In a study of 1,677 Mexican- American men and women over the age of 65 from the Southwestern U.S., researchers have found that drinking chamomile tea decreases the risk of earlier mortality by an average of 29 percent. Researchers from the University of Texas Medical Branch followed the study population for seven years.
Among those tested, 14 percent drank chamomile tea regularly. These were primarily women, and those women that drank chamomile tea experienced a 33 percent reduced mortality during the study period. The small group of men that drank the chamomile tea regularly did not register a significant difference in mortality.
Chamomile also has a long history of use in folk medicine and is primarily used to settle digestion and calm the mind. It is a leading natural herbal tea in many countries and contains no caffeine.
While various species may be used, chamomile tea is traditionally made by infusing the flowers of either German chamomile (Matricaria chamomilla) or Roman chamomile (Chamaemelum nobile) into hot water. In Spanish-speaking regions, chamomile tea is often referred to as manzanilla tea— consumed in Mexico and other Spanish cultures for centuries.