Guest Post by: Jenny Hart
Jenny Hart is a health and wellness writer with a passion for travel, cycling and books. Her focus is topics related to the effects of ageing on health and she is interested in research that can help people age better. When she isn’t writing or travelling, she’s traversing NYC with her two dogs Poochie and Ramone.
People have been drinking chamomile tea for thousands of years. It was used in ancient Egypt as a treatment for colds, and the Romans used it to flavor drinks, to scent incense, and as a medicinal herb. Chamomile was also used to flavor beer before hops were.
Today, people use chamomile for all sorts of health benefits. Some of these benefits are better-documented than others, but many of them have research backing them up. Here are some health benefits of chamomile, and what they mean for you.
Inflammation is part of the body’s natural immune system. It helps protect our body from bacteria and viruses. But sometimes, it goes overboard, and inflammation occurs even when there’s nothing to protect you from. This can be caused by certain types of arthritis, by asthma or other long-term illness, or simply by getting older. (This process is called “inflammaging.”)
Inflammation can cause muscle stiffness and discomfort. But it’s also a risk factor for other conditions, like Alzheimer’s and kidney disease. That means that keeping inflammation in check is an important part of staying healthy as you get older.
One of our best protections against inflammation is antioxidants. Antioxidants help prevent your body from firing up the inflammation response when it isn’t needed. And chamomile tea is a fantastic source of several antioxidants. (They’re called “flavonoids” and “polyphenols,” if you want to get technical.)
May Help Digestive Health
Partially because of the anti-inflammatory properties, chamomile tea has been shown across several studies to help with a wide range of GI issues. Chamomile has long been a traditional treatment for indigestion, gas and nausea. Studies on animals have shown that chamomile extract can help with diarrhea, ulcers, and other, similar issues.
Many digestive problems are interconnected. They’re symptoms of each other, or influence each other. Taking care of one or two can sometimes stop a wide range of symptoms. While we still need more research about the ways that chamomile affects our digestive system, so far the news all looks pretty good.
Helps Fight Diabetes Complications
Studies have shown that chamomile tea can lower average blood sugar in people with diabetes, and studies of people and animals alike have shown that it can help reduce blood sugar spikes after eating.
Blood sugar makes a huge difference in managing diabetes complications. High blood sugar can reduce the flow of blood to the small blood vessels that supply oxygen to your organs and extremities. This can cause problems in your brain, eyes, kidneys, and feet.
While chamomile tea is no substitute for insulin or your other diabetes medications, it can definitely help when used alongside those things.
May reduce anxiety and help with relaxation and sleep
One of chamomile’s oldest uses is as a sleep aid. (Not every study out there has confirmed that chamomile helps people get to sleep, but a lot of them have!)
But sleep isn’t the only mental health benefit that chamomile tea can provide. Several studies have come along showing that chamomile tea may help reduce the severity of anxiety. Some of these studies used tea itself, while others used a pill made from concentrated chamomile. Not every single study agrees, but many of them indicate that chamomile can help reduce the symptoms and severity of generalized anxiety disorder.
Reducing menstrual pain
There was another study that found chamomile helped reduce anxiety, but that wasn’t the study’s main point. Instead, that study was about whether chamomile tea could help with menstrual pain. Turns out, it did! Those researchers weren’t alone, though. The anti-oxidants help with inflammation that causes pain, and another substance in the tea, called glycine, helps
Chamomile and your health
There are plenty of reasons to drink chamomile tea. From the ritual of preparing it, to the actual taste and smell of the tea itself. But it also seems to help our bodies with a wide range of things, from cramping to anxiety to stomach distress. It’s not a cure-all—nothing is. But it does nudge your body in a positive direction, in a lot of ways. And we could all use a little help with that.
— Jenny Hart
JusTea’s Chamomile Cleanse is a calming and smooth blend of organic chamomile and lemongrass that helps cleanse your body of toxins and calm your mind of stress. Members of a Kenyan women’s coop handpick the organic lemongrass in this blend. Your tea purchase directly benefits their employment.