Matricaria chamomilla

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
  (Redirected from Matricaria recutita)
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Matricaria chamomilla
Matricaria February 2008-1.jpg
Scientific classification edit
Kingdom: Plantae
Clade: Angiosperms
Clade: Eudicots
Clade: Asterids
Order: Asterales
Family: Asteraceae
Genus: Matricaria
M. chamomilla
Binomial name
Matricaria chamomilla

Chamomilla chamomilla (L.) Rydb.
Chamomilla recutita (L.) Rauschert
Matricaria recutita L.
Matricaria suaveolens L.
Sources: NRCS,[1] ITIS[2]

Matricaria chamomilla (synonym: Matricaria recutita), commonly known as chamomile (also spelled camomile), Italian camomilla, German chamomile,[3] Hungarian chamomile (kamilla), wild chamomile or scented mayweed,[4][5] is an annual plant of the composite family Asteraceae. M. chamomilla is the most popular source of the herbal product chamomile, although other species are also used as chamomile.[3]


The word chamomile comes from the Greek χαμαίμηλον (chamaimēlon) meaning "earth-apple",[6] which is derived from χαμαί (chamai) meaning "on the ground"[7] and μήλον (mēlon) meaning "apple".[8] It is so called because of the apple-like scent of the plant.

Chamomile blue refers to chamazulene, the purified, deep-blue essential oil derived using steam distillation, rather than the plant itself.

In Latin, one of the meanings of matrix is the womb; the name Matricaria was given to the genus because Matricaria chamomilla was widely used to treat such gynecologic complaints as menstrual cramps and sleep disorders related to premenstrual syndrome. Matricaria chamomilla has been found to contain fairly strong antispasmodic and anti-inflammatory constituents and is particularly effective in treating stomach and intestinal cramps.[9]


M. chamomilla has a branched, erect and smooth stem, which grows to a height of 15–60 cm (6–23.5 in). The long and narrow leaves are bipinnate or tripinnate.

Flowers of M. chamomilla:
A. Yellow disc florets
B. White ray florets

The flowers are borne in paniculate flower heads (capitula). The white ray florets are furnished with a ligule, while the disc florets are yellow. The hollow receptacle is swollen and lacks scales. This property distinguishes German chamomile from corn chamomile (Anthemis arvensis), which has a receptacle with scales. The flowers bloom in early to midsummer, and have a strong, aromatic smell.


M. chamomilla can be found near populated areas all over Europe and temperate Asia, and it has been widely introduced in temperate North America, South America and Australia. It often grows near roads, around landfills, and in cultivated fields as a weed, because the seeds require open soil to survive.




Matricariae flos: Dried M. chamomilla flower as commonly used in herbal tea
German chamomile (Matricaria recutita) essential oil in clear glass vial

German chamomile is used in herbal medicine for a sore stomach, irritable bowel syndrome, and as a gentle sleep aid.[10] It is also used as a mild laxative and is anti-inflammatory[11] and bactericidal.[12] It can be taken as an herbal tea, two teaspoons of dried flower per cup of tea, which should be steeped for 10 to 15 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.[13]

Chemical constituents of its essential oil include: the terpenes bisabolol[14] farnesene, and chamazulene; the flavonoids apigenin, quercetin, patuletin, and luteolin; and coumarin.[14]

Potential pharmacology[edit]

A 2006 review of the medical literature reported a number of beneficial effects for chamomile in in vitro and animal tests, but added more human clinical trials are needed before any firm conclusions can be drawn. Research with animals suggests antispasmodic, anxiolytic, anti-inflammatory and some antimutagenic and cholesterol-lowering effects for chamomile.[15]

Possible side effects[edit]

Chamomile, a relative of ragweed, can cause allergy symptoms and can cross-react with ragweed pollen in individuals with ragweed allergies. It also contains coumarin, so care should be taken to avoid potential drug interactions, e.g. with blood thinners.

While extremely rare, very large doses of chamomile may cause nausea and vomiting. Even more rarely, rashes may occur.[16] Type-IV allergic reactions (i.e. contact dermatitis) are common and one case of severe Type-I reaction (i.e. anaphylaxis) has been reported in a 38-year-old man who drank chamomile tea.[17]


Soil type: German chamomile will tolerate many soils, but prefers a sandy, well-drained soil with a pH of 7.0-7.5 and full sun.

Cultivation: In gardens, plants should be spaced 15–30 cm (6–12 in) apart. Chamomile does not require large amounts of fertilizer, but depending on soil tests, small amounts of nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium should be applied before planting.[18]

The amounts of major nutrients that German chamomile needs for growing and reproduction are:

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Matricaria chamomilla". Natural Resources Conservation Service PLANTS Database. USDA. Retrieved 15 June 2008.
  2. ^ "Matricaria recutita". Integrated Taxonomic Information System. Retrieved 15 June 2008.
  3. ^ a b "German Chamomile". University of Maryland Medical Center. 2011. Retrieved 14 December 2012.
  4. ^ Fitter R, Fitter A, Blamey M. 1989. The wild flowers of Britain and Northern Europe. Collins
  5. ^ Stace, Clive 1991. The New Flora of the British Isles. Cambridge University Press
  6. ^ χαμαίμηλον, Henry George Liddell, Robert Scott, A Greek-English Lexicon, on Perseus
  7. ^ χαμαί, Henry George Liddell, Robert Scott, A Greek-English Lexicon, on Perseus
  8. ^ μήλον, Henry George Liddell, Robert Scott, A Greek-English Lexicon, on Perseus
  9. ^ "Matricaria Linnaeus".
  10. ^ "Chamomile (Matricaria Recutita)". Retrieved 15 October 2014.
  11. ^ Bhaskaran, N; Shukla, S; Srivastava, JK; Gupta, S (December 2010). "Chamomile: an anti-inflammatory agent inhibits inducible nitric oxide synthase expression by blocking RelA/p65 activity". Int J Mol Med. 26 (6): 935–40. doi:10.3892/ijmm_00000545. PMC 2982259. PMID 21042790.
  12. ^ Tayel, AA; El-Tras, WF (2009). "Possibility of fighting food borne bacteria by egyptian folk medicinal herbs and spices extracts". J Egypt Public Health Assoc. 84 (1–2): 21–32. PMID 19712651.
  13. ^ "Chamomile". Planet Botanic. Retrieved 12 February 2009.
  14. ^ a b McKay DL, Blumberg JB (2006). "A review of the bioactivity and potential health benefits of chamomile tea (Matricaria recutita L". Phytother Res. 20 (7): 519–530. doi:10.1002/ptr.1900. PMID 16628544.
  15. ^ Mckay, Diane L.; Blumberg, JB (July 2006). "A review of the bioactivity and potential health benefits of chamomile tea (Matricaria recutita L.)". Phytother. Res. 20 (7): 519–30. doi:10.1002/ptr.1900. PMID 16628544.
  16. ^ Readers' Digest Association
  17. ^ Andres, C; Chen, WC; Ollert, M; et al. (2009). "Anaphylactic reaction to camomile tea". Allergol Int. 58 (1): 135–136. doi:10.2332/allergolint.c-08-63. PMID 19050375.
  18. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 12 October 2008. Retrieved 31 July 2008. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]