Chamomile is an herb that's commonly made into tea, although “hot infusion” is a more accurate term because chamomile is not a tea plant. Unlike black and green teas, herbal infusions do not contain caffeine, which is a well-known nervous system stimulant and diuretic. However, chamomile does contain other compounds that exhibit mild diuretic properties, which cause your body to lose water by stimulating more frequent urination. Consult with your doctor before intentionally using large doses of diuretics for weight loss or any medical condition.
If you are experiencing serious medical symptoms, seek emergency treatment immediately.
Diuretics cause forced diuresis, or increased water absorption, within your kidneys, which increases the rate of urination. There are several categories of diuretics based on how and where they affect your kidneys, but all diuretics increase the excretion of water from your body. Caffeine is the most commonly consumed compound with strong diuretic properties.
Sage Tea for Sweating
Chamomile is a slightly bitter flowering herb indigenous to many places in Europe and Asia. Fresh and dried chamomile flowers are commonly used to make herbal infusions or “tea.” Chamomile is consumed hot and cold and can be applied to the skin for various benefits. Ground chamomile flowers are also available as oral capsules and liquid extracts are made from its fresh flowers and leaves. Chamomile contains no caffeine and does not disrupt sleep cycles, so it is considered appropriate for consumption prior to going to bed.
- Chamomile is a slightly bitter flowering herb indigenous to many places in Europe and Asia.
- Chamomile is consumed hot and cold and can be applied to the skin for various benefits.
According to “The New Healing Herbs” by Michael Castleman, chamomile displays mild diuretic properties and has been traditionally used in countries such as:
- Turkey to treat bladder problems
- menstrual cramps
- lung congestion
- edema 2
Chamomile is also considered a mild laxative.
Dandelion & Breastfeeding
Chamomile is probably best known and used as a sleep aid and to combat insomnia, because it has a calming effect on the nervous system. According to “Medical Herbalism” by David Hoffman, other properties displayed by chamomile include anti-inflammatory, mild antimicrobial and muscle relaxing effects. As such, chamomile is also used to promote digestion, reduce intestinal parasites, combat anxiety and help with the symptoms of rheumatism. Although chamomile is typically consumed at night, its mild diuretic properties might cause sleep disruption because of the need to urinate. So drink it in moderation, and try to empty your bladder just prior to going to bed.
- Chamomile is probably best known and used as a sleep aid and to combat insomnia, because it has a calming effect on the nervous system.
- As such, chamomile is also used to promote digestion, reduce intestinal parasites, combat anxiety and help with the symptoms of rheumatism.
Sage Tea for Sweating
Dandelion & Breastfeeding
The Side Effects of Echinacea Tea
Is Cardamom a Stimulant Like Caffeine?
Herbs That Relax Bladder Muscles
Herbs to Use in Steam Baths
Spearmint Tea and Caffeine
Herbal Beta Blockers for Anxiety
Manzanilla Tea Benefits
Herbal Alternatives to Xanax
- “Human Biochemistry and Disease”; Gerald Litwack; 2008
- “The New Healing Herbs”; Michael Castleman; 2010
- “Medical Herbalism: The Science Principles and Practices of Herbal Medicine”; David Hoffman; 2003
- Health Information Library: Roman Chamomile. PennState Hershey/Milton S. Hershey Medical Center.
- Chamomile Fact Sheet. National Center for Complimentary and Integrative Health.
- Amsterdam, J., Shults, J., Soeller, I., Mao, J., Rockwell, K., Newberg, A. (2013). Chamomile May Have Antidepressant Activity in Anxious Depressed Humans - An Exploratory Study. Alternative Therapies in Health and Medicine. 18(5): 44–49.
- Rice, C. (2017). Essential Oil Dilutions & Conversions Guide. Mountain Rose Herbs.
- Sándor, Z., Mottaghipisheh, J., Veres, K., Hohmann, J., Bencsik, T., Csupor, D. (2018). Evidence Supports Tradition: The in Vitro Effects of Roman Chamomile on Smooth Muscles. Frontiers in Pharmacology. doi:10.3389/fphar.2018.00323.
- Shinomiya K, Inoue T, Utsu Y, Tokunaga S, Masuoka T, Ohmori A, Kamei C. (2005). Hypnotic activities of chamomile and passiflora extracts in sleep-disturbed rats. Biological and Pharmaceutical Bulletin.
- Srivastava, J. K., Shankar, E., & Gupta, S. (2010). Chamomile: A herbal medicine of the past with bright future. Molecular Medicine Reports, 3(6), 895-901. doi:10.3892/mmr.2010.377.
Sirah Dubois is currently a PhD student in food science after having completed her master's degree in nutrition at the University of Alberta. She has worked in private practice as a dietitian in Edmonton, Canada and her nutrition-related articles have appeared in The Edmonton Journal newspaper.