Principal Proposed Uses
Two distinct plants are known as chamomile and are used interchangeably: German and Roman chamomile. Although distantly related botanically, they both look like miniature daisies and are traditionally thought to possess similar medicinal benefits.
Over a million cups of chamomile tea are drunk daily, testifying to its good taste, at least. Chamomile was used by early Egyptian physicians for fevers, and by ancient Greeks, Romans, and Indians for headaches and disorders of the kidneys, liver, and bladder.
The modern use of chamomile dates back to 1921, when a German firm introduced a topical form. This cream became a popular treatment for a wide variety of skin disorders, including eczema, bedsores, skin inflammation caused by radiation therapy, and contact dermatitis (eg, poison ivy).
What Is Chamomile Used for Today?
Germany's Commission E authorizes the use of topical chamomile preparations for a variety of diseases of the skin and mouth.
Chamomile tea is also said to reduce mild tension and stress and to aid indigestion .
What Is the Scientific Evidence for Chamomile?
There is no reliable evidence that chamomile is effective for the treatment of any health condition.
Chamomile cream is applied to the affected area 1 to 4 times daily.
Chamomile tea can be made by pouring boiling water over 2 to 3 heaping teaspoons of flowers and steeping for 10 minutes.
Chamomile tinctures and pills should be taken according to the directions on the label. Alcoholic tincture may be the most potent form for internal use.
Chamomile is listed on the FDA's GRAS (generally recognized as safe) list.
Safety in young children, pregnant or nursing women, or those with liver or kidney disease has not been established, although there have not been any credible reports of toxicity caused by this common beverage tea.
Interactions You Should Know About
If you are taking blood-thinning medications such as warfarin (Coumadin) , heparin , clopidogrel (Plavix) , ticlopidine (Ticlid) , or pentoxifylline (Trental) , you should avoid using chamomile as it might increase their effect. This could potentially cause problems.
- Reviewer: EBSCO CAM Review Board
- Review Date: 07/2012 -
- Update Date: 07/25/2012 -