Health Benefits of Chamomile

Chamomile is one of the oldest medicinal herbs known to mankind. There are two common varieties: German Chamomile and Roman Chamomile, both of which are native to certain parts of Europe.

Chamomile comes in many forms. Numerous products are made from the essential oil of chamomile flowers, which you can use topically in the form of oils or creams, eat in the form of herbs and teas, and also inhale. Chamomile can also be found in capsule form to be taken as a supplement. 

The most common form of chamomile is tea, which is made from the dried flowers of the chamomile plant. It’s so common that people drink more than a million cups of chamomile tea a day, often in the evenings before bed.

Health Benefits

Chamomile's long list of health benefits comes from the more than 120 chemical constituents it contains, which include:

  • 28 terpenoids
  • 36 flavanoids
  • 52 additional compounds

Many of these compounds are pharmacologically active, meaning they contain ingredients that are actively effective in treating a concern, much like the main ingredient in a medication.. For example, α-bisabolol and cyclic ethers are antimicrobial, meaning they can fight against microbes like bacteria, while chamazulene and α-bisabolol are antiseptic, which means they can prevent the growth of microorganisms or help destroy them.

Some of the ways chamomile can benefit your health include: 

Relieving Mouth Pain

Chamomile's healing properties have a soothing effect on the lining of your mouth. Mouthwashes made of chamomile tincture as well as caraway, clove oil, Echinacea, menthol, molmol, peppermint, and sage have successfully treated both gingivitis (gum disease) and canker sores

To get this chamomile benefit, simply drop 0.5 milliliters of a mixture of the above ingredients into a glass of water and swish it slowly in your mouth before spitting it out. This remedy works best if you repeat the process three times per day.

Promoting Gastrointestinal Health 

Chamomile helps with a number of gastrointestinal problems, such as:

One of the ways chamomile helps these issues is by relieving inflamed or irritated mucous membranes that line your digestive tract. 

Contributing to Wound Healing

Chamomile can be applied to wounds that are slow to heal, including skin eruptions and infections such as shingles and boils. This works well in powder form, but chamomile can also be administered as a cream or medicated ointment.

Helping You Get and Stay Asleep

Chamomile tea and essential oil aromatherapy are widely used to treat sleep disorders like insomnia. Due to its sedative effects, chamomile acts as a mild tranquilizer.

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Health Risks

Chamomile is considered safe, especially when used in amounts commonly found in teas. In rare cases, there are some health risks. You may experience side effects from chamomile if you are: 

Allergic to the Daisy Family 

People who are allergic to plants like ragweed, chrysanthemums, marigolds, and daisies are more likely to experience allergic reactions to chamomile. Though it is very uncommon, anaphylaxis (a severe allergic reaction) has occurred in people who came into contact with chamomile products.

Pregnant or Breastfeeding

There is not enough information about chamomile to determine whether it is safe to use during pregnancy or while breastfeeding. 

Taking Certain Medications

Chamomile can interact with cyclosporine (a medicine used to prevent the rejection of organ transplants) as well as warfarin (a blood thinner). If you are using either of these drugs, you should consult with your doctor before trying chamomile products. 

Amounts and Dosage

Because its products vary widely, there is no set recommended dosage for chamomile. 

In capsule form, typical doses range from one to two capsules (up to 1000 ml each) one to four times a day.

People who drink chamomile in the form of tea may drink one to four cups daily. To make chamomile tea, steep a chamomile tea bag or dried chamomile flowers in hot water for 5 to 10 minutes, and drink the infusion when it has sufficiently cooled. You can sweeten it lightly with sugar or other sweeteners.

WebMD Medical Reference Reviewed by Dan Brennan, MD on November 07, 2020

Sources

SOURCES: 

Association for the Advancement of Restorative Medicine: "German Chamomile (Chamomilla recutita)."

Clinical & Experimental Allergy: “Anaphylaxis to camomile: clinical features and allergen cross-reactivity.”

Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center: “Chamomile.”

Molecular Medicine Reports: "Chamomile: A herbal medicine of the past with bright future."

National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health: "Chamomile."

PeaceHealth: "Chamomile."

Pharmacognosy Review: Chamomile (Matricaria chamomilla L.): An overview."

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