Botanical Name: Matricaria chamomilla ( previously called Matricaria recutita)
Common Name: German Chamomile or Wild Chamomile
Botanical Family: Matricaria chamomillia belongs to the Asteraceae family.
Parts Used Medicinally: Flower Heads collected at the start of flowering (Simonetti and Pergher et al., 1990) and Blue Oil
- Volatile Oils –Azulene is present (Ganzera and Schneider et al., 2006, pg. 856-861) -Seqquiterpenenes lactones,
- Mucilage, levels depending on Polyscaharides
- Phenolic acids
- Coumarins (Fisher and Fisher, 2009)
- Antispasmodic and Anti Inflammatory action (Bauman and Dollemore, 1998)
- Mild Sedative and a digestion aid (Simonetti and Pergher et al., 1990)
- Antibacterial (Blumenthal and Busse, 1998) and Antimicrobial (Abdoul-Latif and Nabil et al., 2011,)
- Relaxant (Fisher and Fisher, 2009)
- Muscletrophic (Blumenthal and Busse, 1998)
- Anxiolytic (Reis and Pardo, 2006)
Gastro Intestinal Upset:
Matricaria chamomilla has been used traditionally to treat Gastrointestinal upset (Watson, 2009). Tea is brewed and ingested for gastrointestinal ulcers, indigestion, colic, flatulence (Fisher and Fisher, 2009) and Irritable Bowl Syndrome (Blumenthal and Busse, 1998), Cemek and Buyukokurglu induced gastric mucosal damage in rats to test the effects of Matricaria chamomilla on elemental status in ethanol-intoxicated rats, while further studies are required, this gave evidence that Matricaria chamomilla prevents altercation of minerals that would have been altered due to the ethanol consumption(Cemek, Buyukokurglu, 2009, pg 447).
In a study done in 2011 by Abad and Nouri on mice, it found that ‘Matricaria chamomilla hydroalcoholic extract is able to decrease cisplatin-induced pain and inflammation better than morphine’ due to the analgesic effect of the herb. This is further backed up by a study by Sharifi and Simbar in 2013, on the consumption of Chamomile Extract in tablet form to reduced the characteristic psychological pains associated during PMS, Chamomile extracted prove to reduce pain more so than those who were taking Mefenamic acid.
It is traditionally used for Inflammation of the Urinary tract and Painful Menstruation (Singh and Khanam et al., 2011).
In a test done by Farideh and Bagher in 2010, results showed that extract made from the flower heads of Matricaria chamomilla can induce recovery of Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome in rats. Matricaria comes from the word womb, so it is not surprising it can be good for many menstrual problems such as menopause tension and morning sickness.
The sedative effect of Matricaria chamomilla can be seen through a study in 2009 that was done by Niederhofer to show the effect of Matricaria chamomilla on ADHD, the results showing that Matricaria chamomilla shows a similar level of improvement as other non-stimulant studies done by Biederman and Baldessarini, it was also suggested to provide prevention against tics (Niederhofer, 2009). It’s sedative and anxiolytic effect are further supported by a double blind placebo study(Amsterdam and Li et al., 2009, p. 378) which shows a greater reduction in of the mean Anxiety Scores of those with Mild to Moderate Anxiety. In a study done in 2006 by Reis and Pardo it was seen that administering Matricaria chamomilla to cows before exposing them to stress significantly lowered their cortisol levels compared to those not given chamomile.
Matricaria chamomilla is used in the treatment of many respiratory problems like, asthma, hayfever, and mucosal inflammation.
Matricaria chamomilla extract produces an antihistamine response, as inhibits histamine being released from mast cells (Ch and Rashekhar et al., 2011, pp. 336—340.) A water extract of Matricaria chamomilla tested on rat mast cells when stimulated has shown to inhibit histamine release, it also showed to improve sleep discomfort and decrease cough intensity ( Abou-Moustafa, and Boucher, 2003, pg. 41-54).
The oil can be used on the skin as a muscle relaxant (Viola and Wasowski et al., 1995, pp. 213—216) or as anti-inflammation. (Blumenthal and Busse, 1998). To treat acne, eczema, sunburn, nappy rash and mastitis. The Blue Oil from flower heads is not to be ingested (Wright, 1982).
Matricaria is regarded as a safe herb.
Possible Contact Dermatitis from topical application
When taking chamomile with a meal the intake of iron can be inhibited (Fisher and Fisher 2009)
Allergic reactions may occur if allergies are already known to:
- Asteraceae Family or the Compositae Family (Fisher and Fisher 2009)
- Artemisia vulgaris (Mugwort)
- Drug Interactions: The absorption of iron is decreased by 45% (Fisher and Fisher, 2009)
- Pregnancy and Lactation:
- Toxic levels given to pregnant Rats, Dogs and Rabbits shows a reduction in weight of foetus by a study done in 1979 by Habersang and Leuschner. But in correct dosages no adverse reactions are expected. (Fisher and Fisher, 2009)
- A tincture can be given three times daily at 1:5, 3-10 mls at 45%, not exceeding 210 mls per week.
- Fluid extract of 1-4 mls at 45% three times daily, not exceeding more than 84mls per week.
- Infusion of dried herb of 2-8 grams in 150mls of water three times daily. (Fisher and Fisher 2009)
When combined with Althea officinalis it can sooth intestinal mucosa and reduce sensitivity to irritants,( BHP, 1983, pg 48)
Matricaria chamomilla used along side : extracts of bitter candy tuft, lemon balm leaf, caraway fruit, peppermint leaf, liquorice root, Angelica root, milk thistle fruit and greater celandine herb, is an effective antacid and is equally effective as commercially available products as it lowers gastric acidity and is more effective than commercially available antacid in inhibiting secondary hyperacidity (Watson, 2009)
Abad, A., Nouri, M., Gharjanie, A. and Tavakoli, F. 2011. Effect of Matricaria chamomilla Hydroalcoholic Extract on Cisplatin-induced Neuropathy in Mice. Chinese Journal of Natural Medicines, Issue 9, Volume 2, pg. 126-131
Abou-Moustafa, M.A., Boucher, w., Haggag, E.G., Theoharides, T. (2003) ‘The Effect of Herbal Water Extract on Histamine Release from Mast Cells and on Allergic Asthma’, Journal of Herbal Pharmacotherapy, 3(4), pp. 41-54
Abdoul-Latif, F. M., Nabil, M., Edou, P., Ali, A. A., Djama, S. O., Obame, L., Bassol\’E, I. and Mamoudou, H. 2011. Antimicrobial and antioxidant activities of essential oil and methanol extract of Matricaria chamomilla L. from Djibouti. Journal of Medicinal Plants Research,Issue 9, Volume 5, pg. 1512-1517
Ahmad, A. and Misra, L. 1997. Isolation of herniarin and other constituents from Matricaria chamomilla flowers. Pharmaceutical Biology, 35 (2), pp. 121–125.
Al-Ramahi, R., Jaradat, N. and Adawi, D. 2013. Use of herbal medicines during pregnancy in a group of Palestinian women. Journal of ethnopharmacology, 150 (1), pp. 79—84
Amsterdam, J. D., Li, Y., Soeller, I., Rockwell, K., Mao, J. J. and Shults, J. 2009. A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial of oral Matricaria recutita (chamomile) extract therapy of generalized anxiety disorder. Journal of clinical psychopharmacology, 29 (4), p. 378
Avallone, R., Zanoli, P., Puia, G., Kleinschnitz, M., Schreier, P. and Baraldi, M. 2000. Pharmacological profile of apigenin, a flavonoid isolated from Matricaria chamomilla. Biochemical pharmacology, 59 (11), pp. 1387–1394.
Avallone, R., Zanoli, P., Corsi, L., Cannazza, G. and Baraldi, M. 1996. Benzodiazepine-like compounds and GABA in flower heads of Matricaria chamomilla. Phytotherapy Research (United Kingdom
Bauman, A. and Dollemore, D. 1998. Natural healing remedies. Emmaus, Pa.: Rodale Press.
British Herbal Pharmacopoeia (BHP)
Bianco, M. I., L’Uquez, C., De Jong, L. I., Fern’ and Ez, R. A. 2008. Presence of Clostridium botulinum spores in Matricaria chamomilla (chamomile) and its relationship with infant botulism. International journal of food microbiology, Issue 121, Volume 3, pg. 357-360.
Biederman, J., Baldessarini, R. J., Wright, V., Knee, D. and Harmatz, J. S. 1989. A double-blind placebo controlled study of desipramine in the treatment of ADD: I. Efficacy. Journal of the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry, 28 (5), pp. 777—784
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CEMEK, M., BÜYÜKOKUROĞLU, M., YILMAZ, E., BÜYÜKBEN, A. and AYMELEK, F. 2009. Effects of Matricaria chamomilla on element status in ethanol-intoxicated rats. Revue Méd. Vét., 160 (10), pp. 443-448. Available at: http://www.revmedvet.com/2009/RMV160_443_448.pdf. viewed on the 9th of March 2014
Ch, Rashekhar, V., Halagali, K., Nidavani, R., Shalavadi, M., Biradar, B., Biswas, D., Muchch and I, I. 2011. Anti-allergic activity of German chamomile ( Matricaria recutita) in mast cell mediated allergy model. Journal of ethnopharmacology, 137 (1), pp. 336–340.
Farideh, Z. Z., Bagher, M., Ashraf, A., Akram, A. and Kazem, M. 2010. Effects of chamomile extract on biochemical and clinical parameters in a rat model of polycystic ovary syndrome. Journal of Reproduction & Infertility, 11 (3), pg. 169.
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Ganzera, M., Schneider, P. and Stuppner, H. 2006. Inhibitory effects of the essential oil of chamomile Matricaria recutita and its major constituents on human cytochrome P450 enzymes. Life sciences, 78 (8), pp. 856–861.
Karbalay-Doust, S. and Noorafshan, A. 2009. Antiulcerogenic Effects of Matricaria Chamomilla Extract in Experimental Gastric Ulcer in Mice. Iranian Journal of Medical Sciences, Issue 34.
National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke. 2014. Tourette Syndrome Fact Sheet: National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS).http://www.ninds.nih.gov/disorders/tourette/detail_tourette.htm Viewed on the 22 of February 2014
Nayak, B. S., Raju, S. S. and Rao, A. C. 2007. Wound healing activity of Matricaria recutita L. extract. Journal of wound care, 16 (7), p. 298
Niederhofer H (2009) Observational study: Matricaria chamomilla may improve some symptoms of attention-deficit hyper activity disorder. Phytomedicine 16:284–286
Presibella, M. M., Villas-B\^Oas, L. D. B., Belletti, K. M. D. S., Santos, C. A. D. M. and Weffort-Santos, A. M. 2006. Comparison of chemical constituents of Chamomilla recutita (L.) Rauschert essential oil and its anti-chemotactic activity. Brazilian Archives of Biology and Technology, 49 (5), pp. 717–724.
Reis, L. S. L. D. S., Pardo, P. E., Oba, E., Kronka, S. D. N. and Frazatti-Gallina, N. M. 2006. Matricaria chamomilla CH12 decreases handling stress in Nelore calves. Journal of veterinary science, 7 (2), pp. 189—192
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Sharifi, F., Simbar, M., Mojab, F. and Majd, H. A. 2013. Comparison of the effects of Matricaria chamomile (Chamomile) extract and mefenamic acid on the intensity of premenstrual syndrome.Complementary therapies in clinical practice.
Simonetti, G., Pergher, I. and Schuler, S. 1990. Simon & Schuster’s guide to herbs andspices. New York: Simon & Schuster.
Singh, O., Khanam, Z., Misra, N. and Srivastava, M. K. 2011. Chamomile (Matricaria chamomilla L.): an overview. Pharmacognosy reviews, 5 (9), p. 82.
Watson, R. R. 2009. Complementary and alternative therapies and the aging population. Amsterdam: Elsevier Academic Press, Chapter 8 Health Promoting Benefits of Chamomile in the Elderly Population.