When most people think of plants they can smoke, options like cannabis and tobacco may be the first that come to mind. What about other plants, though, including herbs like chamomile?
If you’re curious about smoking chamomile, this guide is for you. We will address all your most pressing questions about smoking chamomile, including “What will happen if I smoke chamomile?” and “Is smoking chamomile bad for you?”
Are you ready to find the answers to these questions? Let’s jump in!
Chamomile is an herb that resembles a daisy. It comes in two primary varieties: German chamomile and Roman chamomile. Chamomile has long been used for its medicinal properties. It even appears in ancient medical texts from Egypt, Rome, and Greece.
Today, people often brew chamomile into tea. However, it’s also used in other recipes, as well as topical products like soap and lotion. People frequently turn to chamomile for help with insomnia or anxiety. Some also say it helps with gastrointestinal issues, including an upset stomach, bloating, or diarrhea.
What Happens if You Smoke Chamomile?
The short answer is yes. Chamomile is smokable and can add a fruity body to any other herbal blend or plant medicine you might be smoking.
Smoking Chamomile Pros and Cons
You now know that you can smoke chamomile. However, should you smoke it?
Like many other smokable herbs and plants, there are pros and cons that come with smoking chamomile. Some of the most noteworthy ones are discussed below in more detail.
Benefits of Smoking Chamomile
Chamomile is associated with many health and wellness improvements. Although there’s not much research on smoking chamomile specifically, several studies have been conducted regarding its overall benefits.
The following are some of the top reasons why you might want to smoke it or add it to your routine in other ways:
Increased Relaxation and Better Sleep
One of the most well-known benefits of chamomile is that it promotes relaxation and helps to reduce stress and anxiety. Many people report feeling less stressed after consuming chamomile (either through smoking or other means). Research also backs up these results, especially when it comes to reducing stress that interferes with one’s sleep quality.
For example, a systematic review of 12 randomized controlled trials showed that chamomile was associated with improved sleep quality. This result likely had to do with chamomile’s calming effects.
Smoking chamomile in the evening as a part of your bedtime routine could be an excellent way to wind down and signal to your body that it’s time to rest.
In addition to helping those struggling with stress and anxiety, chamomile may also benefit people dealing with depression -- especially those experiencing depressive and anxiety symptoms simultaneously.
One small study featured participants with both anxiety and depression diagnoses. The results showed that anxiety and depression scores both decreased significantly with the use of chamomile (compared to those who received a placebo).
Reduced Gastrointestinal Discomfort
Some research shows that chamomile has anti-diarrheal effects and may help to minimize acid reflux. If you’re struggling with gastrointestinal distress, including symptoms related to irritable bowel syndrome, you might find that you feel better after smoking chamomile.
Chamomile’s stress-reducing and relaxation-promoting benefits may also help to improve your digestion.
Many people find that their stomach issues get worse when they’re facing higher levels of stress, so it stands to reason that increased rest and relaxation would lessen your digestive problems.
Improved Blood Sugar Regulation
Finally, chamomile is also associated with better blood sugar regulation.
Chamomile contains certain active polyphenols (plant compounds) -- apigenin-7-O-glucoside, apigenin, and (Z) and (E)−2-hydroxy-4-methoxycinnamic acid glucosides -- that show promise when it comes to digesting carbohydrates and absorbing sugar.
Another study with 64 participants also showed that chamomile helped those with type 2 diabetes control their blood sugar more effectively.
The participants who consumed chamomile had better insulin and HbA1C levels compared to those in the control group. They also had better serum lipid levels.
Reduced Cancer Risk
Like many other herbs and plants, chamomile may help reduce your risk of developing certain types of cancer.
One of the primary polyphenols in chamomile, apigenin, has been shown to fight cancer cells, especially those associated with cancers of the skin, breast, digestive tract, uterus, and prostate.
A study with 537 participants also found that those who consumed chamomile multiple times per week were much less likely to develop thyroid cancer compared to those in the control group.
Is Smoking Chamomile Dangerous?
Generally, smoking chamomile or consuming it in any other form is not dangerous, primarily if it is consumed in moderation. That being said, it’s important to note that smoking of any kind can harm the lungs, especially when done in excess.
Is there anyone who shouldn’t smoke chamomile? The following are some other potential risks to keep in mind before consuming the herb in any form:
- It may cause allergic reactions in people who are sensitive to ragweed, chrysanthemums, or similar plants.
- It may interact negatively with the blood thinner warfarin and the organ transplant rejection medication cyclosporine.
- It may interact with blood sugar-lowering medications.
- It may be dangerous for those who are pregnant or nursing.
If you’re taking medications that have adverse interactions, or if you’re allergic, pregnant, or nursing, you shouldn’t smoke chamomile.
It’s also a good idea to consult your physician if you’re still unsure about whether chamomile is right for you.
Is Chamomile Good to Inhale?
It is safe and potentially beneficial to inhale chamomile in moderation. To reiterate - smoking of any kind can harm the lungs, especially when done in excess.
Some research on chamomile essential oil shows that inhaling it can produce more significant benefits when it comes to relieving anxiety and combating depression.
It’s unclear if the effects of inhaling chamomile oil are the same as inhaling while smoking chamomile. However, based on anecdotal evidence, that seems to be the case.
Final Thoughts -- Can I Smoke Chamomile?
Put simply, yes, you can smoke chamomile. It is a generally safe herb that makes an excellent addition to most people’s health and wellness routines.
Unless you fall into one of the at-risk groups mentioned previously, you likely will not experience any adverse effects from smoking chamomile. You will also likely enjoy benefits like increased relaxation, improved mood, better blood sugar levels, and improved digestion.
If you’re still confused about smoking chamomile and want some additional insights, check out these frequently asked questions and answers:
Does Smoking Chamomile Make You Sleepy?
Many people find that they feel sleepy after smoking chamomile. It has significant stress-reducing benefits, so you will probably notice at least being more relaxed after smoking.
Because it will likely cause you to feel tired, it’s best to smoke chamomile closer to bedtime. At the very least, smoke it when you have some time during the day to relax and don’t have anywhere important to be.
Is Chamomile a Tobacco Substitute?
If you want to give up smoking tobacco but still want to smoke something, chamomile, hibiscus or sage can be a good substitute. Many smokers enjoy chamomile's sweet scent and taste. They also note that it burns evenly (although quicker than tobacco).
The information provided in this blog and by this website is for general informational purposes only. It is not intended to be professional medical advice, a medical diagnosis, or medical treatment. Please consult your health practitioner with any questions you have regarding a medical condition.