Therapeutic Properties Described in the Aromatherapy Literature
From The Complete Guide to Aromatherapy1:
- Analgesic, Anti-allergenic, Anti-inflammatory, Antiphlogistic, Antispasmodic, Bactericidal, Carminative, Emmenagogue, Hepatic, Sedative, Stomachic, Vulnerary
- Considered one of the gentlest essential oils
- Use in a massage for muscular aches and pains
- Relaxing to the nerves, relieves spasms, and eases pain
From Aromatherapy Science: A Guide for Healthcare Professionals2:
- Approved for inflammation of the respiratory tract
- Used topically for hemorrhoids
- Soothes oral bacterial infections and sores
German Chamomile in Research
German Chamomile has long been used as a folk remedy for various ailments and recent research supports its use in a number of applications. Researchers have found evidence for both psychological and physiological benefits of chamomile. German chamomile has been found to have beneficial effects on clinical patients with generalized anxiety disorder and depression3,4, as well as a neuroprotective effect on motor control in mice induced with strokes5. In animal studies, it has been found to have sedative6, antiseizure7, antidiarrheal8, and wound-healing effects9. Regular doses of chamomile tea have also been found to reduce the glycemic index of patients with type-2 diabetes10. While these studies suggest promising applications for chamomile, further clinical trials in humans are needed to confirm these findings.
Summary of Research Studies
- A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study showed that oral administration of chamomile extract capsules over an 8-week period significantly reduced anxiety scores compared to placebo in patients with mild to moderate generalized anxiety disorder.3
- An exploratory study showed that oral administration of chamomile extract capsules over an 8-week period significantly reduced depression scores in subjects with co-morbid anxiety and depression symptoms.4
- Mice induced with ischemic stroke showed significant improvement in motor function when treated with chamomile extract.5
- The chemical apigenin found in chamomile was found to reduce motor activity in rats.6
- Mice treated with chamomile had increased resistance to induced seizures.7
- Chamomile extract had antioxidant and antidiarrheal effects in rats.8
- Rats that had chamomile extract added to their drinking water showed significantly faster wound healing than those with plain water.9
- In a randomized, single-blinded trial, patients with type-2 diabetes who consumed chamomile tea following meals, 3 times a day for 8 weeks, had beneficial effects on glycemic control compared to the control group that drank only water.10
Always test a small amount first for sensitivity or allergic reaction. Due to the levels of the 'blue' chemicals, this oil MUST be kept to under 2% concentration or else it becomes inflammatory - according to Drs. Franchomme and Penoel - this may be an effect seen only in certain individuals. Others state it is safe under all circumstances. Test for sensitivity before extensive use.
1 Battaglia, Salvatore. The Complete Guide to Aromatherapy. International Centre of Holysitc Aromatherapy, 2003.
2 Lis-Balchin, Maria. Aromatherapy Science: A Guide for Healthcare Professionals. Pharmaceutical Press, 2006.
3 Amsterdam, Jay D., et al. “A Randomized, Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled Trial of Oral Matricaria Recutita (Chamomile) Extract Therapy for Generalized Anxiety Disorder.” Journal of Clinical Psychopharmacology, vol. 29, no. 4, 2009, pp. 378–382., doi:10.1097/jcp.0b013e3181ac935c.
4 Amsterdam, Jay D. et al. “Chamomile (Matricaria Recutita) May Have Antidepressant Activity in Anxious Depressed Humans - An Exploratory Study.” Alternative Therapies in Health and Medicine, vol. 18, no. 5, 2012, pp. 44–49.
5 Moshfegh, Azam, and Mahbubeh Setorki. “Neuroprotective Effect of Matricaria Chamomilla Extract on Motor Dysfunction Induced by Transient Global Cerebral Ischemia and Reperfusion in Rat.” Zahedan Journal of Research in Medical Sciences, vol. 19, no. 9, 30 Aug. 2017, doi:10.5812/zjrms.10927
6 Avallone, Rossella, et al. “Pharmacological Profile of Apigenin, a Flavonoid Isolated from Matricaria Chamomilla.” Biochemical Pharmacology, vol. 59, no. 11, 2000, pp. 1387–1394., doi:10.1016/s0006-2952(00)00264-1.
7 Heidari, M. R., et al. “Study of Antiseizure Effects of Matricaria Recutita Extract in Mice.”Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences, vol. 1171, no. 1, 2009, pp. 300–304., doi:10.1111/j.1749-6632.2009.04917.x.
8 Sebai, Hichem, et al. “Antidiarrheal and Antioxidant Activities of Chamomile (Matricaria Recutita L.) Decoction Extract in Rats.” Journal of Ethnopharmacology, vol. 152, no. 2, 2014, pp. 327–332., doi:10.1016/j.jep.2014.01.015.
9 Nayak, B. Shivananda, et al. “Wound Healing Activity of Matricaria Recutita L. Extract.” Journal of Wound Care, vol. 16, no. 7, 2007, pp. 298–302., doi:10.12968/jowc.2007.16.7.27061.
10 Zemestani, Maryam, et al. “Chamomile Tea Improves Glycemic Indices and Antioxidants Status in Patients with Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus.” Nutrition, vol. 32, no. 1, 2016, pp. 66–72., doi:10.1016/j.nut.2015.07.011.