Chamomile Tea: Health Benefits and How to Brew Properly

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Chamomile tea is a popular caffeine-free drink made from dried chamomile flowers. See how to make chamomile tea properly, step-by-step, from a certified Tea Sommelier.

Chamomile tea steeping in a teapot.

What is Chamomile Tea?

  • Chamomile tea is an herbal drink made by steeping dried chamomile flowers in water. It can be made both hot and iced. It’s naturally caffeine-free.
  • Chamomile is a flowering plant with white petals and a mustard-yellow center that looks like a daisy. There are a few varieties of chamomile and only two types are used for tea, the German chamomile and Roman Chamomile.
  • One of the most popular herbals, chamomile tea dates back to ancient Egypt where it was used for medicinal purposes.

RELATED: Chamomile Tea Latte

Loose dried chamomile flowers.

5 Chamomile Tea Health Benefits

1. Promotes Relaxation

According to a 2020 study, chamomile has a relaxing effect on the body, which may be helpful for managing stress and promoting sleep. A 2019 review also notes that chamomile can improve sleep quality.

2. Provides Antioxidants

Chamomile contains antioxidants called flavonols and phenolic acids. Antioxidants protect healthy cells from free radicals, or harmful molecules that can build up and cause oxidative stress. 

3. Manages Premenstrual Syndrome

Chamomile tea can help manage premenstrual syndrome, or PMS, in people who menstruate. According to a 2019 scientific review, chamomile contains antispasmodic substances, meaning they help ease muscle tension and PMS-related pain.

4. Supports Digestive Health

The next time you’re dealing with an upset stomach, reach for chamomile tea. The plant can relax the digestive tract, making it helpful for managing indigestion, diarrhea, motion sickness, and nausea.

5. Controls Blood Sugar Levels

As a 2020 scientific review notes, chamomile may help improve glycemic control, or the body’s ability to regulate blood sugar levels. Glycemic control is an important part of managing diabetes and preventing complications.

RELATED: Hibiscus Tea

4 Side Effects of Chamomile Tea

1. Dizziness
In tea form, chamomile is considered safe. It rarely causes side effects, but if it does, it may include dizziness.

2.  Nausea
Although chamomile can calm stomach troubles, it can actually cause issues in some people. This includes nausea, according to the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health.

3. Allergic Reaction
It’s possible to be allergic to chamomile. This is more likely if you’re also allergic to ragweed pollen, which shares allergy-causing proteins with chamomile. If you’re new to chamomile tea, use caution or talk to your allergist before drinking it.

4. Interactions with Blood-Thinning Drugs
If you’re taking blood-thinning medications for blood clots, you might need to avoid chamomile. The plant might increase the risk of bleeding when used with these drugs.

Step-by-Step Brewing Instructions

Steps to brew chamomile tea.

For full ingredients and instructions, scroll down to see the recipe.

  1. Boil water.
    Boiling water for tea is easy when you use an electric kettle with temperature setting. Boil extra water to warm the teapot.
  2. Warm up teapot.
    Pour some hot water into the teapot and swirl it around a bit. Discard the water.
  3. Put chamomile tea into the teapot and add hot water. Cover teapot and steep.
  4. Strain chamomile solids and pour hot tea into a teacup.
My Chamomile Pick

Photo Credit: Harney.com

Flavorful Egyptian chamomile flowers from Egypt. (Free shipping!)
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Tea Sommelier’s Tips

Loose tea is higher quality tea.
The more intact the chamomile flowers, the higher the quality, so go for loose tea. If you open up chamomile tea in tea bags, you’ll find crushed tiny bits of chamomile flowers which makes a lower quality tea.

Use good quality water.
I recommend using filtered water for a better tasting tea.

Steep with the lid on the teapot.
Keep the teapot covered while tea is steeping to make sure the water temperature stays consistent.

Warm the teapot.
All tea professionals make sure to warm the teapot before the steep so that the water stays nice and hot.

Try using a glass teapot or French press.
Use a glass teapot or a glass French press to make herbal tea so you can see the pretty herbals in water.

Chamomile tea can be steeped for a long time.
Herbal teas like chamomile can be steeped for a long time without getting bitter at all. For a medicinal-quality chamomile, steep it for longer. (An herbalist will steep for 30-45 minutes on the stovetop, with the heat on low.)

Store it properly.
Chamomile tea can be brewed and stored in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. Keep it covered or airtight glass container or pitcher.

Loose chamomile tea and tea sachets should be stored in an airtight container away from light, odors, humidity, and heat.

Questions You May Have

How do you pronounce chamomile?

There are two ways to pronounce chamomile and both are correct. The “h” is silent so it’s pronounced as either KAM-MAH-MEEL or KAM-MUH-MILE.

What does chamomile tea taste like?

Chamomile tea has a strong, heady aroma and tastes earthy with floral and apple notes. If it’s steeped for too long it has a very medicinal taste that I’m not a fan of. 

Is there caffeine?

Nope, there’s not a trace of caffeine in chamomile tea. It makes for a great nighttime drink since it’s caffeine-free.

Is chamomile tea a real tea?

All herbal teas, including chamomile, are not real or true teas. Real tea only comes from the Camellia sinensis plant, and since chamomile comes from the chamomile plant it’s not a real tea. 

Steeping chamomile flowers in a teapot with hot water.

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Chamomile Tea

Author: Jee Choe
How to make chamomile tea properly.
4.8 from 9 votes
Prep Time 2 mins
Steep Time 5 mins
Total Time 7 mins
Course Drinks
Yield1 serving

INGREDIENTS
 

  • 1 cup water + more to warm teapot
  • 1 tablespoon chamomile tea

INSTRUCTIONS

  • Boil water.
    If using an electric kettle with temperature setting, set it to 208°F. Boil a little more water than needed so that it can be used to warm up the teapot. Filtered water is best.
  • Warm up teapot.
    Pour hot water into a teapot halfway and swirl it around a bit. Discard the water.
    Warming up the teapot is an extra step that all tea professionals take the time to do, so that when the tea steeps, the water temperature won't drop drastically.
  • Put chamomile tea into the teapot and add hot water. Cover teapot and steep for 5 minutes.
  • Strain chamomile flowers and pour hot tea into a teacup.

NOTES

  • The more intact the chamomile flowers, the higher the quality, so go for loose tea. If you open up chamomile tea in tea bags, you’ll find crushed tiny bits of chamomile flowers which makes a lower quality tea.
  • Use filtered water for a better tasting tea.
  • Keep the teapot covered while tea is steeping to make sure the water temperature stays consistent.
  • All tea professionals make sure to warm the teapot before the steep so that the water stays nice and hot.
  • Use a glass teapot or a glass French press to make herbal tea so you can see the pretty herbals in water.
  • Herbal teas like chamomile can be steeped for a long time without getting bitter at all. For a medicinal-quality chamomile, steep it for longer. (An herbalist will steep for 30-45 minutes on the stovetop, with the heat on low.)
  • Chamomile tea can be brewed and stored in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. Keep it covered or airtight glass container or pitcher.

NUTRITION

Calories: 1 | Carbohydrates: 1g | Sodium: 12mg | Potassium: 5mg | Calcium: 7mg
Did you make this recipe?Mention @ohhowcivilized and use hashtag #ohhowcivilized!

6 thoughts on “Chamomile Tea: Health Benefits and How to Brew Properly”

  1. Great article. I am planning to make a litre of chamomile tea (roughly 4.5 US cups/ 34fl oz), every night to drink at room temperature the next day. I only have chamomile teabags to use. My plan was to boil water and leave it on the kitchen table to brew overnight. Do you know roughly how many teabags I should use for this? I’m assuming it’s fewer than the amount you’d use ratio-wise for having the same amount of individual mugs Many thanks.

    Reply
  2. Such an interesting article! I love chamomile tea for its taste and lightness, when ordinary black tea bothers me, I turn to chamomile. I did not know that there were any subtleties in its preparation. Usually I just make boiling water and let the tisane brew. Chamomile tea calms well and helps with stomach-ache.

    Reply

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