Blue Chamomile, Camomèle, Camomilla, Camomille, Camomille Allemande, Camomille Sauvage, Camomille Tronquée, Camomille Vraie, Chamomile, Chamomilla recutita, Echte Kamille, Feldkamille, Fleur de Camomile, Hungarian Chamomile, Kamillen, Kleine Kamille, Manzanilla, Manzanilla Alemana, Matricaire, Matricaire Camomille, Matricaria chamomilla, Matricaria recutita, Matricariae Flos, Œil du Soleil, Petite Camomille, Pin Heads, Sweet False Chamomile, True Chamomile, Wild Chamomile.
Overview InformationGerman chamomile is an herb that is native to southern and eastern Europe. The herb smells slightly like apple, and is popular throughout the world. The name "chamomile" is Greek for "Earth apple". Do not confuse German chamomile with Roman chamomile.
People use German chamomile for diarrhea, indigestion (dyspepsia), anxiety, and excessive crying in infants (colic). Some people also use German chamomile for insomnia, mouth sores, hemorrhoids, and many other conditions, but there is no good scientific evidence to support these uses.
In foods and beverages, German chamomile is used as flavoring.
In manufacturing, German chamomile is used in cosmetics, soaps, and mouthwashes.
How does it work?German chamomile contains chemicals that seem to promote relaxation and reduce swelling (inflammation).
German chamomile might reduce swelling by slowing the production of chemicals called prostaglandins, leukotrienes, and histamines. These chemicals are usually released to create a swelling response in the body.
Uses & Effectiveness
Possibly Effective for
- Diarrhea. Taking a product containing apple pectin and German chamomile (Diarrhoesan, Dr. Loges + Co. GmbH) for 1-3 days seems to reduce diarrhea in children 6 months to 6 years old.
- Indigestion (dyspepsia). Taking certain combination products (Iberogast; STW-5-S) containing German chamomile and other ingredients seems to improve symptoms of heartburn.
- A type of persistent anxiety marked by exaggerated worry and tension (generalized anxiety disorder or GAD). Research suggests that taking capsules containing 220-1110 mg of German chamomile extract daily for 8 weeks reduces anxiety and depression in adults with generalized anxiety disorder.
Possibly Ineffective for
- Skin damage caused by radiation therapy (radiation dermatitis). Applying German chamomile cream to the skin does not seem to prevent skin irritation caused by cancer radiation therapy.
Insufficient Evidence for
- Eczema (atopic dermatitis). Some research shows that applying a cream containing 2% German chamomile extract (Kamillosan, Asta Medica AG) to the skin improves inflamed or irritated skin. However, other research shows that applying a cream containing 10% German chamomile extract does not improve inflamed or irritated skin.
- Excessive crying in infants (colic). Some research shows that giving a specific multi-ingredient product containing fennel, lemon balm, and German chamomile (ColiMil by Milte Italia SPA) to breast-fed infants with colic twice daily for a week reduces crying time. Other research shows that giving infants a tea preparation containing German chamomile, vervain, licorice, fennel, and lemon balm (Calma-Bebi by Bonomelli) up to three times per day increases the number of infants for whom colic resolves.
- Common cold. Early research suggests that dissolving a German chamomile product (Kneipp Kamillen-Konzentrat, Kneipp Werke) in hot water and inhaling the steam for 10 minutes reduces common cold symptoms.
- Hemorrhoids. Early research shows that applying German chamomile ointment (Kamillosan, Asta Medica AG) together with standard treatment improves bleeding, itching, and burning in people with hemorrhoids.
- Insomnia. Research shows that taking German chamomile twice daily for 28 days does not improve sleeping problems in people with insomnia.
- Swelling (inflammation) and sores inside the mouth (oral mucositis). Early research shows that using German chamomile mouth rinses might help prevent or treat sores in the mouth caused by radiation therapy, some types of chemotherapy, or stem cell transplants.
- Skin breakdown around a stoma (peristomal lesions). . Early research shows that applying a German chamomile compress to areas of skin breakdown around colostomy appliances decreases the amount of time needed for skin lesions to heal by about 5 to 6 days compared with applying 1% hydrocortisone cream.
- Loss of bladder control (urinary incontinence). Early research shows that applying oil infused with German chamomile to the skin above the pubic area or near the anus nightly for 6 weeks may reduce episodes of uncontrolled urination in children.
- Wound healing. Research shows that applying a German chamomile product (Kamille Spitzner, W. Spitzner Arzneimittelfabrik GmbH) to wounds for 14 days reduces wound size after 4 days of treatment but does not affect wound healing approximately 3 weeks after tattoo removal.
- A mild form of gum disease (gingivitis).
- Attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).
- Gas (flatulence).
- Hay fever.
- Cancer of the white blood cells (leukemia).
- Menstrual cramps (dysmenorrhea).
- Swelling (inflammation) of the nasal cavity and sinuses (rhinosinusitis).
- Travelers' diarrhea.
- Other conditions.
Side Effects & SafetyWhen taken by mouth: German chamomile is LIKELY SAFE when taken in amounts found in food. In fact, it has "Generally Recognized as Safe (GRAS)" status in the U.S. German chamomile is POSSIBLY SAFE when taken by mouth as a medicine for short periods of time. The long-term safety of German chamomile is unknown.
When applied to the skin: German chamomile is POSSIBLY SAFE when applied to the skin. It can cause allergic skin reactions. When applied to the skin near the eyes, German chamomile may cause eye irritation.
When used as a mouthwash: German chamomile is POSSIBLY SAFE when used as a mouthwash. It can cause nausea and burning in the mouth.
Special Precautions & Warnings:Pregnancy and breast-feeding: There isn't enough reliable information to know if German chamomile is safe to use when pregnant or breast-feeding. Stay on the safe side and avoid use.
Children: German chamomile is POSSIBLY SAFE when taken by mouth or applied to the skin as a medicine, short-term. Early research shows that several products containing German chamomile are safe in infants when taken by mouth for up to one week. Early research also shows that oil containing German chamomile is safe in children and teenagers when applied to the skin nightly for up to 6 weeks.
Allergies to ragweed or related plants: German chamomile may cause an allergic reaction in people who are sensitive to the Asteraceae/Compositae family of plants. Members of this family include ragweed, chrysanthemums, marigolds, daisies, and many other herbs.
Hormone-sensitive condition such as breast cancer, uterine cancer, ovarian cancer, endometriosis, or uterine fibroids: German chamomile might act like estrogen in the body. If you have any condition that might be made worse by exposure to estrogen, don't use German chamomile.
Surgery: German chamomile might interact with anesthesia for surgery. Stop using German chamomile at least 2 weeks before a scheduled surgery.
Be cautious with this combination
Birth control pills (Contraceptive drugs) interacts with GERMAN CHAMOMILE
Some birth control pills contain estrogen. German chamomile might have some of the same effects as estrogen. But German chamomile isn't as strong as the estrogen in birth control pills. Taking German chamomile along with birth control pills might decrease the effectiveness of birth control pills. If you take birth control pills along with German chamomile, use an additional form of birth control such as a condom.
Some birth control pills include ethinyl estradiol and levonorgestrel (Triphasil), ethinyl estradiol and norethindrone (Ortho-Novum 1/35, Ortho-Novum 7/7/7), and others.
Estrogens interacts with GERMAN CHAMOMILE
Large amounts of German chamomile might have some of the same effects as estrogen. But large amounts of German chamomile aren't as strong as estrogen pills. Taking German chamomile along with estrogen pills might decrease the effects of estrogen pills.
Some estrogen pills include conjugated equine estrogens (Premarin), ethinyl estradiol, estradiol, and others.
Medications changed by the liver (Cytochrome P450 3A4 (CYP3A4) substrates) interacts with GERMAN CHAMOMILE
Some medications are changed and broken down by the liver.
German chamomile might decrease how quickly the liver breaks down some medications. Taking German chamomile along with some medications that are broken down by the liver can increase the effects and side effects of some medications. Before taking German chamomile, talk to your healthcare provider if you are taking any medications that are changed by the liver.
Some medications changed by the liver include lovastatin (Mevacor), ketoconazole (Nizoral), itraconazole (Sporanox), fexofenadine (Allegra), triazolam (Halcion), and many others.
Sedative medications (Benzodiazepines) interacts with GERMAN CHAMOMILE
German chamomile might cause sleepiness and drowsiness. Drugs that cause sleepiness and drowsiness are called sedatives. Taking German chamomile along with sedative medications might cause too much sleepiness.
Some of these sedative medications include alprazolam (Xanax), clonazepam (Klonopin), diazepam (Valium), lorazepam (Ativan), midazolam (Versed), temazepam (Restoril), triazolam (Halcion), and others.
Sedative medications (CNS depressants) interacts with GERMAN CHAMOMILE
German chamomile might cause sleepiness and drowsiness. Medications that cause sleepiness are called sedatives. Taking German chamomile along with sedative medications might cause too much sleepiness.
Some sedative medications include pentobarbital (Nembutal), phenobarbital (Luminal), secobarbital (Seconal), fentanyl (Duragesic, Sublimaze), morphine, zolpidem (Ambien), and others.
Tamoxifen (Nolvadex) interacts with GERMAN CHAMOMILE
Some types of cancer are affected by hormones in the body. Estrogen-sensitive cancers are cancers that are affected by estrogen levels in the body. Tamoxifen (Nolvadex) is used to help treat and prevent these types of cancer. German chamomile seems to also affect estrogen levels in the body. By affecting estrogen in the body, German chamomile might decrease the effectiveness of tamoxifen (Nolvadex). Do not take German chamomile if you are taking tamoxifen (Nolvadex).
Warfarin (Coumadin) interacts with GERMAN CHAMOMILE
Warfarin (Coumadin) is used to slow blood clotting. German chamomile might increase the effects of warfarin (Coumadin). Taking German chamomile and warfarin (Coumadin) together might slow blood clotting too much and cause bruising and bleeding. Be sure to have your blood checked regularly. The dose of your warfarin (Coumadin) might need to be changed.
Be watchful with this combination
Medications changed by the liver (Cytochrome P450 1A2 (CYP1A2) substrates) interacts with GERMAN CHAMOMILE
Some medications are changed and broken down by the liver.
German chamomile might decrease how quickly the liver breaks down some medications. Taking German chamomile along with some medications that are broken down by the liver can increase the effects and side effects of these medications. Before taking German chamomile, talk to your healthcare provider if you take any medications that are changed by the liver.
Some medications that are changed by the liver include amitriptyline (Elavil), haloperidol (Haldol), ondansetron (Zofran), propranolol (Inderal), theophylline (Theo-Dur, others), verapamil (Calan, Isoptin, others), and others.
The following doses have been studied in scientific research:
- For indigestion (dyspepsia): 1 mL of a specific product containing licorice, milk thistle, peppermint leaf, German chamomile, caraway, celandine, angelica, lemon balm, and clown's mustard plant (Iberogast; Steigerwald Arzneimittelwerk GmbH) has been taken three times daily for 4 weeks. Also, 1 mL of another specific product containing licorice, milk thistle, peppermint leaf, German chamomile, caraway, celandine, angelica, and lemon balm (STW-5-S, Steigerwald Arzneimittelwerk GmbH) has been taken three times daily for 4 weeks. In addition, 1 mL of a specific product containing clown's mustard plant, German chamomile, peppermint, caraway, licorice, and lemon balm (STW 5-II, Steigerwald Arzneimittelwerk GmbH) has been taken three times daily for up to 12 weeks.
- For a type of persistent anxiety marked by exaggerated worry and tension (generalized anxiety disorder or GAD): Capsules containing 220-1100 mg of German chamomile extract have been taken daily for 8 weeks.
- For diarrhea: A specific product (Diarrhoesan, Dr. Loges + Co. GmbH) containing apple pectin and German chamomile extract has been used for 1-3 days in children 6 months to 6 years old.
- Aertgeerts P, Albring M, Klaschka F, et al. [Comparative testing of Kamillosan cream and steroidal (0.25% hydrocortisone, 0.75% fluocortin butyl ester) and non-steroidal (5% bufexamac) dermatologic agents in maintenance therapy of eczematous diseases]. Z Hautkr 1985;60(3):270-277. View abstract.
- Amsterdam JD, Li Y, Soeller I, et al. A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial of oral Matricaria recutita (chamomile) extract therapy for generalized anxiety disorder. J Clin Psychopharmacol. 2009;29(4):378-382. View abstract.
- Avallone R, Zanoli P, Puia G, et al. Pharmacological profile of apigenin, a flavonoid isolated from Matricaria chamomilla. Biochem Pharmacol 2000;59:1387-94. View abstract.
- Barene I, Daberte I, Zvirgzdina L, Iriste V. The complex technology on products of German chamomile. Medicina (Kaunas). 2003;39(Suppl 2):127-131. View abstract.
- Becker B, Kuhn U, Hardewig-Budny B. Double-blind, randomized evaluation of clinical efficacy and tolerability of an apple pectin-chamomile extract in children with unspecific diarrhea. Arzneimittelforschung 2006;56(6):387-393. View abstract.
- Benito P, Rodríguez-Perez R, García F, Juste S, Moneo I, Caballero ML. Occupational allergic rhinoconjunctivitis induced by Matricaria chamomilla with tolerance of chamomile tea. J Investig Allergol Clin Immunol. 2014;24(5):369-70. No abstract available. View abstract .
- Braga FT, Santos AC, Bueno PC, et al. Use of Chamomilla recutita in the prevention and treatment of oral mucositis in patients undergoing hematopoietic stem cell transplantation: a randomized, controlled, phase II clinical trial. Cancer Nurs 2015;38(4):322-9. View abstract.
- Budzinski JW, Foster BC, Vandenhoek S, Arnason JT. An in vitro evaluation of human cytochrome P450 3A4 inhibition by selected commercial herbal extracts and tinctures. Phytomedicine 2000;7:273-82. View abstract.
- Carl W, Emrich LS. Management of oral mucositis during local radiation and systemic chemotherapy: a study of 98 patients. J Prosthet Dent 1991;66:361-9. View abstract.
- Charousaei F, Dabirian A, Mojab F. Using chamomile solution or a 1% topical hydrocortisone ointment in the management of peristomal skin lesions in colostomy patients: results of a controlled clinical study. Ostomy Wound Manage 2011;57:28-36. View abstract.
- Daneshfard B, Shahriari M, Heiran A, Nimrouzi M, Yarmohammadi H. Effect of chamomile on chemotherapy-induced neutropenia in pediatric leukemia patients: A randomized triple-blind placebo-controlled clinical trial. Avicenna J Phytomed. 2020;10(1):58-69. View abstract.
- de la Motte S, Bose-O'Reilly S, Heinisch M, Harrison F. [Double-blind comparison of an apple pectin-chamomile extract preparation with placebo in children with diarrhea]. Arzneimittelforschung 1997;47(11):1247-1249. View abstract.
- Electronic Code of Federal Regulations. Title 21. Part 182 -- Substances Generally Recognized As Safe. Available at: https://www.accessdata.fda.gov/scripts/cdrh/cfdocs/cfcfr/CFRSearch.cfm?CFRPart=182
- Fidler P, Loprinzi CL, O'Fallon JR, et al. Prospective evaluation of a chamomile mouthwash for prevention of 5-FU-induced oral mucositis. Cancer 1996;77:522-5. View abstract.
- Forster CF, Sussmann HE, Patzelt-Wenczler R. [Optimization of the Barron ligature treatment of 2nd and 3rd-degree hemorrhoids using a therapeutic troika]. Praxis (Bern 1994) 1996;85(46):1476-1481. View abstract.
- Ganzera M, Schneider P, Stuppner H. Inhibitory effects of the essential oil of chamomile (Matricaria recutita L.) and its major constituents on human cytochrome P450 enzymes. Life Sci 2006;78(8):856-861. View abstract.
- George J, Hegde S, Rajesh KS, et al. The efficacy of a herbal-based toothpaste in the control of plaque and gingivitis: a clinico-biochemical study. Indian J Dent Res 2009;20(4):480-482. View abstract.
- Glowania HJ, Raulin C, Swoboda M. [Effect of chamomile on wound healing--a clinical double-blind study]. Z Hautkr 1987;62(17):1262, 1267-1271. View abstract.
- Gomaa A, Hashem T, Mohamed M, Ashry E. Matricaria chamomilla extract inhibits both development of morphine dependence and expression of abstinence syndrome in rats. J Pharmacol Sci 2003;92:50-5. View abstract.
- Habersang S, Leuschner F, Isaac O, Thiemer K. [Pharmacological studies with compounds of chamomile. IV. Studies on toxicity of (-)-alpha-bisabolol (author's transl)]. Planta Med 1979;37:115-23. View abstract.
- Holtmann G, Madisch A, Juergen H, et al. A double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled trial on the effects of an herbal preparation in patients with functional dyspepsia [Abstract]. Ann Mtg Digestive Disease Week 1999 May.
- Hormann HP, Korting HC. Evidence for the efficacy and safety of topical herbal drugs in dermatology: part I: anti-inflammatory agents. Phytomedicine 1994;1:161-71.
- Kassi E, Papoutsi Z, Fokialakis N, et al. Greek plant extracts exhibit selective estrogen receptor modulator (SERM)-like properties. J Agric Food Chem 2004;52:6956-61. View abstract.
- Kobayashi Y, Nakano Y, Inayama K, et al. Dietary intake of the flower extracts of German chamomile (Matricaria recutita L.) inhibited compound 48/80-induced itch-scratch responses in mice. Phytomedicine 2003;10:657-64. View abstract.
- Loggia RD, Traversa U, Scarcia V, et al. Depressive effects of Chamomilla recutita (L.) Rausch, tubular flowers, on central nervous system in mice. Pharmacol Res Commun 1982;14(2):153-162. View abstract.
- Madisch A, Holtmann G, Mayr G, et al. Treatment of functional dyspepsia with a herbal preparation. A double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled, multicenter trial. Digestion 2004;69:45-52. View abstract.
- Madisch A, Melderis H, Mayr G, et al. [A plant extract and its modified preparation in functional dyspepsia. Results of a double-blind placebo controlled comparative study]. Z Gastroenterol 2001;39(7):511-7. View abstract.
- Maiche AG, Grohn P, Maki-Hokkonen H. Effect of chamomile cream and almond ointment on acute radiation skin reaction. Acta Oncol 1991;30:395-6.
- Maliakal PP, Wanwimolruk S. Effect of herbal teas on hepatic drug metabolizing enzymes in rats. J Pharm Pharmacol 2001;53:1323-9. View abstract.
- Martinelli M, Ummarino D, Giugliano FP, et al. Efficacy of a standardized extract of Matricariae chamomilla L., Melissa officinalis L. and tyndallized Lactobacillus acidophilus (HA122) in infantile colic: an open randomized controlled trial. Neurogastroenterol Motil. 2017 Dec;29:e13145. View abstract.
- Melzer J, Rosch W, Reichling J, et al. Meta-analysis: phytotherapy of functional dyspepsia with the herbal drug preparation STW 5 (Iberogast). Aliment Pharmacol Ther 2004;20:1279-87. View abstract.
- Patzelt-Wenczler R, Ponce-Poschl E. Proof of efficacy of Kamillosan cream in atopic eczema. Eur J Med Res 2000;5:171-175. View abstract.
- Pirzad A, Alyari H, Shakiba RM, Zehtab-Salmasi S, and Mohammadi SA. Essential Oil Content and Composition of German Chamomile ( Matricaria chamomilla L. ) at Different Irrigation Regimes. Journal of Agronomy. 03/2006; 5(3).
- Saller R, Beschomer M, Hellenbrecht D, et al. Dose dependency of symptomatic relief of complaints by chamomile steam inhalation in patients with common cold. Eur J Pharmacol 1990;183:728-729.
- Savino F, Cresi F, Castagno E, et al. A randomized double-blind placebo-controlled trial of a standardized extract of Matricariae recutita, Foeniculum vulgare and Melissa officinalis (ColiMil) in the treatment of breastfed colicky infants. Phytother Res 2005;19:335-40. View abstract.
- Segal R, Pilote L. Warfarin interaction with Matricaria chamomilla. CMAJ 2006;174:1281-2. View abstract.
- Sharifi H, Mianie MB, Qasemzadeh MG, Ataei N, Gharehbeglou M, Heydari M. Topical use of matricaria recutita L (chamomile) oil in the treatment of monosymptomatic enuresis in children: a double-blind randomized controlled trial. J Evid Based Complementary Altern Med. 2017 Jan;22(1):12-17. View abstract.
- Shimelis ND, Asticcioli S, Baraldo M, et al. Researching accessible and affordable treatment for common dermatological problems in developing countries. An Ethiopian experience. Int J Dermatol 2012;51(7):790-795. View abstract.
- Storr M, Sibaev A, Weiser D, et al. Herbal extracts modulate the amplitude and frequency of slow waves in circular smooth muscle of mouse small intestine. Digestion 2004;70:257-64. View abstract.
- Subiza J, Subiza JL, Hinojosa M, et al. Anaphylactic reaction after the ingestion of chamomile tea; a study of cross-reactivity with other composite pollens. J Allergy Clin Immunol 1989;84:353-8. View abstract.
- Tavakoli Ardakani M, Ghassemi S, Mehdizadeh M, Mojab F, Salamzadeh J, Ghassemi S, Hajifathali A. Evaluating the effect of matricaria recutita and mentha piperita herbal mouthwash on management of oral mucositis in patients undergoing hematopoietic stem cell transplantation: a randomized, double blind, placebo controlled clinical trial. Complement Ther Med 2016 Dec;29:29-34. View abstract.
- van Ketel WG. Allergy to Matricaria chamomilla. Contact Dermatitis 1982;8:143.
- van Ketel WG. Allergy to Matricaria chamomilla. Contact Dermatitis 1987;16:50-1.
- Viola H, Wasowski C, Levi de Stein M, et al. Apigenin, a component of Matricaria recutita flowers, is a central benzodiazepine receptors-ligand with anxiolytic effects. Planta Med 1995;61:213-6. View abstract.
- Wang Y, Tang H, Nicholson JK, et al. A metabonomic strategy for the detection of the metabolic effects of chamomile (Matricaria recutita L.) ingestion. J Agric Food Chem 2005;53:191-6. View abstract.
- Weizman Z, Alkrinawi S, Goldfarb D, et al. Efficacy of herbal tea preparation in infantile colic. J Pediatr 1993;122(4):650-652. View abstract.
- Zick SM, Wright BD, Sen A, Arnedt JT. Preliminary examination of the efficacy and safety of a standardized chamomile extract for chronic primary insomnia: a randomized placebo-controlled pilot study. BMC Complement Altern Med 2011;11:78. View abstract.
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