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Is Chamomile Tea Good for You?

A quality night's sleep can be elusive. For some, relying on melatonin is key while others opt for a more natural approach.

A warm, calming cup of tea is a classic bedtime ritual and can help maintain good sleep hygiene. Most brands have some version of the widely recognizable Celestial Seasoning “Sleepytime” tea. Call it “Nighty Night,” “Well-Rested” or “Sweet Dreams” – it’s typically the same caffeine-free blend of chamomile, spearmint, and lemongrass.

But what else can a cup of chamomile do for you?

Is chamomile tea good for you?

All types of tea are healthy sources of hydration and antioxidants, says registered dietitian Danielle Crumble Smith. Tea contains polyphenol compounds, which have antioxidant properties. Studies show the antioxidants found in teas may be able to prevent and treat human diseases like cardiovascular disease (CVD) and may also have anti-aging and anti-diabetic properties.

Hot tea can also be helpful during cold season: “Sometimes just the act of drinking something warm when you’re sick can help loosen mucus,” Crumble Smith says.

But different types of tea also have unique health benefits – like black tea for a caffeine boost, green tea for plentiful antioxidants or peppermint tea for nausea. Here’s what a cup of chamomile could offer. 

Chamomile tea benefits

Chamomile tea is most well-known for its relaxing effects. Some studies indicate it can modestly improve sleep quality, though evidence for clinical sleep treatment is still limited. Other scientists think it comes from the notion that if you believe something will help you fall asleep, it will, even if only by reducing your stress levels. 

Regardless of its proven sleepy-time benefits, because it doesn’t have caffeine, chamomile makes for a good drink during your unwinding time before bed. Crumble Smith also recommends the tea for those with anxiety if they’re finding it difficult to relax or stay calm.

Its soothing effects may also extend to digestive issues. Chamomile has been used to treat inflammatory bowel disease, indigestion, diarrhea, gas and colic, though research remains limited. It helps relax muscle contractions, according to Mount Sinai Hospitals. 

Chamomile is used in many skin care products because of its anti-inflammatory properties, according to Crumble Smith. It can be used to reduce inflammation, acne, infections and rashes and repair sensitive skin. Preliminary studies show it could moderately treat eczema. Using chamomile in a cream or a homemade paste (made by mixing powdered herbs and water) may help with skin conditions. 

Is chamomile tea safe during pregnancy?

There’s limited research about the effects of chamomile tea during pregnancy. One study found chamomile capsules can stimulate contractions in post-term pregnancy. Other reviews advise against it altogether. 

But chamomile is generally safe and even helpful during pregnancy, says Dr. Jennifer Wu, an OBGYN at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York.

She advises against chamomile supplements, however, which are more concentrated than what you’d find in a brewed cup. But as a tea, and in moderation, chamomile can help with sleep, relaxation and nausea. She’s even seen patients safely give a tablespoon of the tea to their newborns as a home remedy for gas or an upset stomach.

Source: What is chamomile tea good for? Benefits for the skin and body, explained, by Clare Mulroy, USA Today, Published 8:00 am ET, March 15, 2024, Updated 12:20 pm ET, March 15, 2024. Teas and herbs referenced in the article have been linked to Tea Market products.

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