What is chamomile tea?
Chamomile is a herb that produces small, daisy-like flowers that are then dried and steeped in water to make chamomile tea.
There are several different types of chamomile herb, but only those from the Roman, German or Egyptian varieties are used for the tea.
What is the history of chamomile tea?
The history of chamomile tea appears to go back as far as ancient Egypt, where it was used as a cold remedy. These days, it’s one of the most popular herbal teas around.
What are the 4 main health benefits of chamomile tea?
1. Sleep supportive
Chamomile tea is well-known for its relaxing properties, touted to aid a good night’s sleep. This may be due to its phytonutrient content, specifically a compound called apigenin, which is believed to have sedative effects. A 2015 study found that drinking chamomile tea helped postpartum women improve their depression and sleep quality.
2. May help to ease anxiety
Some research has suggested that chamomile may be beneficial to those struggling with mild anxiety, although more research is needed in this area.
3. May be beneficial for those with diabetes
Chamomile may help improve blood sugar regulation in those with diabetes by supressing blood sugar levels and helping to improve liver glycogen storage.
One study of 64 adults with type 2 diabetes, who drank three cups of chamomile tea a day immediately after meals for eight weeks, showed a significant decrease in their HbA1C markers (which is often used as an indicator for diabetes), as well as improved glycaemic control and blood lipid profile.
4. May help with digestive issues
Research suggests that chamomile may help to reduce smooth muscle spasms in the gut, which may benefit those with inflammatory digestive issues such as diverticulitis and oesophageal reflux. It may also offer preventative measures against a fairly common bacteria known as H. Pylori (or Helicobacter Pylori) which can contribute to stomach ulcers.
Is chamomile tea suitable for everyone?
Chamomile tea is considered safe for most people, but some have reported an allergy to chamomile, especially if they already have a daisy allergy (which includes plants such as ragweed and chrysanthemums).
How do I include chamomile tea in my diet?
Chamomile tea can be consumed any time of day, but may be best consumed in the evening for its relaxing effects and potential sleep benefits. Or, if you have diabetes, it could be worth adding a cup after your meals.
You can either buy chamomile in teabags, or as a loose-leaf tea.
Check out more of our health benefits guides…
This article was published on 17 June 2020.
Nicola Shubrook is a nutritional therapist and works with both private clients and the corporate sector. She is an accredited member of the British Association for Nutrition and Lifestyle Medicine (BANT) and the Complementary & Natural Healthcare Council (CNHC). Find out more at urbanwellness.co.uk.
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