Chamomile Matricaria recutita is used to treat sore stomach, irritable bowel syndrome as a gentle sleep aid. It is also used as a mild laxative and is anti-inflammatory and bactericidal. It can be taken as a herbal tea, 15 to 20 drops in a cup of warm water.
For a sore stomach, some recommend taking a cup every morning without food. It is also used as a mouthwash against oral mucositis. It has acaricidal properties against certain mites, such as Psoroptes cuniculi.
A 2006 review of the medical literature reported a number of beneficial effects for chamomile in vitro and animal tests but added that more human clinical trials are needed before firm conclusions can be drawn. Research with animals suggests antispasmodic, anxiolytic, anti-inflammatory, and some antimutagenic and cholesterol-lowering effects for chamomile. Chamomile has sped the healing time of wounds in animals. It also showed some benefits in an animal model of diabetes. In vitro chamomile has demonstrated moderate antimicrobial and antioxidant properties and significant antiplatelet activity, as well as preliminary results against cancer.
The essential oil of chamomile was shown to be a promising antiviral agent against herpes simplex virus type 2 (HSV-2) in vitro. Potential risks include interference with warfarin and infant botulism in very young children.
Tolerance can develop to the sedative action of chamomile if taken habitually. Possible side effects Chamomile is a relative of ragweed and can cause allergy symptoms and can cross-react with ragweed pollen in individuals with ragweed allergies. It also contains coumarin and thus 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.