You've heard of chamomile. You've read the claims. But what about the nitty gritty?
When is the best time to drink chamomile? How often should you take it? Where are its benefits most noticeable?
That's what we'll be discussing today. For each unique benefit of chamomile, we'll answer your "best time" and "how often" questions.
Sleep is a crucial physiologic process for everyone. Needless to say, there are several barriers to good sleep in our busy society. Fortunately, chamomile has been shown to induce and improve quality sleep.
Studies have shown that the active ingredient in chamomile, called apigenin, helps promote sleepiness.
This antioxidant binds to receptors located in the brain and helps reduce insomnia. Apigenin also has an anxiolytic effect which reduces anxiety and helps improve sleep quality.
In December of 2017, a study revealed that an average daily dosage of 400-milligrams chamomile extract had significant sleep quality benefits compared to those who didn’t take the extract.
Besides, some women have reported that chamomile tea helped curb their postpartum depression, improved their sleep quality, and reduced anxiety associated with delivery.
More often than not, however, its benefits depend on the dose.
For instance, a study published in the Journal of BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine concluded that even a twice-daily dose of 270 mg chamomile extract is ineffective against chronic insomnia.
While benefits seem dose-dependent, timing is everything.
Chamomile’s mild tranquilizing effects require that it be taken just a few minutes before bedtime.
Many people report significant sleep-inducing benefits when it is taken about 30 minutes before sleep.
The way chamomile aids in weight loss is not necessarily direct. It involves a cascade of physiologic processes that can eventually help you lose weight.
As we just discussed, chamomile tea is a potent sleep enhancer. It helps you sleep better and prolongs the duration of your sleep time.
During sleep, the body produces a hormone called serotonin. This hormone is an appetite suppressant and works to reduce hunger pangs when you wake up.
Studies have also shown that chamomile counteracts the effects of cortisol - a stress hormone that reduces metabolism while increasing appetite for junk food.
This mechanism is what makes chamomile a great remedy for stress.
When taken in adequate amounts, chamomile encourages active metabolism and active breakdown of body fats, which goes a long way in getting your waistline back in shape.
Besides increasing the levels of serotonin and decreasing production of cortisol, chamomile has also been shown to stimulate the production of digestive juices.
While gastric juices may not directly cause weight loss, they characteristically increase the metabolic process and aid in the breakdown of essential nutrients and elimination of waste products.
The idea behind chamomile improving weight loss is still not conclusive because the hypotheses revolve around several physiologic processes that are true on paper.
Nevertheless, there are a few studies that indicate evidence of chamomile’s benefits for weight loss.
Weight loss is best achieved with an effective weight-loss regimen. To benefit from chamomile, you should incorporate it into your diet on a regular basis.
And bear in mind, effective weight loss is achieved primarily through diet modification - not just physical activity.
You should ask your nutrition expert or weight loss trainer for the best strategies to use chamomile.
For most people, however, drinking chamomile tea twice a day in the morning and evening before bed can help support your weight loss goals.
If you’ve been using chamomile for some time now, you may have noticed its detox effects.
It has one of the highest densities of antioxidants among herbs, helping rid the body of toxic free radicals.
Studies have shown that chamomile has some antidiarrheal protection as well due to its anti-inflammatory properties.
An apple-pectin-chamomile extract has been shown to not only alleviate symptoms of diarrhea but also shorten its course.
Another study evaluating the effects of chamomile when treating diarrhea concluded that it was effective in about 85% of the cases.
Yet another animal-based study revealed that chamomile is protective against stomach ulcers as well.
These studies propose that chamomile inhibits the growth of helicobacter pylori – a bacteria commonly associated with stomach ulcers. The extract also reduces stomach acidity.
Besides scientific studies, anecdotal evidence also supports the ability of chamomile to soothe the digestive tract.
Traditionally, it has long been the go-to herbal remedy for disorders of the digestive system such as nausea and bloating.
Although these findings are noteworthy, none of them guarantee that you will experience the same results. More studies need to be done to help substantiate the health benefits of chamomile for digestion, diarrhea, and more.
If you’re using chamomile to support a healthy digestive system, you need to use it consistently.
Many people report sufficient benefit in taking a twice-daily dose of chamomile.
To soothe your stomach, the best time to drink it is about thirty minutes after your meal.
This should help improve the process of digestion, prevent bloating, and encourage rapid and complete elimination of waste products.
A few studies and even more anecdotal evidence support the effectiveness of chamomile for common issues like sleeplessness and nausea.
It’s important to time your dose right. It’s equally important to drink chamomile or supplement with a chamomile tincture consistently.
For many people, drinking chamomile twice a day - in the morning and about 30 minutes before bed - is the best time.