Chamomile Tea for Sleep, Relaxation, Digestion, and Skincare
Nutritionists, health nuts, and wellness practitioners swear by a hot, steaming cup of chamomile tea at the end of the day. When asked why they value it so much, they say it helps them relax and is an essential part of their unwinding ritual, among many other health benefits. This article looks at why this herbal tea is so valued. But first, let’s take a look at what chamomile is.
What is Chamomile?
Chamomile is more than just a beautiful little daisy-like flower. It is one of the most ancient herbs known to mankind. Though science has yet to provide sufficient evidence of its manifold benefits, it has been used for its medicinal benefits for thousands of years. Researchers, nowadays, are exceedingly keen on studying its effectiveness in treating gastrointestinal diseases, diabetes, osteoporosis, and cancer.
Chamomile has been a staple among traditional folk remedies for common problems including inflammation, period cramps, digestive issues, and wounds. For centuries, chamomile has been prepared and consumed in many ways, but the most popular among them is its tea.
Chamomile tea is a calorie-free, gentle drink with anti-inflammatory, anti-septic, and anti-microbial properties. It is a powerhouse of anti-oxidants known to have almost no side effects. However, it isn't recommended for people who suffer from severe seasonal allergies and should be avoided during pregnancy. Apart from that, chamomile has built its reputation as the “herb for all ages” and can be used every day.
Here are just some of its greatest benefits.
#1. Eases Period Pain
Chamomile tea has anti-spasmodic properties and can cut down the severity of period pain.
A 2010 research found that women who consumed the tea for a month experienced less painful period cramps. Likewise, the Iranian Journal of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Infertility published a study that found that women who consumed the tea twice daily for two weeks before their period reported less painful cramps.
#2. Helps Improve Digestion
Good digestion is key to our overall health and chamomile tea is known to promote it. It helps reduce spasms in the intestines and the stomach. It is a well-established home remedy, treasured for being a digestive relaxant. It eases a host of stomach issues like flatulence, nausea, diarrhea, vomiting, and motion sickness.
Recent studies have found that due to its anti-inflammatory quality, chamomile extract can potentially prevent diarrhea in mice. Another research conducted on rats found that the herb’s extract reduces acidity and inhibits the growth of bad bacteria that can ultimately cause stomach ulcers.
Chamomile has compounds known as sesquiterpene lactones that encourage the pancreas to produce the much-needed digestive enzymes that break down food.
Since chamomile has a relaxing effect, it can relieve digestive issues caused by stress such as irritable bowel syndrome.
#3. Helps With Relaxation & Sleep
Chamomile has traditionally been used widely for its calming effect. It can be prepared as a nightcap tea as well as an essential oil for bedtime aromatherapy. Chamomile tea is light, caffeine-free, mildly sweet, and comforting. Herbal educator and nutritionist, Lindsay Kluge, says,
“(Chamomile is) ideal sleep support because it doesn’t force your body into anything; it doesn’t knock you out, sedate you, or make you drowsy. The effect is like receiving a gentle, slow massage—subtle, comforting, and very effective.”
This tea contains apigenin, which is a special antioxidant that clings to the sleep-inducing receptors in our brains. A study published in The Journal of Advanced Nursing showed that new moms who consumed chamomile tea daily for two weeks slept better.
Another study conducted among elderly patients found that those who took chamomile extract experienced significant improvement in their sleep.
Chamomile tea is recommended an hour or two before bedtime. And those who enjoy it, also praise its mild, floral aroma for being stress-relieving. This tea can be truly delicious with a blend of a little honey.
#4. Soothes The Skin
The topical use of chamomile can promote healthy skin. Applying this herb in the form of lotions, eye creams, and other cosmetic products can help in reducing inflammation.
Chamomile tea can help in decreasing frequent acne by better regulating the digestive system. Due to its antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties, its topical use can aid in fading scars, and lightening spots. In fact, some experts insist that used and chilled chamomile teabags can be used to uplift dark circles around the eyes.
It is also rich in antioxidants and is known to protect our skin from damage caused by free radicals. It speeds up the regeneration of cells and tissues, while also helping shrink pores. Altogether, it promotes anti-aging properties.
According to a study in 1987, the direct application of this herb to a wound works well in accelerating its healing process. Similarly, other studies have proven chamomile ointments to be effective in treating mild skin inflammatory conditions as well as eczema.
This tea can also be useful in relieving sunburns. Here’s how: Brew the chamomile as you would when making tea. Let it cool and refrigerate. Once it’s chilled enough, soak a towel in it and place it on the sunburn for a soothing effect.
Chamomile is a calming herb that can be taken every day and manifest its benefits when consumed regularly. Experts advise beginners to start with one cup a day.
For those who don’t have allergies, this tea works wonders for the skin. It helps with relaxation, sleep, and digestive issues, all of which synergistically improve in clarifying the skin. Chamomile enthusiasts make use of the brewed, leftover herb by gently rubbing it on their skin.
There are many other advantages to incorporating chamomile in your daily life – it eases stress and anxiety, helps with colds, boosts the immune system, prevents bone loss, and is beneficial for those with diabetes.
Science has only recently started looking into and researching the numerous anecdotal claims about the numerous health benefits of this plant. It is sure to find many of them hold true. Until it does, there’s no harm in introducing it to your pantry and trying it out.
Chamomile tea, like other teas, is mildly diuretic so don’t be surprised if you frequent the bathroom a little more than usual.