, improve the quality of your sleep, and calm your digestive system ensuring a restful night.

To brew fresh chamomile tea you'll need chamomile flowers, water and a way to heat it, as well as an infuser pot.

Optional kitchenware: using tea bags or cheesecloth, optional ingredients include mint leaves, lemon or orange zest, star anise, cinnamon, or a few drops of essential oils. Here is how you make chamomile tea:

1. Bring the water in a kettle to a boil.

2. Place either a teabag containing the chamomile flowers or just the flowers themselves into the kettle or infuser pot.

3. Optionally, add your lemon zest, lemon juice, star anise, mint, extracts, or cinnamon sticks to the mixture.

4. Afterwards, leave the mix to steep for 3 to 10 minutes depending on how many ingredients you added.

5. Enjoy!

Loose-leaf chamomile flowers and chamomile extract pairs very well with mint, giving a slightly different flavor to your tea.

Mint also fills the room with a delightful aroma when it's heated.

If you're looking for a drink that's more on the colder side, there are countless recipes and variations you can follow to create a chamomile iced tea.

Natural remedies require some preparation. All you need is chamomile infused water and plain yogurt.

After brewing some chamomile tea, let it cool down for a few minutes and then add it to some unflavored, plain yogurt at a ratio of 1:1 cups.

This can be used to either lighten your hair, naturally brighten and highlight your hair, or simply just for healthier hair.

For proper effectiveness, mix the 2 ingredients thoroughly. Once that's finished, coat your hair strands with the chamomile yogurt mix.

After the mixture has set on your hair for 35 to 40 minutes, make sure to rinse your hair well as you would with any other shampoo, conditioner, or other hair care product.

If this process seems too lengthy and time-consuming for you, shampoos and hair lightening products are being sold are infused with chamomile that has similar effects.

How do you use chamomile tea to treat acne?

Chamomile tea isn't only used for consumption, it's also beneficial for your face and skin. It can be used as an acne wash and pore cleanser.

This can be accomplished by making chilled chamomile tea and applying it directly to your face using cotton balls, makeup sponges, or cotton swabs.

Acne treatments using chamomile tea requires frequent and in severe cases daily use, however you can also wash your face with chamomile tea twice a day, in the morning and at night for better prevention against acne.

Articles and Sources

Chamomile Tea Nutrition Facts

Serving Size 245 g (about 8oz or 1 Cup)

Amount Per Serving
Calories 2.4 Calories from Fat 0
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 0 g 0 %
Saturated Fat 0 g 0 %
Polyunsaturated fat 0 g
Monounsaturated fat 0 g
Trans Fat 0 g
Cholesterol 0 mg 0 %
Sodium 2.4 mg 0 %
Potassium 21.3 mg 1 %
Total Carbohydrate 0.5 g 0 %
Dietary Fiber 0 g 0 %
Sugars 0 g
Protein 0 g
Vitamin A 1 % Vitamin C 0 %
Vitamin E 0 % Vitamin K 0 %
Vitamin D 0 % Vitamin B6 0 %
Calcium 1 % Iron 1 %
Magnesium 1 % Cobalamin 0 %

Calories per gram:

Fat: 9 | Carbohydrate: 4 | Protein: 4

Source: USDA's Nutrient Database

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