Chamomile tea is an extremely popular type of tea, which is said to have numerous beneficial properties. The tea, which is extracted from the flowers of the chamomile plant, is said to provide calming and relaxation and to help with various ailments.
But does tea really help you fall asleep? How exactly does the tea work for a cold? And can chamomile tea be consumed in other forms? In the following we want to clarify all important questions and explain how the tea works in our body.
the essentials in brief
- Chamomile tea contains some natural ingredients that have been known for their healing properties since ancient times. The tea has an antibacterial, antispasmodic and anti-inflammatory effect.
- Chamomile tea can help and have a calming effect on the body, especially with symptoms of a respiratory infection or digestive problems.
- The tea is also suitable for inhaling, gargling or as a facial tonic and can be beneficial for your health. Additionally, the relaxing effects can help with insomnia and improve the quality of sleep, which can greatly improve the overall quality of life.
The effects of chamomile tea: what you should know
Chamomile is a unique medicinal plant that can be used in many ways and provides relief for numerous ailments. The most popular product from the plant is chamomile tea. In the following, we will answer the most important questions about the effects of the tea and clarify when it is particularly useful to enjoy the tea.
What ingredients are found in chamomile tea?
Chamomile is a plant with a yellow flower head and elongated white petals. Also known as Matricaria Recutita, the plant has been known for its healing properties since ancient times and is nowadays primarily processed into tea and essential oil.
Chamomile flowers contain bisbolol and matricin, which are plant compounds with antioxidant effects. There are also flavonoids, such as apigenin and quercetin, and coumarins. The substance chamazulene is only present in the essential oil and gives the oil its deep blue colour. (1)
In addition to the tea, the medicinal plant chamomile can also be used for a partial bath, sitz bath, chamomile poultice, chamomile sachets, pads and compresses or for massage oil. In this way, the ingredients can get to the right place more effectively and individual complaints can be combated even more specifically.
What can chamomile tea help against?
The ingredients mentioned ensure that all products made from chamomile blossoms have an anti-inflammatory, antispasmodic and antibacterial effect. Chamomile tea can help with a number of different ailments:
- Cold : The tea can help and relieve the symptoms of the classic symptoms of a cold, especially respiratory infections. (2)
- Inflammation : Inflammation, especially in the throat area, but also on the skin or in the gastrointestinal tract, can be significantly reduced with chamomile tea. (2.3)
- Digestion : In general, the tea can also help with digestive problems or constipation and relax the body. The antibacterial effect gently stabilizes movement in the gastrointestinal tract.
- Menstruation : The soothing and antispasmodic ingredients of the plant can also significantly relieve discomfort during the period and sometimes even reduce stress and worries. (4)
- Sleep Disorders : Chamomile tea may act as a natural sleep aid and improve the quality of sleep. (5,6,7)
The special thing about it is that all these positive effects come from a natural product and are contained in the plant right from the start. This makes chamomile tea a versatile medicinal product that is completely harmless.
Chamomile tea is a natural way to treat numerous ailments without having to use medication right away. (Image source: Monika Grabkowska / Unsplash)
How does chamomile tea work for colds?
The essential oils in the tea have an antibacterial, calming and antispasmodic effect on colds. This is particularly beneficial for the classic symptoms of a cold such as coughing, runny nose and sleeping problems.
Furthermore, the chamomile tea can be used for inhalation and, especially in the case of respiratory infections, can alleviate the typical cold symptoms. All you have to do is pour boiling water over the chamomile tea and let it steep for 7-8 minutes. When the tea has cooled sufficiently, the vapor can be inhaled deeply and significantly reduce breathing problems.
Chamomile tea is also suitable for inhalation for colds.
During inhalation, the airways are moistened, the blocked secretions in the nose and sinuses are loosened and the flow of mucus is stimulated. It also helps to decongest the mucous membranes. (2)
How does chamomile tea help with inflammation?
The most important property of chamomile tea is its anti-inflammatory effect. Different inflammations are often symptoms of both acute and chronic diseases. The substances contained in chamomile tea can greatly reduce this inflammation, which is why the tea is often recommended for a drinking cure in the case of chronic inflammation. For this you should drink a cup three times a day for 6 weeks and after a 3-4 week break repeat this for another 6 weeks. (2.3)
Chamomile tea can also be used to gargle and relieve inflammation in the throat or gums. The tea should not be too hot and should be spat out again after gargling regularly.
How does chamomile tea work for gastrointestinal complaints?
Chamomile stimulates gastrointestinal movement and can gently stabilize digestion. By combining it with other medicinal plants, the disturbed movement in the gastrointestinal tract can be regulated and action can be taken against bacteria in the intestine . Thanks to its good tolerability, chamomile tea is particularly suitable for long-term therapy.
The miracle tea can also provide relief for slight constipation and cramps in the gastrointestinal tract. To ignite the antibacterial and antispasmodic effect, you should let the tea steep for at least 5 minutes in the morning. The tea does not have to be absorbed into the blood via the intestines, but acts directly and quickly on site.
How does chamomile tea work during menstruation?
Especially with cramps during menstruation, chamomile tea is ideal for significantly reducing the symptoms. In addition to the physical ailments, the tea can also reduce stress and anxiety during the period due to its calming effect. A 2010 study showed that just two cups a day just before and during the menstrual cycle can significantly reduce menstrual pain . (4)
In addition to the healing effects, the tea also significantly helps with sleep. And when used externally, beauty can also be supported and clean skin can be ensured. (Image source: Inga Shcheglova / Unsplash)
How can chamomile tea help with insomnia?
Chamomile tea has a calming effect and helps you relax. Furthermore, studies have shown that people who suffer from insomnia can fall asleep quickly shortly after drinking the tea. The tea is believed to have similar effects to benzodiazepines, which is a prescription drug for depression and sleep problems. (5.6)
The tea relaxes and ensures a restful sleep.
The intensity of the effects varies from person to person, but in any case it can be a natural and healthier alternative to some medications. Having a cup before bed might help you fall asleep faster and overall improve the quality of your sleep. (7)
How can chamomile tea support beauty?
Chamomile tea not only helps with illnesses, but can also promote beauty if consumed regularly. The healing, clarifying and moisturizing active ingredients of the tea enable different applications to care for your appearance.
- Impure skin: A facial steam bath with chamomile tea combats blemishes and has a beneficial effect on rashes. Ordinary tea can also be used as a face tonic when it has been cooled and have a healing effect.
- Bleached hair: After dousing it with cooled chamomile tea, stressed hair can regain its shine and look more cared for.
- Small Wounds: Small wounds can be cleaned and disinfected with cool tea, thus speeding up healing. (8th)
- Skin aging: Some ingredients of the chamomile flower act as a natural anti-aging agent and protect the skin from external influences.
- Peaceful sleep: As already explained, improved sleep can also have a positive influence on a well-groomed appearance and healthy skin.
In addition to tea, there are also numerous different creams and lotions made from chamomile blossoms that have been specially made for the skin and can therefore provide the necessary moisture at the same time.
Can Chamomile Tea Help You Lose Weight?
People often look for a quick and easy way to lose weight. But of course chamomile tea cannot work miracles either. However, the type of tea can significantly support weight loss and offer several advantages at the same time.
Thanks to improved sleep with chamomile tea, fat burning is promoted at night and weight loss is accelerated even without exercise . The decisive advantage, however, is that the tea stabilizes the blood sugar and thus avoids food cravings. Studies even show that the blood sugar level in diabetics can be lowered with the help of chamomile tea and thus the necessary dose of medication could be reduced. (9.10)
Can chamomile tea help with osteoporosis and cancer prevention?
A study in 2004 showed that chamomile has an anti-estrogenic effect against osteoporosis. This disease mainly affects women after the menopause, with a progressive loss of bone density and thus the risk of fractures. The ingredients of the tea can strengthen the density of the bones again and counteract the disease. (11)
Chamomile tea should only be drunk in case of discomfort or sleeping problems. Chamomile is less suitable as a regular tea, as the body gets used to the healing effect. (Image Source: Manki Kim / Unsplash)
Chamomile tea can even help in the fight against cancer. A study from 2012 suggests that the ingredients in the tea can inhibit the development of cancer cells. However, further studies are needed to determine the clear effect. (12)
How often should you drink chamomile tea?
Overall, chamomile tea is not recommended as a pure tea for pleasure, as the body gets used to the healing effects and the ingredients of the plant over time. In the case of acute symptoms, however, you can drink three to four cups a day, which should correspond to about half a liter. Warm, unsweetened and between meals, the tea can take effect at the first sign of inflammation.
The body can get used to the effects of the tea over time.
The tea can also be used several times a day for inhaling, gargling or as a face wash. However, if the symptoms have not improved after a week, it is advisable to see a doctor and get a professional opinion.
How does chamomile tea work when used externally?
The plant can penetrate not only on the surface of the skin, but also in deeper layers of the skin and thus increase the additional absorption of other medicinal substances. This makes the external use of the tea particularly useful in some cases. This is especially the case with bacterial and inflammatory skin diseases, open wounds and rashes. (8th)
Furthermore, chamomile has deodorizing and fragrant properties, which is why it is often found in personal care products such as hand creams, make-up articles or shower gels. Chamomile tea has odor-reducing properties and thus has a positive effect on physical well-being and skin metabolism.
What side effects can chamomile tea have?
Unfortunately, chamomile tea may not be suitable for everyone. People who suffer from severe pollen allergies should not drink the tea, or should only do so with extreme caution. Because the chamomile flowers could be coated with a lot of pollen and thus cause an allergic reaction. Of course, people who are already allergic to daisy plants or chamomile should also be careful. The allergic reaction could also get stronger from time to time.
Tea made from the medicinal plant chamomile has a calming and antispasmodic effect on the body. Numerous studies have shown that tea can provide relief from colds, inflammation and digestive problems. The natural ingredients of the plant have an antibacterial and anti-inflammatory effect in a very short time and can usually be used without hesitation.
When used correctly, the tea also promotes the beauty of the skin and can be a miracle cure for sleep problems. The relaxing effect makes it easier to fall asleep and promotes the overall quality of sleep. Overall, chamomile tea can reduce the need for some medications and support natural healing when consumed judiciously, including in the form of inhalation or gargling.
Wichtl M: Tea drugs and phytopharmaceuticals. Scientific publishing company mbH Stuttgart 2016 Source
Srivastava JK, Shankar E, Gupta S. Chamomile: A herbal medicine of the past with bright future. Mol Med Rep. 2010 Nov 1;3(6):895-901. doi: 10.3892/mmr.2010.377. PMID: 21132119; PMCID: PMC2995283. Source
Lin TK, Zhong L, Santiago JL. Anti-Inflammatory and Skin Barrier Repair Effects of Topical Application of Some Plant Oils. Int J Mol Sci. 2017 Dec 27;19(1):70. doi: 10.3390/ijms19010070. PMID: 29280987; PMCID: PMC5796020. Source
Jenabi, Ensiyeh & Ebrahimzadeh, Samira. (2010). Chamomile tea for relief of primary dysmenorrhea. Iranian Journal of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Infertility. 13. 39-42. Source
Shinomiya K, Inoue T, Utsu Y, Tokunaga S, Masuoka T, Ohmori A, Kamei C. Hypnotic activities of chamomile and passiflora extracts in sleep-disturbed rats. Biol Pharm Bull. 2005 May;28(5):808-10. doi: 10.1248/bpb.28.808. PMID: 15863883. Source
Gyllenhaal C, Merritt SL, Peterson SD, Block KI, Gochenour T. Efficacy and safety of herbal stimulants and sedatives in sleep disorders. Sleep Med Rev. 2000 Jun;4(3):229-251. doi: 10.1053/smrv.1999.0093. PMID: 12531167. Source
Chang SM, Chen CH. Effects of an intervention with drinking chamomile tea on sleep quality and depression in sleep disturbed postnatal women: a randomized controlled trial. J Adv Nurs. 2016 Feb;72(2):306-15. doi: 10.1111/jan.12836. Epub 2015 Oct 20. PMID: 26483209. Source
Glowania HJ, Raulin C, Swoboda M. Effect of chamomile on wound healing--a clinical double-blind study. Z skin cr. 1987 Sep 1;62(17):1262, 1267-71. German. PMID: 3318194. Source
Kato A, Minoshima Y, Yamamoto J, Adachi I, Watson AA, Nash RJ. Protective effects of dietary chamomile tea on diabetic complications. J Agric Food Chem. 2008 Sep 10;56(17):8206-11. doi: 10.1021/jf8014365. Epub 2008 Aug 6. PMID: 18681440. Source
Zemestani M, Rafraf M, Asghari-Jafarabadi M. Chamomile tea improves glycemic indices and antioxidants status in patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus. Nutrition. 2016 Jan;32(1):66-72. doi: 10.1016/j.nut.2015.07.011. Epub 2015 Aug 14. PMID: 26437613. Source
Kassi E, Papoutsi Z, Fokialakis N, Messari I, Mitakou S, Moutsatsou P. Greek plant extracts exhibit selective estrogen receptor modulator (SERM)-like properties. J Agric Food Chem. 2004 Nov 17;52(23):6956-61. doi: 10.1021/jf0400765. PMID: 15537303. Source
Matić IZ, Juranić Z, Savikin K, Zdunić G, Nađvinski N, Gođevac D. Chamomile and marigold tea: chemical characterization and evaluation of anticancer activity. Phytother Res. 2013 Jun;27(6):852-8. doi: 10.1002/ptr.4807. Epub 2012 Aug 16. PMID: 22899374. Source