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.
500 milligrams or one cup of tea 3 times daily.
What Research Shows
May Be Effective
Editorial process and description of evidence categories can be found at EBSCO NAT Editorial Process.
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.
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:
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.
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).
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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