Camomile tea for sleep
Camomile (or chamomile) is a fragrant flowering herb that belongs to the Asteraceae/Compositae family and There are two main types of camomile: Anthemis nobilis (Roman camomile) and Matricaria camomilla (German or wild camomile) . It’s one of the most ancient medicinal herbs known to mankind and a popular herb in herbal teas and aromatherapy .
In fact, Camomile tea is a popular beverage that also offers a variety of health benefits.
Thanks to their high levels of disease-fighting antioxidants such as terpenoids and flavonoids, dried camomile flowers have several, widespread health benefits.
The camomile plant is native to Western Europe and Northern Africa, but nowadays it is cultivated in various temperate regions all over the world.
Camomile benefits have been known for decades, both in medicine and cosmetics.
For instance, according to records Germans have used chamomile since at the first century to cure digestive problems, and that Egyptians worshipped the plant and devoted festivals to its healing properties. Also, the Romans used camomile herbs to promote longevity and step by step echoes of the plant’s healing properties have spread throughout Europe, and the British finally introduced camomile plants to North America.
For years, camomile preparations such as tea and essential oil aromatherapy has been used as a natural remedy to reduce inflammation and anxiety and also to treat insomnia and to induce sedation (calming effects).
Camomile calming effects may be attributed to an antioxidant called apigenin which binds to specific receptors in the brain and might be responsible for some sedative effect by decreasing anxiety and initiating sleep.
Camomile is widely regarded as a mild tranquillizer and sleep-inducer.
‘’Studies in preclinical models have shown anticonvulsant and CNS depressant effects respectively. Clinical trials are notable for their absence, although ten cardiac patients are reported to have immediately fallen into a deep sleep lasting for 90 minutes after drinking chamomile tea.’’ (L Gould, C V Reddy, R F Gomprecht, Cardiac effects of camomile tea).
However the scientific data surrounding this practice is limited. Very few studies have analyzed the effect of camomile tea on sleep, there were modest improvements in the time it took to fall asleep but the studies didn’t find conclusive evidence stating a direct link between chamomile consumption and sleep.
Keep in mind that so many factors influence the quality of sleep, including stress at home or at work, staring at bright screens in the hours before bed, and even the physiological stress of a hot day endured without air conditioning. Like many insomniacs know, only the fact of worrying about your sleep can keep your mind going and make it even harder to fall asleep.
Traditional healers have long valued and used camomile for its calming effects and ability to fight insomnia. So if drinking tea before bed helps you calm down, then the practice may also help you fall asleep, don’t let the clinical literature stop you from enjoying a nice cup before bed!