Posted on Wed, 20 Jul 16
In a win for traditional home remedies Chamomile tea has been shown to alleviate depression and sleep problems.
Chamomile is a well known and widely used tea for relaxation, and indeed a clinical study found chamomile was effective for severe anxiety , and depression . But no human studies have examined the effects of chamomile on sleep, until now.
Sleep problems are a common and significant issue for postpartum women, so from 6-weeks after childbirth a group of women were instructed to drink chamomile tea for a period of 2-weeks to examine its effects compared to a control group. They drank one cup of chamomile tea per day which was prepared by steeping a teabag containing 2 g of dried flowers in 300 ml of hot water for 10-15 minutes.
When compared with the control group, those drinking chamomile tea had a significant improvement in sleep measures as well as a significant reduction in symptoms of depression. The women in the study also reported that the benefits were related to facilitating emotional stability and relaxation.
“These findings support that drinking single-ingredient chamomile tea once each day for a 2-week period has positive and significant effects on the sleep quality and mental health of postpartum women with poor sleep quality,” concluded the investigators. “The lack of reported side effects further supports chamomile tea consumption as an alternative therapy that is safe, simple, cost-effective, and viable for postnatal women.”
“…we hope that healthcare professionals will reference these findings to increase their awareness of the correct and positive use of herbal therapy in postpartum health care,” they commented.
- Amsterdam JD, Li Y, Soeller I, et al. A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial of oral Matricaria recutita (chamomile) extract therapy for generalized anxiety disorder. J Clin Psychopharmacol. 2009 Aug;29(4):378-82.
- Amsterdam JD, Shults J, Soeller I, et al. Chamomile (Matricaria recutita) may provide antidepressant activity in anxious, depressed humans: an exploratory study. Altern Ther Health Med. 2012 Sep-Oct;18(5):44-9.
- Chang SM, Chen CH. Effects of an intervention with drinking chamomile tea on sleep quality and depression in sleep disturbed postnatal women: a randomized controlled trial. J Adv Nurs. 2016 Feb;72(2):306-15.