Chamomile
What is it? Overview Usage Side Effects and Warnings
Answers

What is Chamomile?

Two distinct plants are known as chamomile and are used interchangeably: German and Roman chamomile. Although distantly related botanically, they both look like miniature daisies and are traditionally thought to possess similar medicinal benefits.

Over a million cups of chamomile tea are drunk daily, testifying to its good taste, at least. Chamomile was used by early Egyptian physicians for fevers, and by ancient Greeks, Romans, and Indians for headaches and disorders of the kidneys, liver, and bladder.

The modern use of chamomile dates back to 1921, when a German firm introduced a topical form. This cream became a popular treatment for a wide variety of skin disorders, including eczema, bedsores, skin inflammation caused by radiation therapy, and contact dermatitis (eg, poison...

Germany's Commission E authorizes the use of topical chamomile preparations for a variety of diseases of the skin and mouth.

Chamomile tea is also said to reduce mild tension and stress and to aid indigestion .

Safety Issues

Chamomile is listed on the FDA's GRAS (generally recognized as safe) list.

Reports that chamomile can cause severe reactions in people allergic to ragweed have received significant media attention. However, when all the evidence is examined, it does not appear that chamomile is actually more allergenic than any other plant. 1 The cause of these reports may be products contaminated with "dog chamomile," a highly allergenic and bad-tasting plant of similar appearance.

Chamomile also contains naturally occurring coumarin compounds that might act as "blood thinners" under certain circumstances. There is one case report in which it appears that use of chamomile combined with the anticoagulant warfarin led to excessive "blood thinning," resulting in internal...

 
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