Chamomile Tea - A Natural Aid for Sleep and Anxiety

Chamomile tea is a natural aid for sleep, nervousness, restlessness, anxiety, and stress-related disorders. It has a calming and relaxing effect on the mind and body.

German Chamomile (Matricaria recutita) is a wild plant with small, white and yellow, daisy-like flowers that bloom in early or mid-summer and have a sweet, apple-like scent. Roman chamomile (Chamaemelum nobile) is another type of chamomile used in herbal medicine, but most of the research so far has been conducted on German chamomile.

Chamomile tea is one of the best herbal remedies for anxiety. It is also a natural sleep-aid. Chamomile is very popular in Europe. It has been used for thousands of years as a remedy for anxiety, insomnia, restlessness, and certain digestive and skin ailments. Apart from Europe, it also grows in the temperate regions of North America, Australia, and Asia.

The ancient Egyptians thought so highly of chamomile that they consecrated it to their deities! A number of scientific studies have been carried out to investigate the effectiveness of chamomile for sleep and anxiety disorders. The studies lend support to the belief that it can relieve insomnia, anxiety, stress, and stress related disorders.

Chamomile tea is relished as a beverage, but it can also promote relaxation and help anxiety, sleeplessness, nervousness, and restlessness. Chamomile is also available in the form of supplements. Some supplements for anxiety may combine it with other herbs for anxiety for a synergistic effect to treat insomnia and anxiety. A study using a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial suggested that chamomile may have modest benefits for people with mild to moderate generalized anxiety disorder (GAD).

Chamomile (Matricaria recutita)

Chamomile Flower
Chamomile Flower

Botanical Name

Matricaria recutita.

Common Names

Chamomile, German chamomile, wild chamomile, scented mayweed, pineapple weed, ground apple.

Uses of Chamomile

Chamomile tea is a popular beverage. It is also used as a herbal remedy for anxiety, sleeplessness, restlessness, nervousness, irritable bowel syndrome, sore stomach, and stress-related disorders. This caffeine-free tea has a mild sedating and relaxing effect. The herb is also used in cosmetics, shampoos, skin ointments for burns and mild wounds, mouth washes, mild laxatives, antioxidants, and cholesterol-lowering dietary supplements.

Chamomile Tea or Chamomile Supplements for Sleep or Anxiety

Chamomile is readily available in the form of caffeine-free chamomile tea and chamomile supplements: -

  • Caffeine-free chamomile tea: Pure chamomile tea is a natural, caffeine-free, healthy beverage. A natural relaxation-aid, it soothes and relaxes the mind, and helps ease stress, tension and anxiety. It also promotes sleep.
  • Chamomile supplements: Chamomile supplements are for those people who don't have time to make chamomile tea.

Active Substances - What Does Chamomile Contain?

Chamomile contains alpha-bisabolol, alpha-bisabolol oxides, farnesene, chamazulene, coumarin, apigenin, luteolin, patuletin, quercetin, etc.

Mechanism of action - How Does Chamomile Work?

Some clinical studies indicate that the flavinoids (apigenin, chrysoplenin, and jaceidin) are responsible for the anxiolytic actions of chamomile. More research is needed to understand the precise mechanism of action of chamomile.

Side Effects of Chamomile Tea or Supplements

Chamomile is "Generally Recognized as Safe" (GRAS) by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Side effects are rare and mild, but very large doses of chamomile can cause drowsiness, headache, nausea and vomiting. In rare cases some people can develop rashes or allergic reactions. People who have a known allergy to the pollen of ragweed, aster, or chrysanthemum should avoid chamomile.

Interactions - Things to Avoid While Taking Chamomile

Chamomile tea or extract can interact with ginkgo biloba, garlic, saw palmetto, blood-thinners, sedatives, alcohol, narcotics, anti-inflammatory drugs, other anti-anxiety or anti-depression medicines, and medicines that affect blood sugar or blood pressure. If you are taking chamomile for sleep or anxiety disorders, avoid combining it with these things.

Contraindications - Who Should Not Take Chamomile?

Pregnant or breast-feeding women should not use chamomile tea or supplements for insomnia or anxiety disorders. People having liver problems should avoid it. People who are suffering from bleeding disorders, or have a known allergy to the pollen of ragweed, ragwort, mugwort, aster, chrysanthemum, marigold or daisy should also avoid it.

Special Precautions

Avoid driving or operating heavy machinery that require alertness if chamomile makes you drowsy.

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