Chamomile: Nature’s Nightcap Gives Anxiety Relief And So Much More

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Chamomile has long been a go-to remedy for a peaceful night’s sleep, but its gentle touch extends beyond just beckoning slumber. Tucked away in this dainty flower is a trove of benefits that chamomile supplements can bring to your daily health regimen. From easing stress to supporting digestion, chamomile works its quiet magic in various ways. This article dives into the heart of chamomile’s soothing properties and how incorporating it into your routine could enhance your overall well-being.

What Is Chamomile?

Chamomile is a flowering plant that comes from the daisy family. It has a rich history of use across different cultures and generations for its health-promoting properties. When we talk about chamomile supplements, we’re often referring to extracts made from the flowers of either German chamomile (Matricaria recutita) or Roman chamomile (Chamaemelum nobile).

The charm of chamomile lies in its chemical composition; it’s packed with flavonoids, terpenoids, and antioxidants. These substances are the main contributors to chamomile’s therapeutic effects. As a supplement, chamomile is available in various forms, including capsules, pills, and liquid extracts.

People turn to chamomile supplements not just for sleep support, but also for their calming effects which may help manage stress and anxiety. It’s also used to soothe stomach ailments and support digestive health. With its gentle action, chamomile remains a favored natural remedy for those seeking comfort in the form of a supplement.

What Are the Benefits of Chamomile?

  • Eases Sleep Problems: Chamomile is widely recognized for its natural sedative effects, which may help improve sleep quality and duration. A recent review of randomized studies showed a significant improvement in sleep quality after chamomile administration. They concluded that Chamomile appears to be effective and safe for sleep quality and generalized anxiety disorder. [PMID: 31006899]
  • Reduces Stress and Anxiety: Its calming properties can help relieve stress and anxiety, promoting a sense of relaxation and well-being. Long-term chamomile was safe and significantly reduced moderate-to-severe GAD symptoms. [PMC5646235] It was found to improve generalized anxiety disorder. [PMID: 31006899] Chamomile contains Apigenin, which acts by binding to benzodiazepine receptors present in the brain. [PMC9611340]
  • Soothes Digestive Upsets: It can calm an upset stomach, reduce nausea, and is sometimes used in managing conditions like irritable bowel syndrome.
  • Improves High Blood Pressure: A clinical study showed a dose-dependent drop in Systolic blood pressure, Diastolic blood pressure, and heart rate compared with their initial values in people with high blood pressure after drinking chamomile tea (Matricaria chamomilla). [PMID: 29656575]
  • Anti-inflammatory Action: The anti-inflammatory effects [PMC9611340] of chamomile can help with conditions such as arthritis [PMID: 26256137] and other inflammatory diseases.
  • Menstrual Pain Relief: Some find relief from menstrual cramps thanks to chamomile’s antispasmodic and anti-inflammatory properties.
  • PMS Relief: A review of studies showed, “that Chamomile is effective for the treatment of PMS. Based on these results, we believe that Chamomile can be used as good herbal medicine to treat in women with PMS.” [PMC6970572]
  • Blood Sugar Management: Early research in animal models of diabetes suggests chamomile may play a role in improving blood sugar control, particularly in those with diabetes. [PMID: 25176245]
  • Cardiovascular Conditions: The flavonoids in chamomile have been linked to a reduced risk of heart disease.
  • Supports Immune Health: Chamomile’s compounds may boost immune system function, helping the body fight off infections more effectively. [PMC2995283]
  • Migraine and Headache Relief: Chamomile may help in reducing the frequency or severity of migraine and tension headaches. Researchers found that pain, nausea, vomiting, light and sound sensitivity decreased in patients by 30 minutes after using chamomile oleogel. [PMID: 29808331]
  • Cold Symptom Alleviation: Inhalation of chamomile steam can help alleviate symptoms of the common cold, including congestion. [PMC7315336]
  • Healing Wounds and Ulcers: Applied topically or taken orally, chamomile can aid in faster healing of wounds [PMC9611340]. In animal models of alcohol-related stomach ulcers chamomile helped in healing. [PMID: 21063650] These effects are thought to be related to its anti-inflammatory properties.
  • Oral Health: Its antibacterial properties can contribute to better oral hygiene and may be effective in combating gingivitis and plaque. [PMC7418554]
  • Easing Skin Conditions: It may be beneficial for eczema, [PMC8515037] sunburns, and rashes when applied as a cream or ointment to the affected area.
  • Natural Allergy Fighter: The anti-inflammatory effects might help in reducing the severity of allergy symptoms. [PMID: 21651969]
  • Cancer-Related Benefits: Some preliminary studies suggest that chamomile contains compounds that could have anti-cancer activity. [PMC9611340] Some researchers believed chamomile was effective because of its apigenin content causing programmed cell death and autophagy. Alcohol extracts were found to be more powerful. [PMC5207605]
  • Improved Side Effects of Cancer Treatments: A review of randomized trials showed that various forms of chamomile such as mouthwash, topical material, tea, capsule, syrup and aromatherapy massage were effective. Chamomile reduced oral mucositis, skin complications, depression, and vomiting and also improved appetite and quality of life among cancer patients [PMC10108427].

What Are the Active Compounds in Chamomile?

The Therapeutic Potential of Apigenin PMC6472148

Chamomile contains several active compounds, which contribute to its potential health benefits. These include:

  • Flavonoids: Such as apigenin, quercetin, patuletin, luteolin, and daphnin. These are known for their antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.
  • Coumarins: Compounds that may have various health effects, including supporting blood health.
  • Polyphenols: These are antioxidants that may help in preventing damage caused by free radicals.

These compounds together are believed to contribute to chamomile’s reputed therapeutic effects, including its calming and anti-inflammatory properties.

Is Chamomile Safe?

Chamomile is safe for most people when used in typical amounts, such as those found in chamomile tea or as directed in supplements.  People with allergies to related plants such as ragweed, chrysanthemums, marigolds or daisies should avoid chamomile due to the risk of causing an allergic reaction.

It has a longstanding history of use, often associated with a high safety profile. Allergic reactions are rare and mostly associated with individuals who have allergies to plants in the daisy family. As with any supplement, it’s wise to consult with a healthcare professional before starting, especially if you are pregnant, nursing, taking medication, or have a medical condition. In typical dietary amounts, chamomile serves as a soothing and beneficial addition to many people’s health routines.

Medication Interactions with Chamomile

  • Blood-thinners (Anticoagulants / Antiplatelet drugs): Chamomile contains coumarin, a natural blood thinner, so it may enhance the effects of medication like warfarin, increasing the risk of bleeding.
  • Sedatives (Benzodiazepines, CNS Depressants): Chamomile has sedative properties, which could potentially increase the sedative effects of these medications, leading to increased drowsiness and sleepiness.
  • Aspirin: Similar to blood thinners, chamomile may increase the risk of bleeding when taken with aspirin.
  • Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs): Since chamomile also has anti-inflammatory properties, it may interact with NSAIDs, possibly enhancing side effects like gastrointestinal discomfort or bleeding risk.
  • Anticonvulsants: Chamomile’s sedative effects might interfere with the action of drugs used to treat seizures, possibly impacting their effectiveness.
  • Diabetes medications: Chamomile may lower blood sugar levels, which could affect blood sugar control and interact with diabetes medications, necessitating adjustments in dosages.
  • Hormone therapies: Chamomile might interact with hormone medications due to its estrogen-like effects, potentially altering their effectiveness.
  • CYP1A2 & CYP2C9 substrates: Chamomile might affect the enzymes that help metabolize certain medications, potentially leading to either an increase or decrease in the drugs’ effects. CYP1A2 substrates include caffeine, theophylline, clozapine, olanzapine, tacrine, and ropinirole. CYP2C9 substrates include warfarin, phenobarbital, sulfamethoxazole, glipizide, losartan, and ibuprofen.

Supplement Interactions with Chamomile

  • Other Sedative Herbs (e.g., Valerian, Kava, Lavender): Chamomile has mild sedative effects, which could be amplified when taken with other herbs known to induce sleepiness or relaxation, potentially leading to excessive drowsiness.
  • Blood-Thinning Supplements (e.g., Ginkgo biloba, Garlic, Ginger, Ginseng): Since chamomile can act as a natural blood thinner, taking it with other supplements with similar effects may increase the risk of bleeding.
  • Supplements that Lower Blood Sugar (e.g., Fenugreek, Gymnema, Bitter Melon): Chamomile may enhance the blood sugar-lowering effects of these supplements, which could result in hypoglycemia, particularly in individuals with diabetes.
  • Hormonal Supplements (e.g., Black Cohosh, Dong Quai): Because chamomile can exert estrogen-like effects, it may interact with other supplements that have hormonal activities, affecting their overall impact on the body.
  • Caffeine-Containing Supplements: Chamomile may counteract the stimulant effects of caffeine, potentially reducing its efficacy.
  • Iron Supplements: Chamomile tea, specifically, may hinder iron absorption. Therefore, taking chamomile supplements alongside iron could decrease the amount of iron the body absorbs.
  • Calcium Supplements: Just as with iron, chamomile might interfere with the absorption of calcium, potentially reducing the effectiveness of calcium supplements.

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Chamomile 1:2 by MediHerb

Chamomile 1:2 contains Chamomile flower traditionally used to aid relaxation and provide nervous system support for sleep. Chamomile has been traditionally used in herbal preparations to:

  • Encourage relaxation and support a healthy nervous system response
  • Help relieve occasional, mild sleeplessness
  • Help relieve temporary, mild digestive disturbances
  • Promote healthy menstruation cycle and ease associated mild discomfort*

Dilute 5 mL (approx. 1 teaspoon) in water or juice once per day, or as directed.

Serving Size: 5 mL (1 tsp)

Amount Per Serving
Calories … 15  
Chamomile flower 1:2 extract … 5mL from Matricaria recutita flower 2.5 g

Chamomile Flower Tea by Buddha Teas

An excellent tea to drink at the end of the day, chamomile has been used for ages as a relaxing drink that is best enjoyed for its flavor as well as for the sense of peace it can provide.

Fresh water is essential for brewing a great cup of tea. We recommend using filtered spring water and a glass, ceramic or stainless steel pot. Use one tea bag per cup of boiling water. Cover and steep for 4-6 minutes.

Ingredients: Organic Chamomile Flower

Tulsi Tea Honey Chamomile by Organic India

Tulsi Tea Honey Chamomile

Tulsi blends harmoniously with aromatic Chamomile blossoms and the essence of Honey for a soothing stress-relieving break.*

Supplement Facts
Serving Size: 1 infusion bag (makes 8 fl oz)

Amount Per Serving

Proprietary Organic Blend1.7g
Organic Chamomile (flower)
Organic Tulsi (Holy Basil) Blend
Holy Basil (Ocimum sanctum) (Krishna & Rama varieties) (leaf)
East Indian Basil (Ocimum gratissimum) (Vana variety) (leaf)
Organic Fennel (seed)
Other Ingredients: Organic Honey Flavor, Gluten Free, Kosher, Individually Wrapped for Freshness.

Food First!

Although this article discusses supplements in detail, don’t forget that we are absolutely committed to the “Food First” approach to nutrition. When it comes to your health, the totality of your eating habits far surpasses the impact of individual nutrients or any single supplement you consume. Even though this article doesn’t delve into the broader picture of your overall diet, it’s crucial to keep this element at the forefront of our minds. Your food needs to provide all the vitamins, minerals, fiber, and phytochemicals to nourish your body systems down to the cellular level.

Food choices, rather than supplements, are the most critical factors for a healthy gut microbiome. These trillions of tiny inhabitants in your gut affect your brain waves; they orchestrate your immune system. They possess the power to create molecules that can switch genes on or off and are even capable of synthesizing neurotransmitters. Opting for organic foods and steering clear of plastic packaging (including those labeled BPA-free) is a smart move to limit toxin exposure. The sum of all these parts leads to a powerful conclusion: the ultimate key to your health lies in the quality and balance of the food you consume. Supplements are secondary.

To Sum It Up

Chamomile supplements, with their sleep-inducing, stress-reducing, and digestive health properties, offer a natural avenue for those looking to enhance their well-being. The gentle anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects of chamomile can support skin health, immune function, and potentially provide relief from menstrual pain and cold symptoms. While it’s important to consider the potential for interactions with medications or other supplements, chamomile remains a well-regarded option in the realm of natural remedies, backed by generations of use and affectionate regard in herbal tradition. Whether sipped as a warm tea or taken as a daily supplement, chamomile may just be the calming, soothing presence you’re looking for in your wellness routine.

This Article is Not a Substitute for Medical Advice

Dietary supplements are not designed to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. The Supplement Sciences website seeks to provide comprehensive access to the most relevant supplement information along with convenient online ordering. We do not provide medical advice and cannot guarantee that every product suggested is completely without risk. Since each person is unique in their health history and medication use, it is important to discuss supplements with your personal physician. Specifically, pregnant women and individuals being treated for cancer or liver or kidney problems must consult their physician about every nutritional supplement they plan to take. People taking medications for the treatment of HIV or with a history of organ transplant must not take supplements without consulting with their physician.

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