Drinking This Tea Could Help Your Anxiety

Chamomile has been used for thousands of years as a medicinal herb in many cultures. The sweet, daisy-like plant has been used to treat everything from digestive issues and wound healing to respiratory infections. It even appears in the ancient medicinal writings of Greece, Rome, and Egypt (via ScienceDirect). In recent decades though, chamomile has been attracting growing attention for its potential to treat another very common condition — anxiety.

Even as, according to the New York Post, the use of anti-anxiety medications has shot up dramatically — rising over 34 percent between mid-February and mid-March 2020 in response to COVID-related stresses — some are turning to the humble chamomile flower for help in calming anxiety. Dr. Chris D'Adamo, an assistant professor at the University of Maryland School of Medicine, told The Cut, "When people have anxiety and they're looking for non-pharmacological treatments, chamomile is always one of the first to come up."

Studies show chamomile can help calm anxiety

There's a growing body of scientific evidence supporting chamomile's effectiveness in treating anxiety. A 2016 study showed that, when chamomile was given to patients suffering from generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), they experienced 40 percent fewer anxiety relapses than those who were given a placebo (via Plant Medicines). Another study from 2013 also found that chamomile works on a short-term basis to relax blood vessels and smooth muscle fibers. Other studies have also supported the same conclusion — that chamomile can be effectively used to reduce anxiety. And another major "pro" for chamomile is that it is generally very safe for most people to use. It's non-addictive, and has no known adverse side effects.

The exception is for those who are taking blood thinners, since chamomile can interact with blood-thinning medications to increase the risk of bleeding. Also, for those who are allergic to the plants that are also part of the aster family, like ragweed and chrysanthemums, exposure to chamomile could cause a similar allergic reaction (via Mayo Clinic).

For most though, drinking chamomile tea is a perfectly safe and delicious to experience a little more calm.