common name: Chamomile, German Chamomile
scientific name:Matricaria Chamomilla
common uses:sedative, spasmolytic, anti-inflammatory, minor wound healing
side effects: allergies (very rare)
Chamomile is a flowering plant similar in shape to small daisies and has a sweet often apple like or cloying smell. Chamomile has been medicinally used for thousands of years by many different cultures including Anglo Saxon, Indian, Germanic, and is becoming more popular today in western culture.
As much as chamomile is widely known for it’s sedating and calming effects, it has only been tested in clinical settings for it’s vulnerary (wound healing) properties. However, studies conducted in animals have supported the long held belief of chamomile, when ingested, can act as an anti-inflammatory, vulnerary, anxiolytic, and spasmolytic agent. There was significant evidence to suggest it can protect the stomach from ulcers caused by alcohol, external stress, or medications. Studies have also shown that the essential oil of chamomile has the ability to destroy certain pathogens (harmful germs) that reside on skin.
The FDA considers chamomile safe and there are no known adverse effects of chamomile on pregnant, nursing women, or young children. In all recorded studies on chamomile a effect on humans, there have been no adverse reactions or side effects besides the highly rare allergic reaction to chamomile.
In short, chamomile is great for sufferers of anxiety, muscle spasms and soreness, stomach upsets, and even as a mild anti-bacterial.
Ohara, MaryAnn MD, MSt; Kiefer, David MD; Farrell, Kim MD; Kemper, Kathi MD, MPH, 1998, Review of 12 Commonly Used Medicinal Herbs, Arch Fam Medicine, Volume 7 November/December 1998, ppg. 526-527
Ompal, Singh; Zakia, Khanam; Neelam Misra; Manoj Kumar Srivastava, Chamomile (Matricaria chamomilla L.): An overview, Pharmacogn Rev. January-June 2011 5(9) ppg. 82–95