Two types of chamomile are used for health conditions: German chamomile and Roman chamomile. While the two kinds are thought to have similar effects on the body, the German variety is more commonly used in the United States and is the focus of this fact sheet.
chamomile, German chamomile
Matricaria recutita, Chamomilla recutita
The flowering tops of the chamomile plant are used to make teas, liquid extractextractto get, separate, or isolate a desired active ingredients, capsules, or tablets. The herb can also be applied to the skin as a cream or an ointment, or used as a mouth rinse.
Chamomile has been widely used in children and adults for thousands of years for a variety of health conditions.
The herb is often used for sleeplessness; anxiety; and gastrointestinal conditions such as upset stomach, gas, and diarrhea.
It is used topicallytopicallyto be applied on the skin for skin conditions and for mouth ulcers resulting from cancer treatment.
Your health care provider may have recommended this product for other conditions. Contact a health care provider if you have questions.
Chamomile has not been well studied with people so there is little evidence to support its use for any condition.
Some early studies point to chamomile’s possible benefits for mouth ulcers and certain skin conditions and for mouth ulcers caused by chemotherapy or radiation.
In combination with other herbs, chamomile may be of some benefit for upset stomach, for diarrhea in children, and for infants with colic.
NCCAM-funded research on chamomile includes studies of the herb for generalized anxiety disorder and abdominalabdominalrelating to the stomach and intestines pain caused by children’s bowel disorders.
There are reports of rare allergic reactions in people who have eaten or come into contact with chamomile products. Reactions include skin rashes, throat swelling, shortness of breath, and anaphylaxis (a life-threatening allergic reaction).
People are more likely to experience allergic reactions to chamomile if they are allergic to related plants in the daisy family, which includes ragweed, chrysanthemums, marigolds, and daisies.
Before taking any new medications, including natural health products, speak to your physician, pharmacist, or other health care provider. Tell your health care provider about any natural health products you may be taking.
National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM). Herbs at a Glance. Chamomile. http://nccam.nih.gov/health/chamomile/