Chamomile

Supplement Forms/Alternate Names:

German chamomile, anthemis, matricaria chamomilla L., chamomilla recutita

Introduction

Chamomile is a flower that has been used to ease anxiety and stress. It has also been used to help with sleep problems, but there is not currently enough evidence to show that it helps. The flowers can be dried and taken as a pill or powder. They can also be made into a liquid extract, oil, or tea. It can also be used as a gel, cream, or mouthwash.

Dosages

500 milligrams or one cup of tea 3 times daily.

What Research Shows

May Be Effective

  • Carpal tunnel—may improve function and ease pain B1, B2
  • Colic—may reduce crying time C1
  • Colostomy—may ease pain caused by skin sores D1
  • Depression—may ease symptoms E1
  • Diabetes—may lower cholesterol and blood glucose F1-F3
  • Diarrhea—may reduce symptoms in children G1
  • Dry mouth—may ease symptoms in older adults H1
  • Generalized anxiety disorder—may ease symptoms I1-I4
  • Mastalgia—may ease breast pain K1
  • Migraine—may ease pain, nausea, and vomitingL1
  • Nausea and vomiting—may reduce frequency of vomiting in pregnant woman and cancer patients M1, M2
  • Oral lichen planus—may improve symptoms and quality of life N1
  • Premenstrual syndrome—may ease emotional symptoms O1

Not Enough Data to Assess

  • Burning mouth syndrome A1
  • Insomnia J1

Editorial process and description of evidence categories can be found at EBSCO NAT Editorial Process.

Safety Notes

It is likely safe to take chamomile and use it on the skin. Chamomile may be cause allergy symptoms in people with ragweed or mugwort allergies.

Interactions

Talk to your doctor about any supplements or therapy you would like to use. Some can interfere with treatment or make conditions worse, such as:

  • Pregnant women should talk to their doctor before drinking chamomile tea. It may lead to health problems in the mother.
  • Women who take contraceptives should talk to their doctor before using chamomile. Chamomile might make it less effective.
  • People taking blood thinners should talk to their doctor before taking chamomile. It may increase the risk of bleeding.

References

A. Burning Mouth Syndrome

A1. Valenzuela S, Pons-Fuster A, et al. Effect of a 2% topical chamomile application for treating burning mouth syndrome: a controlled clinical trial. J Oral Pathol Med. 2016 Aug;45(7):528-533.

B. Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

B1. Hashempur MH, Lari ZN, et al. A pilot randomized double-blind placebo-controlled trial on topical chamomile (Matricaria chamomilla L.) oil for severe carpal tunnel syndrome. Complement Ther Clin Pract. 2015 Nov;21(4):223-228.

B2. Hashempur MH, Ghasemi MS, et al. Efficacy of topical chamomile oil for mild to moderate carpal tunnel syndrome: R randomized double-blind placebo-controlled clinical trial. Complement Ther Clin Pract. 2017;26:61-67.

C. Colic

C1. Martinelli M, Ummarino D, 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(12).

D. Colostomy

D1. Charousaei F, Dabirian A, et al. 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(5):28-36.

E. Depression

E1. Yeung KS, Hernandez M, Mao JJ, Haviland I, Gubili J. Herbal medicine for depression and anxiety: A systematic review with assessment of potential psycho-oncologic relevance. Phytother Res. 2018 May;32(5):865-891.

F. Diabetes

F1. Leach MJ, Page AT. Herbal medicine for insomnia: A systematic review and meta-analysis. Sleep Med Rev. 2015;(24):1-12.

F2. Rafraf M, Zemenstani M, et al. Effectiveness of chamomile tea on glycemic control and serum lipid profile in patients with type 2 diabetes. J Endocrinol Invest. 2015;38(2):163-170.

F3. Zemestani M, Rafraf M, et al. Chamomile tea improves glycemic indices and antioxidants status in patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus. Nutrition. 2016;32(1):66-72.

G. Diarrhea

G1. Anheyer D, Frawley J, et al. Herbal Medicines for Gastrointestinal Disorders in Children and Adolescents: A Systematic Review. Pediatrics. 2017 Jun;139(6).

H. Dry Mouth

H1. Morales-Bozo I, Ortega-Pinto A, et al. Evaluation of the effectiveness of a chamomile (Matricaria chamomilla) and linseed (Linum usitatissimum) saliva substitute in the relief of xerostomia in elders. Gerodontology. 2017 Mar;34(1):42-48.

I. Generalized Anxiety Disorder

I1. Amsterdam JD, Li Y, 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.

I2. Ross SM. Generalized anxiety disorder (GAD): efficacy of standardized Matricaria recutita (German chamomile) extract in the treatment of generalized anxiety disorder. Holist Nurs Pract. 2013;27(6):366-368.

I3. Keefe JR, Mao JJ, et al. Short-term open-label chamomile (Matricaria chamomilla L) therapy of moderate to severe generalized anxiety disorder. Phytomedicine. 2016;23(14):1699-1705.

I4. Mao JJ, Xie SX, et al. Long-term chamomile (Matricaria chamomilla L.) treatment for generalized anxiety disorder: A randomized control trial. Phytomedicine. 2016;23(14):1735-1742.

J. Insomnia

J1. Zick SM, Wright BD, et al. 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 Sep 22;11:78. doi: 10.1186/1472-6882-11-78.

K. Mastalgia

K1. Saghafi N, Rhkhshandeh H, et al. Effectiveness of Matricaria chamomilla (chamomile) extract on pain control of cyclic mastalgia: a double-blind randomised controlled trial. J Obstet Gynaecol. 2018 Jan;38(1):81-84.

L. Migraines

L1. Zargaran A, Borhani-Haghigi A, et al. Evaluation of the effect of topical chamomile (Matricaria chamomilla L.) oleogel as pain relief in migraine without aura: a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, crossover study. Neurol Sci. 2018;39(8):1345-1353.

M. Nausea and Vomiting

M1. Sanaati F, Najafi S, et al. Effect of Ginger and Chamomile on Nausea and Vomiting Caused by Chemotherapy in Iranian Women with Breast Cancer. Asian Pac J Cancer Prev. 2016;17(8):4125-4129.

M2. Sridharan K, Sivaramakrishnan G. Interventions for treating nausea and vomiting in pregnancy: a network meta-analysis and trial sequential analysis of randomized clinical trials. Expert Rev Clin Pharmacol. 2018 Nov;11(11):1143-1150.

N. Oral Lichen Planus

N1. Lopez Jornet P, Aznar-Cayuela C. Efficacy of topical chamomile management vs. placebo in patients with oral lichen planus: a randomized double-blind study. J Eur Acad Dermatol Venereol. 2016;(10):1783-1786.

O. Premenstrual Syndrome

O1. Sharifi F, Simbar M, et al. Comparison of the effects of Matricaria chamomila (Chamomile) extract and mefenamic acid on the intensity of premenstrual syndrome. Complement Ther Clin Pract. 2014 Feb;20(1):81-88.

Last reviewed May 2020 by EBSCO NAT Review Board Eric Hurwitz, DC
Last Updated:6/9/2020

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