Sweet-smelling chamomile is an ancient herbal medicine that has many health benefits. A cup of chamomile tea is a great way to treat problems in your digestive tract, including acid reflux symptoms. So is chamomile tea good for acid reflux? You bet it is! Read this article to discover why, discover more about how acid reflux works, and what you can do about it.
What is acid reflux?
Acid reflux happens when stomach acid forces its way from your stomach back up into your esophagus or food pipe. You may experience a burning sensation or chest pain when this occurs, which is heartburn.
Acid reflux usually happens because you have too much pressure on your stomach or your lower esophageal sphincter is too relaxed.
Your lower esophageal sphincter is a one-way muscular valve located where your esophagus or food pipe joins your stomach. In normal circumstances, once the food is in your stomach, your sphincter muscle should shut tight, so gastric acid can’t reflux.
Reasons why your lower esophageal sphincter could be loose and causing acid reflux include:
- eating large meals
- spicy foods
- fatty and fried foods
- citrus fruits and fruit juices made from citrus
- fizzy drinks
- wearing tight clothing or a belt
Symptoms of acid reflux
- burning sensation or chest pain
- sore throat
- upset stomach
- stomach cramps or stomach pain
- bitter taste in your mouth
- weight loss
If not treated quickly, acid reflux may develop into gastroesophageal reflux disease, ulcers in your gastrointestinal tract, Barrett’s esophagus, and in rare cases, esophageal cancer.
What is chamomile?
Caffeine-free and sweet-smelling chamomile is an ancient medicinal herb. It’s a member of the daisy family (Asteraceae/Compositae family) that also includes sunflowers, chrysanthemums, and daisies.
There are two common varieties of chamomile, German Chamomile (Chamomilla Recutita) and Roman Chamomile (Chamaemelum Nobile). You use chamomile flowers to treat a wide range of health problems medicinally.
Chamomile essential oil is widely used in cosmetics and aromatherapy. You can also get chamomile extract supplements. However, the most popular form of chamomile is herbal tea.
Health benefits of chamomile tea for acid reflux
There are many health benefits of chamomile tea. In fact, drinking a cup of chamomile tea or two daily may improve your overall health.
Inflammation is associated with many digestive tract problems, including acid reflux, gastroesophageal reflux disorder, and irritable bowel syndrome.
Chamomile has been used for its anti-inflammatory properties for centuries. You can use it to treat inflammation, both on your skin and mucus membranes inside your body.
Chamomile flavonoids and essential oils can penetrate below the skin surface into the deeper skin layers, which can help soothe the lining of your digestive system and reduce inflammation (5).
Drinking a cup of chamomile tea may give you the same benefits as taking an over-the-counter aspirin.
Mild sedative and muscle relaxant
Chamomile extract is well-known for its mild sedative effect. A soothing cup of chamomile tea has a calming effect and can help you sleep and reduce stress, both of which are important for reducing acid reflux symptoms.
Stress is a significant cause of acid reflux and gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) because stress has a direct impact on your digestive system. Recent studies have shown a high percentage of GERD sufferers have anxiety, depression, or both (1, 2, 3, 4)
When you are under stress, muscles in your digestive tract spasm, and this can cause diarrhea or constipation. Tensing your muscles is also a response to stress, which puts pressure on your stomach, causing bloating and gas. A review of studies found that chamomile can relieve these effects (5).
Production of stomach acid increases, which can contribute to reflux and, if left untreated, may cause a peptic ulcer to form.
High levels of cortisol in your body are associated with stress and anxiety. There is scientific evidence that chamomile extract is an effective treatment for stress and can relieve symptoms of depression (6, 7).
A review of studies found that chamomile, as one ingredient among others in a herbal medicine, lowered gastric acidity and a commercial antacid and was more effective than antacids at preventing secondary hyperacidity (8).
More research is needed to see if chamomile can have this effect on its own.
Treatment for sore throat and hoarse voice
Anecdotal and scientific evidence suggests chamomile can effectively treat a sore throat and hoarse voice, both of which are common symptoms of acid reflux.
In a clinical study, chamomile extract spray effectively prevented patients from getting a sore throat after having a surgical tube removed from their throat after surgery. Those who received the chamomile extract spray fared better than those who received the standard anesthetic spray.
Treatment for ulcers and stomach acidity
In animal studies, chamomile was a good treatment for peptic ulcers, commonly associated with stomach pain in patients with gastrointestinal reflux (9). Chamomile extract reduces the production of stomach acid, which allows ulcers to heal.
Other health benefits of chamomile
If you drink a soothing cup of chamomile tea regularly, your overall health may benefit. A cup of chamomile tea can strengthen your immune system and help relieve cold symptoms (5).
Chamomile extract is a common ingredient in skin creams used to treat eczema and wounds (6).
But did you know your cup of tea can help mild skin irritations like itchy, scaly skin too? You can soak in a bath with chamomile tea.
Or you can steep chamomile flowers in boiling water for 20 minutes and allow the tea to cool. Then you soak a cotton wool ball in the tea and dab it onto your skin. Wash off with cool water after ten minutes.
Chamomile extract significantly reduces blood pressure in hypertensive patients and helps lower blood sugar levels (6).
There is also scientific evidence to suggest one of the phenolic compounds in chamomile, apigenin, can inhibit the growth of cancer cells (6).
Potential adverse effects of chamomile tea
It would be rare for you to have an allergic reaction to chamomile. If you are sensitive to ragweed and chrysanthemums or other members of the Compositae family, you are more prone to have an allergic reaction to chamomile.
There isn’t much scientific evidence about how other medicines react with chamomile.
Also, the safety of chamomile for children, pregnant or breastfeeding women, or those with liver or kidney disease has not been scientifically proven. But there have not been any credible reports of toxicity caused by this herbal tea either.
You should seek medical advice if you use chamomile tea as a natural remedy for acid reflux symptoms.
Other herbal teas that are good for acid reflux symptoms
A soothing tea is a great way to manage your acid reflux symptoms. To find the best tea for you, it’s a good idea to try out a variety of herbal teas that are known to have a calming effect on your digestive tract.
Ginger root is a popular herbal medicine widely used in traditional Chinese medicine. This herbal tea provides many health benefits that can relieve symptoms of acid reflux.
It has a calming effect on your digestive tract due to its anti-inflammatory properties and antioxidants that can relieve irritation caused by gastric acidity and nausea, vomiting, and stomach pain. Ginger tea can increase digestive tract contractions, speed up digestion, and help reduce stomach acid, gas, and bloating (1, 2, 3).
LEARN MORE: Is Ginger Tea Good For Acid Reflux?
Licorice root is another widely used herb in traditional Chinese medicine. It increases mucus production, which coats your stomach lining and esophagus to protect it from stomach acidity.
Licorice root extracts can also treat helicobacter pylori bacteria, which commonly causes digestive problems for acid reflux sufferers. Licorice tea can also protect against a sore throat.
Marshmallow root tea
The health benefits of marshmallow root tea come from the mucilage, a sap-like substance that contains antioxidants. Marshmallow root is a great tea with anti-inflammatory properties and coats the digestive tract and stomach lining, preventing acid from giving you that burning sensation.
Slippery elm tea
Slippery Elm tea protects your stomach lining to create a stronger barrier against gastric acidity. You can drink as many cups of slippery elm tea as you like throughout the day.
Tulsi or holy basil tea
Holy basil tea reduces the production of stomach acid, increases mucus secretion, and improves the longevity of mucus cells which creates a barrier to protect your digestive system from stomach acidity.
Holy basil also has anti-inflammatory, anti-fungal, antibacterial, and antiviral properties. Tulsi tea helps reduce stress which can worsen GERD symptoms.
Holy basil is not the same as sweet basil that you might use in cooking.
If you have severe acid reflux, green tea may not agree with you. The only way to know is to try it for yourself.
Green tea contains about half the caffeine as black tea. Caffeine increases the production of stomach acid and relaxes your lower esophageal sphincter muscle, and can aggravate common symptoms of acid reflux.
On the positive side, green tea has the lowest tannins of all teas. Tannins contribute to stomach acidity.
LEARN MORE: Is Green Tea Good For Acid Reflux?
Oolong tea can be a great digestive aid if you’re not sensitive to caffeine. The amount of caffeine in oolong tea is about halfway between green tea and black tea.
Oolong tea contains tannins which increase gastric acidity, but not as much as black tea.
Oolong tea neutralizes acid in your digestive system and reduces inflammation. This herbal tea is mildly antiseptic, so it can help reduce harmful bacteria in your stomach.
Herbal teas that are bad for acid reflux
Caffeinated teas are among the worst for acid reflux because they increase gastric acidity and cause your lower esophageal sphincter muscle to relax. The tannins in tea also increase the amount of acid in your stomach. This combination can give you harmful side effects and digestive issues.
Black tea has reasonably high caffeine content, but only about half of what coffee has. If your symptoms are mild, you may be able to enjoy a cup of tea.
Green tea contains some caffeine, and oolong tea has some caffeine and tannins, but not as much as black tea, so you may or may not be able to tolerate these teas. It really comes down to what your body handles.
Peppermint tea is bad for acid reflux because it loosens your lower esophageal sphincter, making it more likely that stomach acid will reflux back up into your esophagus.
Is chamomile tea the best tea for heartburn relief?
The best tea for you will depend on your acid reflux symptoms and what your stomach can keep down.
Chamomile tea may be the best to relieve common symptoms because it has anti-inflammatory properties and is a natural antacid. It is also a mild sedative and has a calming effect which can help reduce stress, which is a significant contributor to acid reflux.
A cup of chamomile tea can improve your overall health in many ways, such as boosting your immune system, healing mild skin irritations, and may have anti-cancer properties.
Other herbal teas can also help your symptoms of acid reflux, for example, ginger tea, slippery elm, licorice tea, holy basil tea, and marshmallow root tea. These herbal teas can help in different ways. You can read more about these herbal teas above.
FAQs about “Is chamomile tea good for acid reflux?”
Is honey and chamomile tea good for acid reflux?
Honey and chamomile tea is a good choice for acid reflux. Chamomile has anti-inflammatory properties, can relax muscles in your digestive tract, is a natural antacid, and can help soothe a sore throat and stomach ulcers which are common symptoms of acid reflux. A soothing cup of chamomile tea can also help reduce stress, which may have a significant impact on your acid reflux.
Adding a little honey, particularly manuka honey, is a good idea because it has antibacterial properties, can soothe a sore throat, and improves digestion.
Is honey, vanilla and chamomile tea good for acid reflux?
Honey and chamomile tea is good for acid reflux. Between these two ingredients, they have anti-inflammatory properties, relax muscles in your digestive system, act as a natural antacid, and soothe a sore throat. Vanilla may make your acid reflux symptoms worse, but if you’re only adding a dash, it may be OK. You’ll have to try it for yourself and see how your body reacts.
Is lavender and chamomile tea good for acid reflux?
Lavender and chamomile are an excellent combination to soothe your acid reflux symptoms. Chamomile and lavender both have a calming effect and can help reduce stress and relax your stomach muscles, which can significantly impact your symptoms. Chamomile also has anti-inflammatory properties, is a natural antacid, and soothes sore throats and ulcers.
Is mint and chamomile tea good for acid reflux?
Chamomile is a great tea for acid reflux. It has anti-inflammatory properties, is a natural antacid, and soothes sore throats and stomach ulcers. Mint can also help your upset stomach, but it can worsen your acid reflux. Mint will relax your lower esophageal sphincter, which increases the chance of stomach acid refluxing out of your stomach and back up into your food pipe.
Is chamomile tea good for acid reflux in babies?
Chamomile can be used safely for cholic and diarrhea in infants (6), so it may be suitable for treating acid reflux as well. You should seek medical advice for advice about how much chamomile tea is safe for your baby.
Is chamomile tea good for acid reflux in the stomach?
Chamomile tea is good for acid reflux due to its anti-inflammatory properties. It’s a natural antacid and soothes sore throats and stomach ulcers. A cup of chamomile tea is also a mild sedative and helps relax your muscles and reduce stress. The calming effects of this herbal tea play an essential role in reducing your acid reflux symptoms.
The final word on “Is chamomile tea good for acid reflux?”
Chamomile tea is good for acid reflux, digestive problems, and overall health. Although it is a popular natural remedy for acid reflux symptoms, it may not be a complete cure depending on the severity of your symptoms.
Lifestyle changes such as regular gentle exercise, avoiding common acid reflux trigger foods, and eating small healthy meals, combined with herbal teas such as chamomile, can offer a holistic approach to managing acid reflux.