Chamomile : Uses, medicine plant, Synonyms, Effects, and Side Effects

Chamomile : Uses, medicine, Synonyms, Effects, and Side Effects

The plant is originally from southern and eastern Europe and the Middle East. However, chamomile is common throughout Europe, North America, and Australia.

Chamomile as a medicinal plant

The drug mainly comes from cultivation areas in Argentina, Egypt, Hungary, Bulgaria and increasingly also in Spain, the Czech Republic and Germany. In large-scale cultivation for medicinal purposes, more than 5,000 tons of chamomile are harvested annually.

The dried flower heads (Matricariae flos), liquid extracts or essential oil obtained from the flowers are used medicinally.

 

Chamomile: Typical features

Chamomile is an annual plant with heavily dissected leaves and numerous pretty flower heads that grow to around 0.5m tall. The flower heads bear about 15 white ray florets, which protrude laterally but hang down later.

On the base of the inflorescence, between the white ray florets, are densely packed yellow tubular florets that bloom one after the other and from bottom to top.

Properties of chamomile flowers

The drug consists of flower heads with yellow tubular florets surrounded by a ring of white ray florets. The arched inflorescence base is hollow. Because of its yellow flower heads and radiating white ray florets, the Egyptians already worshipped chamomile as the “flower of the sun god”.

Chamomile flowers give off a characteristic, very aromatic smell. The taste of chamomile flowers is somewhat bitter.

Chamomile real–application

Chamomile flowers are suitable for the external treatment of skin and mucous membrane inflammations and other skin diseases such as superficial wounds. The drug can also be applied externally for bacterial mucosal diseases of the oral cavity and gums.

Chamomile: Use as a rinse or for inhalation

Sitz baths or rinses with chamomile flowers can be used to treat diseases in the genital and anal areas. In the case of inflammatory diseases and respiratory tract irritation, such as a cold or an inflammation of the paranasal sinuses, chamomile blossoms or the essential oil from them can be inhaled in hot water.

 

Internal use of chamomile flowers

The drug can be taken internally for cramp-like symptoms and inflammation in the gastrointestinal tract. Concrete areas of application are, for example, flatulencediarrhoea, stomach cramps, heartburn, nausea, inflammation of the gastric mucosa (gastritis) and motion sickness.

Chamomile flowers are also used for anxiety and, less commonly, as a sedative.

Chamomile in folk medicine

Chamomile has been used in folk medicine for centuries to aid digestion, relieve flatulence and cramps, and treat wounds. In Romance countries, chamomile is also used as a sedative and sleeping aid.

 

Homeopathic use

Homoeopathy uses chamomile to treat inflammation and spasms of the digestive system, respiratory diseases, menstrual cramps and irritable moods.

Ingredients of chamomile flowers

The main active ingredients contained in chamomile flowers are essential oil, flavonoids and coumarins. Cyclic sesquiterpenes, such as alpha-bisabolol, are present in the essential oil.

Chamomile blossoms: for what indication?

Chamomile flowers can help with the following indications:

  • Dermatitis, skin ailments, wounds
  • mucosal inflammation
  • Sinusitis, runny nose, sinusitis, rhinitis
  • Bloating, indigestion, indigestion, stomach cramps, diarrhoea
  • Heartburn, nausea, inflammation of the gastric mucosa, gastritis
  • travel sickness
  • Angst

Chamomile real–dosage

Chamomile flowers are suitable for external and internal use, whereby the flowers can be applied or taken as a chamomile extract or in the form of tea.

Chamomile flowers for external use

For the external treatment of wounds and inflammation of the skin and mucous membranes, moist compresses with chamomile flowers or rinses and washes are carried out. Mix 3-10 g of chamomile flowers with about 100 ml of hot water to prepare poultices, rinsing and gargling solutions.

Chamomile oil is often included in baths, drops or ointments for external use.

 

Internal use of chamomile

Half a litre of water is poured over 2 tablespoons of the flowers for inhalation in case of irritation of the airways. The vapours should then be inhaled for at least 10 minutes.

When it comes to teas for internal use, there are filter bags, tea blends of the gastrointestinal, liver-bile, sleep and nerve tea types, instant teas and chamomile powder.

Dosage form affects active ingredients.

There are various dosage forms in the field of herbal medicines, such as distillates, infusions, and dry and fluid extracts from chamomile flowers.

With the dosage form, it should be noted that the type of preparation influences the active ingredients. For example, the essential oil of chamomile blossoms is only present in a sufficiently high concentration in alcoholic preparations and distillates. At the same time, the flavonoids are also contained in aqueous preparations (tea).

 

Average daily dose

Unless otherwise prescribed, one cup of freshly prepared tea can be drunk between meals 3-5 times a day in the case of diseases in the gastrointestinal area. If the mucous membranes in the mouth and throat are inflamed, you should gargle or rinse with the tea several times daily.

For external use, 3-10% infusions are made for compresses and rinses. 50 g of chamomile flowers are added to 10 l of water for a bath.

Chamomile flowers: Preparation as a tea

To prepare the tea, pour boiling water over 2-3 g of chamomile blossoms (1 teaspoon corresponds to about 1 g) and pass through a tea strainer after 10 minutes.

However, it must be noted that the chamomile flower residue retains around 70% of the essential oil. Therefore, water-alcoholic, standardized extracts are more suitable for an effective therapy.

Advice on contraindications and storage

Chamomile preparations should not be used if there is a known hypersensitivity to chamomile and other composite plants such as arnica, calendula or yarrow.

The drug should be stored dry and protected from light.

Chamomile Real – Synonyms

German plant name: Chamomile

German synonyms of the plant: Real chamomile, common chamomile, camel, vanilla, shrimp, Gramillen apple blossom, apple herb, field chamomile, small chamomile, lady’s flower, haws flower, Helmergen, Helmriegen, thermal, ermine, Herminzel, Johannis’s head, chamber flower, cumin flower, lye flower, Maria Magdalena herb, nutmeg, feverfew, maid flower

Latin plant name: Matricaria recutita L.

Latin synonyms of the plant: Southern chamomile, Chamomilla vulgaris, Chrysanthemum suaveolens, Matricaria crowned, Matricaria pusilla, Matricaria chamomilla, Matricaria suaveolens

German drug name: chamomile flowers

Latin drug name: Matricaria flower

Latin synonyms of the drug: Chamomilla, Chamomilla flower, Chamomilla flower, Chamomilla flowers, Bulgarian Chamomilla flowers, Chamomilla flower, Chamomilla vulgaris flower

English name: Camomile, Chamomile, Chamomille, Annual Camomile, Blue chamomile, Common chamomile, Sweet chamomile, Wild Camomile, Wild chamomile, German camomile, German chamomile, Hungarian chamomile, White Chamomile, Matricaria, Scented Mayweed, Sweet false chamomile

Plant family Latin: Asteraceae

Plant family German: Korbblüts

 

Chamomile real–effect

Chamomile blossoms have an anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, antispasmodic and flatulence-relieving effect. These effects are attributed, in particular, to the content of sesquiterpenes and flavonoids.

For example, alpha-bisabolol inhibits the release of a digestive enzyme (pepsin) in the stomach, alleviating gastrointestinal disorders. The anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties are also evident when used topically.

Interestingly, the drug is also said to have calming, anxiolytic, and muscle-relaxing effects. Chamomile also stimulates the skin’s metabolism.

Side effects of chamomile flowers

In rare cases, allergic skin irritations can occur when using chamomile flowers. These are primarily based on contamination of the natural chamomile with other types of chamomile or daisy family.

Interactions with other agents are currently not known.

 

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