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Chamomile Plant, Tea, and Oils: Health Benefits and Uses

Written by R. Morgan Griffin

Reviewed by Christine Mikstas, RD, LD on April 21, 2023

In this Article

  • Why do people take chamomile?
  • How much chamomile should you take?
  • Can you get chamomile naturally from foods?
  • What are the risks of taking chamomile?

Chamomile has been used as a traditional medicine for thousands of years to calm anxiety and settle stomachs. In the U.S., chamomile is best known as an ingredient in herbal tea.

Chamomile is considered a safe plant and has been used in many cultures for stomach ailments and as a mild sedative. Some studies, primarily using combinations of chamomile with other plants, show it may have health benefits. However, as with any combination product, it is hard to say that a benefit comes from any one plant.

One product with chamomile and other herbal medicines has been shown to ease upset stomach, heartburn, nausea, and vomiting. Another mixture with chamomile seems to help colicky babies.

A mouth rinse with chamomile might relieve mouth sores caused by cancer treatments. Some research suggests that chamomile could help with other conditions, like diarrhea in children, hemorrhoids, anxiety, and insomnia. When used on the skin, chamomile might help with skin irritation and wound healing. Some research has documented that it may be as effective as hydrocortisone cream for eczema.

There is no standard dose of chamomile. Studies have used between 900 milligrams to 1200 milligrams daily in capsule form. The most common form is a tea, and some people drink one to four cups daily. To make chamomile tea, steep a chamomile tea bag or chamomile flowers in hot water for 5 to 10 minutes in a mug covered with a saucer. Then, drink the infusion when it has cooled to the point it is safe to drink. Ask your doctor for other advice.

Chamomile flowers are a common ingredient in teas. They’re also used as a flavoring in other foods and drinks.

  • Side effects. Most experts say chamomile is safe. It can cause drowsiness and, in large doses, vomiting. It also has the potential to trigger allergic reactions in people who are allergic to related plants in the daisy family, although such reactions are very rare. Avoid it if you are allergic to these plants: chamomile, ragweed, daisies, marigolds, or chrysanthemums. Skin creams with chamomile can cause allergic eczema and irritate the eyes. The effects of long-term chamomile use aren’t known.
  • Risks. Check with your doctor before using chamomile if you have any health problems. Chamomile contains a small amount of coumarin, which may have very mild blood thinning effects, but usually just in high doses for long periods of time. Stop using chamomile two weeks before surgery due to concerns about its possible interactions with anesthetic drugs.
  • Interactions. If you take any drugs regularly, talk to your doctor before you start using chamomile supplements. They could interact with sedatives, blood thinners, antiplatelet drugs, aspirin, NSAID painkillers like ibuprofen and naproxen, and other drugs. Chamomile could also interact with supplements like ginkgo biloba, garlic, saw palmetto, St. John’s wort, and valerian.

Given the lack of evidence about its long-term safety, chamomile is not recommended for women who are pregnant or breastfeeding. Talk to a pediatrician before giving chamomile to infants and children.

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8 benefits of chamomile tea

Chamomile tea is a natural remedy for a wide range of health issues. The nutrients it contains may help manage diabetes, menstrual pain, and sleep problems, among others.

Research into chamomile tea suggests it may have many benefits, although more research is needed.

For most people, chamomile tea is safe to try as a supplement to other treatments, but it should not replace mainstream medical treatments when people have serious illnesses.

The potency of various chamomile teas varies, with some containing significantly more chamomile than others. The more potent teas are also more likely to cause side effects in people who are vulnerable to them. Consequently, it is safest to start with a low dosage and work up to larger doses slowly.

Chamomile contains chemicals called flavonoids. These flavonoids are a type of nutrient present in many plants, and they play a significant role in chamomile’s medicinal effects.

Researchers are not sure yet what other chemicals are present in chamomile that account for its benefits.

The potential benefits of chamomile tea, for which there is the most evidence, include:

1.

Menstrual symptoms

In 2019, some researchers concluded that chamomile’s anti-inflammatory, antispasmodic, sedative, and anti-anxiety properties might help relieve anxiety and discomfort due to premenstrual syndrome (PMS).

2. Diabetes and blood sugar

Some studies have found that chamomile tea can lower blood sugar in people with diabetes.

Research suggests that chamomile might improve glycemic and lipid profiles and oxidative stress levels in people with diabetes mellitus and reduce the risk of diabetes-related complications.

The results do not show that chamomile is a viable substitute for diabetes medications, but it may be a helpful supplement to existing treatments.

3. Osteoporosis

Osteoporosis is the progressive loss of bone density. This loss increases the risk of broken bones and stooped posture.

A study published in 2022 found that chamomile helped prevent osteoporosis in rats due to steroid treatment. The antioxidant effects of the flavonoids in chamomile could help prevent osteoporosis by reducing oxidative stress.

4. Inflammation

Inflammation is an immune system reaction to fight infection. Chamomile tea contains compounds that may reduce inflammation.

Long-term inflammation is linked to various health problems, including hemorrhoids, gastrointestinal pain, arthritis, autoimmune disorders, obesity, and depression.

5. Cancer

Some studies suggest that chamomile tea may target cancer cells or even prevent those cells from developing in the first place.

Results from laboratory tests have suggested that compounds in chamomile may help prevent the growth of glioma, liver cancer, cervical cancer, and leukemia.

However, more research is needed to prove chamomile’s anticancer claims.

6. Sleep and relaxation

Chamomile tea may help people relax and fall asleep.

A 2019 review noted that, after 2–4 weeks of treatment with chamomile, people with generalized anxiety disorder saw an improvement in symptoms. Treatment with chamomile may also improve sleep quality.

However, there was no evidence that chamomile can reduce symptoms when a person is in an anxious situation. Also, it does not appear to prevent insomnia.

7. Cold symptoms

Anecdotal evidence and some studies suggest that inhaling steam with chamomile extract can relieve some of the symptoms of the common cold. However, this benefit is not proven yet.

8. Mild skin conditions

Some research indicates that topical products containing chamomile may help:

  • treat acne
  • repair sensitive skin
  • reduce skin dehydration

This could be due to its anti-inflammatory, anti-allergy, and antimicrobial properties.

While chamomile tea may reduce inflammation, cosmetic options include lotions and soaps. However, people should do a patch test before using on a wider area to check first for adverse effects.

The following groups should avoid chamomile unless advised otherwise by a doctor:

  • People with a history of severe allergies: Chamomile may not be safe for people who have a known allergy to ragwort, daisy, chrysanthemum, or marigolds, which are related plants. It may cause a severe reaction known as anaphylaxis.
  • People who have previously had an allergic reaction, even mild, to chamomile products: They should avoid chamomile, as allergic reactions can get worse with time.
  • Drug interactions: Chamomile can interact with blood-thinning drugs, such as warfarin. A person should check with a doctor before increasing their intake of chamomile, especially if they have an existing health issue.
  • Infants and very young children: Chamomile tea, similar to honey and some other natural products, may contain botulism spores. Most healthy adults can fight off a botulism infection, but infants may not be able to. Many doctors recommend infants and young children avoid honey and chamomile products.

It is not safe to use chamomile as a substitute for proven medical treatments. If someone takes any medications, they should ask their doctor about potential interactions with chamomile tea.

Anaphylaxis is a severe allergic reaction that can be life threatening. The symptoms develop suddenly and include:

  • hives
  • swelling of the face or mouth
  • wheezing
  • fast, shallow breathing
  • a fast heart rate
  • clammy skin
  • anxiety or confusion
  • dizziness
  • vomiting
  • blue or white lips
  • fainting or loss of consciousness

If someone has these symptoms:

  1. Check whether they are carrying an epinephrine pen. If they are, follow the instructions on the side of the pen to use it.
  2. Dial 911 or the number of the nearest emergency department.
  3. Lay the person down from a standing position. If they have vomited, turn them onto their side.
  4. Stay with them until the emergency services arrive.

Some people may need more than one epinephrine injection. If the symptoms do not improve in 5–15 minutes, or they come back, use a second pen if the person has one.

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Chamomile tea has been used in natural medicine for thousands of years, often with encouraging results. For now, however, it remains a supplement and not a medication.

People interested in trying chamomile tea should use it as a supplement and not a replacement for their usual medication regimen. In regular doses, such as 1–2 cups a day, it is possible to see incremental health improvements.

Asterisk PROPOLIS CHAMOMILE+THYME №18 TAB. D/RASSAS.

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Combined natural preparation as a source of menthol, flavones. Asterisk-propolis is an effective combination of extracts of natural origin. The active ingredients that make up the lozenges are recommended for coughs, sore throats, stomatitis, damage to the oral mucosa, for better healing of microtraumas of the oral cavity and for colds and respiratory diseases. Propolis is a sticky substance collected by bees from the spring buds of trees and modified with their own enzymes. Propolis is used to cover cracks, disinfect cells of honeycombs, and isolate foreign objects in the hive. Propolis contained in Zvezdochka candies is valuable because it contains vitamins A, E, PP, B1, B2, B3, B6, amino acids, polyphenolic resins, terpenoids, mineral salts, organic acids (tans-caffeic, trans- coumaric, trans-ferulic, cinnamon), flavones (chrysin, luteolin, apigenin), flavonoids (quercetin, kaempferol, galangin). It has been established that the bactericidal activity of propolis manifests itself in relation to all representatives of pathogenic microflora, even those that are resistant to antibiotics. At the same time, unlike antibacterial drugs, propolis does not cause serious side effects. In addition, propolis enhances immunity, tissue healing, improves metabolism, strengthens blood vessels, relieves pain that occurs with inflammation of the upper respiratory tract and oral mucosa. Chamomile flower extract (Matricaria chamomilla) contains an essential oil with a characteristic odor, pleasant in small quantities. The main component of the oil is chamazulene, which is credited with the main healing properties of chamomile as a medicinal plant. Flavonoids, derivatives of apigenin, luteolin and quercetin, fernesen, as well as beta-carotene, coumarins, sitosterol, carotene, glycosides, polysaccharides and organic acids were also found in the flowers of chamomile. Chamomile (medicinal) flower extract has anti-inflammatory, antispasmodic, antimicrobial, diaphoretic and other properties. Creeping thyme herb extract (thymus) (Thymus serpyllum) contains essential oil (which contains phenols, of which up to 40% thymol, there is also carvacrol, n-cymol, L-β-pinene, α-terpinene, terpineol, L- borneol, caryophyllene, lanalool), tannins and bitter substances, flavonoids, gum, ursolic and oleanolic acids. Thyme herb has an expectorant effect, increases the amount of secretory discharge from the mucous membranes of the upper respiratory tract, helps to thin sputum and accelerate its evacuation, and also softens the throat with dryness and perspiration. Menthol (Levomenthol) has an antispasmodic and weak antiseptic effect, deodorizes and refreshes the oral cavity. When applied to mucous membranes, menthol causes irritation of nerve endings, accompanied by a feeling of cold, slight burning and tingling, and has a slight local analgesic effect.

“Asterisk propolis “chamomile-thyme”” lozenges 2.5g №18 “at a low price in Omsk, instructions for use, composition, analogues

Dietary Supplement

resorption

Certificate of state registration

No. RU.77.99.11.003.Е.000287.01.15 dated January 15, 2015

Trade name of the drug

“STAR-PROPOL IS chamomile-thyme”

Release form

Yellow-brown round biconvex lozenges, weighing 2.5 g ± 7.5%, flavored with propolis, menthol and thyme.

6 tablets in a blister pack (blister) made of PVC film and printed lacquered aluminum foil;

3 blister packs are placed in a cardboard box together with a leaflet.

Non-uniform coloration, presence of air bubbles in the caramel mass and slight uneven edges are allowed.

Composition

per tablet:

Sucrose 1250.0 mg, glucose 1210.0 mg, standardized propolis extract (10% galangin) 15.0 mg, liquid chamomile flower extract (Matricaria chamomilla) 10.0 mg, creeping thyme herb extract (thyme) liquid (Thymus serpyllum) 10.0 mg, menthol (Levomenthol) 5.0 mg.

Nutritional value of 1 tablet: carbohydrates – 2.46 g.

Energy value – 10 kcal.

Properties and mechanism of action

Combined natural preparation as a source of menthol, flavones. Asterisk-propolis is an effective combination of extracts of natural origin. The active ingredients that make up the lozenges are recommended for coughs, sore throats, stomatitis, damage to the oral mucosa, for better healing of microtraumas of the oral cavity and for colds and respiratory diseases.

Propolis are sticky substances collected by bees from the spring buds of trees and modified with their own enzymes. Propolis is used to cover cracks, disinfect cells of honeycombs, and isolate foreign objects in the hive. Propolis contained in Zvezdochka candy is valuable because it contains vitamins A, E, PP, B1, B2, B3, B6, amino acids, polyphenolic resins, terpenoids, mineral salts, organic acids (tans-coffee, transcoumaric, trans- ferulic, cinnamon), flavones (chrysin, luteolin, apigenin), flavonoids (quercetin, kaempferol, galangin). It has been established that the bactericidal activity of propolis is manifested in relation to all representatives of pathogenic microflora, even those that are resistant to antibiotics. At the same time, unlike antibacterial drugs, propolis does not cause serious side effects. In addition, propolis improves immunity, tissue healing, improves metabolism, strengthens blood vessels, relieves pain that occurs with inflammation of the upper respiratory tract and oral mucosa.

Chamomile flower extract (Matricaria chamomilla) contains an essential oil with a characteristic odor, pleasant in small quantities. The main component of the oil is chamazulene, which is credited with the main healing properties of chamomile as a medicinal plant. Flavonoids, derivatives of apigenin, luteolin and quercetin, fernesen, as well as beta-carotene, coumarins, sitosterol, carotene, glycosides, polysaccharides and organic acids were also found in the flowers of chamomile. Chamomile (medicinal) flower extract has anti-inflammatory, antispasmodic, antimicrobial, diaphoretic and other properties.

Creeping thyme (thymus) herb extract (Thymus serpyllum) contains essential oil (which contains phenols, of which up to 40% thymol, there is also carvacrol, n-cymene, L-α-pinene, γ-terpinene, terpineol, L-borneol, caryophyllene, lanalool), tannins and bitters, flavonoids, gum, ursolic and oleanolic acids. Thyme herb has an expectorant effect, increases the amount of secretory discharge of the mucous membranes of the upper respiratory tract, helps to thin the sputum and accelerate its evacuation, and also softens the throat with dryness and perspiration.

Menthol (Levomenthol) has an antispasmodic and weak antiseptic effect, deodorizes and refreshes the oral cavity. When applied to mucous membranes, menthol causes irritation of nerve endings, accompanied by a feeling of cold, slight burning and tingling, and has a slight local analgesic effect.

Directions for use

Tablets should be slowly dissolved in the mouth after meals.

Adults, one tablet up to four times daily. The duration of admission is 10-15 days.

If the recommended dose is observed, dietary supplement “STAR-PROPOLIS chamomile-thyme” is a safe product for human health.

Data on the content of biologically active substances in 1 tablet “STAR-PROPOLIS chamomile-thyme”:

menthol (Levomenthol) – 5 mg (25% of the adequate intake level for adults *),

propolis flavonoids – 1.