Chamomile

Plant Part Used

Flowers

Introduction

The soothing properties of the chamomile flower have been used medicinally for centuries. Today, it is still used as a mild sedative for individuals with minor anxiety or nervousness. (1) Chamomile has a variety of other health benefits, including mild insomnia and topically as an effective wound-healing agent.

Interactions and Depletions

Interactions

Dosage Info

Dosage Range

400 to 1600mg (standardized extract) daily, in divided doses.

Tea: Place one heaping teaspoonful in 1 cup hot water; steep 10 minutes, strain. Drink 3-4 times a day as needed.

Topically: Apply to affected area 3-4 times a day as needed.

Most Common Dosage

400mg (standardized extract), 3 times a day for stress.

Tea: Place one heaping teaspoonful in 1 cup hot water; steep 10 minutes, strain. Drink 3 times a day as needed.

Topically: Apply to affected area 3 times a day as needed.

Standardization

[span class=doc]Standardization represents the complete body of information and controls that serve to enhance the batch to batch consistency of a botanical product, including but not limited to the presence of a marker compound at a defined level or within a defined range.[/span]

The most current available medical and scientific literature indicates that this dietary supplement should be standardized to capsules: 1.2% apigenin and 0.5% essential oil per dose.

Reported Uses

Chamomile is best known for calming the nerves without causing drowsiness or motor impairment. Other studies, however, have looked into chamomile’s ability to soothe the digestive system and alleviate gas. (2)

Other studies suggest that chamomile may help the body ward off infections caused by certain bacteria and fungal strains. (3) Chamomile has also been shown to have weak activity similar to the hormones estrogen and progesterone. (4)

Chamomile has also been used in the form of a topical ointment to treat acne, skin infections, burns, and wounds. (5) A chamomile cream was tested against a 0.5% hydrocortisone cream and a placebo cream in patients with medium-degree atopic eczema. After a 2-week treatment, the chamomile cream showed a mild superiority over the 0.5% hydrocortisone and a marginal difference when compared to placebo. (6)

Toxicities & Precautions

Introduction

[span class=alert]Be sure to tell your pharmacist, doctor, or other health care providers about any dietary supplements you are taking. There may be a potential for interactions or side effects.[/span]

Allergy

Some individuals experience an allergic reaction when taking this dietary supplement. Individuals with severe ragweed allergy or allergy to members of the daisy and chrysanthemum family may be allergic to this dietary supplement. (7) , (8) , (9) These individuals should contact their physician before use. Call your doctor or seek medical attention if you have fast or irregular breathing, skin rash, hives or itching.

Pregnancy/ Breast Feeding

To date, the medical literature has not reported any adverse effects related to fetal development during pregnancy or to infants who are breast-fed. Yet little is known about the use of this dietary supplement while pregnant or breast-feeding. Therefore, it is recommended that you inform your healthcare practitioner of any dietary supplements you are using while pregnant or breast-feeding.

Age Limitations

To date, the medical literature has not reported any adverse effects specifically related to the use of this dietary supplement in children. Since young children may have undiagnosed allergies or medical conditions, this dietary supplement should not be used in children under 10 years of age unless recommended by a physician.

References

  1. Wichtl M, in Bisset NA,ed. Herbal Drugs and Phytopharmaceuticals. Stuttgart: Scientific Press. 1994; 140-42.
  2. Kell T. More on Infant Colic. Birth Gaz. 1977;13(2):3.
  3. Grochulski A, et al. Influence of Chamomile Oil on Experimental Glomerulonephritis in Rabbits. Planta Medica. 1972;21:289-92.
  4. View Abstract: Rosenberg Zand RS, Jenkins DJ, Diamandis EP. Effects of natural products and nutraceuticals on steroid hormone-regulated gene expression. Clin Chim Acta. Oct2001;312(1-2):213-9.
  5. Kell T. More on Infant Colic. Birth Gaz. 1977;13(2):3.
  6. View Abstract: Patzelt-Wenczler R, Ponce-Poschl E. Proof of Efficacy of Kamillosan(R) Cream in Atopic Eczema. Eur J Med Res. Apr2000;5(4):171-5.
  7. Newall CA, et al. Herbal Medicines: A Guide for Health Care Professionals. London: The Pharmaceutical Press;1996:69-71.
  8. Giordano-Labadie F, Schwarze HP, Bazex J. Allergic Contact Dermatitis from Chamomile Used in Phytotherapy. Contact Dermatitis. Apr2000;42(4):247.
  9. View Abstract: de la Torre Morin F, Sanchez Machin I, Garcia Robaina JC, Fernandez-Caldas E, Sanchez Trivino M. Clinical cross-reactivity between Artemisia vulgaris and Matricaria chamomilla (chamomile). J Investig Allergol Clin Immunol. 2001;11(2):118-22.