10 Spectacular Benefits of Manzanilla (Chamomile) Tea

10 Spectacular Benefits of Manzanilla (Chamomile) Tea
January 5, 2016 6:00 PM

This detailed post features 10 amazing benefits of Manzanilla (Chamomile) tea. We also describe some risks and side effects of Manzanilla tea, its nutritional values and historical background. Have a good read!

Tea has been a part of the human culture for many centuries. Tea started out as a concoction made by medicine men to treat many aliments but as time passed it became a necessity in many homes to start the day or to entertain guests.

Tea is a beverage that is basically prepared by pouring hot water over tea leaves (dried or fresh). When tea first became popular there were on a few blends available but now a days there are hundreds of different blends available in the market, some of these blends are more common than the other.

All tea lovers out there that only drink one type of tea or blend should try some of the other blends. If you do you might find something that stimulates your palate and even your soul. Trying new types of teas is an adventure that only a tea lover can fully appreciate.

What is manzanilla tea?

Most of the people reading this will be thinking what is manzanilla tea? Well the simple answer is that manzanilla tea is the Spanish name of chamomile tea (1).

The word manzanilla literally means “little apples” and the word chamomile has its origin in Greek (chamaimēlon) that translates into “earthapple”.

Camomile (Manzanilla) tea

Manzanilla tea is one of the most popular and most consumed tea in the world. Manzanilla tea has a soothing flowery aroma and delicious fruity taste. In the Asteraceae family many daisy like plants are commonly referred to as chamomile.

The plants from this family are used to make herbs that have many medicinal uses. Manzanilla tea is made from the dried flowers of chamomile flowers.

The flowers are white and yellow that grow on long stems with long narrow leaves. Manzanilla tea is mostly made from two speciesGerman chamomile (Matricarisretutica) and Roman chamomile (Chamaemelumnobile)of the Asteraceaefamily.

Chamomile plant is not only used to make tea but also used by many pharmaceutical companies to harness its medical properties. Although manzanilla tea has many uses it is especially useful for people with anxiety and insomnia.
 

Background of manzanilla tea

The history of chamomile can be trace back to ancient Egyptian times. Chamomile was mentioned as a cure for fever and referred to as “ague” (2). The dried chamomile flowers were used on skin to enhance esthetics. The most prominent use of chamomile in Egyptian times was that its essence was used in embalming fluid to preserve the dead pharaohs. The word chamomile originated in Greece from the word (chamaimēlon) that means “earth apples”.

In the years to come chamomile was used to add flavor to drinks, aroma to candles and as medicinal herb. The plants of chamomile are native to Western Europe and Northern America. Roman chamomile was discovered by English Botanist in the Coliseum growing wild and he brought it back to England, later it became the primary type of chamomile to be cultivated. Chamomile was brought to America and planted by colonists.

As the years passed the seeds to chamomile made it into the wild and now they can be found in many fields. In the ancient Anglo-Saxon manuscript chamomile was referred to as one of the “nine sacred herbs” of “Lacnunga”.
  

Nutritional values of manzanilla tea

Manzanilla tea has an abundance of health benefits (3, 4). Manzanilla tea has a soothing property that not only helps relax the body but also the mind, for this reason manzanilla tea is recommended when someone is experiencing anxiety or cramps.

Manzanilla tea is great for health because it contains no fat or cholesterol and a negligible amount of calories.

The other nutritional plus point of manzanilla tea is that it contains iron and vitamin A.Indubitably many people like to add different things to their tea to give it a little extra punch of flavor.

The most commonly added ingredients to manzanilla tea are a dash of honey, few teaspoons of milk, drops of lemon or just plain sugar.

When these things are added to a cup of tea its nutritional value is altered.

The nutritional value given below is for plain brewed manzanilla tea without any additives.

Nutritional values of manzanilla tea

Serving Size 1 cup (8 oz)

Calories 2
Total fat 0 g (0%)
Saturated fat 0.005 g (0%)
Polyunsaturated fat 0.012 g
Monounsaturated fat 0.002 g
Cholesterol 0 mg (0%)
Sodium 2 mg (0%)
Potassium  21 mg
Dietary fiber 0 g (0%)
Protein 0 g
Vitamin A 1%
Vitamin C 0%

       

Caffeine in manzanilla tea

When we drink any type of tea the first question to pop into our head is whether it contains caffeine or not. Let me ask you do you know what caffeine is?

Caffeine is an alkaloid that is present in tea leaves and coffee beans, it helps stimulate the central nervous system that’s helps fight off sleep and keep you alert.

Coffee beans as source of caffeine

While most teas do contain caffeine, manzanilla contains no caffeine (5). Manzanilla tea has the opposite effect on the body then that of caffeine. It has a physical and mental soothing effect and also helps with cramps and fever. Due to the absence of caffeine it is also safe for babies (6).

Benefits of manzanilla tea for skin and hair

Chamomile has been used for centuries in candles to impart aroma, for esthetic purposes and for its medicinal properties. Chamomile leaves has been used as early as by Egyptians for cosmetic reasons. But its use in beverages came about much later than that. Following are a few benefits of chamomile (manzanilla) tea for skin and hair (7, 8, 3):

  • Prevents dandruff: While half the population in the world suffers from dandruff problem they still don’t know what it really is. Dandruff is the dead skin cells (flakes) of your scalp and everyone normally experiences it in a little amount but some people have unusually large amount of flaking. The flaking can be chronic or it can be triggered by different things. Flaking can cause irritation and redness of the scalp. There are many specialized shampoos that help deal with dandruff. Manzanilla tea has anti-dandruff properties. Rinsing your hair with manzanilla tea not only helps eliminate dandruff but it also prevents it from coming back. The soothing properties also help reduce the irritation of the scalp.
  • Lightens hair: Different people have different hair styles and colors and it’s a part of their personality. Changing hair color can drastically alter a person’s appearance. Manzanilla tea has natural beaching properties. Manzanilla tea can be used as a hair rinse to gradually lighten hair color. Manzanilla tea gives brown hair nice golden highlights and brightens blond hair. When manzanilla tea is combined with henna it’s a great way to naturally incorporate highlights into your hair.
  • Brightens skin:Who doesn’t love bright and smooth skin? In this cutthroat world appearance is vital. These days due to all the junk food that we consume and environmental pollution, skin problems are becoming more common. While there are many professional and expensive ways to brighten your skin, manzanilla tea is a good alternative. Manzanilla tea has antibacterial and bleaching properties so it not only brightens your skin but also helps reduce acne. Using manzanilla tea to rinse your face for a few days can visible brighten the skin and give it a fresher look. Manzanilla tea can be mixed with powdered milk to make scrubs and it can also be mixed with egg whites to make a facial mask. 

Other health benefits of manzanilla tea

Manzanilla tea is chock full of health benefits. The medicinal importance and use of manzanilla tea has been noted since ancient Egyptian times.

Manzanilla tea has been mostly used for its sedative and antispasmodic properties. But these are not the only useful properties of manzanilla tea, it also has antibacterial, anti-inflammatory and deodorant properties.

Manzanilla tea leaves extract has been used by many pharmaceutical companies to make drugs. It has also been used in soaps, ointments and face washes. Given below are some of the health benefits of manzanilla tea:

  • Cramps: Muscle cramps occur due to sudden involuntary contraction of the muscles. These cramps can range from mild discomfort to painful. Manzanilla tea has natural antispasmodic properties that helps sooth and relive these contracted muscles. Drinking manzanilla tea also helps sooth those uncomfortable menstrual cramps (9). Rubbing the extract of manzanilla tea leaves on the effected muscle can also be beneficial.
  • Wounds and burns: Manzanilla tea has natural antibacterial and wound healing ability (10, 11). Extract from manzanilla tea leaves has been used for centuries to treat burns and wounds. Applying a manzanilla extract on wounds not only helps them heal faster but also helps prevent infection. Due to its soothing properties manzanilla helps sooth the sting of burns. Drinking manzanilla tea can also help with reduce the irritation caused by burns and wounds.
  • Insomnia: When we are young we think the naps are punishments and early bedtimes are just so when we go to sleep parents can have all the fun. But as to grow up we start to realize that those afternoon naps were not punishment but a luxury and those early bed times start to sound pretty good. But as people grow up a lot of them have trouble sleeping, this could be due to stress or number of other reasons. Some people take sleeping pills to help then sleep but those pills have their own side effects. Manzanilla tea is a great alternative to sleeping pills. Manzanilla tea has natural sedative and muscle relaxant properties that might help you to sleep better (12).
  • Hemorrhoids (piles): Hemorrhoid is a swollen vein or group of swollen veins at the anus region that makes defecation difficult and painful. Sometimes these veins become so thin and tout that the start to bleed during defecation. Hemorrhoid is often associated with constipation. Manzanilla tea has a natural soothing ability that helps relieve the pain and it also helps with bowel movements (13, 14).
  • Antioxidant: In our body there are many chemical reaction that are occurring all the time, one of these reactions is oxidation that causes the formation of free radical. These free radicals cause a chain reaction that ultimately causes damage to the cells that can lead to reduced immunity, cancer and many different diseases. Manzanilla tea contains antioxidants that help to neutralize these free radical and prevent the body from disease. Antioxidants also give your skin a fresher and younger look (15).
  • Ulcers: Stomach ulcers occur when there is a breach in the mucosal lining, this can be caused by stress or a number of other causes. These ulcers are painful and cause discomfort while eating. Drinking manzanilla tea helps sooth stomach ache caused by ulcers. Manzanilla tea has an alkaline pH that does not aggravate the ulcers and helps prevent infection due to its antibacterial properties (16, 17).
  • Migraines: Anyone who has ever had a migraine will tell you what a bad experience that is. The most common cause of migraine is stress and nausea often accompanies it. Manzanilla tea is great for both the migraine and the nausea. Due to its soothing and sedative properties it’s a great alternative to pharmaceutical medicine for migraine (18).  

Side effects of manzanilla tea

Everyone loves herbal tea not only due to their refreshing taste but also due to their ability to heal and sooth. But it’s a natural phenomenon that everything has both good and bad aspects. Although manzanilla tea has an abundance of health benefits, it also has some side effects.

Pills of different color

The side effects should carefully be considered especially before giving manzanilla tea to babies. Following are a few main side effects of manzanilla tea:

  • Allergic reaction: The most major cause of concern when drinking manzanilla tea is allergic reaction. Although it is not so common but people who have pollen allergy or are allergic of ragweed should talk to your health care provider before drinking manzanilla tea. The allergic reaction due to manzanilla tea can range from mild tosever. The indication of mild allergic reaction is a skin rash while in severe allergic reaction it is difficult to breathe (anaphylactic shock) (19).
  • Eye infection: Manzanilla tea has been used for its many esthetic and medical benefits. Sometimes people use teabags to help reduce swelling around eyes or to diminish dark circles under the eyes. But while it might be a good idea with other teas using manzanilla teabag on eyes is not. Using manzanilla teabags as a compress on your eyes might cause allergic conjunctivitis which is commonly known as pink eye. So before using manzanilla teabag as eye compress think at least twice (20).
  • Blood thinner: Manzanilla tea is a natural blood thinner so it might cause unnecessary bleeding from minor cuts. If you are about to undergo any dental or medical surgery, you should talk to your doctor if you should stop drinking the tea. Due to its blooding thinning property it might cause unnecessary complication during surgery. The other thing to keep in mind is that manzanilla tea should be avoided if you are taking any blood thinners like aspirin or warfarin (21, 22).
  • Drug interaction: Manzanilla tea is a natural mild sedative and blood thinner due to this it can interact with some drugs and cause undesired reactions. Possible interaction between manzanilla tea and warfarin and cyclosporine have been reported. Warfarin and cyclosporine have a very narrow therapeutic index so people taking these drugs should avoid manzanilla tea (23, 24).
  • Pregnancy: There are poorly documented records of adverse reactions due to manzanilla tea. It is the belief of some that drinking manzanilla tea can cause spontaneous miscarriage or induce early labor. Whether manzanilla tea is safe during pregnancy or not is a controversial topic. While there is not sufficient proof that manzanilla is harmful during pregnancy, it’s better to be safe than sorry so before drinking manzanilla tea consult with your doctor about it (25, 26).
  • Asthma aggravation: Drinking manzanilla tea is a great way to relive stress and relax. While most teas help sooth asthma, manzanilla tea might aggravate it. While is exact reason for the aggravation of asthma is unknown, it could also be due to allergic reaction. The aroma of manzanilla tea might not agree with some people and that might also be the cause of aggravation of asthma (27, 28).

Manzanilla tea and babies

A baby is the Gods gift and he or she should be loved and cherished. But when your baby is waking you up every hour in the middle of the night it’s a little hard to be thankful. The major complain and cause of stress for most parents of young children is the lack of sleep they have to endure.

It takes a few months for the baby to sleep through the night and even then they wake up at least once a night. And the lack of sleep or disturbed sleep not only makes the parents tense but also makes the baby irritable. For centuries parents have tried each and every home remedy they know to help their baby sleep better. Manzanilla tea is made from chamomile, which is a mild sedative that helps sooths the baby and helps him or her sleep (29).

While most teas have caffeine, manzanilla tea is completely caffeine free so it’s safe for the baby. A few ounces of lukewarm manzanilla tea not only helps the baby sleep but it’s also great for belly aches and fevers. Manzanilla tea has been used for centuries because of medicinal properties and soothing effect. The only thing to look out for when you give a baby manzanilla tea is allergic reaction. Although allergic reactions to manzanilla tea are not so common baby that are allergic to ragweed are especially sensitive to it (30). 

Preparation of manzanilla tea

The flavor of manzanilla tea is hard to explain. The tea leaves for manzanilla tea belong to the daisy family thus the aroma resembles daisy flowers. Manzanilla tea is most often delineated as fruity, but the best way to know what it really tastes like is to try it.

Making tea is basically a simple process and if you ask tea drinker most of them will say that they find the process of making tea as soothing as drinking it. Manzanilla tea can be prepared from dried leaves or fresh leaves.

This tea can be made in various different way by various methods. Following are two simple methods to make tea, one is for dried leaves and the other is for fresh leaves.

Manzanilla tea from dried leaves

Ingredients:

  • Dried tea leaves
  • Water
  • Milk, lemon, honey, mint (optional)

Steps for making manzanilla tea:

  • Take a cup or a mug and place about two teaspoon of dried manzanilla leaves into it.
  • Now heat water on the stove or oven to the boiling point.
  • Pour the boiling water into the cup.
  • Let it stand for a minute.
  • Now add mint leaves, few drops of honey, few spoons of milk or a dash on honey. Weather to add these or not is up to you and your palate.
  • Now mix the tea with a small spoon.
  • Now sit in a comfy chair and enjoy your tea. 

Manzanilla tea from fresh leaves

Making manzanilla tea from fresh leaves is basically the same is making it from dried leaves the only main difference is that it takes a little longer to infuse. The tea made from fresh leaves has a richer flavor then which is made from dried leaves.

Ingredients:

  • Fresh manzanilla leaves
  • Water
  • Milk, honey, mint leaves, lemon (optional)

Steps for making manzanilla tea:

  • Boil 8 ounces of water in a tea kettle.
  • When the water reaches the boiling point turn off the stove.
  • Now place 4 teaspoons of fresh manzanilla leaves into the tea kettle and mix vigorously.
  • Cover the kettle and let the tea leaves infuse for 5 minutes.
  • Now take a cup and place a sieve on it and pour your tea. If you like your tea extra hot then before you pour the tea, start the stove again for about a minute.
  • To enhance the flavors add a little bit a honey or few mint leaves.
Everyone likes there tea a certain way, some like it piping hot while some like it lukewarm, some like it plain while some like it with just a little extra flavor. So try different teas with different ingredients and expand you’re palates experience. Tea really helps sooth your body and mind so make yourself a cup and relax.

Things to remember about manzanilla tea

As you can see manzanilla tea has lots of benefits. First of all it has a positive effect on treatment of dandruff, it makes your hair shiny and brights your sking. It also has lots of health benefits and is useful in treatment of insomnia, muscle and menstrual cramps, hemerrhoids and migraines. Thanks to its antioxidant properties it is helpful as cancer prevention.

On the other hand manzanilla (chamomile) tea has some serious side effects. The most important one is probably a risk of allergic reaction (anaphylactic shock). It also has some blood thinning properties, which makes it contraindicated in patients taking warfarine or any other blood thinning drug.

Manzanilla tea contains no caffeine, which makes it a good tea to be used in kids. However there is a risk of allergic reaction in some kids, which tend to be more severe that in adults. 

If you intend to drink manzanilla tea you should always ask your physician for advice and consent. Do not use any teas or herbal medicine as self treatment without prior consent of your doctor.

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Written by: Michal Vilímovský (EN)
Education: Medical student, 3rd Faculty of Medicine, Charles University, Prague, Czech Republic
Article resources: See numbered evidence based references within the article.
Image resources: Dollarphotoclub.com and Pixabay.com
Published: January 5, 2016 6:00 PM
Next scheduled update: January 5, 2018 6:00 PM
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