Botanical names: Matricaria recutita
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.
1/2 cup (118 ml) of tea three to four times daily
Chamomile is a carminative herb with long history of use as a calming herb and may be used to ease intestinal cramping in colicky infants.
Apply 5 to 6% herbal extract several times per day
Topical applications of chamomile have been shown to be moderately effective in the treatment of eczema.
Apply an ointment containing 2% chamomile extract or standardized for chamazulene and bisabolol content three to four times daily
Topically applied chamomile can be used to speed wound healing.
How It Works
The flowers of chamomile contain 1 to 2% volatile oils including alpha-bisabolol, alpha-bisabolol oxides A & B, and matricin (usually converted to chamazulene). 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.
Topical applications of chamomile have been shown to be moderately effective in the treatment of eczema. One double-blind trial found it to be about 60% as effective as 0.25% hydrocortisone cream.
How to Use It
Chamomile is often taken three to four times daily between meals as a tea. Common alternatives are to use 2 to 3 grams of the herb in tablet or capsule form or 4 to 6 ml of tincture three times per day between meals. Standardized extracts containing 1% apigenin and 0.5% volatile oils may also be used. One to two capsules containing 300 to 400 mg of extract may be taken three times daily. Topical creams or ointments can be applied to the affected area three to four times daily.
Though rare, allergic reactions to chamomile have been reported. These reactions have included bronchial constriction with internal use and allergic skin reactions with topical use. While reports of such side effects are uncommon, people with allergies to plants of the Asteraceae family (ragweed, aster, and chrysanthemums), as well as mugwort pollen should avoid using chamomile. Chamomile is usually considered to be safe during pregnancy or breast-feeding. However, there is one case report in which a pregnant woman who took chamomile as an enema had an allergic reaction that led to the death of her newborn.
Interactions with Supplements, Foods, & Other Compounds
At the time of writing, there were no well-known interactions with this supplement.
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