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German Chamomile


What other names is German Chamomile known by?

Blue Chamomile, Camomèle, Camomilla, Camomille, Camomille Allemande, Camomille Sauvage, Camomille Tronquée, Camomille Vraie, Chamomile, Chamomilla recutita, Echte Kamille, Feldkamille, Fleur de Camomile, Hungarian Chamomile, Kamillen, Kleine Kamille, Manzanilla, Manzanilla Alemana, Matricaire, Matricaire Camomille, Matricaria chamomilla, Matricaria recutita, Matricariae Flos, Œil du Soleil, Petite Camomille, Pin Heads, Sweet False Chamomile, True Chamomile, Wild Chamomile.

What is German Chamomile?

German chamomile is an herb. People use the flower head of the plant to make medicine.

German chamomile is used for intestinal gas, travel sickness, stuffy nose, hay fever, nervous diarrhea, attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), fibromyalgia, restlessness, and trouble sleeping. It is also used for digestive system disorders, stomach ulcers, colic, and menstrual cramps.

Some people apply German chamomile directly to the skin for hemorrhoids; breast soreness; leg ulcers; allergic skin irritation; and bacterial skin diseases, including those of the mouth and gums. It is also used on the skin for treating or preventing damage to the inside of the mouth caused by chemotherapy or radiation; and to treat skin breakdown around colostomy appliances.

A form of German chamomile that can be inhaled is used to treat inflammation (swelling) and irritation of the respiratory tract.

In foods and beverages, German chamomile is used as flavoring.

In manufacturing, German chamomile is used in cosmetics, soaps, and mouthwashes.

Don't confuse German chamomile with Roman chamomile.

Is German Chamomile effective?

There is some scientific evidence that a German chamomile oral rinse might be helpful for a condition called "mucositis," a side effect of radiation therapy or chemotherapy in some people with cancer.

There isn't enough information to know if German chamomile is effective for the other conditions people use it for, including: upset stomach, insomnia, skin conditions, stuffy nose, gas, diarrhea, menstrual cramps, and others.

Possibly Effective for...

  • Anxiety. Research suggests that taking 220-1110 mg of German chamomile daily for 8 weeks reduces anxiety and depression in adults with anxiety disorder.
  • Colic. Research shows that a specific product containing 164 mg of fennel, 97 mg of lemon balm, and 178 mg of German chamomile (ColiMil, Milte Italia SPA) taken twice daily for a week seems to reduce crying in breast-fed infants with colic.
  • Diarrhea. Taking a product containing apple pectin and German chamomile for 1-3 days seems to reduce diarrhea in children.
  • Upset stomach (dyspepsia). Taking a specific product containing German chamomile plus peppermint leaf, clown's mustard plant, caraway, licorice, milk thistle, celandine, angelica, and lemon balm (Iberogast, Medical Futures, Inc) seems to relieve upset stomach. Taking this product three times daily for 4 weeks seems to reduce the severity of acid reflux, stomach pain, cramping, nausea, and vomiting.
  • Swelling and deterioration of the mouth lining (oral mucositis). Using a German chamomile mouth rinse (Kamillosan Liquidum) might help prevent or treat swelling or deterioration of the mouth lining caused by radiation therapy and some types of chemotherapy.

Possibly Ineffective for...

  • Skin irritation (dermatitis). Applying German chamomile cream to the skin does not seem to prevent skin irritation caused by cancer radiation therapy.
  • Gingivitis. Research shows that using a toothpaste containing German chamomile (Colgate) for 30 days reduces gingivitis, but not more than using toothpaste alone. Other research shows that using a mouthwash (Matrica) containing German chamomile does not reduce bacteria in the mouth.
  • Insomnia. Research shows that taking 270 mg of German chamomile twice daily for 28 days does not improve sleep time or quality in people with insomnia.

Insufficient Evidence to Rate Effectiveness for...

  • Common cold. Early research suggests that inhaling a German chamomile product (Kneipp-Kamillen-Konzentrat) as steam with hot water for 10 minutes reduces common cold symptoms.
  • Inflamed or irritated skin (eczema). Some research shows that applying a cream containing a German chamomile extract to the skin improves inflamed or irritated skin. However, other research shows that it does not improve skin.
  • Hemorrhoids. Early research shows that applying German chamomile ointment (Kamilloson) together with standard treatment improves bleeding, itching, and burning in people with hemorrhoids.
  • Skin breakdown around colostomy appliances. Early research shows that applying a German chamomile compress to areas of skin breakdown around colostomy appliances decreases the amount of time needed for skin lesions to heal.
  • Vaginal infection (vaginitis). Early research shows that flushing the vagina with a German chamomile extract in water reduces symptoms in women with vaginal infections.
  • Wound healing. Research shows that applying a German chamomile product (Kamile Spitzner) to wounds for 14 days reduces wound size after 4 days of treatment but does not affect wound healing approximately 3 weeks after tattoo removal.
  • Intestinal gas.
  • Travel sickness.
  • Nasal swelling (inflammation).
  • Hay fever.
  • Restlessness.
  • Attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).
  • Fibromyalgia.
  • Stomach and intestinal disorders.
  • Menstrual cramps.
  • Other conditions.
More evidence is needed to rate the effectiveness of German chamomile for these uses.

Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database rates effectiveness based on scientific evidence according to the following scale: Effective, Likely Effective, Possibly Effective, Possibly Ineffective, Likely Ineffective, and Insufficient Evidence to Rate (detailed description of each of the ratings).

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