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by Nadia Kumentas February 29, 2016

chamomile tea

Does Chamomile Tea Really Make You Sleepy?

Hello my hungry-for-knowledge friends!  

I hope your week has been peachy so far.  Today I wanted to cover two questions we at Affect Health get pretty often:

  1. Does chamomile actually make you sleepy? 
  2. Why don't you use chamomile in your Nightly Zen blend? ⠀⠀⠀⠀

Too often we take what people have been saying for years as fact without taking a more critical look at how factual they actually are.  For years german chamomile ( matricaria recutita) or chamomile tea made from chamomile flowers has been used as a sleep aid in various herbal teas and remedies.   But does it actually make you sleepy?  

I dove into the internet research jungle and even had to pull out some old textbooks (yes I have medical herbalism textbooks, yes they are dusty) to make sure I was getting my facts straight.  

So here is what I found: 

Chamomile contains several compounds that might have therapeutic effects.  In laboratory studies, Apigenin demonstrates anti-anxiety properties which appear to be a consideration to why it may help make you wind-down.

That being said, the strongest study performed to date failed to show a significant difference in placebo vs chamomile on sleep effects.  36 patients were randomized to 270 mg of chamomile twice daily or placebo for 28-days. 

They measured sleep quality in terms of:

  • total sleep time
  • time to fall asleep
  • time to wake up
  • times waking during the night
  • overall sleep quality

Let's also keep in mind that they were CONSUMING 540mg of chamomile/DAY.  Eating the active parts of a herb whole is very different than just having 1 cup of steeped chamomile/day.  Yikes. 

But don't get me wrong... I'm not getting my hate on for chamomile, I still love chamomile!  

So, what is chamomile tea good for? 

It's still a valuable medicinal herb but maybe not for sleep, and definitely not alone as a sleep aid or sedative.  Chamomile teas benefits are primary seen as an anti-spasmodic with some anti-inflammatory effects.  Also, it's caffeine free and can still be enjoyed as a relaxing warm drink in the evening — which may end up having a positive effect on your ability to wind down for a good sleep. 

  affect health nightly zen, sleepy tea

 

Finally, to answer the first question: Why don't we use chamomile in our Nightly Zen blend?

We don't use chamomile flowers due to the above as well as because we chose four medicinal herbs that have a synergistic effect on each other.  These herbs have an anti-anxiety effect, calming the mind and helping to relax the central nervous system for a more restful sleep.  

  1. Skullcap( Scutellaria  lateriflora ), also read
  2. Pa ssionflower ( Passiflora incarnata), also this
  3. Valerian root ( Valeriana officials)  ( interesting combo with hops, less conclusive but positive)
  4. Oat straw ( Avena Sativa) (also here)

It's always good to take a look at the ingredients list on any herbal products you are thinking of taking and doing a little research before wasting your money.

 

If you or someone you know has a hard time winding down in the evening and needs a little ZEN I highly recommend trying our blend out.  Keep in mind a good night's sleep is SO SO SO important and getting to the root of why you aren't sleeping well is step 1.  

 

It's been a slice! 

 

nadia kumentas

 

Questions? Comments? Collaboration ideas?  Let's chat!

 

Nadia Kumentas
Nadia Kumentas

Nadia Kumentas is a naturopathic doctor, tea drinker, yoga doer, animal lover, and plant enthusiast.



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