Chamomile tea has long been used for a wide variety of health conditions as a traditional folk remedy. Researchers are also continually investigating its usefulness in the treatment of disorders, including cancer and diabetes.
Research into the strength of camomile tea has so far shown promise. Research differ, however, with some studies suggesting strong improvements relative to conventional treatments, and others only referring to potential ones.
Chamomile tea is safe for most persons to try as an alternative to other medications, but when people have severe diseases, it does not substitute conventional medicinal treatments.
Fast facts about chamomile tea:
- Dried chamomile flowers are used to make chamomile tea.
- Researchers are interested in the benefits of consuming chamomile tea.
- Similarly to any other herbal remedy, it is not safe for everyone.
- The more potent the tea, the more likely it is to offer health benefits.
What is chamomile tea?
The strength of different camomile teas varies, with some having far more camomile than others. In individuals who are sensitive to them, the more powerful teas are often more likely to cause side effects. Consequently, starting with a low dosage is safer and steadily moving up to larger doses.
Benefits of chamomile tea
The potential benefits of chamomile tea, for which there is the most evidence, include:
1. Reducing menstrual pain
Several studies have linked camomile tea with decreased menstrual cramp incidence. For instance, a 2010 study showed that drinking camomile tea for a month could minimise menstrual cramp pain. Less discomfort and depression associated with menstrual pain was also identified by women in the study.
2. Treating diabetes and lowering blood sugar
Again, several studies have shown that in individuals with diabetes, camomile tea can reduce blood sugar. Research may not prove that camomile is a suitable alternative for prescription drugs for diabetes, but it can be a beneficial complement to current medications.
Similarly, a study of rats in 2008 showed that consistent intake of camomile tea could prevent a rise in blood sugar. This influence decreases the long-term risk of complications of diabetes, indicating that camomile may boost the outcome of diabetes.
3. Slowing or preventing osteoporosis
The side effects of bone mass is osteoporosis. The risk of broken bones and stooped posture is raised by this failure. Although osteoporosis can be acquired by anyone, it is most prevalent in post-menopausal women. The results of oestrogen may be due to this tendency.
A research published in 2004 showed that camomile tea may have anti-estrogenic effects. It has also tended to improve bone density, although the authors of the study warn that more research is required to prove this clear advantage.
4. Reducing inflammation
Inflammation is the response of the immune system to prevent infection. There are chemical compounds in Chamomile tea that may decrease inflammation. However, a wide variety of health conditions, including haemorrhoids, gastrointestinal pain, asthma, autoimmune diseases, and even depression, are associated with long-term inflammation.
5. Cancer treatment and prevention
Some studies indicate that camomile tea can target cancer cells or, in the first place, even prevent the production of these cells. So far, however, evidence is inconclusive, and researchers believe further testing is needed to prove the anti-cancer claims of camomile. Often, in animals, much research has looked at clinical models, not humans.
The cancer-fighting properties of marigold and camomile teas were contrasted in a 2012 study. They were both able to selectively treat cancer tumours, but the effects of marigold tea were more potent.
6. Helping with sleep and relaxation
It is commonly believed that camomile tea makes people calm and fall asleep. However, few clinical trials have tested this.
10 out of 12 cardiovascular patients are cited as having fallen asleep immediately after drinking camomile tea in one study of the latest facts. A few other studies that look at clinical models also show that camomile tea can help individuals relax.
The camomile extract helped sleep-disturbed rodents fall asleep in a study using rats. Many researchers assume that a benzodiazepine may act like camomile tea. Benzodiazepines are pharmaceutical medications that can alleviate anxiety and sleep induction. Any evidence indicates that camomile binds to receptors for benzodiazepines.
7. Treating cold symptoms
Anecdotal data and some research indicate that some of the signs of common cold may be cured by inhaling steam with camomile extract. But this advantage is not yet proven.
8. Treatment for mild skin conditions
A small 1987 study showed that healing was aided by the application of camomile extract directly to a wound. Similarly, several studies have shown that camomile ointments, while not as effective as hydrocortisone cream, can help with eczema and mild inflammatory skin conditions.
The following groups should avoid chamomile unless advised otherwise by a doctor:
- People with a history of severe allergies, particularly to pollens: Chamomile may be contaminated with pollen from other plants so can cause an allergic reaction.
- People who have previously had an allergic reaction, even mild, to chamomile products: They should avoid chamomile, as allergic reactions can get worse with time.
- Infants and very young children: Chamomile tea, similarly to honey and some other natural products, may be contaminated with botulism spores. Most healthy adults can fight off the infection, but infants may not be able to. Many doctors recommend infants and young children avoid honey, and they should also avoid chamomile products.
It is also not safe to use chamomile as a substitute for proven medical treatments. If someone is taking any medications, they should ask their doctor about potential interactions with chamomile tea.