As they say, the proof is in the pudding, and chamomile tea health benefits speak for themselves.
Traditional and folk medicine treasure and recommend this cure-all medicinal herb for so many health remedies. And, for thousands of years, chamomile (which can also be spelled 'camomile') has helped countless people feel better and enjoy improved physical, emotional, and mental health.
Even so, many of us like to learn about and understand the science behind the health benefits of tea.
If you're one of these people who enjoys the research side of things, sit back, relax, and enjoy a fragrant cup of chamomile tea as you read on to learn more about current research findings for this beloved herbal tea.
(If you're not really interested in the research, you'll find an overview of chamomile tea benefits here.)
Chamomile's age-old reputation as a calming, effective remedy for relieving anxiety was confirmed in a 2009 study in the Depression Research Unit at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
The 57 participants in the study, each with diagnosed mild to moderate GAD (Generalized Anxiety Disorder), were randomly divided into 2 groups. Each day, one group was given chamomile capsules, while the other group received placebo capsules.
For the first week of the study, each participant received one capsule per day. During the second week, this was increased to 2 capsules daily and, for the remaining weeks of the study, some participants' dosages were increased incrementally up to 5 capsules per day (based on scores in the study's assessment tests).
Each chamomile capsule used in this study contained 220 mg of German chamomile (Matricaria recutita).
The HAM-A (Hamilton Anxiety Rating), BAI (Beck Anxiety Inventory), and various other standardized measures were used to assess changes in anxiety symptoms during the 8 weeks of the study.
This study found that chamomile was substantially more effective at reducing anxiety symptoms for all participants when compared with the placebo.
The research abstract for this study can be found here, or, if you'd rather read the entire article, you'll find it here.
A 2012 review of the previous study took this research one step further by evaluating the effectiveness of chamomile in helping to manage not only anxiety, but depression, as well.
Anxiety and depression often go hand-in-hand and, of the 57 participants in the previous study, over half had been diagnosed with (or had a history of) depression, as well as anxiety.
The researchers assessed changes in depression over the course of the study, and found that chamomile was also far more successful than the placebo in reducing depression scores in all participants.
More research about chamomile tea and anxiety... A 2005 study published in the American Chemical Society's Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry confirmed that chamomile tea has mild sedative properties, which can encourage relaxation and reduce anxiety.
In this study, 14 participants (7 women and 7 men) enjoyed 5 cups of chamomile tea each day for 2 weeks. The chamomile tea in this study was made from the German chamomile (Matricaria recutita) plant.
This research showed that consuming this fragrant herbal tea regularly can increase levels of the amino acid glycine, which is known for encouraging relaxation and lessening anxiety.
And, the researchers found that these positive effects lasted for up to 2 weeks after the study participants had stopped their daily intake of the herbal tea!
This study also found chamomile tea to be an immune-system booster and an effective way to relieve menstrual cramps - read more about these additional chamomile tea benefits here.
Even though some may believe that herbal tea benefits are nothing more than folklore, current research about chamomile tea health benefits (and the benefits of other herbal teas, such as red clover, Rooibos, and hibiscus teas) is supporting what has been known about and valued in herbal teas for centuries.
Just keep in mind... Chamomile tea health benefits are truly impressive and all-encompassing, but before you steep yourself a cup, be sure you're aware of any potential side effects or risks of drinking chamomile tea. You can learn more about chamomile tea cautions here.