What are the skin and sleep benefits of chamomile?
Of all the different types of tea consumed throughout the world, chamomile regularly ranks as one of the most popular varieties . Chamomile’s unique chemical structure helps receptors in your brain relax and signal that it’s time to unwind.
Have you ever tried this kind of tea before bed? If not, did you know that it’s great for your skin and your sleep quality? If you don’t drink chamomile tea or haven’t been drinking it regularly, now is a great time to start including it in your evening routine.
Listed below are some of the most well-known benefits of chamomile tea, and chamomile, in general, for skin, sleep, and more.
What Is Chamomile Tea?
Chamomile tea is made from the flowers of the Matricaria chamomilla plant. It’s best known for its smooth, slightly sweet, and floral flavor.
The Matricaria chamomilla plant contains at least 28 different terpenes and 36 flavonoids . Terpenes are responsible for a plant’s unique scent, and flavonoids are one of many compounds that give plants their unique colors [3,4].
All of these plant compounds produce a wide range of benefits. They work in conjunction to make chamomile a true powerhouse in the world of tea.
Benefits of Chamomile for Skin
The terpenes, flavonoids, and other compounds in chamomile tea and chamomile-infused skincare products offer a variety of benefits for your skin, including these:
Reduced Redness and Inflammation
Many people find that skincare products that contain chamomile extracts are soothing to their skin and help to minimize redness. Chamomile has been shown to have anti-inflammatory effects . Because of this, it may be helpful for inflammatory, redness-inducing skin conditions, including common ones like eczema, psoriasis, and rosacea.
Chamomile is also known to have antibacterial properties . These properties, in turn, can help to reduce the presence of acne-causing bacteria on your skin.
Using skin care products that contain chamomile may help you to avoid breakouts and enjoy clearer, smoother skin. These same products, because of their anti-inflammatory elements, may minimize redness from existing breakouts, too.
Some folks also find that chamomile tea can be nice and soothing when they’re dealing with a sunburn . They brew chamomile tea, let it cool completely (don’t skip this step!), and then soak a washcloth in it and apply it to their skin. For those who don’t have an aloe vera on hand, chamomile can be an effective alternative.
Thanks to its antibacterial properties, chamomile may help to reduce your chances of skin infection as well as breakouts.
If you have a scratch or sore on your skin, applying a chamomile-infused product (or soaking a cloth in cooled chamomile tea) may help. Some research also shows that it can speed up the wound healing process faster than corticosteroids .
Benefits of Chamomile for Sleep
Chamomile tea is a popular drink to enjoy in the evening because of its sleep benefits.
If you have a hard time feeling sleepy when nighttime rolls around, chamomile’s unique chemical structure can help. It contains a flavonoid known as apigenin. Apigenin can induce sleepiness when it binds to the brain’s GABA (gamma-Aminobutyric acid) receptors .
When apigenin binds to GABA receptors, it promotes relaxation. Because of this, some studies have shown that chamomile can be effective when it comes to addressing sleep quality. For example, a 2015 study looked at 80 women who were struggling with poor sleep quality after giving birth. Those who drank chamomile tea found that their symptoms were not as severe as those who didn’t, and they reported better overall sleep quality . Like all studies, more research is needed for further conclusions, but these results are promising for chamomile’s bedtime benefits.
Additional Chamomile Benefits
In addition to the benefits of chamomile on skin and sleep, there are plenty of other perks that it has to offer, including these:
Reduced Pain and Inflammation
Chamomile’s anti-inflammatory properties don’t just make it an effective ingredient in skincare products. They also make it a viable option for those who are seeking relief from symptoms of inflammatory conditions like rheumatoid arthritis .
The results of one study also showed that (likely due to its anti-inflammatory nature) chamomile was effective at reducing the severity of menstrual cramps, too . If you struggle with a lot of pain at that time of the month, drinking some chamomile tea could help you to feel more comfortable.
Some people find that chamomile tea can be soothing when they’re dealing with poor digestion or an upset stomach, too.
Chamomile may improve digestion because of its anti-inflammatory nature. Because it minimizes inflammation in the digestive tract, you might find that you’re less likely to experience issues like cramps, bloating, or diarrhea .
Improved Blood Sugar Balance
Some early research suggests that chamomile can also help to improve blood sugar balance.
This benefit may be due to, once again, its anti-inflammatory properties, which protect the cells of the pancreas. The pancreas produces insulin, a hormone that removes sugar from the blood. If it’s inflamed and can’t function properly, this could lead to negative downstream effects, including blood sugar imbalances.
One study looked at 64 people with diabetes and found that those who consumed chamomile tea each day for 8 weeks had lower blood sugar, on average, than those who consumed water .
More research is needed in this area, and chamomile is certainly not a replacement for other medications when it comes to managing chronic health conditions like diabetes. The current results are promising, though, as additional steps in a daily routine.
The plant compounds in chamomile could also benefit those who deal with elevated LDL cholesterol. LDL cholesterol is considered the “bad” cholesterol, as high levels of LDL cholesterol are linked to an increased risk of heart disease and strokes .
In the same study mentioned above, the diabetic participants who consumed chamomile tea had lower levels of LDL cholesterol than those who drank water. Their total cholesterol levels improved, too .
Who Shouldn’t Drink Chamomile Tea?
- Those who are allergic to plants in the daisy family (marigolds, chrysanthemums, ragweed, etc.)
- Those who are taking anticoagulant medications like warfarin (chamomile has natural blood-thinning properties)
- Those who are planning on having (or have just had) surgery
If you’re not sure if chamomile is a good fit for you, talk to your doctor before you start drinking it.
If you’re considering consuming chamomile for any specific health benefits, it’s also a good idea to consult a physician to see what they suggest. Never use chamomile as a replacement for other medications or treatments without a doctor’s permission, either.
How to Make the Perfect Cup of Chamomile Tea
If you’ve decided to give chamomile tea a try, you’re probably wondering what you need to do to ensure you get a great cup. Here are some tips that will help you brew the perfect evening beverage:
Tea Bags vs Loose Leaf Tea
When it comes to making chamomile tea, one of the first questions you might have is whether you should use tea bags or loose leaf tea.
Teabags are convenient and easy to use (after all, you just dunk them in hot water). Loose-leaf tea can be messy and takes a little more work to brew. However, some people find that it produces a more flavorful cup of tea than tea bags.
Both tea bags and loose leaf tea are viable options. Choose one that works with your budget and your lifestyle (if you’re a busy person, for example, you might prefer the simplicity of tea bags).
Gather Your Supplies
Once you’ve chosen your preferred tea, you’ll need to get the rest of your supplies together. The following will help you brew a tasty cup of tea:
- A teapot or tea kettle
- A tea filter, strainer, or tea ball (if you’re not using a tea bag)
- A cup or mug
It’s a pretty simple list, right? Clearly, you don’t need to spend a ton of money or buy a bunch of equipment to start enjoying chamomile tea (or any other type of tea, for that matter).
Brew Your Tea
Now, you’re ready to brew your tea. Follow these steps to get a great-tasting cup:
- Boil water in your teapot or kettle
- When the water has started to boil, remove it from the heat and let it stand for 2 minutes (this ensures you don’t accidentally burn the tea)
- Pour the water into your mug
- Add 2 tea bags or 2 heaping tablespoons of loose-leaf tea (in a strainer or tea ball)
- Let the tea steep for 5 minutes (it’s okay if it steeps a bit longer since chamomile doesn’t become bitter from over-steeping like some other teas)
- Remove the teabags, tea ball, or strainer
That’s it. From here, you’re ready to sit back, relax, and enjoy your tea!
Enjoy a Cup of Chamomile Tea Today
Are you ready to enjoy the benefits of chamomile tea for sleep, skin health, and more? Start making this tasty, soothing tea a regular part of your routine today.