Chamomile’s positive effect on relaxation, fighting depression and anxiety


Understandably, natural herbs can be an attractive home remedy alternative to physician prescribed psychopharmacology (Szafrański, 2014). Many people suffering from depression or anxiety could be helped if less expensive therapies were available (Amsterdam et al., 2012).

Results from research are still somewhat vague. Chang and Cheng (2016) see chamomile tea as a possible complementary treatment to relieve symptoms, although in the short-term only. Clearer results were reported from animal research. Can, Demir, Kiyan, and Demirci (2012) found an anxiety-reducing effect (and therefore a causal relationship) from intake of chamomile essential oil. Harati, Sadeghipour, Seifi, Kamalinejad, and Nikseresht (2014) expected an antioxidant effect of chamomile as the reason for its antidepressive benefits, but, although they found such an effect, it couldn’t be attributed to the functioning of the antioxidant system. From Salina (2015) we know that an active relaxing agent in chamomile is named apigenin, without knowing yet though what exactly the doses required and contained in a cup of tea would be. In a follow-up study, Amsterdam et al. (2012) found that chamomile “may provide clinically meaningful antidepressant activity (p. 44)”, indicating that they supposed to have found a causal relationship. The same was reported by Keefe, Mao, Soeller, Li, and Amsterdam (2016). The method to exclude the placebo effect in such research was to give participants pills either containing chamomile extract or a placebo.

So, it seems that several studies have confirmed an immediate negative causal relationship between the consumption of chamomile and depression and anxiety symptoms, although the responsible ingredient and the exact doses required in comparison to traditional drugs is still subject to further research (Keefe et al., 2016).

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Amsterdam, J. D., Shults, J., Soeller, I., Mao, J. J., Rockwell, K., & Newberg, A. B. (2012). Chamomile (Matricaria recutita) may provide antidepressant activity in anxious, depressed humans: an exploratory study. Alternative Therapies In Health And Medicine, 18(5), 44-49.

Can, O., Demir Özkay, U., Kiyan, H., & Demirci, B. (2012). Psychopharmacological profile of Chamomile (Matricaria recutita L.) essential oil in mice. Phytomedicine, 19(3/4), 306-310.

Chang, S., & Chen, C. (2016). 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), 306-315. doi:10.1111/jan.12836

Harati, E., Sadeghipour Roodsari, H. R., Seifi, B., Kamalinejad, M., & Nikseresht, S. (2014). The effect of oral Matricaria Chamomilla extract and selenium on postpartum depression and plasma oxidant-antioxidant system in mice. Tehran University Medical Journal, 71(10), 625-634.

Keefe, J. R., Mao, J. J., Soeller, I., Li, Q. S., & Amsterdam, J. D. (2016). Short-term open-label chamomile (Matricaria chamomilla L.) therapy of moderate to severe generalized anxiety disorder. Phytomedicine, 231699-1705. doi:10.1016/j.phymed.2016.10.013

Salina, S. (2015). Chamomile’s Calming Properties May Be Real. Environmental Nutrition, 38(2), 3.

Szafrański, T. (2014). [Herbal remedies in depression–state of the art]. Psychiatria Polska, 48(1), 59-73.

    • Ah, indeed; I fully agree. Lavender is very relaxing and reminds me of hiking in the Alps. I have a bag of lavender next to my pillow. Thank you for your input!

  • Chamomile is one of my favourote herbs. I drink the tea every evening before bed and I use the oil for various purposes. Love it!

    Always does the job for me. Calming, soothing and one of my favourote aromas. It’s also a pleasant tasting infusion. Who could ask for more? ?

    • Thank you for providing so much convincing and personal evidence. Your chamomile expertise 🙂 adds real value to the a bit dry article! All the best

      • I am having a chamomile tea right this minute actually, at the end of a somewhat challenging phone call. Last year I planted german and roman chamomile in my herb garden and both have seeded producing new seedlings. I am hoping for a good crop this year! Fresh tea all summer, at the very least 🙂

        Excuse my dodgy tablet keyboard. Not sure why the word ‘favourite’ had an ‘o’ where it had no business having one in my last reply…twice in fact haha. Feel free to edit 😉

    • I can just speak for myself in that case. Yes, I enjoy chamomile also in summer as a cold drink, for relaxation and recreation. Worth to try I think:-). Thanks for your comment / question and have a good day