Chamomile tea is one of the most popular teas and herbal supplements out there. But what is chamomile tea, and what makes it so special? Let’s take a look at the unique properties of chamomile tea as both a tasty beverage and a health supplement, as well as what the best chamomile brands are for both.
What is Chamomile Tea?
Chamomile tea is derived from flowers and buds of the chamomile plant. Caffeine-free and gluten-free, it can be enjoyed by a variety of people regardless of health concerns, as it won’t cause anxiety or an upset stomach. Traditionally, it is a bedtime tea heralded for its calming effects.
What Does Chamomile Tea Taste Like?
Chamomile tea is a delicious blend of fruity and herbal notes and has a smooth and refreshing finish. Many who partake of chamomile tea describe it as tasting a bit like an earthy apple. The robust but gentle scent is relaxing which made it popular in ancient times as a scenting agent.
The Chamomile Calm
Chamomile tea increases the production of serotonin and melatonin in your body. Both hormones can help improve mood and alleviate stress. Also rich in antioxidants, chamomile tea helps to open blood vessels to promote more efficient circulation, which helps with inflammation and alleviates minor aches and pains, including headaches. While the effect is not particularly strong, it makes for a perfect tea to sip on before bed.
Does Chamomile Tea Help with Anxiety?
The same serotonin and melatonin production encouraged by chamomile tea for sleep also helps with anxiety. While the effect is not strong enough to be a substitute for medication, it can help alleviate minor day-to-day anxiety and promote relaxation.
Are There Other Health Benefits of Chamomile Tea?
Chamomile tea boosts immune health, as it is rich in antibacterial properties, and the robust but gentle scent can clear sinuses. It is also great for digestive problems, and to relieve gas or prevent stomach ulcers, while the anti-inflammatory nature of chamomile helps prevent diarrhea. Lastly, chamomile may be used as a topical treatment for skin conditions such as eczema and rosacea and may help improve scar healing as well as minimize wrinkles.
Best Chamomile Tea Brands
With all the different chamomile tea brands to choose from, it can be hard to find the best option for you. Don’t worry, you’ll be sipping some nice, calming chamomile tea in no time! It’s helpful to think through the following factors (and determine which are the most important to you).
Loose Leaf vs. Bagged Chamomile Tea – Tea connoisseurs will shun bagged tea since it’s usually not as fresh and has less flavor. When looking for the highest quality tea, it’s best to go the loose-leaf route. However, bagged tea is the most convenient way to enjoy your tea. Also, you’ll often save money when going with bagged chamomile tea (usually mass-produced).
Organic – There are plenty of great organic chamomile tea options available. Similar to groceries you’ll pay a bit more for organic but at least you won’t have to worry about chemical fertilizers or pesticides in your tea.
Price – There is a wide range of quality from the super cheap options of chamomile teas compared to the more expensive. Look beyond the branding and marketing when evaluating price. Instead, focus on the type of chamomile, where it’s sourced, or if it’s mass-produced.
Pure Chamomile Tea – Keep an eye out for blends. Sometimes lower-cost fillers or additives are used to keep manufacturing cost down.
With the considerations above in mind, here are our favorite Chamomile tea brands.
Best Bagged Chamomile Tea Brand
Traditional Medicinals Organic Chamomile Tea
With Traditional Medicinals Chamomile tea you’ll get to enjoy organic Egyptian chamomile tea in the convenience of a bag. While it may not be as potent as loose leaf tea, this is a great option if you’re buying bagged tea. Traditional Medicinals is a trusted brand that’s been making high-quality tea since 1974.
- Cultivated from Fair Trade Certified Farms
- Sourced from Egypt
- 100% Pure Chamomile
Best Chamomile Tea for Your Budget
Celestial Seasonings Chamomile Tea
People love this tea, just check out some of the reviews on Amazon. While it’s not organic or anything fancy, it’s a bagged chamomile tea at an affordable price. This is the brand you’ll likely find at your local supermarket or drug store. It’s gluten-free and caffeine-free (most chamomile teas are). Celestial Seasonings first started in 1969 in Colorado. Now they produce over 100 tea varieties and they claim to serve more than 1.6 billion cups of tea per year. That’s a lot of tea!
- 100% Chamomile
- Great value
- Top-Rated on Amazon
Best Loose Leaf Chamomile Tea
U.S Wellness Naturals Chamomile Tea
Okay, so if you want the real flavors of chamomile and are the most interested in the medicinal benefits of chamomile, this is the tea for you. It’s a bag of dried chamomile flowers. While it’s sourced from Egypt this is the German Chamomile flower (Matricaria Chamomilla). The brand name could use some work but the product is amazing. Buyers are also opting for this pure product to use in their essential oils and face products.
- 100% Organic
- BPA Free (shouldn’t this be the case for every tea??)
- Sourced from Egyptian Al-Fayyam planes
What Chamomile Types Are the Best?
Egyptian Chamomile is generally considered the best chamomile tea. Native to the Nile River valley, it has the most balanced and widely-appealing flavor of all types. Egyptian chamomile has a unique taste because the environmental conditions of the region—the rich soil of the Nile—produces a fuller flavor and encourages exceptional smoothness
German Chamomile, sometimes called Italian chamomile, wild chamomile, or Hungarian chamomile, is a widely-used annual plant grown across Eurasia but can be found in many parts of the world. The reason German chamomile is sought-after is for its high concentration of bisabolol and chamazulene. These compounds produce the tea’s calming effects, generally making it the second best after the scarcer Egyptian chamomile (and thus one of the most widely used).
Roman Chamomile is sometimes simply called by its botanical name, which is Chamaemelum nobile. Roman chamomile has a bolder and more bitter taste, and so it often appears in tea blends to help smooth out the taste. While it still has chamomile’s classic health benefits, the relaxation is a bit less pronounced. Given its unique flavor, Roman chamomile is generally enjoyed more as a matter of preference by those with sophisticated palettes, and probably shouldn’t be chosen by those explicitly looking for health benefits.
How Do I Choose Chamomile Tea?
If you’re interested in trying out chamomile tea for its lovely taste or myriad health benefits, and you have an idea of what type of chamomile would be best for you, it can still be hard to determine how to go about picking out your tea. While you can grow chamomile in your own garden and enjoy a fresh cup of brewed chamomile anytime this way, it will require a lot of work for a relatively small yield.
Skip the teabags and look for loose flowers that are certified USDA organic, as these tend to be grown in more rural areas away from industrial pollutants, and generally include the best parts of the plants whereas tea bags include dust and less helpful parts of the plant. If you must use a tea bag for lack of options, try to find larger tea bags, and let your chamomile steep for a long period of time—this helps to allow the flowers to expand and release all their health benefits!
If you love Chamomile tea, check out our latest post on the best Green Tea brands!