The flowers of chamomile contain 1–2% volatile oils including alpha-bisabolol, alpha-bisabolol oxides A & B, and matricin (usually converted to chamazulene and other flavonoids which possess anti-inflammatory and antiphlogistic properties (4, 5, 6, 7)
The chamomile drug is included in the pharmacopeia of 26 countries. As a drug, it finds use in flatulence, colic, hysteria, and intermittent fever. The flowers of M. chamomilla contain the blue essential oil from 0.2 to 1.9%,[14,13] which finds a variety of uses. Chamomile is used mainly as an anti-inflammatory and antiseptic, also antispasmodic and mildly sudorific. Externally, the drug in powder form may be applied to wounds slow to heal, for skin eruptions, and infections, such as shingles and boils, also for hemorrhoids and for inflammation of the mouth, throat, and the eyes.
Antonelli had quoted from writings of several doctors of an ancient time of the 16th and 17th century that chamomile was used in those times with intermittent fevers. Gould et al. have evaluated the hemodynamic effects of chamomile tea in patients with cardiac disease. It was found in general that the patients fell into the deep sleep after taking the beverage. Pasechnik reported that infusion prepared from M. chamomilla exercised a marked stimulatory action on the secretory function of the liver. Gayar et al. reported toxicity of acetone-extract of M. chamomilla against larvae of Gulex pipens L. The other pharmacological properties include anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, carminative, healing, sedative, and spasmolytic activity. More than 120 chemical constituents have been identified in chamomile flower as secondary metabolites,[72,73] including 28 terpenoids, 36 flavonoids,[13,23,24] and 52 additional compounds with potential pharmacological activity. Components, such as α-bisabolol and cyclic ethers are antimicrobial,[25,26] umbelliferone is fungistatic, whereas chamazulene and α-bisabolol are antiseptic.
Key Therapeutic Benefits
The oil serves many medicinal purposes, but one of the best-documented uses is for relaxation. The oil has a calming effect on people and can be used to help induce sleep, ease frayed nerves, and promote a general sense of calmness and well being. It is great for those with nervousness or anxiety problems. Aside from having mental calming properties, chamomile is also good for relaxing sore muscles and tight joints. It can ease menstrual cramps and backaches, as well as relax the digestive system to ease upset stomach or indigestion issues. When applied topically to the skin, it soothes redness and irritation. For this reason, it is a common ingredient in skincare. It also eliminates itchiness and is good for those with allergic reactions. Sometimes chamomile is used on rashes. Because of its anti-inflammatory properties, it can work to take down swelling caused by rashes or skin irritants.
Finally, the oil has antibacterial properties and can help to clean and protect wounds from infections. It is commonly used as an all-natural remedy for dental abscesses, conjunctivitis, and other infections. The effects on drying and epithelialization were observed, and chamomile was judged to be statistically efficacious in producing wound drying and in speeding epithelialization (8). Antimicrobial activity of the extract against various microorganisms was also assessed. The increased rate of wound contraction, together with the increased wound-breaking strength, hydroxyproline content and histological observations, support the use of M. Recutita in wound management (9). Recent studies suggest that chamomile caused complete wound healing faster than corticosteroids (10). However, further studies are needed before it can be considered for clinical use.
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- ^ Jump up to ab “German Chamomile”. University of Maryland Medical Center. 2011. Retrieved 14 December 2012.
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