Healthy Living

Chamomile

Also indexed as:Matricaria recutita
Chamomile: Main Image © Steven Foster
Botanical names:
Matricaria recutita

Parts Used & Where Grown

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.

  • Reliable and relatively consistent scientific data showing a substantial health benefit.
  • Contradictory, insufficient, or preliminary studies suggesting a health benefit or minimal health benefit.
  • For an herb, supported by traditional use but minimal or no scientific evidence. For a supplement, little scientific support.

Our proprietary “Star-Rating” system was developed to help you easily understand the amount of scientific support behind each supplement in relation to a specific health condition. While there is no way to predict whether a vitamin, mineral, or herb will successfully treat or prevent associated health conditions, our unique ratings tell you how well these supplements are understood by the medical community, and whether studies have found them to be effective for other people.

For over a decade, our team has combed through thousands of research articles published in reputable journals. To help you make educated decisions, and to better understand controversial or confusing supplements, our medical experts have digested the science into these three easy-to-follow ratings. We hope this provides you with a helpful resource to make informed decisions towards your health and well-being.

This supplement has been used in connection with the following health conditions:

Used for AmountWhy
Anxiety
Refer to label instructions 2 stars[2 stars]
Chamomile is an old folk remedy for anxiety, particularly anxiety that causes insomnia. Animal studies support this idea, due possibly to the herb’s calming compounds.
Colic

(Fennel, Lemon Balm, Licorice, Vervain)
1/2 cup (118 ml) of tea up to three times daily2 stars[2 stars]
A soothing tea made from chamomile, vervain, licorice, fennel, and lemon balm has been shown to relieve colic more effectively than placebo.
Colic
1/2 cup (118 ml) of tea three to four times daily2 stars[2 stars]
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.
Eczema
Apply 5 to 6% herbal extract several times per day2 stars[2 stars]
Topical applications of chamomile have been shown to be moderately effective in the treatment of eczema.
Gingivitis

(Caraway, Clove Oil, Echinacea, Menthol, Molmol, Peppermint, Sage)
0.5 ml in half a glass of water three times per day swished slowly in the mouth before spitting out2 stars[2 stars]
A mouthwash containing sage oil, peppermint oil, menthol, chamomile tincture, expressed juice from echinacea, myrrh tincture, clove oil, and caraway oil has been used successfully to treat gingivitis.
Wound Healing
Apply an ointment containing 2% chamomile extract or standardized for chamazulene and bisabolol content three to four times daily 2 stars[2 stars]
Topically applied chamomile can be used to speed wound healing.
Canker Sores
Refer to label instructions 1 star[1 star]
Chamomile has healing properties and swishing a tincture made of strong tea may have a soothing effect on the lining of the mouth.
Conjunctivitis and Blepharitis
Refer to label instructions 1 star[1 star]
Chamomile has been traditionally used to treat eye inflammation.
Crohn’s Disease
Refer to label instructions 1 star[1 star]
Chamomile is an anti-inflammatory herb historically recommended by doctors for people with Crohn’s disease.
Diarrhea
Refer to label instructions 1 star[1 star]
Typically taken as a tea, chamomile may reduce intestinal cramping and ease the irritation and inflammation associated with diarrhea.
Gastritis
Refer to label instructions 1 star[1 star]
Chamomile may soothe injured and inflamed mucous membranes. Active ingredients in chamomile appears to inhibit H. pylori and reduce free radical activity.
Gingivitis
Refer to label instructions 1 star[1 star]
Chamomile provides anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial actions critical to successfully treating gingivitis.
Indigestion, Heartburn, and Low Stomach Acidity
Refer to label instructions 1 star[1 star]
Chamomile is effective in relieving inflamed or irritated mucous membranes of the digestive tract.
Insomnia
Refer to label instructions 1 star[1 star]
Chamomile is commonly recommended by doctors as a mild sedative for those suffering from insomnia or nervous exhaustion. It is a particularly good choice for children whose insomnia may be related to gastrointestinal upset.
Irritable Bowel Syndrome
Refer to label instructions 1 star[1 star]
Chamomile’s essential oils may ease intestinal cramping and irritation. The herb is sometimes used by herbalists to relieve alternating bouts of diarrhea and constipation.
Peptic Ulcer
Refer to label instructions 1 star[1 star]
Chamomile has a soothing effect on inflamed and irritated mucous membranes. It is also high in the flavonoid apigenin, which has inhibited growth of H. pylori in test tubes.
Ulcerative Colitis
Refer to label instructions 1 star[1 star]
Practitioners of herbal medicine often recommend chamomile to people with colitis.

Traditional Use (May Not Be Supported by Scientific Studies)

Chamomile has been used for centuries in Europe as a medicinal plant, mostly for gastrointestinal complaints. This practice continues today.

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The information presented in Aisle7 is for informational purposes only. It is based on scientific studies (human, animal, or in vitro), clinical experience, or traditional usage as cited in each article. The results reported may not necessarily occur in all individuals. Self-treatment is not recommended for life-threatening conditions that require medical treatment under a doctor's care. For many of the conditions discussed, treatment with prescription or over the counter medication is also available. Consult your doctor, practitioner, and/or pharmacist for any health problem and before using any supplements or before making any changes in prescribed medications. Information expires June 2015.