Medicinal Herb: German Chamomile
Medicinal Herb: German Chamomile
Camomile, matricaria, anthemis, ground apple, Roman camomile, garden camomile, low camomile, whig plant, German camomile, wild camomile.
Chamomile is a widely recognised herb in Western culture. Its medicinal usage dates back to antiquity where such notables as Hippocrates, Galen, and Asclepius made written reference to it. A common ingredient today in herbal teas because of its calming, carminative, and spasmolytic properties, it is also a popular ingredient in topical health and beauty products for its soothing and anti-inflammatory effects on skin. Chamomile has a sweet, grassy, and lightly fruity aroma. Its flowers are daisy-like, with yellow centres (approximately 1-1.5 cm in diameter) and white petals (between 12-20 in number). It is from the plant’s fresh and dried flower heads that infusions, liquid extracts, and essential oils are made.
The flowers of chamomile provide 1-2% volatile oils containing alpha-bisabolol, alpha-bisabolol oxides A & B, and matricin (usually converted to chamazulene). Other active constituents include the bioflavonoids apigenin, luteolin, and quercetin.
These active ingredients contribute to chamomile’s actions and include: antibacterial, antifungal, anti-inflammatory, antispasmodic, anti-ulcer, anti-viral, sedative effects, and smooth muscle-relaxing effects, particularly in the gastrointestinal tract[1,2].
Traditional Applications in Herbal Medicine:
- Blocked tear duct
- Canker sores (mouth ulcers)
- Gingivitis (periodontal disease)
- Indigestion and heartburn
- Irritable bowel syndrome
- Peptic ulcer
- Skin irritations
Recent research has shown Chamomile to be effective in the treatment of other conditions including: Diabetes, Mouth, mucositis, and gingival bleeding, Osteoarthritis of the knee, Premenstrual syndrome, and Ulcerative colitis .
1. Matricaria chamomilla, Alternative Medicine Review Volume 13, Number 1 March 2008
2. Stuart, Malcolm. (1979). The Encyclopedia of herbs and herbalism. London : Orbis Books
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Page last updated: 26th June 2020
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