I think if I were to ask, most people who have heard of the herb chamomile, know that it is known mostly as an evening tea for relaxation.  And for good reason. It is a traditional herbal remedy that has been used since ancient times for relief from stress, anxiety and insomnia.

Chamomile is widely regarded as a sleep inducer with mild sedative effects.  It has also been shown to be helpful with anxiety.  And is even thought to help with gastrointestinal conditions, like gas, diarrhea and upset stomach.  All those things make it a great reason to drink as a tea after a meal or in the evening before bed.

When it comes to sleep, there have been studies that show that chamomile had some benefit to help with sleep.  And then there was the study that showed no difference in helping with sleep with those that suffered from chronic insomnia.  As with most food and herbs, it is challenging to get good studies, simply because of so many variables from our own biology, environment, etc.

This is where the challenge lies when it comes to getting a good night’s sleep.  Trying this and then that in the pursuit of finding the “aha” thing that brings on sleep.  And in reality, it is not just one thing.  It is a combination of many things that brings the body into balance.

Yes, chamomile can relax the body and help with anxiety.  But if your body is out of balance with your diet or you never move your body or you stay in a chronic state of stress without relief or your hormones are not available to do their job or you believe that sleep is never going to happen for you, then yes, chamomile will not be enough to get you to sleep.  It supports the body, it cannot do all the work.

I happen to like the taste of chamomile tea.  I even use a chamomile essential oil at night when I want to try something other than lavender essential oil.  Recently my mentor made a stock using chamomile herbs rather than bone or vegetable broth.  That would certainly be helpful for those looking to relax with soup!  So you can see that are other things you can do with chamomile if tea is not your thing.

Practice relaxation especially before going to bed.  Sit back, unwind and pour yourself a cup of chamomile tea and relax.  Think about what is good in your life and what you are grateful for.  Keep it positive.  Breathe.  Journal your thoughts.  Have another sip.  Continue with your good thoughts as you make your last trip to the washroom before you gently slip into bed and enter a blissful night’s sleep.

Practice relaxation, chamomile cannot do all the work.