Chamomile is a flower commonly used in tea. After being used for centuries for its medicinal properties, modern researchers are beginning to further examine its benefits and effectiveness in combating certain illnesses.
Unlike other traditional folk remedies, chamomile has many clear, evidence-based benefits. That said, there are also some potential benefits that researchers need to explore further.
Here are seven benefits of chamomile.
1. Lower blood sugar
A 2008 study conducted on rats shows that long-term chamomile consumption might help maintain low blood sugar levels (1). This effect can help push back or prevent the onset of diabetes.
For diabetes patients, research also seems to indicate that chamomile can help lower blood sugar levels. However, it doesn’t appear to be a viable alternative to diabetes medication but rather a helpful supplement.
2. Reduced inflammation
Despite what your health-trend-conscious friends may try to tell you, inflammation is a natural bodily response. That said, excessive levels of it can be problematic as it can lead to long-term health problems.
Studies show that chamomile contains compounds that can help combat inflammation (2).
3. Help with sleep
Trouble falling asleep? Try drinking a cup of chamomile tea before bed. While studies are inconclusive, people have used it as a way to relax and fall asleep for many years.
One study found that chamomile aided sleep-disturbed rats in falling asleep (3). Again, however—researchers need to conduct additional studies to determine an exact link.
4. Common cold alleviation
Until modern science manages to cure the common cold, we’re left with remedies that can help alleviate symptoms. Chamomile tea seems to be one of them.
Some research appears to show a connection between inhaling the steam from chamomile extract and reduced cold symptoms (4). Researchers hope that additional studies will further clarify how it can combat the common cold.
5. Reduced menstrual pain
Many studies seem to indicate a connection between chamomile tea and reduced menstrual pain. A study from 2010, for example, found that women who consumed chamomile tea for a month had less painful cramps (5).
The same study also found that it helped women feel less anxious and distressed while on their periods.
6. Help against osteoporosis
Osteoporosis is a condition that causes your bones to lose density over time. While people of all ages can suffer from it, women who’ve gone through menopause often develop it.
A study from 2004 seems to show that chamomile can help combat osteoporosis due to its anti-estrogenic effects (6). While the results look promising, researchers emphasized that further studies are needed.
7. Cancer treatment and prevention
Cancer is a condition that most Americans (and people worldwide) are all too familiar with. Each year, more than 18 million people develop it.
A few studies indicate that chamomile may help target cancer cells, preventing the disease from worsening or developing in the first place. As with osteoporosis, however, researchers advise against drawing direct conclusions until they conduct additional studies.
The power of nature
Drinking chamomile tea allows your body to enjoy a host of benefits. In the future, additional research will help clarify the powerful herb’s exact benefits.
Until then, don’t be afraid to grab a mug and enjoy it!