Chamomile Tea Benefits and Side Effects

Manzanilla tea

Verywell / Alexandra Shytsman

Chamomile tea is also known as Manzanilla tea (Manzanilla is the Spanish word for chamomile). The herbal tea is popular for its medicinal benefits. Many people drink chamomile tea to calm stomach upset, relieve anxiety, improve sleep, and even to reduce muscle spasms or flatulence. But not all chamomile tea health benefits are supported by strong scientific evidence.

What Is Manzanilla Tea?

Chamomile tea—also called té de manzanilla or tea de manzanilla—is a tea that is produced from the chamomile plant. There are different kinds of chamomile: German (also called wild or Hungarian) chamomile and Roman chamomile. Each type is believed to provide different slightly different benefits.

  • German chamomile was originally grown in southern and eastern Europe and is believed to provide help with a wide range of conditions including travel sickness, flatulence, diarrhea, ADHD, stomach upset, restlessness, and insomnia. It is sometimes also used in cosmetics and soaps.
  • Roman chamomile may be used to relieve heartburn, loss of appetite, for menstrual discomfort and other conditions. Roman chamomile is also used as a fragrance in perfumes and tobacco products.

Chamomile tea can be made with either German or Roman chamomile. But many of the medical sources that report health benefits of manzanilla tea focus on German chamomile.

Chamomile tea made with German chamomile is likely to have a flavor that is compared to apples. The word chamomile is Greek for "earth apple." Tea drinkers often describe the herbal tea as having a light floral taste that is airy and enjoyable.


Chamomile tea is sold most often in tea bags, but you can also find some vendors that sell the loose leaf variety. You prepare this herbal tea as you would prepare most traditional teas.

  1. Place a tea bag or a tea infuser containing about one tablespoon of loose tea leaves in a teacup. You can also simply place loose tea leaves at the bottom of a cup.
  2. Heat water to 90-95 C or 194-205 F. If you don't have a temperature-controlled teapot, bring water to a boil and then let sit for a minute to reduce the temperature just slightly. 
  3. Pour eight ounces of water over the tea bag, infuser, or tea leaves.
  4. Let tea leaves steep for as long as desired, up to four or five minutes
  5. Remove the tea bag or infuser or strain loose leaves from the cup before drinking.

Some tea drinkers like to combine Chamomile tea with other ingredients to boost the sweetness. Add a small amount of milk, honey, or sugar to sweeten the drink. Consume while warm.

Health Benefits

Chamomile tea is believed to have calming properties. For that reason, many tea drinkers consume the beverage in times of stress to reduce anxiety or before bed to induce sleep. It has similar health benefits to linden tea.

A study published in 2015 in the Journal of Advanced Nursing found that drinking chamomile tea helped postpartum women alleviate depression and sleep better. However, the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center advises that evidence to support the use of chamomile to improve sleep is lacking.

Other reports say that the chamomile helps to relieve gastrointestinal conditions such as upset stomach, gas, and diarrhea. But the National Institutes of Health National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH) explains that not enough research has been conducted on humans to say for sure that these health benefits are certain.

Side Effects

If you are allergic to ragweed, chrysanthemums, marigolds, or daisies you may experience an allergic reaction to the chamomile in manzanilla tea. You should also avoid drinking manzanilla tea or chamomile in general if you are on warfarin or any blood thinners or if you are taking a sedative. Chamomile may increase the risk of side effects if you are taking cyclosporine or cytochrome P450 substrate drugs.

If you are unsure if drinking manzanilla tea or using chamomile may interfere with your medication, speak to your healthcare provider before consuming it.

5 Sources
Verywell Fit uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
  1. Srivastava JK, Shankar E, Gupta S. Chamomile: A herbal medicine of the past with bright futureMol Med Rep. 2010;3(6):895–901. doi:10.3892/mmr.2010.377

  2. Chang SM, Chen CH. Effects of an intervention with drinking chamomile tea on sleep quality and depression in sleep disturbed postnatal women: a randomized controlled trial. J Adv Nurs. 2016;72(2):306-15. doi:10.1111/jan.12836

  3. Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. Chamomile.

  4. Health National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health. Chamomile.

  5. Colombo D, Lunardon L, Bellia G. Cyclosporine and herbal supplement interactionsJ Toxicol. 2014;2014:145325. doi:10.1155/2014/145325

By Malia Frey, M.A., ACE-CHC, CPT
 Malia Frey is a weight loss expert, certified health coach, weight management specialist, personal trainer​, and fitness nutrition specialist.