Manzanilla Tea Benefits and Side Effects

Manzanilla Tea—or Chamomile Tea—May Calm Stomach Upset

Herbal tea with camomile sprigs, close-up
Maximilian Stock Ltd. / Getty Images

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

What Is Manzanilla Tea?

Manzanilla 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.

Manzanilla tea—or 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.

Manzanilla 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.

How to Prepare Manzanilla Tea

Manzanilla 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.

5 Steps to Prepare Manzanilla  Tea

  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 90-95º Celsius or 194-205º Fahrenheit. 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 Manzanilla tea with other ingredients to boost the sweetness. Add a small amount of milk, honey, or sugar to sweeten the drink. Consume while warm.

Manzanilla Tea Health Benefits

Manzanilla 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.

A study published in the Journal of Advanced Nursing found that drinking chamomile tea helped postpartum women alleviate depression and sleep better.

However, the Therapeutic Research Center Natural Medicine database, and Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center advise that evidence to support the use of chamomile to improve sleep is lacking.

Other reports say that the chamomile in manzanilla tea help 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.

Manzanilla Tea 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.

Sources:

Chamomile. Memorial Sloan Kettering Integrative Medicine About Herbs, Botanicals & Other Products.https://www.mskcc.org/cancer-care/integrative-medicine/herbs/chamomile-german

Chamomile. National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health. https://nccih.nih.gov/health/valerian

Chang, Shao-Min, and Chung-Hey Chen. “Effects of an Intervention with Drinking Chamomile Tea on Sleep Quality and Depression in Sleep Disturbed Postnatal Women: a Randomized Controlled Trial.” Journal of Advanced Nursing 72.2 (2015): 306–315.

German Camomile. Therapeutic Research Center. Natural Medicines Database. https://naturalmedicines.therapeuticresearch.com/databases/food,-herbs-supplements/professional.aspx?productid=951

Roman Camomile. Therapeutic Research Center. Natural Medicines Database.https://naturalmedicines.therapeuticresearch.com/databases/food,-herbs-supplements/professional.aspx?productid=752