Chamomile Monograph
05_05_10_01_12_chamomile-bsp.jpg

NAME
Chamomile

LATIN NAME
Matricaria recutita

SYNONYMS (can include local names)
Wild chamomile, German chamomile, Bodegold, Camomile, Chamomile, Common chamomile, Hungarian chamomile, Sweet false chamomile

FAMILY
Asteraceae (Compositae)

BOTANICAL INFORMATION (can include growing environment, plant identification and processing)
Chamomile has a stem that is branched and smooth and can grow to a height of up to 70 cm. The flowers, which have a strong aromatic smell, contain white florets whilst the cone is a vibrant yellow and bloom from May-July. The cone is surrounded by 10 to 20 white, down-curving ray flowers, giving it the appearance of a miniature daisy.Leaves are narrow and can be bi/tripinnate. German chamomile is native to Europe and Western Asia
It is ill advised to sow seeds directly into the ground because the seeds are so small they can be washed away easily. Under protection at ~18ºC, germination takes 14-20 days. Cuttings can be taken in spring and autumn from the offsets. Established plants can be divided in the spring and replanted in a well-prepared site.

PART/S USED
Flower heads

ADMINISTRATION
Orally as a tea, capsules
Externally as a compress, essential oil or topical ointment

USES

TRADITIONAL/LOCAL USES
German chamomile is often referred to as the 'mother of the gut' and is an essential herb to consider when treating digestive issues.
Traditionally it is drunk as a tea which helps bring about a natural sleep due to its calming and sedating properties.
It was used for flatulent or nervous dyspepsia, travel sickness and catarrhal conditions of the nose, ears and eyes.

MODERN USES

TEA: German Chamomile is used as a Tea in the following ways:

  • Sedative - Chamomile's mildly sedating and muscle-relaxing effects may help those who sufferers fall asleep more easily
  • Anti-nausea - to relieve morning sickness in pregnancy.
  • Anti-inflammatory - in ulcerative colitis, gastritis, IBS and diverticular disease such as Crohn's disease
  • encourage bowel movements
  • Anti-spasmodic - relaxes the smooth muscles of the uterus thus helps ease the discomfort of menstrual cramping. Relaxes the spasm of colic and intenstinal cramps.

SALVE/OINTMENT: German Chamomile is used as a salve/ointment in the following ways:
Ointment to apply to wounds and also applied to haemorrhoids

  • Heal wounds, burns or skin ulcers
  • Relieve inflammation of the skin in conditions such as Eczema

MOUTHWASH: German Chamomile is used as a mouthwash in the following ways:

  • Heal mouth sores and prevent gum disease

DOSAGE STRATEGIES (can include 1:1, 1:2, 1:3, 1:4, 1:5 etc)

  • Tea: 1 cup of boiling water over 2 - 4 g of dried herb
  • Tincture (1:5, 45% alcohol): 30 - 60 drops of tincture 3 times per day in hot water.
  • Capsules: 300 - 400 mg taken 3 times per day.
  • Salve/Ointment: Apply cream with a 3 - 10% crude drug chamomile content for psoriasis, eczema, or dry and flaky skin.

SAFETY

GENERAL

Caution for those who suffer from allergies to plants of the Compositae family

PAEDIATRIC

On recommendation of a medical herbalist

PREGNANCY

On recommendation of a medical herbalist

ADVERSE REACTIONS

Caution for those who suffer from allergies to plants of the Compositae family

HERBAL COMBINATIONS
Chamomile, ginger and black horehound is excellent combination for nausea from sickness, travel or migraine

On recommendation of a medical herbalist

INTERACTIONS

HERB-DRUG INTERACTIONS

Anticoagulants - Chamomile may increase the risk of bleeding when taken with blood-thinners including:

  • Warfarin (Coumadin)
  • Clopidogrel (Plavix)
  • Aspirin

Sedatives - Chamomile can make the effects of sedative drugs stronger, including:

  • Anticonvulsants - Phenytoin (Dilantin) and Valproic acid (Depakote)
  • Barbiturates
  • Benzodiazepines - Alprazolam (Xanax) and Diazepam (Valium)
  • Insomnia Drugs - Zolpidem (Ambien), Zaleplon (Sonata), Eszopiclone (Lunesta) and Ramelteon (Rozerem)
  • Tricyclic antidepressants - Amitriptyline (Elavil)
  • Alcohol

Blood pressure medications -Chamomile may lower blood pressure slightly. Taking it with drugs for high blood pressure could cause blood pressure to drop too low.

Diabetes medications - Chamomile may lower blood sugar. Taking it with diabetes drugs could raise the risk of hypoglycemia.

Other drugs -As Chamomile is broken down by certain liver enzymes, it may interact with other drugs that are broken down by the same enzymes. Those drugs may include:

  • Fexofenadine (Seldane)
  • Statins
  • Birth control pills

HERB-HERB INTERACTIONS

Sedatives - Chamomile can make the effects of sedative herbs stronger, including:

  • Valerian
  • Kava
  • Catnip

HERB-FOOD INTERACTIONS

No information available

EVIDENCE/RESEARCH

To be filled in at end Niamh

PRACTITIONER KNOWLEDGE (Please share your clinical experience of this herb here)
I highly regard the use of chamomile for children's problems; restlessness, nervous irritability, teething problems, and neuralgic and rheumatic pain.

To be filled in by medical herbalists

Example post for illustrative purposes

23 yr. old male patient presented with atopic dermatitis (ref) (query contact dermatitis due to distribution pattern) to the palmer aspect of both hands (see picture 1). The symptoms commenced approx. five years prior after playing golf with borrowed clubs and have cycled since then between nearly clear (Picture 2)to severe eruptions (itchy, erythematous, cracked and bleeding skin) (Ref) (Picture 3) on a four to five week basis.
Eruptions were exacerbated by internal use of all typical herbs given for dermatitis except for Chamomile (Chamomilla recutita) given as a tea of the dried aerial parts of the plant. Although some resolution was observed a treatment regime of two to three cups of Chamomile as a tea was required for two years before symptoms stabilised enough so that other herbs could be introduced to complete treatment for the dermatitis.

Anna-Maria Keaveney (qualifications) (contact details)

THERAPEUTIC EFFICACY
great results in the treatment of conjunctivitis

To be filled in by medical herbalists

CLINICAL TRIAL EVIDENCE
• Diarrhoea
• Skin response (dermatitis and eczema)
• Stomatitis
• Wound healing
• Sedative effects

To be filled in by medical herbalists

PHARMACOLOGICAL EVIDENCE
Bisabolol A and B oxides demonstrated antimicrobial activity, Antioxidant effect (inhibits leukotriene B4 formation) and injection of the flavonoid apigenin showed clear antianxiety activity and slight sedative activity without muscle relaxant effects.

To be filled in by medical herbalists

POSITIVE RESEARCH

To be filled in by medical herbalists

NEGATIVE RESEARCH

To be filled in by medical herbalists

ARTICLE LINKS (Please feel free to include relevant articles either authored by you or that you feel would be of interest to your peers in the WIKIHERB Community)

LINKS TO ARTICLES (Please place the URL link inside these brackets link here)

REFERENCES

Interactions: http://www.umm.edu/altmed/articles/german-chamomile-000232.htm

Please feel free to comment on this page in our Comments section


Take me to HOME page

The Body by Systems

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License