Drinking chamomile tea can decrease the risk of death from many causes in women over 65, new research has found.
Chamomile is one of the oldest, most-widely used medicinal plant in the world which has been recommended for a variety of healing applications.
The study found that consuming chamomile was associated with a 29% decrease in risk of death from many causes among women compared with non-users, even after adjusting for demographic factors, health conditions and health behaviours. This effect was not found in men.
"The reason for difference in our reports between women and men is not clear, although women were shown to be more frequent users of chamomile than men," said Bret Howrey, assistant professor at The University of Texas Medical Branch, US.
The study examined a seven-year period during which researchers tracked the effects of chamomile and the cause of death in Mexican-Americans. The researchers analysed 1,677 women and men aged 65 and above.
The researchers said it was unclear how exactly chamomile use was associated with decreased mortality.
Recent studies have shown chamomile's potential benefits in treating hyperglycemia, upset stomach, diabetic complications and anxiety disorder.
Chamomile has also been touted for its cholesterol-lowering, antioxidant, antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory and anti-platelet effects.
The reports were published in The Gerontologist Oxford Journals.