Matricaria Chamomilla – Wild Chamomile

Matricaria Chamomilla - Wild Chamimile

– FAMILY:

Compositae

 

– PLANT DESCRIPTION:

The true or Common Chamomile (Anthemis nobilis) is a low-growing plant, creeping or trailing, its tufts of leaves and flowers a foot high. The root is perennial, jointed and fibrous, the stems, hairy and freely branching, are covered with leaves which are divided into thread-like segments, the fineness of which gives the whole plant a feathery appearance. The blooms appear in the later days of summer, from the end of July to September, and are borne solitary on long, erect stalks, drooping when in bud. With their outer fringe of white ray-florets and yellow centres, they are remarkably like the daisy. There are some eighteen white rays arranged round a conical centre, botanically known as the receptacle, on which the yellow, tubular florets are placed- the centre of the daisy is, however, considerably flatter than that of the Chamomile. (1)




Cultivation details:

  • Soil type: German chamomile will tolerate many soils, but prefers a sandy, well-drained soil with a pH of 7.0-7.5 and full sun.
  • Cultivation: In gardens, plants should be spaced 15–30 cm (6–12 in) apart. Chamomile does not require large amounts of fertilizer, but depending on soil tests, small amounts of nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium should be applied before planting. (2)

 

– CHEMICAL COMPOSITION:

The plant’s healing properties come from its daisy-like flowers, which contain volatile oils (including bisabolol, bisabolol oxides A and B, and matricin) as well as flavonoids (particularly a compound called apigenin) and other therapeutic substances. (3)

 

– CHAMOMILE USES & BENEFITS:

German chamomile flower is approved by the German Commission E for use as an inhalant in skin and mucous membrane inflammations, bacterial skin diseases, including those of the oral cavity and gums, and respiratory tract inflammations and irritations. The flower has been approved for use in baths, as irrigation for anogenital inflammation, and for use internally to treat GI spasms and inflammatory diseases. (4)

  1. Anti-inflammatory
    Chamomile has purported anti-inflammatory effects, but there are no published clinical trials supporting the findings of animal experiments. Chemical constituents of chamomile, such as bisabolol, chamazulene, and the flavonoids apigenin and luteolin, possess anti-inflammatory properties (5)
  2. Antispasmodic/antidiarrheal
    Chamomile infusions have been used traditionally as GI antispasmodics despite the lack of rigorous trials to support this use. A small trial of a tea containing chamomile and other herbs was effective in treating infantile colic, but the volume of tea required for effect limited its usefulness. Chemical components in chamomile (bisabolol and flavonoids) have demonstrated antispasmodic effects in animal experiments. (6) (7)
    The use of a chamomile preparation in children with acute, noncomplicated diarrhea reduced the duration of the diarrheal episode compared with placebo, and reduced stool frequency. (8)
  3. Skin: Eczema
    In a study designed to evaluate the effect of massage with chamomile essential oil versus massage only, no difference was found for the 2 study arms. Additionally, further use of the essential oil after the study period showed a decline in eczema severity, suggesting possible sensitization to the oils over time. (9)
    In another trial, chamomile cream was as effective as hydrocortisone 0.25% cream in the treatment of atopic eczema. A more recent trial using a nonallergenic chamomile extract showed that chamomile extract was slightly superior to hydrocortisone 0.5%, but only marginally better than placebo. (10)
  4. Skin: Radiation dermatitis
    In a study designed to investigate the efficacy of chamomile cream in acute radiation dermatitis, no difference was found between chamomile and almond creams. Furthermore, review of the data did not reveal any additional trials; therefore, the use of chamomile cream for this condition is discouraged. (11)
  5. Mouth (mucositis)
    Use of chamomile in radiation- and chemotherapy-induced mucositis have been studied in several trials with conflicting results. Prophylactic use of chamomile gargles or mouth rinses prevented the occurrence, delayed the onset, and reduced the intensity of mucositis in 2 trials; in another trial, chamomile was no more effective than placebo. (12)

 

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