Next time you get a runny nose, add chamomile tea to the list of things you take-paracetamols, ibuprofen and what have you-to relieve it.

You should know that there are no recent or significant research based on the effectiveness of chamomile as a common cold treatment.

But, it won’t hurt being optimistic, will it?

David Rakel, MD, writes in his book, Integrated Medicine, that chamomile deserves to be included in botanical therapies for common cold because of its continued used in acute respiratory infections.

Drinking chamomile infusions, such as tea, and inhaling vapors from boiling flower heads can prove to be effective in relieving common cold. This is because of chamomile’s calming effect on the inflamed and irritated mucous membranes in the nose.

Chamomile tea in a teapot

Rakel further suggests that you can drink one to two cups of chamomile tea to benefit from it.

Apart from drinking chamomile tea, you can also inhale it. Steam inhalation is one of the most effective and easy ways to get rid of the symptoms of common cold. The hot steam effectively clears your stuffed nose and clears up congested sinuses.[1]

Research suggests that inhaling steam of German chamomile infusion can provide relief from common cold.

In a research published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, fourteen people were given German chamomile tea to drink daily for two weeks. Daily urine examinations showed that there was significant increase in the levels of hippurate, compound associated with improved antibacterial properties. It was concluded that this may be the reason behind the immune system boosting potential of chamomile and consequently fighting infections related to common colds. [2]

For a speedy recovery from common cold, try this.

Steam Inhalation with Chamomile

Things You’ll Need

  • A big bowl
  • Towel
  • 2-3 tsps. chamomile flowers or essential oil


  1. Boil water and pour into a bowl.
  2. Add 2-3 tsps. of chamomile flowers in water and steep for a few minutes.
  3. Or add a few drops of chamomile essential oil.
  4. Place a towel over your head.
  5. Put your face over the bowl (not too close! You don’t want to burn yourself) and cover with towel. Make sure you enclose the whole of the bowl, so no steam can escape.
  6. Inhale slowly.

Things to consider before taking chamomile tea

Chamomile is generally recognized as safe (GRAS) by the FDA. Nonetheless, here are some things you should consider before drinking chamomile tea.

  • People who have allergic reactions to ragweed, daisies and chrysanthemums can experience reactions to chamomile too.
  • Chamomile tea acts as mild sedative and causes drowsiness. So, it’s best to avoid it before driving.
  • There is no substantial research but chamomile is said to cause miscarriages. So, do not drink chamomile if you’re pregnant.
  • Drinking excessive amounts of chamomile tea can cause vomiting.


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