9 Health Benefits of Chamomile Tea & How to Make It

Clinical review: Tatiana Zanin
Registered Dietitian

Chamomile is a medicinal plant that is rich in diverse bioactive compounds which help to treat various conditions like indigestion and anxiety.

Chamomile tea can be prepared using dry leaves or by using teabags sold at the supermarket. Tea can be made using just this plant or by combining it with other plants, like sweetgrass or mint. 

Its scientific name is Matricaria recutita but is also sometimes called scented mayweed.

The main health benefits of chamomile tea are: 

1. Improving sleep

Chamomile has calming and relaxing properties, as it contains a flavonoid called apigenin. This compound acts on brain receptors that stimulate tranquilizing and sedative effects. 

2. Relieving stomach problems 

Chamomile contains digestive and anti-inflammatory properties that help to treat gastrointestinal problems, like abdominal cramping, nausea, dizziness, gas, diarrhea and stomach ache. It helps to eliminate gas, calm the stomach and relax the muscles needed for intestinal movement.

In addition, due to its antimicrobial properties, it can prevent the growth of the Helicobacter pylori bacteria, which is associated with gastritis and the formation of stomach ulcers. 

3. Preventing some types of cancer 

Due to its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, regular consumption of chamomile can prevent the development of some types of cancer, like prostate cancer for example. 

Some scientific studies show that chamomile is capable of inhibiting tumor growth due to its presence of apigenin, a bioactive compound found in this plant that stimulates cancer cell death. 

4. Managing heart health 

Chamomile tea is rich in flavonoids, which are bioactive compounds that, according to some scientific studies, reduce death associated with cardiovascular disease. It helps to reduce the risk of infarct. 

In addition, flavonoids are also related to a decrease in blood pressure, LDL cholesterol and tiglyceride levels, which also reduces the risk of cardiovascular problems. 

5. Helping with anxiety and depression treatment 

Some studies suggest that chamomile tea can help to treat generalized anxiety disorder, depression, stress and hyperactivity, due to its calming properties and other bioactive compounds. 

6. Regulating blood sugar 

Chamomile tea may regulate blood sugar due to its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties, which protect pancreatic cells. Consumption of chamomile tea can help with sugar spikes, making it an excellent option to control and prevent diabetes. 

7. Relieving menstrual cramps 

Chamomile tea contains analgesic, antispasmodic and anti-inflammatory properties that help to relieve menstrual cramps as well as symptoms of PMS (like mood changes). Its bioactive compounds help to regulate the action of serotonin, reducing the intensity of depression symptoms. 

8. Helping with treatment of wounds and inflammation 

Some scientific studies show that chamomile tea can promote skin healing, allowing wounds to dry-up and regenerate. It also helps to prevent bacterial growth. 

In addition, this natural plant can also help with inflammatory diseases, especially in the intestinal tract and skin. 

9. Promoting skin health

Chamomile tea is excellent for the skin, as it helps to soothe and remove impurities. In addition, this plan also has an anti-inflammatory effect, and it useful for combating allergies, dermatitis, skin burns, acne, wounds and eczema. 

Properties of chamomile  

Chamomile tea contains antibacterial, antispasmodic, anti-diarrhea, analgesic, anti-inflammatory, anti-mutagenic, anti-oxidant, soothing and healing properties. 

These effects occur due to the presence of bioactive compounds like flavonoids, terpenes, coumarins, caffeic acid, luterolin, and chlorogenic acid, among others. 

Natural tea recipes

Teas can be prepared using dried chamomile flowers, or it can be mixed with other teas for taste or to achieve other health benefits. 

1. Soothing tea for relaxation

Chamomile tea contains relaxing and mildly sedative properties that help to treat insomnia and treat stress or anxiety. In addition, this tea can be used to relieve cramping and spasms related to menstruation. 

Ingredients

  • 2 teaspoons of dried chamomile flowers
  • 1 cup of boiling water

How to prepare

Place the dried flowers in the cup of boiling water and cover. Allow to soak for 10 minutes, then strain before drinking. You can drink this 3 times per day, and you can sweeten with a teaspoon of honey. 

To increase its relaxing or sedative effects, you can add one teaspoon of dried catnip. Under supervision of the doctor, this tea can be used in babies or children to reduce fever, anxiety or stress. 

2. Tea to treat indigestion and gas 

Chamomile tea with sweet grass and marshmallow root contains anti-inflammatory actions that soothe the stomach and reduce gas, acid and intestinal function. 

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon of dried chamomile
  • 1 tablespoon of sweetgrass seeds 
  • 1 tablespoon of yarrow
  • 1 tablespoon of diced marchmallow root 
  • 1 tablespoon of filipendula
  • 500 ml (about 2 cups) of boiling water

How to prepare

Add the above ingredients to the water and cover. Allow the ingredients to soak for 5 minutes, then strain to drink. You can drink this 2 to 3 times per day, or as necessary. 

3. Chamomile tea to relieve swollen and tired eyes 

Dry chamomile tea with smashed fennel seeds and dried elderberry flower can be applied to the eyes to help relieve swelling and tiredness. 

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon of dried chamomile
  • 1 tablespoon of smashed fennel seeds 
  • 1 tablespoon of dried elderberry
  • 500 ml (about 2 cups) of boiling water

How to prepare

Add the ingredients to the boiling water and cover. Allow to soak for about 10 minutes, strain, then place in the refrigerator. 

This tea can be applied to the eyes using a moistened cloth. Place the cloth over your closed eyes for 10 minutes as necessary. In addition, this tea can be used to treat vaginal infections, to soothe and reduce skin swelling and other irritations (like eczema, bug bites, and psoriasis). 

4. Chamomile tea for sore throats 

Dried chamomile tea can be used to relieve sore throats, due to its anti-inflammatory properties. 

Ingredients

  • 1 teaspoon of dried chamomile flowers 
  • 1 cup of boiling water

How to prepare

Add the chamomile to the water and allow to soak until the water cools. This tea can be used to gargle with, and can be used whenever it is necessary. In addition, this tea can also help with healing gum lesions. 

5. Tea to treat nausea

Dried chamomile tea with raspberry or peppermint can help to relieve nausea. 

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon of dried chamomile 
  • 1 tablespoon of dried peppermint or raspberry leaves 
  • 1 cup of boiling water

How to prepare

Add the above ingredients to the cup of water and over. Allow to soak for about 10 minutes, then strain to drink.

This tea can be taken 3 times per day, or as necessary. If you are pregnant, make sure you are drinking pure chamomile (matricaria recutita) , and not another variation (like Chamaemelum nobile), which can cause uterine contractions. 

6. Tea for reliving cold and flu symptoms 

Chamomile tea can help to relieve symptoms of sinusitis, swelling within the nose and cold or flu due to its anti-inflammatory properties. 

Ingredients

  • 6 teaspoons of chamomile flowers 
  • 2 liters (about half a gallon) of boiling water 

How to prepare

Add the dry flowers to the boiling water, cover, and allow to soak for about 5 minutes. 

The tea vapor should be deeply inhaled for about 10 minutes. To improve its results, you should place your face over the bowl and cover your head and the bowl with a towel. 

In addition, chamomile can be used in other ways, like in creams, essential oils, ointments or tinctures. When used as a cream or ointment, it can be an excellent way to treat skin problems like psoriasis, and can help to cleanse the skin and reduce inflammation. 

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Atualizado por Tua Saude editing team, em January de 2022. Clinical review por Tatiana Zanin - Registered Dietitian, em January de 2022.

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Clinical review:
Tatiana Zanin
Registered Dietitian
Graduated in Clinical Nutrition in 2001 and has a Master’s in Clinical Nutrition. Licensed to practice under the CRN-3 in Brazil and the ON in Portugal