Free Nutritional Health Information and Tools

HERBS: Chamomile


Overview of Herbs | Alfalfa | Aloe Vera | Burdock | Capsaicin | Cascara | Chamomile | Chaparral | Comfrey | Echinacea | Garlic | Ginger | Ginseng (Asian) | Ginseng (American) | Gotu Kola | Hawthorn | Licorice | Ephedra | Milk Thistle | Sassafras | Blue-Green Algae

PreviousNext

Chamomile

Chamomile (German)

Scientific name

Matricaria recutita L.

Other names

Hungarian chamomile, wild chamomile, Chamomilla recutita

Purported uses

  • Topically, as an antiseptic and to treat skin ulcers: Studies in animals show that substances in chamomile can kill bacteria and viruses, reduce inflammation, and prevent the growth of ulcers, but there is no proof from clinical trials to support this use in humans.
  • To treat disorders of the gastrointestinal tract: Studies in animals show that substances in chamomile can kill bacteria and viruses, reduce inflammation, and prevent the growth of ulcers, but there is no proof from clinical trials to support this use in humans. 
  • Topically, to reduce the inflammation of hemorrhoids: Animal studies show that substances in chamomile can reduce inflammation, but there is no proof from clinical trials that chamomile can treat hemorrhoids.
  • For a feeling of sedation or relaxation: It has long been thought that chamomile tea can induce relaxation, but there is no proof from clinical trials that chamomile is effective for this use. 
  • As a mouthwash, to treat mucositis associated with radiation therapy and chemotherapy: Clinical trials show conflicting results for this use. More research is needed.
  • To treat mastitis (inflammation of the breasts): Animal studies show that substances in chamomile can reduce inflammation in general, but there is no proof from clinical trials that chamomile is effective for this use. 
  • To relieve flatulence: No scientific evidence supports this use
  • To alleviate muscle spasms: Animal studies show that substances in chamomile can calm muscle spasms, but there is no proof from clinical trials that chamomile is effective for this use. 

Contraindications

People allergic to ragweed or members of the Compositae family, such as chrysanthemums, should avoid this product.

Adverse reactions

Reported: Hypersensitivity reactions in people allergic to ragweed or members of the Compositae family, ranging from contact dermatitis to anaphylaxis

Drug interactions

  • Anticoagulants / Antiplatelets: Chamomile may increase anticoagulant effects and inhibit platelets due to coumarin content.
  • Sedatives: Chamomile may cause additive drowsiness.

References

1. Blumenthal, et al. Herbal Medicine, Expanded Commission E Monographs, 1st ed. Austin: American Botanical Council; 2000.

2. Newall C, et al. Herbal Medicines: A Guide for Health-Care Professionals. London: Pharmaceutical Press; 1996.

3. Tyler, V. Herbs of Choice, the Therapeutical Use of Phytomedicinals. Binghamton: Pharmaceutical Press; 1994.

4. Brinker F. Herb Contraindications and Drug Interactions, 3rd ed. Sandy (OR): Eclectic Medical; 2001.

5. Avallone R, et al. Pharmacological profile of apigenin, a flavonoid isolated from Matricaria chamomilla. Biochem Pharmacol 2000;59:1387-94.

6. Kyokong O, et al. Efficacy of chamomile-extract spray for prevention of post-operative sore throat. J Med Assoc Thai 2002;85(suppl):S180-5.

7. Budzinski JW, et al. An in vitro evaluation of human cytochrome P450 3A4 inhibition by selected commercial herbal extracts and tinctures. Phytomedicine 2000;7:273-82.

8. Fidler P, et al. Prospective evaluation of a chamomile mouthwash for prevention of 5-FU-induced oral mucositis. Cancer 1996;77: 522-5.

9. Carl W, et al. Management of oral mucositis during local radiation and systemic chemotherapy: a study of 98 patients. J Prosthet Dent 1991;30:395-6.

Top of PagePreviousNext

Overview of Herbs | Alfalfa | Aloe Vera | Burdock | Capsaicin | Cascara | Chamomile | Chaparral | Comfrey | Echinacea | Garlic | Ginger | Ginseng (Asian) | Ginseng (American) | Gotu Kola | Hawthorn | Licorice | Ephedra | Milk Thistle | Sassafras | Blue-Green Algae