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Disclaimer: The information on is intended to improve your knowledge about herbs and their benefits. Articles on this website are not intended to replace medical treatment from your doctor. Always consult your doctor before starting a new treatment regimen.


Chamomile (Chamomilla recutita )
Another Anti –Inflammatory Herb
By Dr. Ashraf Girgis N. D

Chamomile belongs to the Asteraceae family, sometimes referred to as Matricaria chamomilla, or garden chamomile (Chamaemelum nobile)


The principal constituents are its volatile oil, anthemic acid, tannic acid, fatty acids, fatty acid choline, amino acids and a glucoside. It also contains flavonoids, apigenin, apigenin, quercetin, apiin, rutin, luteolin, coumarins, and pro azulenes.



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Chamomile originated from Asia( Most likely Iran) and northern Africa (Egypt)and then spread to Europe. It is also known as Roman or German Chamomile (Matricaria recutita), manzanilla, or wild chamomile. Traditionally chamomile has been used in many parts of the world, including Iran. Persian scientist, Avencia (Ibn Sina 980 – 1037), used it for gastrointestinal and skin ailments (Canon of Medicine book 5). Anglo Saxons used Roman chamomile in jaundice, colic, kidney stone, and inflammatory bowel diseases (Culpeper 1995). Also, it has been widely used in treatment of gout, to reduce the pain, as well as being used as poultice or internally(Culpeper 1995).

Medicinal Effects

In rats, Chamomile extract has shown to act as anti-inflammatory in various tests(Al Hindawi et al 1989)( Shipochliev et al 1981). The anti-inflammatory characteristics of chamomile are due to several constituents such as apigenin, matricin, chamazulene, and alpha bisabolol. However, apigenin has shown 10 times more anti-inflammatory benefits than matricin (Loggia et at 1990).

 There was a study done by Elaine Holmes, Phd., a chemist with the Imperial College London. She had 14 volunteers drinking 5 cups of German chamomile for two weeks. The urine sample taken indicated an increase in urinary levels of hippurate associated with increased antibacterial activity. There was also an increase in urinary levels of glycine, an amino acid known to relieve muscle spasms. Interestingly, the effects of this tea lasted a few weeks after the study was completed, showing its beneficial effects lasting much longer after it's stopped.

 In another study, similar results demonstrated a lowering of Urine creatinine level.

McKay DL, published Phytother Res. in July of 2006, they found potent anti inflammatory actions in animal studies. In addition to the lowering of cholesterol and antispasmodic effects of chamomile, there is an increased T lymphocyte in patients’ blood samples(Kliachko et al 1994). 

Chamomile has shown positive results in skin conditions, in wound healing, and in the healing of dermabrasion after tattoos(Glowania et al 1987). Chamazulene constituents of chamomile have very potent antioxidant properties and have shown to have lower lipid levels in in vitro studies(Goeters et al 2001).

 Chamomile is known for its relaxing and sedative effects. In a study done in 22 volunteers, chamomile showed sedative effects in addition to improving mood(Roberts & Williams 1992). In another study, a tea made of two tea bags in 175 ml of hot water was given to the 12 participants before their cardiac catheterization. It induced deep sleep in ten of them, despite the fact that usually there is discomfort, anxiety, and sometimes pain involved in these types of procedures. 

 In Europe, Commission E supported chamomile for gastrointestinal spasms and in general gastrointestinal inflammatory diseases, as well as flatulence. The British Herbal Pharmacopoeia (1983) recommends chamomile for nervous dyspepsia, nervous diarrhea, restlessness and externally for leg ulcers and hemorrhoids. Chamomile can be used as mouthwash as well, after infusing a tea bag in a cup of water. The fluid extract of chamomile seems to have analgesic effect in oral mucosa. In a study with 34 patients with mouth ulcers, they were instructed to apply chamomile extract directly to the mouth ulcer and repeat for 5 to 10-minute intervals. The result showed excellent outcomes in comparison to the placebo group. 


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Side effects and Interactions

Side Effects

Chamomile is contraindicated in patients with who have sensitivity or allergies to all in Asteraceae family(such as daisy ragweed, feverfew , tansy etc), and with children under 12 it should be used with caution. In pregnancy, its safety has not been established. 

As for drug interactions, any one on benzodiazepines, warfarin, or non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs should be very aware that chamomile does effect the impact of these pharmaceutical agents. Therefore, it is important to ask your doctor before starting to use chamomile.


The volatile oil is produced by distillation, but it gets lost in the preparation of the extract. Boiling also dissipates the oil. Chamomile dry flowers can be used for a tea using 2 teaspoons of the dried flower, pouring a cup of boiling water over it, and letting it infuse for 10-15 minutes. It is suggested to be drank three times a day.Tincture (1:5) 2-4 ML three times a day or follow the instruction on the label. Fluid extract(1:2) 3-6 ML per day.


Thanks for visiting
Dr. Ashraf Girgis N.D.

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