New research suggests that regularly drinking chamomile tea may help to keep the thyroid gland healthy and reduce the risk of thyroid cancer.
Dr Athena Linos, an environmental health researcher at Prolepsis in Greece, and colleagues examined cancer rates and dietary habits in 113 patients admitted to 2 Athens area hospitals for thyroid cancers between 1990 and 1993.
They compared those patients to 138 people without thyroid cancer who were either healthy or had other unrelated diseases, and also to another 286 people with benign thyroid disease.
After accounting for age, gender, and body mass index, the results showed the odds of developing any type of thyroid malignancy dropped dramatically as consumption of chamomile tea increased.
In fact, participants who drank chamomile tea 2 to 6-times a week were about 70% less likely to develop thyroid abnormalities, whilst 30-years of regular consumption reduced the risk by about 80%.
Linos is keen to point out that while the study doesn't prove that chamomile tea prevents thyroid cancer, it does add to a growing body of evidence pointing to the potential health benefits of the Mediterranean diet.