|Description||Chamomile comes from the dried daisy like flowers of the Matricaria recutita plant (sometimes called Matricaria chamomilla, Chamomilla recutita or German chamomile).
Chamomile contains a number of active constituents including volatile oils and antioxidants.
|Function/ Used for||Chamomile is renowned for its health supporting properties which include relaxation, carminative (acting to soothe and support the digestive system), anti-inflammatory and anti-septic.
It is widely used to promote general relaxation and to help calm the digestive system. It can also be topically applied to help soothe skin rashes and burns, including sunburn.
It can be used as a mouth wash for inflammation of the mouth such as gingivitis and for bathing inflamed and sore eyes.
|As a supplement||Unprocessed dried flowers are available to buy in bulk. Chamomile tea prepared in tea bags is also readily available. It can be found in aqueous or alcohol extracts and as topical ointments and creams.
Essential oil of chamomile is also widely available.As a general guide, 2-8grams dried flower per day, as an infusion (tea) or equivalent liquid extract is generally recognised as safe1.
|Found in (dietary sources)||N/A|
|Precautions and contraindications||Chamomile oil should not be taken internally.|
|Use in pregnancy and breastfeeding||The American National Institute of Health advise that chamomile and essential oil of chamomile should not be used in pregnancy as it may stimulate uterine contractions.2|
|Interactions e.g. with other medications||None known|
|Adverse effects||Allergic reactions have been reported in those individuals sensitive to members of the Compositae family, i.e. daisies, ragweed, and crysanthemums.3|
|References||1 Williamson, E. M. Potter’s Herbal Cyclopaedia. C.W. Daniel Co Ltd. 2003
2 “Roman chamomile: MedlinePlus”. MedlinePlus. National Institutes of Health. 2012-02-16. Retrieved 15/02/2017 https://medlineplus.gov/druginfo/natural/752.html
3 Braun & Cohen. Herbs and Natural Supplements: An evidence-based guide. Churchill Livingstone, 2005.