Chamomile (Matricaria chamomilla)

German chamomile, or Matricaria chamomilla, and the common English chamomile, Athemis nobilis, belong to the family Compositae. Originally brought from Europe and Asia, these plants are now commonly cultivated in the central and eastern part of the United States. The flowers of these plants are used by herbalists to relieve the symptoms of various medical issues. Chamomile can grow slowly from one to two feet, has long slender stems, and produces sweet-smelling flowers that are similar to daisies in appearance.
Both German and English chamomile contains a combination of sesquiterpenes, including farnesene, alpha-bisabolol, and bisabolol oxides A and B. Chamomile also contains sesquiterpenelactones and some derivatives of acetylene. The flowers of these plants also possess phenolic compounds, including some derived from hydroxycinnamic acid. Caffeic acid, luteolin, apigenin, and chamaemeloside can also be found in products made from both varieties of the chamomile plant. Coumarin, which thins the blood, is an active ingredient as well.
Because they contain anti-inflammatory, anti-spasmodic, and antibacterial properties, chamomile capsules, teas, and oils are sometimes used as a natural alternative to relieve the following medical problems:
• Colic
• Acid indigestion
• Diarrhea
• Irritable Bowel Syndrome
• Ulcers
• Canker sores
• Skin irritations, such as eczema
• Migraines
• Menstrual disorders
• Hemorrhoids
• Gum disease
Chamomile’s sedative effects have also made it popular to use in the treatment of insomnia and anxiety. Certain hair coloring products and conditioners, as well as some baby bath products, have also been infused with Chamomile for its soothing qualities.