Chamomile is a medicinal herb used to treat a wide range of conditions, from inflammation to stomach problems to wounds. It’s a common ingredient in many teas, due to its relaxing effects. And some swear by drinking a cup of chamomile tea before bed to relieve their insomnia.
There is no conclusive evidence that chamomile actually helps you drift off. However, some of its chemical compounds have been shown to be sedative and have even been compared to the effects of benzodiazepines (powerful anti-anxiety medications).
Some studies suggest that simply the ritual of preparing a cup of tea can be calming, thus helping you sleep better regardless of what you’re drinking.
Chamomile is generally used in the form of tea. You can buy prepackaged tea bags or loose-leaf tea. Steep 1 tea bag in hot water for a few minutes or use a metal strainer to do the same with loose-leaf tea. For best effects, consume half an hour before going to sleep.
Chamomile is considered to be a safe herb but can cause side effects in rare cases. These may include:
- eye irritation
- skin reaction
- allergic reaction
Contact your doctor if you’re concerned about chamomile side effects.