You may be surprised to learn that caffeine is found in a variety of places other than coffee beans. In fact, it’s also present in tea leaves, which means that some teas can have quite a bit of caffeine. But what about chamomile tea? Does this type of herbal tea contain caffeine? The answer may surprise you.
Chamomile Tea and Caffeine Content
- Here’s the thing about chamomile tea: while it is made from tea leaves, it is technically classified as an herbal tea. This is because the leaves used to make chamomile tea come from a plant called Matricaria recutita—not Camellia sinensis, the plant from which true teas like black tea, green tea, and oolong tea are made. Because of this, chamomile tea does not usually contain caffeine. However, there are some does chamomile tea have caffeine exceptions.
- For example, if a chamomile tea has been blended with other teas or herbs that do contain caffeine (such as green or black tea), then it may have trace amounts of the stimulant. Similarly, if a decaffeinated chamomile tea has been brewed for too long (more than five minutes), it may also contain small amounts of caffeine.
- That said, most commercially available chamomile teas contain no more than 2 mg of caffeine per 8-ounce serving—which is considerably less than even a cup of decaf coffee (which has about 12 mg of caffeine). So unless you’re drinking an unusually strong cup of chamomile tea or one that’s been steeped for too long, you’re unlikely to get much (if any) caffeine from it.
Chamomile Tea Benefits
Now that we’ve answered the question, “does chamomile tea have caffeine,” let’s take a look at some of the benefits this popular herbal beverage has to offer. Chamomile tea has long been revered for its calming properties, and there’s some science to back up these claims. For example, one study found that drinking two cups of chamomile tea per day for 28 days significantly reduced symptoms of anxiety in participants with a generalized anxiety disorder (GAD).
Chamomile Tea and Sleep
In addition to its calming effects on the mind, chamomile tea can also help promote sleep due to its calming effect on the body. One study found that people who drank chamomile tea before bedtime fell asleep faster and slept more soundly than those who didn’t drink any herbal tea before bed. Chamomile’s sleep-promoting effects are likely due to its content of apigenin—an antioxidant that binds to certain receptors in your brain that can promote sleepiness.
Chamomile tea is an herbal beverage made from the leaves of the Matricaria recutita plant. Unlike true teas (black, green, oolong, etc.), which are made from the Camellia sinensis plant and do contain caffeine, most chamomile teas contain no more than 2 mg of caffeine per 8-ounce serving—making them an ideal choice for those looking for a calm yet stimulating beverage. Chamomile teas have also been shown to promote sleep and decrease anxiety levels. So next time you’re looking for a soothing cup of tea before bedtime or need something to calm your nerves during a hectic day, reach for a box (or bag) of chamomile!