By Kyle J. Norton

Chamomile is also known as camomile, common name of many species daisy-like plants in the family Asteraceae. The herb has been used in traditional medicine as antispasmodic and anti-inflammatory constituents and to treat menstrual cramps and sleep disorders, reduce cramping and spastic pain in the bowels, relieve excessive gas and bloating in the intestine, etc.

Guaianolides matricarin and achillin, acetoxyachillin and leucodin (= desacetoxymatricarin), corresponding C-11 stereoisomers(a),(Z)-2-β-d-glucopyranosyloxy-4-methoxycinnamic acid (cis-GMCA), chlorogenic acid, (E)-2-β-d-glucopyranosyloxy-4-methoxycinnamic acid (trans-GMCA), quercetagetin-7-O-β-d-glucopyranoside, luteolin-7-O-β-d-glucoside, apigenin-7-O-β-d-glucoside, chamaemeloside, apigenin 7-O-(6″-O-acetyl-β-d-glucopyranoside), apigenin] and one polyacetylene (tonghaosu)(b).

1. Chamomile and anti inflammatory effect
The immune system is the set of cells and their activity against antigens or infectious agents that comprises of the body’s defense system against diseases. The immune system does a great job of keeping people healthy and preventing infections. Beside foods and nutritional supplements, herbs also play a important role in helping the immune system defend against viruses and bacteria attacks.
In the study at Case Western Reserve University, showed its potential anti-inflammatory mechanisms, through inhibited NO production and iNOS gene expression via inhibiting RelA/p65 activation(1). The study of whether chamomile interferes with the COX-2 pathway, showed a positive effect of the herb in inhibition of COX-2 enzyme activity and causation of reduction in LPS-induced COX-2 mRNA and protein expression(2),
The study of supplement containing 2 flavonoids (>95% pure), luteolin (100 mg/capsule, from chamomile) and quercetin (70 mg/capsule), and the quercetin glycoside rutin (30 mg/capsule) from the Sophora japonica leaf, formulated in olive kernel oil to increase oral absorption, suggested that that the combination of the flavonoids luteolin and quercetin seemed to be effective in reducing ASD symptoms, with no major adverse effects through it anti inflammatory activities(3)

(1) Chamomile: an anti-inflammatory agent inhibits inducible nitric oxide synthase expression by blocking RelA/p65 activity by Bhaskaran N1, Shukla S, Srivastava JK, Gupta S.(PubMed)
(2) Chamomile, a novel and selective COX-2 inhibitor with anti-inflammatory activity by Srivastava JK1, Pandey M, Gupta S.(PubMed)
(3) An open-label pilot study of a formulation containing the anti-inflammatory flavonoid luteolin and its effects on behavior in children with autism spectrum disorders by Taliou A1, Zintzaras E, Lykouras L, Francis K.(PubMed)

2. Chamomile and dermatitis
Dermatitis or eczema, is defined as a condition of inflammation of skin including itchy, erythematous, vesicular, weeping, and crusting patches.
The use of chamomile oil in folk medicine for treatment of skin disorder may have found to be effect in modern medicine, according to Howon University, application of German chamomile oil to alleviating atopic dermatitis, such as reduced serum IgG1 level and significantly lower serum histamine level through influencing of Th2 cell activation(1).
Dr Dohil MA. in the study of herbal effects on in atopic dermatitis and other inflammatory skin disease, indicated there may be a positive effect of herbal medicine, including chamomile through the present recent multicenter and international clinical studies that support their efficacy and safety profile for a variety of inflammatory skin conditions(2). and herbs containing anti inflammatory activity such as chamomile may be particularly well suited as alternatives to pharmacologic therapies in chronic conditions for which long-term use is required,(3), Dr. Wu J. said.
Although, German chamomile may be effective for treatment of skin disorder, but it was found to allergic effect in some patients in external use of chamomile tea or use of chamomile-containing topical herbal remedies, due to its chemical constituent herniarin(4)

(1) Effect of German chamomile oil application on alleviating atopic dermatitis-like immune alterations in Lee SH1, Heo Y, Kim YC.(PubMed)
(2) Natural ingredients in atopic dermatitis and other inflammatory skin disease.

Dohil MA.(PubMed)
(3) Anti-inflammatory ingredients by Wu J.(PubMed)
(4) The coumarin herniarin as a sensitizer in German chamomile [Chamomilla recutita (L.) Rauschert, Compositae] by Paulsen E1, Otkjaer A, Andersen KE.(PubMed)

4. Chamomile and insomnia
Insomnia is a sign and symptom of sleep disorder and defined as a condition in which a person has a difficulty falling asleep and/or staying asleep or sleep of poor quality that can lead to substantial impairments in the quality of life and functional capacity of an individual. Most adults have experienced insomnia sometimes in their life. According to statistic, more than 30% of the population suffers from insomnia, one in three people suffer from some form of insomnia during their lifetime and women suffer from insomnia more often than men.

Chamomile, one of most popular herb used for sleep disorders in herbal medicine. According to the Dr. Srivastava JK and research team at the Case Western Reserve University, many different preparations of the herb have been developed, the most popular of which is in the form of herbal tea consumed more than one million cups per day(1).
In a standardized chamomile extract for chronic primary insomnia study, in adults with chronic primary insomnia, the herb showed a modest benefits of daytime functioning and mixed benefits on sleep diary(2). According to DR. Wheatley D., the anxiolytic or sedative properties of chamomile chamomile, Ylang-Ylang) would appear to improve sleep, but how practical a form of treatment this may be remains to be determined(3).But in the assessing the benefits of chamomile in sleep time (TST), sleep efficiency, sleep latency, wake after sleep onset (WASO), sleep quality, and number of awakenings, researchers at the1University of Michigan, indicated that it may be the modest advantage on daytime functioning, but did not reach statistical significance(4).

(1) Chamomile: A herbal medicine of the past with bright future by Srivastava JK1, Shankar E, Gupta S.(PubMed)(2) Preliminary examination of the efficacy and safety of a standardized chamomile extract for chronic primary insomnia: a randomized placebo-controlled pilot study by Zick SM1, Wright BD, Sen A, Arnedt JT.(PubMed)
(3) Medicinal plants for insomnia: a review of their pharmacology, efficacy and tolerability. by Wheatley D.(PubMed)
(4) Preliminary examination of the efficacy and safety of a standardized chamomile extract for chronic primary insomnia: a randomized placebo-controlled pilot study by Zick SM1, Wright BD, Sen A, Arnedt JT.(PubMed)

5. Chamomile and cancer
Cancer is a class of diseases in which a group of cells growing and multiplying disordered and uncontrollable way in our body, have become progressively worse and damaged other healthy tissues, sometimes spreads to other organs in the body via lymph or blood and results may be in death.
According to the study by Dr. Srivastava JK and Dr.Gupta S. in cancer cells, chamomile extract showed to induce minimal growth inhibitory responses in normal cells, but significant decrease in cell viability was observed in various human cancer cell lines, through exhibition of its antiproliferative and apoptotic activities(1). The Harokopio University, study also indicated the effectiveness of chamomile in inhibition of epithelial colon cancer (HT29) cell line probably through regulation of regulate nuclear factor-kappa B(2). The testing of biological activity of 20 essential oils (EOs) from herbal plants for theirs effectiveness in numbers of cancer cell line, including human colon carcinoma, (HCT116), rat basophilic leukemia RBL-2H3 cells, according to Kobe Gakuin University, chamomile showed a significant effects on both cancer cell growth and mast cell degranulation(3).

(1) Antiproliferative and apoptotic effects of chamomile extract in various human cancer cells.
Srivastava JK1, Gupta S.(PubMed)
(2) Herbal infusions; their phenolic profile, antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects in HT29 and PC3 cells by Kogiannou DA1, Kalogeropoulos N, Kefalas P, Polissiou MG, Kaliora AC.(PubMed)
(3) Effects of essential oils from herbal plants and citrus fruits on DNA polymerase inhibitory, cancer cell growth inhibitory, antiallergic, and antioxidant activities by Mitoshi M1, Kuriyama I, Nakayama H, Miyazato H, Sugimoto K, Kobayashi Y, Jippo T, Kanazawa K, Yoshida H, Mizushina Y.(PubMed)

6. Chamomile and skin cancer
Basal cell cancer is the most common type of skin cancer as a result of abnormal growth of the cells in the lowest layer of the epidermis. The cancer rarely spread and kill but can cause significant destruction and disfigurement to the affected skin area and accounted for more than 90% of all skin cancer in the U.S.
According to statistic, skin cancers accounted for approximately 40% of all cancers reported in the United States and approximately 9,500 deaths per year. Herbal chamomile showed to inhibited skin cancer cell lines through its antioxidant effects via inhibition of reactive oxygen species (ROS) type free radicals probably via downregulation of H2O2-generated free radicals in human skin fibroblasts (1). Apigenin , a chemical constituent of flavonoid found in chamomile, with 10 mumoles apigenin in 200 microliters DMSO:acetone (1:9) prior to each UVB exposure showed a promised resulted in reduction in cancer incidence (52% inhibition), through absorbing ultraviolet light or decreasing DNA damage(2). In support of the above, the National Taiwan University, indicated that a effectiveness of apigenin, in suppression of 12-0-tetradecanoyl-phorbol-13-acetate-(TPA)-mediated tumor promotion of mouse skin, through vary mechanisms(3).

(1) The active natural anti-oxidant properties of chamomile, milk thistle, and halophilic bacterial components in human skin in vitro by Mamalis A1, Nguyen DH, Brody N, Jagdeo J.(PubMed)
(2) Inhibition of ultraviolet light induced skin carcinogenesis in SKH-1 mice by apigenin, a plant flavonoid by Birt DF1, Mitchell D, Gold B, Pour P, Pinch HC.(PubMed)
(3) Suppression of protein kinase C and nuclear oncogene expression as possible molecular mechanisms of cancer chemoprevention by apigenin and curcumin by Lin JK1, Chen YC, Huang YT, Lin-Shiau SY.(PubMed)

7. Chamomile and Neuroprotective effect
The evaluation of the neuroprotective effect of German chamomile against aluminium fluoride (AlF₄⁻)-induced oxidative stress in rats. showed a neuroprotective effect of herbal chamomile, through significantly decreased in lipid peroxidation (LPO) and increased in the superoxide dismutase (SOD), catalase (CAT), glutathione (GSH), and total thiol levels in extract-treated animals(1). The Hanagal Shri Kumareshawr College of Pharmacy study, in support of the above, showed the same effectiveness of the herb also through same mechanisms in extract treated groups but this time in global model of ischemia in rats(2)

(1) Neuroprotective activity of Matricaria recutita against fluoride-induced stress in rats by Ranpariya VL1, Parmar SK, Sheth NR, Chandrashekhar VM.(PubMed)
(2) Neuroprotective activity of Matricaria recutita Linn against global model of ischemia in rats vy Chandrashekhar VM1, Ranpariya VL, Ganapaty S, Parashar A, Muchandi AA(PubMed)

8. Chamomile and hepoprotective effect
Chamomilla recutita flavonoids (chamiloflan) showed to exhibit antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects through induced decrease of ceramide levels in the liver of old rats, according to the Kharkov Karazin National University(1). Flavonoids of German chamomile also exhibited the hepatoprotective effect, through affect sphingolipid metabolism and reduce the elevated ceramide level in the aged liver by normalized activities of key enzymes of sphingolipid turnover (neutral SMase and ceramidase) and ceramide contents in the damaged liver and liver cells, and stabilized the hepatocyte membranes.(2)

(1) Effects of Chamomilla recutita flavonoids on age-related liver sphingolipid turnover in rats.
Babenko NA1, Shakhova EG.(PubMed)
(2) Effects of flavonoids on sphingolipid turnover in the toxin-damaged liver and liver cells by Babenko NA1, Shakhova EG.(PubMed)

9. Herbal chamomile and anxiety disorder
According to the Canadian mental health association, Anxiety disordered is a result of a combination of biological, psychological, and other individual factors(1a).
Anxiety is the most commonly reported psychiatric conditions and frequently occur as comorbid disorders.
In a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled efficacy and tolerability trial of Matricaria recutita (chamomile) extract on generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) showed to effective of modest anxiolytic activity with patient mild to moderate GAD(1). The University of Ottawa study insisted at Matricaria recutita (German chamomile) and Humulus lupulus (hops) showed significant inhibition of GAD activity at doses of 0.11-0.65 mg/mL(2). The study containing 57 participants in the 2009 trial, 19 had anxiety with comorbid depression; 16 had anxiety with a past history of depression; and 22 had anxiety with no current or past depression, chamomile showed a clinically meaningful antidepressant activity to its previously observed anxiolytic activity(3). Apigenin, a component of Matricaria recutita flowers, in in mice study, exerted its anxiolytic and slight sedative effects through the central benzodiazepine receptors(4).

(a) Guaianolides and volatile compounds in chamomile tea by Tschiggerl C1, Bucar F.(PubMed)
(b) Quantitative determination of phenolic compounds by UHPLC-UV-MS and use of partial least-square discriminant analysis to differentiate chemo-types of Chamomile/Chrysanthemum flower heads by Avula B1, Wang YH, Wang M, Avonto C, Zhao J, Smillie TJ, Rua D, Khan IA.(PubMed)
(1a) Anxiety disorder(Canadian mental health association)
(1) A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial of oral Matricaria recutita (chamomile) extract therapy for generalized anxiety disorder by Amsterdam JD1, Li Y, Soeller I, Rockwell K, Mao JJ, Shults J.(PubMed)
(2) Effects of traditionally used anxiolytic botanicals on enzymes of the gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) system by Awad R1, Levac D, Cybulska P, Merali Z, Trudeau VL, Arnason JT.(PubMed)
(3) Chamomile (Matricaria recutita) may provide antidepressant activity in anxious, depressed humans: an exploratory study by Amsterdam JD1, Shults J, Soeller I, Mao JJ, Rockwell K, Newberg AB.(PubMed)

(4) Apigenin, a component of Matricaria recutita flowers, is a central benzodiazepine receptors-ligand with anxiolytic effects by Viola H1, Wasowski C, Levi de Stein M, Wolfman C, Silveira R, Dajas F, Medina JH, Paladini AC.(PubMed)

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