8 things you should know about chamomile

Chamomile is perhaps one of the most common teas we know. A lot of people prefer chamomile tea as an alternative to the more popular ones like black or (matcha) green tea.

Most people get chamomile not only for its sweet and earthy taste, but also for its health benefits. One of them is how it aids in getting better sleep.

For over 30% of American people who can’t sleep, this is music to the ears. [12]

If you’d like to know more about how this dried flower leads to better quality sleep, then here are 8 things to know about the herbal wonders of chamomile:


#1: Chamomile is an incredible natural remedy for anxiety and sleep disorders.

One of the top things people associate with chamomile is its effects on sleep and anxiety.

For several years, people make chamomile tea as a natural way to calm a hyperactive mind. It’s been known to be a mild tranquilizer because of the antioxidant called apigenin, which binds to certain brain receptors responsible for lowering anxiety, triggering sleep and relaxing our body. [3]


#2: Its use dates back to the olden times.

Yep – to as far back as thousands of years. Chamomile has been consumed by people to ease their anxiety and remedy sleeplessness. It could even date back to the time ancient Romans and Egyptians used chamomile in their tea, creams and incense. In fact, Egyptians also used chamomile to relieve colds. [4]


#3: What is it really?

If you’re curious what a chamomile looks like, it’s this article's banner image above.

It looks like a sunflower, but is a spice at the same time. And there are two kinds: Matricaria recutita – commonly known as German chamomile – is the one that most people refer to when talking about chamomile tea. The other one is Chamaemelum nobile, or the Roman chamomile.

Both can be used, not just for making tea, but also creams, lotions, fragrance, incense and essentially a natural remedy for many things.

Which brings us to…


#4: The benefits of chamomile

Yes, chamomile helps many people get better sleep and an overall calming effect in the body.

But the health benefits don’t stop there. It also does the following:


Chamomile helps lower insulin and cholesterol levels.

According to a study, chamomile tea has been shown to help people suffering from type 2 diabetes in regulating their blood sugar. The study concluded that having chamomile tea thrice a day after meals for eight straight weeks lowered the insulin and cholesterol levels of 32 patients, compared to those who only drank water. If you’re a natural tea lover, then this is amazing news! [5]


Chamomile possesses antibacterial properties.

The ancient Egyptians are right – chamomile tea eases cold and flu. This has been proven by a study that showed an increase in levels of a particular compound found in urine, which is linked to antibacterial activity. [6] This happened after subjects drank chamomile tea every day for a couple of weeks straight. Another study found that inhaling steam with chamomile could ease symptoms of cold and flu. [7]


Chamomile could ease your PMS cramping.

To all the ladies – listen up! The next time you cramp like crazy, try making chamomile tea. A study concluded that having it twice a day during your PMS days could result in fewer cramps and anxiety. [8]


Chamomile could soothe your tummy ache.

This wonder flower is believed to soothe digestive problems among the Ayurvedic and Chinese medicine community. While no study on humans has proven this yet, an animal study found that chamomile extract could prevent diarrhea and prevent stomach ulcers. [9, 10]


Chamomile is also great for giving respite from:

  • Allergy
  • Wounds
  • Arthritis
  • Hemorrhoids
  • Muscle spasms
  • Gastrointestinal disorders


#4: What research says about chamomile about sleep

There are many studies that have proven chamomile’s positive effects on our body:

  • The 2015 study “Effects of an intervention with drinking chamomile tea on sleep quality and depression in sleep disturbed postnatal women: a randomized controlled trial” showed that drinking chamomile tea decreased the occurrence of insomnia among 40 post-partum women. [11]
  • Among 60 nursing home residents, those who consumed 400 mg of chamomile extract experienced better quality sleep compared to those who didn’t. [12]
  • A 2011 study which engaged people suffering from chronic insomnia found that subjects who consumed 270 mg of chamomile extract twice a day for 28 days straight fell asleep 15 minutes faster and woke up fewer times in the night, compared to those who didn’t. [13]
  • A 2009 study funded by the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine showed that chamomile tea reduced stress and anxiety among patients. [14]


#6: You can consume chamomile in many different forms.

I’ve mentioned earlier that chamomile is used for tea, creams, lotions, fragrance and incense.

But the herb can also be used to prepare other forms of remedy.

You can drink it as tea to relax, get sleep or get rid of anxiety. You can also mix the extract and oil and apply it onto the skin for insect bites, itching and eczema. You can add chamomile into the toothpaste or mouthwash to remedy toothaches and inflammation. You can add 5 to 10 drops of chamomile in the essential form into the bath water.

Chamomile is indeed a wonder flower, with all its various uses and health benefits.


#7: Can you have too much chamomile?

While chamomile is considered generally safe, the University of Maryland Medical Center recommends limiting chamomile intake to half a cup per day for children under 5 years old and 1 to 4 cups per day among adults. It can also be used as an extract, standardized to 1.2 percent apigenin in capsule form. [15, 16]

Chamomile can also be an ingredient in some sleep supplements, like VALI Sleep Well!


#8 Any side effects?

Those who have allergies to pollen, especially ragweed, may want to steer clear as chamomile may cause an allergic reaction.

In rare cases, the nausea and vomiting have also been reported as side effects of chamomile. [16]