What Are the Dangers of Chamomile Tea?

If you enjoy a cup of chamomile tea, you are not alone. Many people enjoy the herbal tea's purported benefits for insomnia, anxiety and indigestion. However, chamomile tea side effects can be negative.

While the purported benefits of chamomile tea are plenty, it can interact with medications or cause allergic reactions. Credit: TasiPas/iStock/GettyImages

If you have difficulty with chamomile, note that it is also used in liquid extracts, capsules, tablets, creams and mouth rinses. Discuss the potential side effects and benefits of this herb with your physician before using chamomile tea.

Tips

While the purported benefits of chamomile tea are plenty, it can interact with medications or cause allergic reactions.

Chamomile Tea Potential Side Effects

Avoid drinking chamomile tea if you take anticoagulant medications such as warfarin, heparin, clopidogrel, ticlopidine or pentoxifylline. Chamomile contains natural blood-thinning compounds that may present a risk for internal bleeding when combined with anticoagulant drugs such as warfarin, according to a July 2012 article published by Medical Principles and Practice.

Do not substitute chamomile for your anticoagulant medication, as herbal supplements are not meant to replace the benefits of your conventional medication. Chamomile may interact with other medications by altering how they are metabolized in the body.

Read more: Side Effects and Benefits of Chamomile Tea

Avoid Allergic Reactions

Do not drink chamomile tea if you have experienced an allergic reaction to plants belonging to the daisy family such as ragweed, chrysanthemums and marigolds. If you are allergic to the pollen found in these plants, you may have a similar reaction to chamomile, according to the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health.

Chamomile may trigger other serious allergic reactions in some individuals that range from skin rashes to anaphylaxis. Additional allergic reactions are throat swelling and shortness of breath — seek immediate medical attention if you experience these potential life-threatening symptoms. Tell your doctor if you experience any of these side effects associated with chamomile.

Ask Your Doctor First

If you are pregnant or breast-feeding, it is crucial to discuss the side effects of chamomile and to list other medications you may be taking. The long-term effects of most herbal supplements remain unknown, and chamomile has not been researched extensively in people.

Although valid reports of toxicity do not suggest negative health effects for young children, pregnant or nursing women, or individuals with liver or kidney disease, the safety of chamomile has not been proven for these populations.

Read more: 6 Teas to Stock Up On and Their Health Benefits

Drink Tea With Caution

Many individuals use the chamomile to diminish the symptoms of anxiety, insomnia and gastrointestinal distress, although scientific research does not validate the use of chamomile tea to treat health conditions. Additionally, chamomile tea (as with other dietary supplements) is not regulated by the Food and Drug Administration — meaning it is not intended to treat, prevent or cure disease.

The National Center for Complementary and Integrative Medicine emphasizes the importance of sharing any alternative products you plan to use, such as chamomile tea with your health care providers. Your doctor can address the risks presented by drug interactions, allergic reactions and the vulnerability of special populations.

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