Chamomile Tea has been used for its medicinal properties for centuries. It is only becoming more and more popular around the world, because of its pleasant taste and many health benefits.
Chamomile tea is a good choice for the lungs, because it can reduce upper respiratory inflammation and soothe the throat. It is very calming, and it helps reduce anxiety and promote sleeping, making it a great choice for people with asthma and COPD.
If you would like to help your lungs, treat a cold, soothe a sore throat, or just sleep better, keep reading to see how chamomile tea can help – along with a few important considerations before taking your first sip.
Find my complete list of great teas for asthma and the lungs here. Otherwise, let’s dive in to chamomile tea.
What Is Chamomile Tea?
Chamomile tea is made from a small white flowering herb also called chamomile. Because of its many healing properties, as well as its pleasing taste and aroma, people have been using chamomile medicinally for thousands of years. In fact, it was used by the Ancient Egyptians as well as the Romans.
Chamomile contains flavonoids, sesquiterpenes and anti-oxidants, and it has antioxidant, antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory, antispasmodic, antimutagenic and cholesterol lowering properties (source). It has been and is still used to treat a variety of conditions, including eczema, skin irritations, various bacterial infections, arthritis, stomach cramps, irritable bowel syndrome and upset stomach. There is scientific research to back up many of these use, especially chamomile’s impact on sleep and anxiety (more on that below).
You can take chamomile in capsule, tincture or liquid extract from, but it is most commonly consumed as tea. The steam from chamomile tea can have a positive impact on the upper respiratory tract, so this is what I recommend for fellow asthmatics.
Chamomile tea has a nice, sweet taste, and asthmatics should feel free to sweeten it even more with honey, as honey is an asthma superfood (see more asthma superfoods here). Added honey will be especially nice if you have a sore throat or cough.
Chamomile tea is also caffeine free, making this a tea you can enjoy any time of the day.
Chamomile Tea Can Benefit The Lungs
Chamomile tea is anti-inflammatory, and asthma is caused by inflammation of the airways. People with asthma should look to control inflammation as much as possible, with natural anti-inflammatories like chamomile.
In fact, most of the best teas for asthma are also anti-inflammatory.
Studies show that chamomile tea can have a more direct impact on lung health. Specifically, inhaling chamomile steam can be helpful for common cold symptoms and upper respiratory tract inflammation. The German E Commission has even approved external use of chamomile for respiratory tract inflammation.
So while you want to drink chamomile tea for a host of reasons, I recommend that you always inhale the vapors before you start sipping.
To really insure that you’re getting enough chamomile steam to help your lungs, make a chamomile steam bath. Let 3-4 chamomile tea bags steep in a large bowl of boiling water for a few minutes. Then place a towel your head, lean over the bowl, and slowly breathe the air through your your nose. Inhale and exhale as slowly as you can comfortably. Do this for 5-10 minutes, or however long you like.
As I side note, I find that steam showers are also a great way to relieve asthma symptoms. See more ways to relieve asthma naturally here.
More Ways Chamomile Tea Can Help Asthma Patients
As we’ve covered, chamomile tea has a whole host of health benefits, making it a great choice for just about everyone.
Beyond its ability to treat common cold symptoms, chamomile tea can help treat anxiety, insomnia and inflammation of the mouth and throat, which makes it a great option for people with asthma.
Chamomile Tea and Anxiety
Asthma is stressful. The mental burden and anxiety of knowing you have a debilitating condition that requires expensive inhalers is a lot to bear. And anxiety itself can be a major cause and exacerbator of breathing distress, making asthma symptoms worse. Therefore, managing stress and anxiety is critical to managing asthma.
Chamomile tea is a nice choice for asthmatics because it can help modulate the anxiety that is a natural part of the condition. People have used chamomile tea to soothe stress and anxiety for hundreds of years, and a more recent study showed that it can help people with generalized anxiety disorder (source).
So if you have asthma, consider adding chamomile tea to your daily routine, and don’t forget to inhale the steam before you start drinking. I think you’ll find that making tea a part of your life can really help your symptoms (like it did for me).
Chamomile Tea and Sleep
One of the first ways that I helped get my asthma under control was to improve my sleep hygiene. A lack of proper sleep is associated with a host of health issues – not to mention, just having a bad day. And since asthma is often worse at night, we need every bit of help we can get.
Chamomile tea has traditionally been used as a sleep aid, and more modern research supports this. More studies would be helpful, but current research does suggest that chamomile tea may help induce sleep (source).
I like to drink chamomile tea in the evening, because having a healthy and calming ritual is a nice way to wind down. Try to drink it 1-2 hours before bed, so you don’t have to wake up needing the bathroom.
A final note on asthma and sleeping: if you find your asthma often wakes you up at night, see this article. The fix might be much easier than you think.
Precautions Before Using Chamomile
You shouldn’t drink chamomile tea if you’re pregnant, or if you are allergic to plants in the daisy family or to pollen (especially ragweed, chrysanthemums or other members of the Compositae family). It’s also not generally recommended for children.
Otherwise, this is a nice, healthy and relaxing drink that you can enjoy any time of the day. It’s usually recommended to have between 1-4 cups a day.
Chamomile tea is easy to find in your local grocery, or you can find some nice options on Amazon here. This chamomile tea with lavender might be particularly nice if you’re trying to help improve your sleep.
Or if you’d like to get fancy, then I highly suggest exploring Buddha Teas, which offers organic and wildcrafted teas made from fresh herbs and tea leaves, packaged in bleach-free bags. They have an incredible variety and they’re all reasonably priced – see the Buddha Tea shop here.
Unless you are one of the very few people who are allergic to chamomile, there is almost no downside to drinking chamomile tea, and plenty of upside. Drinking calming chamomile tea is a soothing ritual that I enjoy daily, and I believe it helps my lungs and my asthma symptoms. I hope you find similar results.