Modern-day consumers have taken “you are what you eat” seriously and are leaving no stones unturned to eat healthier and better. As we turn more conscious about what we put inside our body, we don’t mind foregoing certain foods to follow a gut-friendly diet. Those suffering from digestive conditions like IBS find significant relief by following a well-planned FODMAP food list.
The idea is quite simple - eliminate the high FODMAP foods and incorporate low FODMAP foods. But have you ever considered the FODMAP in beverages? Here, we will take a look at everyone’s favourite stomach-pleasing tea - chamomile. Does it count as one of the low FODMAP drinks? Let’s dive right in!
How To Make Chamomile Tea?
To make chamomile tea, you will need -
- Two cups of water
- Three teaspoons of dried chamomile (include more petals for a strong brew)
- A teaspoon of beet sugar (optional)
Following is a step-by-step process to make chamomile tea -
- Transfer the water to a saucepan to heat.
- Bring the water to a roiling boil, then switch off the flame.
- Add the chamomile tea leaves and cover the saucepan.
- Let the brew sit for a minute or so.
- Strain out the tea, stir in the beet sugar (optional), and serve.
Benefits Of Chamomile Tea
Chamomile tea is well-known for its calming effects and to soothe any stomach issues. A few science-backed benefits of chamomile tea include -
1. Relief From Menstrual Pain
Studies indicate that consuming chamomile tea can reduce the severity of menstrual cramps and can also alleviate anxiety and distress that often accompanies dysmenorrhea.
2. Helps Manage Blood Glucose
Those with diabetes can supplement their regular medical treatment with chamomile tea. The beverage is said to regulate blood glucose levels and reduce the associated complications.
3. Prevents The Onset Of Osteoporosis
Osteoporosis is a condition characterized by loss in bone density. Preliminary research suggests that the anti-estrogenic impact of chamomile tea may help build bone density and prevent or slow down the onset of the condition.
4. Reduces Inflammation
Chamomile tea contains several bioactive compounds that could help reduce inflammation. And while chamomile cannot treat chronic inflammatory diseases, it sure can help as short-term relief.
5. Possesses Anti-Cancer Properties
Due to the antioxidants, studies indicate that chamomile herbal tea can selectively target cancerous cells. However, the study also indicated that marigold tea was more potent to deliver this effect. Further, it also bears mentioning here that most of the research so far is fairly inconclusive and scientists may have to conduct more studies to support this claim.
6. Helps Relax & Improves Sleep Quality
Chamomile tea is a well-known beverage touted for its mind relaxing properties. Clinical trials discovered that subjects who drank chamomile tea found it easier to fall asleep.
Side Effects Of Chamomile Tea
While chamomile tea comes with a volley of health benefits, it also has its fair share of drawbacks. Primarily, the drawbacks are related to the allergic reactions to the herb.
As such, the side effects include -
- Contact dermatitis or skin reaction to the petals
- Anaphylaxis shock
- Nausea and vomiting if consumed in large amounts
Is Chamomile Tea Low FODMAP?
According to the Monash University research, Chamomile tea contains high levels of FODMAPs in both servings. So, unfortunately, you cannot regularly have chamomile tea for IBS and its symptoms.
Best Tea For IBS - Alternatives To Chamomile Tea
Now that you know that chamomile tea is high on FODMAPs, here are some low FODMAP teas that you can try instead -
1. Peppermint Tea
The cooling peppermint tea is one of the best drinks for IBS. It grants health benefits similar to chamomile tea such as easing digestive upsets, relieving menstrual pain, and improving mood.
2. Green Tea
Green tea is the best tea for IBS due to its low FODMAP content. It contains a wealth of healthy bioactive compounds and antioxidants that can take care of the repair and maintenance of your body.
3. White Tea
White tea is rich in antioxidants and can help reduce weight and improve gut health. It can also improve cardiovascular functioning and regulate blood sugar levels.
4. Black Tea
Black tea is low on FODMAPs for both, 180ml and 250ml servings. However, if you are to mix any whitener, make sure that it is low FODMAP as well. Black tea also improves digestive and cardiovascular health.
What are the variants of chamomile?
There are two main variants of chamomile tea, namely the German Chamomile (Chamomile Recutita) and Roman or English Chamomile (Chamaemelum Nobile). The former is used for making tea, while the latter finds use in skin and hair care.
Does chamomile tea contain caffeine?
Since chamomile is not traditionally a “tea” but more like a herbal infusion, it does not contain any caffeine.
Can children drink chamomile tea?
Children can benefit from the immune-building properties of chamomile tea. Unless they are on a low FODMAP diet, you can give them chamomile tea for treating common ailments like sore throat, congestion, and cough.
Medically reviewed by Onikepe Adegbola, MD PhD