Chamomile Tea and Lower Blood Sugar?

Researchers from Tabriz University of Medical Sciences in Iran have released the results of a small scale study, linking chamomile consumption to lower blood sugar.

The study, published in Nutrition, involved 64 people with diabetes between the ages of 30 and 60. For two months, half of the group was given water following each meal, while the remaining participants were to drink chamomile tea (3 grams of tea per 150 mL of hot water). The men and women in the study were asked to provide information about dietary habits and body measurements and blood tests were taken.

Chamomile tea

Chamomile tea

At the end of the eight week period, blood tests confirmed that those who consumed chamomile had lower blood sugar and their antioxidant levels were higher. Specifically, insulin levels and “glycosylated hemoglobin” (hemoglobin in the blood to which glucose is bound) were reduced, as well as a compound that indicates oxidative stress in diabetic patients.

The key factor in chamomile is a particular antioxidant called quercetin, researchers believe. Quercetin can have an impact on specific enzymes that are part of the diabetic response.

“Short-term intake of chamomile tea has beneficial effects on glycemic control and antioxidant status in patients with type 2 diabetes,” researchers concluded in the study.

The lead researchers were Maryam Zemestani, Maryam Rafraf and Mohammad Asghari-Jafarabadi. The study appeared in the August 2015 issue of Nutrition.

The results of this study were from a small sample and for a short period of time. Researchers will need to expand the study size and conduct the study for a long period to further explore this link.

Take a look at our past coverage of other potential benefits of chamomile for reduced mortality in older women and thyroid health.