I just recently returned from a trip to England, and out of all the habits or rituals I could have picked up from there, I think the one I’ll hang onto is tea, tea, and more tea.
You have it with breakfast, some at lunch, then there’s afternoon tea – or cream tea, my favorite – and some to finish your day. And when I say tea, I’m not talking one cup; most British people have an entire pot going all throughout the day, even for just one person.
Besides the fact that I love how afternoon tea is just an excuse to eat a small meal between lunch and dinner, the great thing about regularly adding tea into your life is the benefits a lot of teas have for your body and mind.
Chamomile has a range of benefits, for example, from sleep or digestion aid to mental health to heart health and more.
The chamomile flower contains flavonoids, sesquiterpenes, and antioxidants, and in a dried form, it can also be utilized for natural and herbal remedies. And it’s caffeine-free!
It’s not magic; the benefits of drinking chamomile tea are real, and here are a few of them.
I think what we all know chamomile tea best for is that drinking a cup of it before you go to bed helps you get to sleep faster and have better quality sleep.
Thanks to an antioxidant called apigenin, which binds to certain receptors in your brain to reduce anxiety and initiate sleep, it has a natural and gentle calming effect.
A study was done in 2016 to find the links between sleep quality and depression in women and chamomile tea found that the group who drank chamomile before bed every night for two weeks had better sleep than those who didn’t; what’s more, when they stopped, the effects were reversed!
Anxiety has nearly become a chronic illness these days; in fact, 40 million Americans suffer from anxiety disorders, according to Medical News Today. It’s the most common mental illness in America, and while some people use medication, this isn’t the answer for everyone.
Many people have begun using chamomile as a stress-reducer, either by dinking of cup of tea or using it in capsule form, as it benefits anxiety symptoms and helps to calm and ease insomnia.
If you’re struggling with anxiety and depression, you should consult a doctor. Chamomile may not work the same for you as it does for another.
If you ever suffer from menstrual cramps, an upset stomach, abdominal gas, indigestion, or irritable bowel syndrome, the anti-inflammatory, antispasmodic, and carminative properties chamomile tea contains help to soothe your stomach line.
It may even help decrease acid reflux, though more research needs to be done in order to confirm this.
If you or someone you know has diabetes, take note of this:
Drinking chamomile contains an antioxidant called quercetin which impacts particular enzymes that play a part in the diabetic process, so drinking chamomile tea may help lower blood sugar, according to research from Tabriz University of Medical Sciences in Iran.
The university conducted a small-scale study where 64 participants, between the ages of 30-60, with type 2 diabetes were observed. Half of them had chamomile every day at every meal for eight weeks while the other half just drank water.
After the eight weeks were up, the blood pressure of the first group was significantly lower on average than the latter group. More research needs to be conducted before these findings are conclusive, however.
Finally, some of the antioxidants you’ll find in chamomile are flavones, which have been studied over the years to measure their effectiveness in lowering blood pressure and cholesterol – including “bad” LDL cholesterol and triglycerides.
Since drinking chamomile tea regularly reduces stress, promotes sleep, and relaxes the blood vessels and arteries, it has the potential to help maintain healthy blood pressure levels if you drink it regularly.
Warning: If you’re on blood thinners, note that chamomile could increase the risk of bleeding, so be sure to consult your doctor.
So, maybe we should all do as the British do – or at least take up the habit of having a cup of chamomile tea before we go to bed at night.
Just like any other herbal tea, however, chamomile has some side effects, such as severe allergic reaction, eye irritation, hypersensitivity reactions, and vomiting.
Most likely you won’t encounter any of these, but it’s good to know the good and the bad and to check in with your doctor before you make it a regular part of your routine!