Nutrition & Caffeine Facts on Chamomile Tea

Dry camomile with tea strainer on old wooden table
A small pile of dried chamomile. (Image: tomislz/iStock/Getty Images)

Perhaps Julius Caesar and Cleopatra sipped chamomile tea to soothe their stomachs and promote sounder sleep. It wouldn't be surprising, since ancient Romans and Egyptians both lauded the curative properties of this daisy-like flower. Modern science has supported some of chamomile's traditional therapeutic uses. However, chamomile tea can have potentially negative side effects, so check with your doctor before using it to treat any health issues.

Basic Nutrition Facts

Chamomile has two common varieties -- Roman and German. Most U.S. chamomile tea is prepared by drying the blossoms of the German variety. Chamomile tea is naturally caffeine free. According to the USDA National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference, 1 cup of brewed chamomile tea contains about 2 calories and .5 g carbohydrates. It also contains small amounts of calcium, magnesium, potassium, fluoride, folate and vitamin A, plus traces of several other nutrients.

Health-Promoting Potential

Chamomile tea contains substances called flavonoids, says a report published in the July 2006 issue of "Phytotherapy Research." Researchers believe that regular ingestion of plants like chamomile that have high concentrations of flavonoids can potentially enhance human health. Chamomile possesses anti-microbial and antioxidant properties, also possibly reducing inflammation and lowering both cholesterol and cancer risk. A study in the September 2008 "Journal of Agriculture and Food Chemistry" found that chamomile tea also helps regulate diabetes.

Traditional Uses

Americans most commonly reach for chamomile tea to counteract anxiety and as a sleep aid, says the University of Maryland Medical Center, or UMMC. Animal studies have confirmed its efficacy in these applications, but few human studies have been conducted. Other traditional uses include treating inflammation, muscle spasms, mouth problems and gastrointestinal issues. UMMC suggests a dose of 2 to 3 heaping tbsp. of dried flower heads steeped in 8 oz. of boiling water for 10 to 15 minutes, taken three to four times daily between meals.

Warnings

People allergic to flowers like chrysanthemums, daisies, marigolds, asters and ragweed should avoid drinking chamomile tea, says the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine, since it can trigger an allergic reaction. Asthmatics also should not ingest chamomile tea, as it has the potential to worsen symptoms, says UMMC. UMMC also recommends that pregnant women shouldn't drink chamomile tea, citing a potential for miscarriage. Highly concentrated chamomile tea drunk in large amounts can cause vomiting.

REFERENCES & RESOURCES
Comments
PARTNER & LICENSEE OF THE LIVESTRONG FOUNDATION

Copyright © 2018 Leaf Group Ltd. Use of this web site constitutes acceptance of the LIVESTRONG.COM Terms of Use, Privacy Policy and Copyright Policy. The material appearing on LIVESTRONG.COM is for educational use only. It should not be used as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. LIVESTRONG is a registered trademark of the LIVESTRONG Foundation. The LIVESTRONG Foundation and LIVESTRONG.COM do not endorse any of the products or services that are advertised on the web site. Moreover, we do not select every advertiser or advertisement that appears on the web site-many of the advertisements are served by third party advertising companies.