Chamomile tea is a natural remedy for a wide range of health issues. The nutrients it contains may help manage diabetes, menstrual pain, and sleep problems, among others.

Research into chamomile tea suggests it may have many benefits, although more research is needed.

For most people, chamomile tea is safe to try as a supplement to other treatments, but it should not replace mainstream medical treatments when people have serious illnesses.

chamomile teaShare on Pinterest
Crissy Mitchell/Stocksy

The potency of various chamomile teas varies, with some containing significantly more chamomile than others. The more potent teas are also more likely to cause side effects in people who are vulnerable to them. Consequently, it is safest to start with a low dosage and work up to larger doses slowly.

Chamomile contains chemicals called flavonoids. These flavonoids are a type of nutrient present in many plants, and they play a significant role in chamomile’s medicinal effects.

Researchers are not sure yet what other chemicals are present in chamomile that account for its benefits.

The potential benefits of chamomile tea, for which there is the most evidence, include:

1. Menstrual symptoms

In 2019, some researchers concluded that chamomile’s anti-inflammatory, antispasmodic, sedative, and anti-anxiety properties might help relieve anxiety and discomfort due to premenstrual syndrome (PMS).

2. Diabetes and blood sugar

Some studies have found that chamomile tea can lower blood sugar in people with diabetes.

Research suggests that chamomile might improve glycemic and lipid profiles and oxidative stress levels in people with diabetes mellitus and reduce the risk of diabetes-related complications.

The results do not show that chamomile is a viable substitute for diabetes medications, but it may be a helpful supplement to existing treatments.

3. Osteoporosis

Osteoporosis is the progressive loss of bone density. This loss increases the risk of broken bones and stooped posture.

A study published in 2022 found that chamomile helped prevent osteoporosis in rats due to steroid treatment. The antioxidant effects of the flavonoids in chamomile could help prevent osteoporosis by reducing oxidative stress.

4. Inflammation

Inflammation is an immune system reaction to fight infection. Chamomile tea contains compounds that may reduce inflammation.

Long-term inflammation is linked to various health problems, including hemorrhoids, gastrointestinal pain, arthritis, autoimmune disorders, obesity, and depression.

5. Cancer

Some studies suggest that chamomile tea may target cancer cells or even prevent those cells from developing in the first place.

Results from laboratory tests have suggested that compounds in chamomile may help prevent the growth of glioma, liver cancer, cervical cancer, and leukemia.

However, more research is needed to prove chamomile’s anticancer claims.

6. Sleep and relaxation

Chamomile tea may help people relax and fall asleep.

A 2019 review noted that, after 2–4 weeks of treatment with chamomile, people with generalized anxiety disorder saw an improvement in symptoms. Treatment with chamomile may also improve sleep quality.

However, there was no evidence that chamomile can reduce symptoms when a person is in an anxious situation. Also, it does not appear to prevent insomnia.

7. Cold symptoms

Anecdotal evidence and some studies suggest that inhaling steam with chamomile extract can relieve some of the symptoms of the common cold. However, this benefit is not proven yet.

8. Mild skin conditions

Some research indicates that topical products containing chamomile may help:

  • treat acne
  • repair sensitive skin
  • reduce skin dehydration

This could be due to its anti-inflammatory, anti-allergy, and antimicrobial properties.

While chamomile tea may reduce inflammation, cosmetic options include lotions and soaps. However, people should do a patch test before using on a wider area to check first for adverse effects.

The following groups should avoid chamomile unless advised otherwise by a doctor:

  • People with a history of severe allergies: Chamomile may not be safe for people who have a known allergy to ragwort, daisy, chrysanthemum, or marigolds, which are related plants. It may cause a severe reaction known as anaphylaxis.
  • People who have previously had an allergic reaction, even mild, to chamomile products: They should avoid chamomile, as allergic reactions can get worse with time.
  • Drug interactions: Chamomile can interact with blood-thinning drugs, such as warfarin. A person should check with a doctor before increasing their intake of chamomile, especially if they have an existing health issue.
  • Infants and very young children: Chamomile tea, similar to honey and some other natural products, may contain botulism spores. Most healthy adults can fight off a botulism infection, but infants may not be able to. Many doctors recommend infants and young children avoid honey and chamomile products.

It is not safe to use chamomile as a substitute for proven medical treatments. If someone takes any medications, they should ask their doctor about potential interactions with chamomile tea.

Anaphylaxis is a severe allergic reaction that can be life threatening. The symptoms develop suddenly and include:

  • hives
  • swelling of the face or mouth
  • wheezing
  • fast, shallow breathing
  • a fast heart rate
  • clammy skin
  • anxiety or confusion
  • dizziness
  • vomiting
  • blue or white lips
  • fainting or loss of consciousness

If someone has these symptoms:

  1. Check whether they are carrying an epinephrine pen. If they are, follow the instructions on the side of the pen to use it.
  2. Dial 911 or the number of the nearest emergency department.
  3. Lay the person down from a standing position. If they have vomited, turn them onto their side.
  4. Stay with them until the emergency services arrive.

Some people may need more than one epinephrine injection. If the symptoms do not improve in 5–15 minutes, or they come back, use a second pen if the person has one.

Was this helpful?

Chamomile tea has been used in natural medicine for thousands of years, often with encouraging results. For now, however, it remains a supplement and not a medication.

People interested in trying chamomile tea should use it as a supplement and not a replacement for their usual medication regimen. In regular doses, such as 1–2 cups a day, it is possible to see incremental health improvements.