Chamomile or camomile (/ˈkæmɵmiːl/ KAM-ə-meel or /ˈkæmɵmaɪl/ KAM-ə-myl) is a common name for several daisy-like plants of the family Asteraceae. These plants are best known for their ability to be made into an infusion which is commonly used to help with sleep and is often served with honey or lemon, or both. Because chamomile can cause uterine contractions which can lead to miscarriage, the U.S. National Institutes of Health recommends that pregnant and nursing mothers should not consume chamomile.
The word chamomile derives, via Latin, from Greek χαμαίμηλον (chamaimelon) ("earth apple"). The more common British spelling "camomile," is the older in English, while the spelling "chamomile" more accurately corresponds to the ultimate Latin and Greek source.
Two species are commonly used:
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:
- Anthemis arvensis, corn, scentless or field chamomile
- Anthemis cotula, stinking chamomile
- Cladanthus multicaulis, Moroccan chamomile
- Cota tinctoria, dyer's, golden, oxeye, or yellow chamomile
- Eriocephalus punctulatus, Cape chamomile
- Matricaria discoidea, wild chamomile or pineapple weed
- Tripleurospermum inodorum, wild, scentless or false chamomile
Use of chamomile dates back as far as ancient Egypt, where it was dedicated to their gods. Folk remedies using the plant include treatments for dropsy and jaundice. It was also believed to revive any wilting plant placed near it. The flowers were used as a dye to lighten hair.
Chamomile is known to have anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, antispasmodic, carminative, and sedative properties. It has been used historically to treat menstrual cramps, to soothe an aching stomach, to speed the healing process of wounds (when used as a poultice), and most commonly as a sleep aid.
Preliminary research suggests chamomile is an effective therapy for anxiety. Chrysin, a flavonoid found in chamomile, has been shown to be anxiolytic in rodents.
A 2009 study by Srivastava, et al., published in "Life Sciences," found chamomile caused cell reactions similar to that of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. Chamomile can help the inflammation associated with hemorrhoids when applied topically and not when consumed as a tea. It has shown anti-inflammatory effects in the laboratory and in animals. Chamomile extract has demonstrated anti-inflammatory, antihyperglycemic, antigenotoxic, and anticancer properties when examined in vitro and in animal studies. Apigenin, a flavone present in chamomile, has strong chemopreventive effects. Bisabololoxide A, another constituent of chamomile, was shown to reduce the dose of 5-fluorouracil needed when used together against leukemic cells.
The National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine cautioned of rare allergic reactions (Asteraceae allergy) and/or atopic dermatitis (skin rash).
Chamomile is also used cosmetically, primarily to make a rinse for blonde hair, and as a yellow dye for fabrics.
Chamomile is sometimes known as "the plant doctor", because it is thought to help the growth and health of many other plants, especially ones that produce essential oils. It is thought to increase production of those oils, making certain herbs, such as mints (spearmint, sage, oregano) and basil stronger in scent and flavour.
Chamomile tea is also thought to be useful to suppress fungal growth, for example, misting it over seedlings may prevent damping off.
Chamomile is frequently an invasive species in agricultural fields. Farmers often must control its spread to maintain productivity of their fields.
- ^ chamomile reference.com
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- ^ Oxford English Dictionary, online edition, entry "camomile | chamomile"
- ^ "Chamomile Tea: New Evidence Supports Health Benefits". ScienceDaily. 4 January 2005. http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/01/050104112140.htm. Retrieved 26 December 2012.
- ^ "Show 51 - Calm and Collected Chamomile". Steeping Around. http://www.steepingaround.com/post/25186656665/show51.
- ^ "Study Shows Chamomile Capsules Ease Anxiety Symptoms". NIH. http://nccam.nih.gov/news/newsletter/2010_may/chamomileanxiety.htm.
- ^ Amsterdam, Jay D.; Li, Yimei; Soeller, Irene; Rockwell, Kenneth; Mao, Jun James; Shults, Justine (2009). "A Randomized, Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled Trial of Oral Matricaria recutita (Chamomile) Extract Therapy for Generalized Anxiety Disorder". Journal of Clinical Psychopharmacology 29 (4): 378–82. doi:10.1097/JCP.0b013e3181ac935c. PMID 19593179.
- ^ Brown, E; Hurd, NS; McCall, S; Ceremuga, TE (2007). "Evaluation of the anxiolytic effects of chrysin, a Passiflora incarnata extract, in the laboratory rat". AANA journal 75 (5): 333–7. PMID 17966676.
- ^ Wolfman, Claudia; Viola, Haydeé; Paladini, Alejandro; Dajas, Federico; Medina, Jorge H. (1994). "Possible anxiolytic effects of chrysin, a central benzodiazepine receptor ligand isolated from Passiflora Coerulea". Pharmacology Biochemistry and Behavior 47 (1): 1–4. doi:10.1016/0091-3057(94)90103-1. PMID 7906886.
- ^ "Chamomile Tea & Inflammation". Livestrong.Com. 2011-08-18. http://www.livestrong.com/article/519021-chamomile-tea-inflammation/. Retrieved 2012-07-06.
- ^ "Chamomile (German) | Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center". Mskcc.org. 2011-07-27. http://www.mskcc.org/cancer-care/herb/chamomile-german. Retrieved 2012-07-06.
- ^ Cemek, Mustafa; Kağa, Sadık; Şimşek, Nejdet; Büyükokuroğlu, Mehmet Emin; Konuk, Muhsin (2008). "Antihyperglycemic and antioxidative potential of Matricaria chamomilla L. In streptozotocin-induced diabetic rats". Journal of Natural Medicines 62 (3): 284–93. doi:10.1007/s11418-008-0228-1. PMID 18404309.
- ^ Hernández-Ceruelos, A; Madrigal-Bujaidar, E; De La Cruz, C (2002). "Inhibitory effect of chamomile essential oil on the sister chromatid exchanges induced by daunorubicin and methyl methanesulfonate in mouse bone marrow". Toxicology Letters 135 (1–2): 103–110. doi:10.1016/S0378-4274(02)00253-9. PMID 12243869.
- ^ Srivastava, Janmejai K.; Gupta, Sanjay (2007). "Antiprolifera ologyisistive and Apoptotic Effects of Chamomile Extract in Various Human Cancer Cells". Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry 55 (23): 9470–8. doi:10.1021/jf071953k. PMID 17939735.
- ^ Patel, Deendayal; Shukla, Sanjeev; Gupta, Sanjay (2007). "Apigenin and cancer chemoprevention: Progress, potential and promise (Review)". International Journal of Oncology 30 (1): 233–45. PMID 17143534. http://www.spandidos-publications.com/ijo/30/1/233.
- ^ Ogata-Ikeda, Ikuko; Seo, Hakaru; Kawanai, Takuya; Hashimoto, Erika; Oyama, Yasuo (2011). "Cytotoxic action of bisabololoxide a of German chamomile on human leukemia K562 cells in combination with 5-fluorouracil". Phytomedicine 18 (5): 362–5. doi:10.1016/j.phymed.2010.08.007. PMID 20863677.
- ^ National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (2012). "Chamomile". National Institutes of Health. http://nccam.nih.gov/health/chamomile/ataglance.htm. Retrieved 3 November 2012.