German Chamomile Flower

German chamomile is used medicinally to treat sore stomach, irritable bowel syndrome, and as a gentle sleep aid. It is also used as a mild laxative and is anti-inflammatory and anti-bactericidal. It can be taken as a herbal tea, two teaspoons of dried flower per cup of tea, which should be steeped for ten to fifteen minutes while covered to avoid evaporation of the volatile oils. The marc should be pressed because of the formation of a new active principle inside the cells, which can then be released by rupturing the cell walls, though this substance only forms very close to boiling point. For a sore stomach, some recommend taking a cup every morning without food for two to three months.[6] It is also used as a mouthwash against oral mucositis. It has acaricidal properties against certain mites, such as Psoroptes cuniculi. One of the active ingredients of the essential oil from German chamomile is the terpene bisabolol.[7][8] Other active ingredients include farnesene, chamazulene, flavonoids (including apigenin, quercetin, patuletin and luteolin) and coumarin.[7]

A 2006 review of the medical literature reported a number of beneficial effects for chamomile in in vitro and animal tests, but added that more human clinical trials are needed before firm conclusions can be drawn. Research with animals suggests antispasmodic, anxiolytic, anti-inflammatory and some antimutagenic and cholesterol-lowering effects for chamomile.[9] Chamomile has sped healing time of wounds in animals.[10][11] It also showed some benefit in an animal model of diabetes.[12] In vitro chamomile has demonstrated moderate antimicrobial and antioxidant properties and significant antiplatelet activity, as well as preliminary results against cancer.[7][13] Essential oil of chamomile was shown to be a promising antiviral agent against herpes simplex virus type 2 (HSV-2) in vitro.[14] Potential risks include interference with warfarin and infant botulism in very young children.[15][16]

Chamomile is also used cosmetically, primarily to make a rinse for blonde hair, and as a yellow dye for fabrics.

Tolerance can develop to the sedative action of chamomile if taken habitually.

{Information courtesy Wikipedia}