The Glucose Lowering Benefits Of Calming Chamomile Tea

Chamomile tea has long been prized for its calming properties, but few people realize it’s also beneficial for glucose regulation. Traditionally, chamomile has been used to treat numerous inflammatory skin, nerve, and joint conditions, anxiety, and seep problems, gastrointestinal issues, and childhood fevers.

Chamomile and Glucose

Chamomile tea is also a beneficial addition to modern healthy lifestyles since it naturally helps normalize blood glucose levels, as research suggests:

  • When 64 individuals with type 2 diabetes, aged 30 to 60, drank chamomile tea three times daily, immediately following meals, for eight weeks they significantly lowered their A1C and serum insulin levels. This was in comparison with control subjects who drank water instead of tea. The chamomile also increased the participants’ cell-protecting antioxidant activity.
  • A laboratory study revealed that chamomile-supplemented animals had a substantial decrease in blood sugar levels compared to the control animals. The chamomile extract also reduced levels of two substances - ALR2 enzymes and sorbitol - that are associated with increased diabetes-related complications.
  • Researchers demonstrated that chamomile has a protective effect on insulin-producing pancreatic beta cells by reducing hyperglycemia-related oxidative stress.

Scientific literature further suggests chamomile helps improve cardiovascular conditions, stimulates the immune system, and may protect against some cancers.

Though doctors and diabetes researchers generally say more studies are needed before chamomile can be prescribed for diabetes care, those seeking natural ways to lower blood sugar may want to try drinking chamomile tea daily. Since regular consumption could have a lowering effect on glucose levels, additional monitoring is recommended—so is letting your doctor know what you’re up to.

Making A Cuppa Chamomile

“There are few hours in life more agreeable than the hour dedicated to the ceremony known as afternoon tea.” ~ Henry James, The Portrait of a Lady

For one agreeable cup of chamomile tea:

You will need:

  • 1 chamomile teabag, or 1 heaping teaspoon of loose-leaf chamomile tea or dried chamomile flowers.
  • 8 ounces (250 ml) fresh water, brought just to a boil
  • Optional add-ins such as honey, stevia, mint, or lemon

Preparation:

  1. Place the teabag or loose-leaf tea in a cup or mug. (Using an infuser, or infuser mug is suggested for loose-leaf tea.)
  2. Let the just-boiled water cool for about a minute, and then add it to your cup (chamomile is best when steeped in hot, not boiling water).
  3. Let the chamomile steep for 5 to 10 minutes, then remove the bag or leaves.
  4. If desired, add some mint, lemon, a bit of honey, or stevia (stevia sweetens without raising blood sugar).

This recipe is easily increased; just multiply the water and tea amounts by the number of people being served.

Chamomile Cautions

Chamomile is generally considered safe to consume, but it’s best to check with a doctor or pharmacist before adding it to your diet if taking medications, or living with a chronic health condition.

Individuals allergic to plants in the Asteraceae family (e.g., ragweed, echinacea, dandelions) may react to chamomile, and this herb can also aggravate asthma. The tea has blood-thinning properties that should be considered before medical or dental surgeries, or if people are taking blood thinners.

Since chamomile is a uterine stimulant, pregnant women should avoid it. Little is known about the effects of chamomile tea while breastfeeding, so new moms should check with a doctor before enjoying a cup.

Finally, since chamomile tea is a mild sedative, it’s best not to drink it and drive.

Sources: Diabetes UK, Science Daily, NCBI, The Tea Talk/Recipe
Photo: Pexels

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