Chamomile TeaWikipedia: Matricaria_chamomilla | Teaviews: chamomile-tea
Updated: Oct. 31, 2016
About Chamomile Tea
Dried chamomile flowerheads, for use in chamomile tea.
Because chamomile is so frequently used in herbal blends, and many herbal teas containing chamomile and other ingredients are marketed as "chamomile" or "chamomile tea", the pure herb is sometimes labeled pure chamomile tea or pure camomile tea. On RateTea, this category is used exclusively for pure chamomile, containing no other ingredients. We classify any blends containing chamomile together with other herbs under chamomile blend.
The pure herb is available both from tea companies and bulk herb companies; on this site, we list both such sources for review.
Different types or species of chamomileChamomile is not a single species, but rather a complex of similar species in the daisy family. Matricaria recutita, often called German chamomile, is a species native to Europe, and is the chamomile most commonly used in herbal teas--unless otherwise specified, when you see chamomile for sale it usually refers to this species. This plant can be cultivated in a wide range of climates, and is commercially cultivated in places as varied as Germany to Guatemala and Egypt.
The Matricaria genus also contains numerous other less well-known species.
Roman chamomile, Anthemis nobilis, is another similar species, less closely related, and is less commonly used in herbal teas, but has numerous traditional medicinal uses. Although it is not in the same genus, Roman chamomile looks more similar to German chamomile than some of the members of the Matricaria genus look to each other.
Health benefits and medicinal usesChamomile has long been thought to have a relaxing effect. A study published in 2001 found that drinking chamomile tea was more relaxing than hot water, measured by observing heart rate, skin temperature, and other physiological indicators of relaxation.
Recent scientific research points to a number of other health benefits of chamomile as well. A 2006 review of the scientific literature summarized that chamomile tea has been found to have moderate antioxidant and antimicrobial effects, and there is some evidence that it has potent anti-inflammatory activity, as well as antimutagenic, cholesterol-lowering, antispasmodic, and anti-anxiety activity. Antioxidants are common among most teas and herbal teas. A 2008 study suggested that chamomile had the effect of lowering blood sugar, and could be useful for preventing or treating diabetes.
Chamomile is sometimes recommended as a remedy for acid reflux or heartburn.
Risks, side effects, and allergic reactionThe main known side-effect of chamomile is that the herb can act as a blood thinner, and is one of many natural substances known to interact with the prescription blood-thinner Warfarin (Coumadin). Chamomile contains the chemical coumarin, which is chemically and biologically similar to Warfarin/Coumadin, and which can be dangerous when consumed in very high concentrations. However, the amounts in chamomile tea are small and safe for beverage use in normal, healthy people.
While not common, there are documented cases of severe allergic reactions to Chamomile. Chamomile is in the aster/daisy family, which also contains common allergens such as ragweed and mugwort; allergies to these plants can cause cross-reactivity and produce a reaction. It is thus important for those with known allergies or risk of allergies to plants in this family to exercise caution with the use of chamomile tea or any products containing chamomile.
1. Moriya Kiyoshi et. al. Correlation between the indices of autonomic nervous system and mood after drinking chamomile tea. Japanese Journal of Biofeedback Research, Vol. 28, 2001.
2. Diane L. McKay, Jeffrey B. Blumberg, A Review of the bioactivity and potential health benefits of chamomile tea (Matricaria recutita L.), Phytotherapy Research, vol. 20, no. 7, pp. 519 - 530.
3. Atsushi Kato, Yuka Minoshima, Jo Yamamoto, Isao Adachi, Alison A. Watson, Robert J. Nash, Protective Effects of Dietary Chamomile Tea on Diabetic Complications, Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, Vol. 56, No. 17, pp 8206-8211, Sep. 10, 2008.
4. J.Subiza, J.Subiza, M.Hinojosa, R.Garcia, M.Jerez, R.Valdivieso, E.Subiza, Anaphylactic reaction after the ingestion of chamomile tea: A study of cross-reactivity with other composite pollens, Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, Vol. 84, No. 3, pp. 353-358, 1989.
Best Chamomile Tea
The notion of the "best" Chamomile Tea is subjective, because different people have different tastes. We present the most often-rated and highest-rated teas in this category, and allow you to draw your own conclusions.