Chamomile is a great drink, particularly around the times you’re looking to relax. But there may be other factors or side effects to consider. One question could be; is chamomile tea a diuretic?
In this article, I’m going to take you through how diuretic chamomile tea is, the research behind it, and its effects. As well as how and when chamomile is more diuretic than usual.
But first, here’s the quick takeaway, then we’ll get into the details…
Chamomile tea has mild diuretic effects, this can help increase antibacterial activity and alleviate hypertension-related symptoms. It’s considered safe up to 3-4 cups per day. However, mixing chamomile blends with other tea varieties or adding sugar/honey to your tea could increase diuretic effects.
The wider question “is chamomile tea a diuretic” involves a number of factors that we’ll explore further, but first, let’s recap on what we mean by diuretic…
Is Chamomile tea a diuretic – What does it mean by diuretic?
It’s best to know what exactly is a diuretic. In short, a diuretic is an effect that increases urine or “flushing out” of the bodily system. On the scale of diuretics, Chamomile is considered a mild diuretic.
The diuretic effect helps to get rid of excess water, salts, poisons, toxins, and accumulated metabolic products like urea.
The diuretic effect also helps to remove excess fluid in your body (Edema), which accumulates in the tissues – potentially because of various diseases.
In general, mild diuretic effects such as that of chamomile are considered safe because it helps in flushing out necessary elements from your body, but too much diuretic effect can result in a number of side effects, which can include – dizziness, headaches, dehydration, muscle cramps, joint disorders (gout) and impotence.
In worse cases, the consumption of too many diuretic products can lower your potassium level too much (hypokalemia). This can cause life-threatening problems with your heartbeat.
So the key to taking diuretics is “everything in moderation”. Chamomile tea, taken in reasonable quantities, falls within the “moderate zone”. And it’s worth noting that Chamomile tea can potentially break a fast.
Now we understand some fundamentals of the meaning of diuretic, let’s answer the question; is chamomile tea is a diuretic…
Is chamomile tea a diuretic?
In short yes a chamomile tea is considered a diuretic. But it only exhibits mild diuretic effects compared to the main tea varieties.
This is because unlike other tea varieties, chamomile tea is only an infusion of chamomile flowers, i.e. herbal infusion.
So they don’t have any real properties of true tea. True tea properties include higher diuretic effects. This mainly comes from the caffeine content in actual tea varieties.
In other words, chamomile tea is not produced from the Camellia Sinensis plant (tea plant) which has higher caffeine content. So chamomile tea only has mild diuretic effects that originate from chamomile flowers. Find out more about how much caffeine is in Chamomile tea.
So when you drink chamomile tea, its mild diuretic effects can cause an individual’s system to shed water by inducing more frequent urination.
Number of Chamomile cups per day to be safe
Mild diuretic effects, in general, are safe …as long as you don’t overdo it. In general 3-4 cups of chamomile tea, a day is considered safe based on its mild diuretic properties. Here’s the guide on how many cups of tea you should drink per day of each type.
On the other hand, if you’re consuming chamomile tea for a specific benefit such as weight loss or other health problems, and you consume chamomile tea heavily over a short period of time in order to get quick results, then this can be dangerous.
For fast weight loss tea, I’d look more at the following teas instead…
But just to reiterate, be sure to consult with your healthcare professional to get advice on the right amount of chamomile tea for your specific benefit – that will not result in intense diuretic effects.
We’ll get on to the diuretic effects of chamomile tea next… But, you can learn more about the tea varieties in my easy Tea Sommelier Course!
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Diuretic effects of chamomile tea, is it beneficial?
Chamomile tea begins by triggering a boost in water absorption in your urinary system. This absorption tends to be triggered mainly in your kidneys, which leads to an increase in your rate of urination.
But chamomile tea does this in mild proportion, which is largely considered safe for most people.
These mild diuretic effects of chamomile tea are believed to provide some health benefits, some of which have been tested…
Increased antibacterial activity
One of the benefits is increased antibacterial activity and a second benefit is alleviating the hypertension-related symptoms.
In one study, daily urine samples were collected from volunteers during a 6-week period. This incorporated a 2-week baseline period, 2 weeks of daily chamomile tea ingestion, and a 2-week post-treatment phase.
Different samples were obtained before and after chamomile ingestion was achieved and evidence was found of increased urinary excretion of hippurate and glycine.
Meaning chamomile tea consumption resulted in a significant enough increase in urinary levels of hippurate and glycine. This essentially indicated an increase in antibacterial activity.
Antibacterial activity in simple terms is the process of killing or inhibiting disease-causing bacteria and viruses. Or at the very least slows down their rate of growth, without being extensively toxic to nearby tissues.
Further to validate the benefits, drinking chamomile tea also resulted in lowering the systolic blood pressure. This is as a result of increased urinary output and thereby alleviating hypertension-related symptoms.
Ways that diuretic effects from chamomile tea can increase
There are two common ways in which you can expect a higher diuretic effect from chamomile tea.
Some of these effects come with the variety of chamomile tea you use, whereas some come from your additions to the tea.
Below is a clear breakdown of these possible ways and how they combine with the diuretic value of chamomile.
Chamomile tea blended with true tea varieties
It’s common to get chamomile tea that has been blended with actual tea varieties such as black or green tea.
Some new tea drinkers prefer having such blends of chamomile tea than authentic chamomile tea made just with chamomile flowers as a way to ease into the realm of tea!
However, using such blends naturally means you’re going to consume caffeine in greater quantities – depending on the type of tea variety blended.
This is because, as you probably know already, caffeine is considered to be highly diuretic, and is present in true tea varieties, i.e. tea made from the Camellia Sinensis plant.
So if you have chamomile tea that is blended with actual tea varieties, you can expect higher diuretic effects than just a regular cup of authentic chamomile tea.
If you’re used to chamomile tea blends but want to minimize their diuretic effects, then opt for blends with tea varieties that have less caffeine – like green tea. Something more like this one on Amazon.
Find out more about how diuretic caffeine content of other teas is in my related articles…
- Does Chamomile tea have caffeine
- Earl Grey tea caffeine level, by variety
- Does Darjeeling tea have caffeine
- White tea caffeine content
- Does peppermint tea have caffeine
Adding sugar or honey to your chamomile tea
Sugar and honey are two popular diuretic agents.
This is because your body will naturally need to draw more water from its water resources. This will be in order to break down the sugar you consume.
Besides this, sugar is for many considered a toxin. So when you consume too much sugar, your body will be forced to dilute it to keep it away from harming your body.
Water will need to be drawn from all parts of your body, to maintain a balance in the heavy sugar load in your bloodstream.
All this water will then be processed and dumped into the urine as a way of excreting (releasing) the excess sugar. A similar diuretic process works with honey as well.
As such when you add sugar or honey to your chamomile tea, the possibility of increasing its diuretic effects is very high. Sugar and honey may also affect any process of fasting you’re currently undertaking.
Note – some also believe enhancing flavors using diuretic fruits such as lemons will increase the diuretic effects of chamomile tea.