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Nutritional Supplement

Chamomile

Parts Used & Where Grown

Chamomile, a member of the daisy family, is native to Europe and western Asia. German chamomile is the most commonly used. The dried and fresh flowers are used medicinally.

How It Works

The flowers of chamomile contain 1–2% volatile oils including alpha-bisabolol, alpha-bisabolol oxides A & B, and matricin (usually converted to chamazulene).1 Other active constituents include the flavonoids apigenin, luteolin, and quercetin. These active ingredients contribute to chamomile’s anti-inflammatory, antispasmodic, and smooth-muscle relaxing action, particularly in the gastrointestinal tract.2,3,4,5

Topical applications of chamomile have been shown to be moderately effective in the treatment of eczema.6,7 One double-blind trial found it to be about 60% as effective as 0.25% hydrocortisone cream.8 Topical use of chamomile ointment was also found to successfully treat mild stasis ulcers and bed sores in elderly bedridden patients.9

References

1. Wichtl M. Herbal Drugs and Phytopharmaceuticals. Boca Raton, FL: CRC Press, 1994, 322-5.

2. Jakolev V, Isaac O, Thiemer K, Kunde R. Pharmacological investigations with compounds of chamomile. II. New investigations on the antiphlogistic effects of (-)-alpha-bisabolol and bisabolol oxides. Planta Med 1979;35:125-40.

3. Jakolev V, Isaac O, Flaskamp E. Pharmacological investigations with compounds of chamomile. VI. Investigations on the antiphlogistic effects of chamazulene and matricine. Planta Med 1983;49:67-73.

4. Della Loggia R, Tubaro A, Dri P, et al. The role of flavonoids in the antiinflammatory activity of Chamomilla recutita. In Plant Flavonoids in Biology and Medicine: Biochemical, Pharmacological, and Structure-Activity Relationships. Cody V, Middleton E, Harbone JB (eds). New York: Alan R. Liss, 1986, 481-4.

5. Achterrath-Tuckerman U, Kunde R, et al. Pharmacological investigations with compounds of chamomile. V. Investigations on the spasmolytic effect of compounds of chamomile and Kamillosan® on isolated guinea pig ileum. Planta Med 1980;39:38-50.

6. Nissen HP, Blitz H, Kreyel HW. Prolifometrie, eine methode zur beurteilung der therapeutischen wirsamkeit kon Kamillosan®-Salbe. Z Hautkr 1988;63:184-90.

7. Aergeerts P, Albring M, Klaschka F, et al. Vergleichende prüfung von Kamillosan®-creme gegenüber seroidalen (0.25% hydrocortison, 0.75% flucotinbutylester) and nichseroidaseln (5% bufexamac) externa in der erhaltungsterpaie von ekzemerkrankungen. Z Hautkr 1985;60:270-7.

8. Albring M, Albrecht H, Alcorn G, Lüker PW. The measuring of the antiinflammatory effect of a compound on the skin of volunteers. Meth Find Exp Clin Pharmacol 1983;5:75-7.

9. Glowania HJ, Raulin C, Swoboda M. The effect of chamomile on wound healing - a controlled, clinical, experimental double-blind trial. Z Hautkr 1987;62:1262-71.

10. Nissen HP, Blitz H, Kreyel HW. Prolifometrie, eine methode zur beurteilung der therapeutischen wirsamkeit kon Kamillosan®-Salbe. Z Hautkr 1988;63:184-90.

11. Aergeerts P, Albring M, Klaschka F, et al. Vergleichende prüfung von Kamillosan®-creme gegenüber seroidalen (0.25% hydrocortison, 0.75% flucotinbutylester) and nichseroidaseln (5% bufexamac) externa in der erhaltungsterpaie von ekzemerkrankungen. Z Hautkr 1985;60:270-7.

12. Albring M, Albrecht H, Alcorn G, Lüker PW. The measuring of the antiinflammatory effect of a compound on the skin of volunteers. Meth Find Exp Clin Pharmacol 1983;5:75-7.

13. Nasemann T. Kamillosan therapy in dermatology. Z Allgemeinmed 1975; 25:1105-6.

14. Glowania HJ, RAulin C, Swoboda M. Effect of chamomile on wound healing—a clinical double-blind study. Z Hautkr 1987;62:162-71 [in German].

15. Glowania HJ, Raulin C, Swoboda M. The effect of chamomile on wound healing - a controlled, clinical, experimental double-blind trial. Z Hautkr 1987;62:1262-71.

16. Serfaty R, Itic J. Comparative trial with natural herbal mouthwash versus chlorhexidine in gingivitis. J Clin Dent 1988;1:A34-7.

17. Yamnkell S, Emling RC. Two-month evaluation of Parodontax dentifrice. J Clin Dentistry 1988;1:A41.

18. Nasemann T. Kamillosan therapy in dermatology. Z Allgemeinmed 1975; 25:1105-6.

19. Serfaty R, Itic J. Comparative trial with natural herbal mouthwash versus chlorhexidine in gingivitis. J Clin Dent 1988;1:A34-7.

20. Yamnkell S, Emling RC. Two-month evaluation of Parodontax dentifrice. J Clin Dentistry 1988;1:A41.

21. Weizman Z, Alkrinawi S, Goldfarb D, et al. Efficacy of herbal tea preparation in infantile colic. J Pediatr 1993;122:650-2.

22. Weizman Z, Alkrinawi S, Goldfarb D, et al. Efficacy of herbal tea preparation in infantile colic. J Pediatr 1993;122:650-2.

23. Forster HB, Niklas H, Lutz S. Antispasmodic effects of some medicinal plants. Planta Med 1980;40:303-19.

24. Mills SY. Out of the Earth: The Essential Book of Herbal Medicine. London: Viking Press, 1991, 448-51.

25. Achterrath-Tuckerman U, Kunde R, et al. Pharmacological investigations with compounds of chamomile. V. Investigations on the spasmolytic effect of compounds of chamomile and Kamillosan® on isolated guinea pig ileum. Planta Med 1980;39:38-50.

26. Beil W, Birkholz C, Sewing KF. Effects of flavonoids on parietal cell acid secretion, gastric mucosal prostaglandin production and Helicobacter pylori growth. Arzneimittelforschung 1995;45:697-700.

27. Rekka EA, Kourounakis AP, Kourounakis PN. Investigation of the effect of chamazulene on lipid peroxidation and free radical processes. Res Commun Mol Pathol Pharmacol 1996;92(3):361-4.

28. Beil W, Birkholz C, Sewing KF. Effects of flavonoids on parietal cell acid secretion, gastric mucosal prostaglandin production and Helicobacter pylori growth. Arzneimittelforschung 1995;45:697-700.

29. Weiss RF. Herbal Medicine. Beaconsfield, UK: Beaconsfield Publishers Ltd, 1989, 26.

30. Achterrath-Tuckerman U, Kunde R, et al. Pharmacological investigations with compounds of chamomile. V. Investigations on the spasmolytic effect of compounds of chamomile and Kamillosan® on isolated guinea pig ileum. Planta Med 1980;39:38-50.

31. Viola H, de Stein ML, et al. Apigenin, a component of Matricaria recutita flowers, is a central benzodiazepine receptors-ligand with anxiolytic effects. Planta Med 1995;61:213-6.

32. Yamada K, Miura T, Mimaki Y, Sashida Y. Effect of inhalation of chamomile oil vapour on plasma ACTH level in ovariectomized rats under restriction stress. Biol Pharm Bull 1996;19:1244-6.

33. JD, Li Y, Soeller I, et al. A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial of oral Matricaria recutita (chamomile) extract therapy for generalized anxiety disorder. J Clin Psychopharmacol 2009;29:378-82.

34. Nasemann T. Kamillosan therapy in dermatology. Z Allgemeinmed 1975; 25:1105-6.

35. Glowania HJ, RAulin C, Swoboda M. Effect of chamomile on wound healing—a clinical double-blind study. Z Hautkr 1987;62:162-71 [in German].

36. Glowania HJ, Raulin C, Swoboda M. The effect of chamomile on wound healing - a controlled, clinical, experimental double-blind trial. Z Hautkr 1987;62:1262-71.

37. Viola H, de Stein ML, et al. Apigenin, a component of Matricaria recutita flowers, is a central benzodiazepine receptors-ligand with anxiolytic effects. Planta Med 1995;61:213-6.

38. Yamada K, Miura T, Mimaki Y, Sashida Y. Effect of inhalation of chamomile oil vapour on plasma ACTH level in ovariectomized rats under restriction stress. Biol Pharm Bull 1996;19:1244-6.

39. JD, Li Y, Soeller I, et al. A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial of oral Matricaria recutita (chamomile) extract therapy for generalized anxiety disorder. J Clin Psychopharmacol 2009;29:378-82.

40. Brown DJ. Herbal Prescriptions for Better Health. Rocklin, CA: Prima Publishing, 1996, 279.

41. Blumenthal M, Busse WR, Goldberg A, et al. (eds). The Complete German Commission E Monographs: Therapeutic Guide to Herbal Medicines. Austin: American Botanical Council and Boston: Integrative Medicine Communications, 1998, 147, 160-1.

42. Blumenthal M, Busse WR, Goldberg A, et al. (eds). The Complete Commission E Monographs: Therapeutic Guide to Herbal Medicines. Boston, MA: Integrative Medicine Communications, 1998, 107.

43. Brown DJ. Herbal Prescriptions for Better Health. Rocklin, CA: Prima Publishing, 1996, 49-56.

44. Foti C, Nettis E, Panebianco R, et al. Contact urticaria from Matricaria chemomilla. Contact Derm 2000;42:360-1.

45. Reider N, Sepp N, Fritsch P, et al. Anaphylaxis to chamomile: clinical features and allergen cross-reactivity. Clin Experiment Allergy 2000;30:1436-43.

46. Jensen-Jarolim E, Reider N, Fritsch R, Brieteneder H. Fatal outcome of anaphylaxis to chamomile-containing enema during labor: A case study. J Allergy Clin Immunol 1998;102:1041-2.

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The information presented by Healthnotes is for informational purposes only. It is based on scientific studies (human, animal, or in vitro), clinical experience, or traditional usage as cited in each article. The results reported may not necessarily occur in all individuals. For many of the conditions discussed, treatment with prescription or over the counter medication is also available. Consult your doctor, practitioner, and/or pharmacist for any health problem and before using any supplements or before making any changes in prescribed medications. Information expires December 2019.