*I am not a doctor or a naturopath. please speak with a healthcare provider before consuming anything. Keep in mind that a majority of the studies that I will site are done on rats, you are not a rat. Do your own research/speak with a doctor to learn what is safe for you.
When you think of chamomile you might think of "sleepy time" tea or something that is a very relaxing drink for your health. But did you know it is also known as the "plant physician?" It is very commonly known and found widely available in most grocery stores. However, did you know that chamomile has other health benefits as well? It seems to be almost a "cure-all" plant whose medicinal knowledge has been lost in time. Chamomile is even supported by the German commission e to treat a list of things such as bronchitis, cough, fever, cold, infection, wounds, and burns. It not only may help improve your quality of sleep but it also helps with many things such as quality of sleep, gastrointestinal health, cancer, and blood sugar.
A History of Chamomile:
Chamomile was a sacred plant to the Egyptians and was worshiped as a flower associated with the sun god. Chamomile tea is listed in the Eber's Papyrus in 1550 BC and it was used to embalm the dead, honor the gods, and cure the sick. Chamomile is also known as one of nine sacred herbs given to the anglo-Saxons by the lord. Chamomile was then prescribed in the 16th and 17th centuries for intermittent fevers.
How to Identify Chamomile
Chamomile is part of the daisy family and looks similar to daisies. You will notice the flowers appearing in the summer and autumn. They have a golden center and white petals and are relatively small at just one inch across. The leaves of the plant smell like apple and are bright green, Finally, the stem of the chamomile plant is rigid, round, and light green.
Quality of sleep
Everyone knows that chamomile is the tea to drink when you want to relax. For anyone that had drunk this tea knows that it puts you into a calm, relaxed, and sleepy state. A Study took eighty postnatal Taiwanese women that were complaining of poor sleep quality and split them into two groups. A control and an experimental group. The experimental group of women was instructed to drink chamomile tea for two weeks. The experimental group showed better sleep and fewer depressive symptoms. However, a test done four weeks later showed no difference between groups. (1) Another Randomized double-blind placebo-controlled test with 34 people showed that chamomile has a positive effect during the daytime. (2)
Let's face it, everyone gets diarrhea sometimes. Well, a study done with mice may show that when mice are given castor oil to induce diarrhea and then given camomile, it showed that the chamomile acted as an antidiarrheal. (3)
There are some studies that show promising results with certain compounds in chamomile that can help fight cancer. A study conducted in Greece took people who have had thyroid cancer, and people with benign thyroid disease and studied the effects of chamomile tea. The study says: " The duration of consumption was also inversely associated with the diseases. Thirty years of consumption significantly reduced the risk of thyroid cancer and benign thyroid disease development by almost 80%." (4)
Controlling blood sugar levels is incredibly important, especially for diabetic and pre-diabetic individuals. A study in rats showed that chamomile tea may not only have the ability to lower blood sugar but also help with weight loss and hba1c levels. (5)
Chamomile has always been a nighttime relaxing tea for me. I will drink it when I feel like I want a nice cozy sleepy evening.