Chamomile

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German chamomile

File:Chamaemelum nobile 001.JPG Chamomile or camomile (/ˈkæmml/ KAM-ə-meel or /ˈkæmml/ KAM-ə-myl)[1] is the common name for several daisy-like plants of the family Asteraceae that are commonly used to make herb infusions to serve various medicinal purposes. Popular uses of chamomile preparations include treating hay fever, inflammation, muscle spasm, menstrual disorders, insomnia, ulcers, gastrointestinal disorder, and hemorrhoids.[2]

Etymology

The word "chamomile" derives, via French and Latin, from Greek χαμαίμηλον (khamaimēlon), i.e. "earth apple", from χαμαί (khamai) "on the ground" and μῆλον (mēlon) "apple".[3][4] The more common British spelling "camomile," is the older in English, while the spelling "chamomile" corresponds to the Latin and Greek source.[5] The spelling camomile more accurately corresponds to the more immediate derivation from French.[6]

Species

Some commonly-used species include:

  • Matricaria chamomilla (also known as Matricaria recutita),[7] German chamomile[8] or wild chamomile, the most commonly-used species
  • Chamaemelum nobile, Roman, English or garden chamomile, also frequently used,[8] (C. nobile ‘Treneague’ is normally used to create a camomile lawn).[9]
Loose leaf chamomile tea

A number of other species' common names include the word "chamomile". This does not mean they are used in the same manner as the species used in the herbal tea known as "chamomile." Plants including the common name "chamomile," of the family Asteraceae, are:

Tea

Camomile tea can be made from dried chamomile flowers. There are two main types of chamomile that are used to produce the tea, German chamomile (Matricaris retutica) and Roman chamomile (Chamaemelum nobile). Camomile tea is also a digestive relaxant.[10]

Medical use

Chamomile has been used for inflammation associated with hemorrhoids when topically applied.[11] There is level B evidence that chamomile possesses anti-anxiety properties and could be used to treat stress and insomnia.[7]

Pharmacology

Major chemical compounds present within chamomile include apigenin and alpha-bisabolol.[2][7] Other compounds in chamomile include: sesquiterpenes, terpenoids, flavonoids, coumarins such as herniarin and umbelliferone, phenylpropanoids such as chlorogenic acid and caffeic acid, flavones such as apigenin and luteolin, flavanols such as quercetin and rutin, and polyacetylenes.[2][11] Apigenin has demonstrated chemopreventive effects against cancer cells in the laboratory,[12] and alpha-bisabolol has been shown to have antiseptic properties, anti-inflammatory properties, and reduces pepsin secretion without altering secretion of stomach acid.[11]

Anticancer effect – Studies have shown that chamomile extracts have in vitro growth inhibitory effects on cancer cells in skin, prostate, breast, ovarian, prostate cancer cell lines with minimal effects on normal cells.[2]

Anticoagulant effect – Coumarin compounds in chamomile such as herniarin and umbelliferone may have blood-thinning properties. However, the mechanism is not well understood.[13][better source needed]

Antiinflammatory effect – Several chemical constituents of chamomile such as bisabolol, chamazulene, apigenin, and loteolin possess anti-inflammatory properties although the exact mechanism is not well characterized.[2]

Antispasmodic/antidiarrheal effects – Bisabolol and flavonoids have demonstrated antispasmodic effects in animal experiments. In human studies, chamomile tea in combination with other herbs (vervain, licorice, fennel, balm mint) was shown to be effective in treating colic in children. Flavonoids and coumarins are considered smooth muscle relaxants.[2][14]

CNS/sensory effects - Chemical compounds present within chamomile bind to GABA receptors, modulate monoamine neurotransmission, and have neuroendocrine effects.[7]

Drug interactions

Apigenin and other compounds may interact with medications causing drug-drug interactions, some of the possible interactions include those with antiplatelet agents, anticoagulant agents, and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory agents.[citation needed] Apigenin was found to interact with antiarrhythmic agents and antihypertensive agents in animal research. Other interactions include those against sedative agents, antibiotic agents, and antianxiety agents. Remarkable symptoms are exacerbation of effects of these agents that are used in combination with chamomile.[citation needed]

Adverse reactions

People who are allergic to ragweed (also in the daisy family) may also be allergic to chamomile, due to cross-reactivity.[15][16] However, there is still some debate as to whether people with reported allergies to chamomile were actually exposed to chamomile and not a plant of similar appearance.[2][8]

Pregnancy/Lactation

Because chamomile has been known to cause uterine contractions that can invoke miscarriage, the U.S. National Institutes of Health recommends that pregnant and nursing mothers not consume Roman chamomile (Chamaemelum nobile).[17]

Cosmetic applications

Chamomile is frequently added to skin cosmetics to serve as an emollient, and for its anti-inflammatory effects. Chamomile is also often used to enhance the color of blonde hair.[15]

Agriculture

The chamomile plant is known to be susceptible to many fungi, insects, and viruses. Fungi such as Albugo tragopogonis (white rust), Cylindrosporium matricariae, Erysiphe cichoracearum (powdery mildew), and Sphaerotheca macularis (powdery mildew) are known pathogens of the chamomile plant.[11] Aphids have been observed feeding on chamomile plants and the moth Autographa chryson causes defoliation.[11]

Oil

German camomile oil is used as a diffuser for aromatherapy benefits; and is also used to treat wounds and be blended with other essential oils such as lavender and rose.

Research

Chemical components of chamomile extract have demonstrated anti-inflammatory,[2][15] antihyperglycemic,[2] and anticancer properties[2] when examined in test tubes and in animal studies.[18]

See also

References

  1. "chamomile". Dictionary.com Unabridged. Random House. Retrieved 29 August 2014.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 2.6 2.7 2.8 2.9 Lua error in Module:Citation/CS1/Identifiers at line 47: attempt to index field 'wikibase' (a nil value).
  3. χαμαίμηλον. Liddell, Henry George; Scott, Robert; A Greek–English Lexicon at the Perseus Project
  4. "Online Etymology Dictionary". etymonline.com.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  5. Oxford English Dictionary, online edition, entry "camomile | chamomile"
  6. "Chamomile - Define Chamomile at Dictionary.com". Dictionary.com.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 7.3 Lua error in Module:Citation/CS1/Identifiers at line 47: attempt to index field 'wikibase' (a nil value).
  8. 8.0 8.1 8.2 "Chamomile". NYU Langone Medical Center. 2012. Retrieved 19 January 2013.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  9. "Camomile lawn". rhs.org. Retrieved 21 July 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  10. "Chamomile: A herbal medicine of the past with bright future". Retrieved 2 December 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  11. 11.0 11.1 11.2 11.3 11.4 Lua error in Module:Citation/CS1/Identifiers at line 47: attempt to index field 'wikibase' (a nil value).
  12. Lua error in Module:Citation/CS1/Identifiers at line 47: attempt to index field 'wikibase' (a nil value).
  13. Lua error in Module:Citation/CS1/Identifiers at line 47: attempt to index field 'wikibase' (a nil value).
  14. Gardiner, P (2007). "Complementary, Holistic, and Integrative Medicine: Chamomile". Pediatric Review. 28 (4): 16–18. PMID 17400821.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  15. 15.0 15.1 15.2 Lua error in Module:Citation/CS1/Identifiers at line 47: attempt to index field 'wikibase' (a nil value).
  16. National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (2012). "Chamomile". National Institutes of Health. Retrieved 3 November 2012.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  17. "Roman chamomile: MedlinePlus". MedlinePlus. National Institutes of Health. 2012-02-16. Retrieved 2014-08-30.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  18. "Chamomile (German) | Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center". Mskcc.org. 2011-07-27. Retrieved 2012-07-06.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>

External links