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Herbs: Matricaria (Chamomile)

CHAMOMILE


FAMILY: Asteraceae

HABIT:
--grows on roadsides/disturbed areas near populated areas in Europe & temperate Asia
--widely introduced in temperate North America and Australia
--prefers well drained soil in full sun with neutral or slightly basic pH
--stem: branched, erect, smooth, 15-60cm tall
--leaves: long and narrow, bi and tri- pinnate
--flowers: white rays with yellow disc, bloom in early-mid summer, aromatic odor

COMMON NAMES: chamomile, German chamomile, blue chamomile, wild chamomile, Hungarian chamomile, and scented mayweed

AKA "CHAMOMILE": Chamaemelum nobile (Roman chamomile), Matricaria discoidea, Anthemis nobilis, Anthemis arvensis, Anthemis cotula, Anthemis tinctoria, Ormenis multicaulis, Eriocephalus punctulatus

PARTS USED:
--flowers, gather when in full bloom and dry at room temperature

CONSTITUENTS:
--active terpenes in essential oil: bisabolol, chamazulen, isadol
--flavonoids (apigenin, quercetin, patuletin, luteolin)
--coumarin
--mucilage

ACTIONS:
--antispasmodic
--anxiolytic, mild sedative
--anti-inflammatory
--caminative
--analgesic
--antiseptic, antimycotic, antibacterial (esp vs staph & strep)
--vulnerary
--dermatological

INDICATIONS:
--flatulence, gastritis, colic, indigesion
--IBS, Crohn's, peptic ulcer, UC, diverticulitis
--insomnia, anxiety, migraine, menstrual disorders
--wounds, eczema
--canker sores, gingivitis, sore throat
--hemorrhoids
--assistance of defecation
--conjunctivitis, eye irritations
--nasal catarrh (use steam bath)
--cancer of liver, stomach, skin, mouth, brain

CLINICAL USES:
--some antimutagenic and cholesterol-lowering effects
--decreases wound healing time
--uterine tonic
--diabetes
--moderate antimicrobial and antioxidant properties
--antiplatelet activity
--preliminary results against cancer
--antiviral agent vs HSV2
--acaricidal properties against certain mites, such as Psoroptes cuniculi

PREPARATIONS AND DOSAGES:
--herbal tea, two teaspoons of dried flower per cup of tea, 1-4 cups/day
--may be administered in capsules/tablets, 400-1,600mg/day, divided doses
--fluid extract 1:1 in 45% alcohol, 1-4 milliliters 3x daily
--tincture 1:5 in alcohol, 15 milliliters 3-4x/day
--mouthwash, 1% fluid extract or 5% tincture
--gargle for sore throat
--no standard doses topical paste, plaster, or ointment
--bath additive
--douche

SAFETY:
--interferes with warfarin therapy, contains coumarin
--do not use within two weeks of surgery (before or after)
--infant botulism (contamination has been documented)
--relative of ragweed-->possible allergy symptoms, possible type IV rxn: anaphylaxis
--rare: very large doses-->nausea and vomiting, rashes
--do not use when pregnant or nursing

NON-MEDICINAL USES:
--rinse for blonde hair
--dye to produce a green color
--Chamaemelum nobile as ground cover or sculpture plant in herb garden



REFERENCES:
--Hoffman, David, The Herbal Handbook; A User's Guide to Medical Herbalism, 1998.
--Medline Herbs. http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/druginfo/natural/patient-chamomile.html
--"Chamomile". Planet Botanic. http://www.planetbotanic.ca/fact_sheets/chamomile.htm
--Lust, John B, The Herb Book; The Complete and Authoritative Guide to More than 500 Herbs, 2001.
--McKay DL, Blumberg JB. (2006). "A review of the bioactivity and potential health benefits of chamomile tea (Matricaria recutita L." Phytother Res. 20:519-530.
--McKay DL, Blumberg JB. (2006). "A review of the bioactivity and potential health benefits of chamomile tea (Matricaria recutita L." Phytother Res. 20:519-530.
--"Wound healing activity of Matricaria recutita L. extract". J Wound Care. 16 (7): 298–302. July 2007. PMID : 17708380.
--Mowrey, DAniel B., Ph.D., The Scientific Validation of Herbal Medicine; How to Remedy and Prevent Disease wit Herbs, Vitamins, Minerals and other Nutrients, 1986.
--"Warfarin interaction with Matricaria chamomilla". Cmaj.;(): 174 (9): 1281–2. 2006-04-25. PMID : 16636327.
--Hoffman, David, FNIMH, AHG, Medial Hebalism; The Science and Practice of Herbal Medicine, 2003.
--Wikipedia

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