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  • Writer's pictureThe British Chamomile Company

Benefits of German Chamomile (Matricaria recutita L.)

Dried chamomile flower heads

German Chamomile (Matricaria recutita L.) is an annual herbaceous plant native to Europe and Asia but now cultivated worldwide.  It is a member of the Asteraceae family.

It has traditionally been used to treat a variety of diseases including diabetes, anxiety, microbial infections, gastrointestinal disorders and painful menstruation.  It exhibits several biological properties including anti-oxidant, antibacterial, anti-diabetic, anti-cancer, anti-inflammatory and anti-depressant effects.


Over 120 bioactive constituents have been identified in chamomile flowers including flavonoids (apigenin, quercetin, patuletin, luteolin and their glucosides), phenolic compounds and coumarins (herniarin, umbelliferone)[1].


Chamomile tea is brewed from the dried flower heads and is one of the most popular single ingredient herbal teas worldwide.




Chamomile is widely regarded as a mild tranquilliser and sleep-inducer.  Its sedative effects may be due to the flavonoid apigenin which binds to benzodiazepine receptors in the brain[2].  Drinking chamomile tea regularly may help you fall asleep faster and get better quality sleep.


A study in 2015 suggests that chamomile tea may be recommended to postpartum women as a supplementary approach to alleviating depression and sleep quality problems[3].


Chamomile has also been found to significantly improve sleep quality among elderly people[4].





Chamomile has been studied in the treatment of Generalised Anxiety Disorder (GAD).  Pharmaceutical-grade chamomile extract has been found to significantly reduce moderate-to-severe GAD symptoms[5].


Another study concluded that chamomile appears to be efficacious for GAD[6].





The anti-inflammatory and anti-spasmodic properties of chamomile means it is traditionally used to aid digestion and treat gastrointestinal conditions such as digestive disorders, colic, upset stomach, flatulence, ulcers and gastrointestinal irritation.  It is helpful in soothing the stomach and relaxing the muscles that move food through the intestines[2].


A study in 2008 supports the use of chamomile infusions in the treatment of gastrointestinal inflammation[7].




A review found that several preparations of chamomile samples (tea, ethanolic and aqueous extracts) could improve glycemic control and may be beneficial in the management of diabetes[8].


A study involving 64 individuals with Type 2 diabetes who consumed chamomile tea three times per day immediately after meals for 8 weeks found that chamomile tea has some beneficial effect on glycemic control[9].


In addition, apigenin (a flavonoid present in chamomile) has been found to regulate sugar absorption[10].



Treatment of Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS)

A review showed that the chemical constituents of chamomile possess anti-inflammatory, anti-spasmodic, sedative and anti-anxiety properties that significantly impact on painful menstruation, anxiety and psychological problems in PMS sufferers[11].


A study in 2010 by Jenabi et al. showed a significant reduction in PMS symptoms after consumption of 2 cups of chamomile tea per day for 1 month[12].




Treatment of Depression and Anxiety in Postmenopausal Women

Consuming chamomile herbal tea might help postmenopausal women feel less anxious and depressed[13].



Antioxidant properties

Anxtioxidants inhibit or delay the oxidation of molecules in food and biological systems and are protective against oxidative stress. An infusion of chamomile was found to have antioxidant properties[14].



Anti-inflammatory properties

A study demonstrated the anti-inflammatory properties of chamomile tea extract[10].



Anti-cancer properties

A study investigating the anti-cancer effects of chamomile showed that exposure to chamomile extracts caused a significant decrease in cell viability of various human cancers[15].






1.  McKay DL, Blumberg JB. A Review of the Bioactivity and Potential Health Benefits of Chamomile Tea (Matricaria recutita L.).


2. Srivastava JK, Shankar E, Gupta S. Chamomile: A herbal medicine of the past with a bright future.


3.  Chang S, Chen C. Effects of an intervention with drinking chamomile tea on sleep quality and depression in sleep disturbed postnatal women: a randomized controlled trial.


4.  Adib-Hajbagery M, Mousavi SN. The effects of chamomile extract on sleep quality among elderly people: A clinical trial.


5. Mao JJ, Xie SX, Keefe JR, Soeller I, Li QS, Amsterdam JD. Long-term chamomile (Matricaria chamomilla L.) treatment for generalized anxiety disorder: A randomized clinical trial.


6.  Hieu TH, Dibas M, Dila KAS, Sherif NA, Hashmi MU, Mahmoud M, Trang NTT, Abdullah L, Nghia TLB, Y MH, Hirayama K, Huy NT. Therapeutic efficacy and safety of chamomile for state anxiety, generalized anxiety disorder, insomnia, and sleep quality: A systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized trials and quasi-randomized trials.


7.  Maschi O, Dell’Agli M, Galli G, Bosisio EA, Caruso D. Chamomile infusions inhibit proteases involved in gastric inflammation.


8.  Hajizadeh-Sharafabad F, Varshosaz P, Jafari-Vayghan H, Alizadeh M, Maleki V. Chamomile (Matricaria recutita L.) and diabetes mellitus, current knowledge and the way forward: A systematic review.


9.  Rafraf M, Zemestani M, Asghari-Jafarabadi M. Effectiveness of chamomile tea on glycemic control and serum lipid profile in patients with type 2 diabetes.


10.  Mihyaoui AE, Esteves da Silva JCG, Charfi S, Castillo MEC, Lamarti A, Arnao MB. Chamomile (Matricaria chamomilla L.): A Review of Ethnomedicianal Use, Phytochemistry and Pharmacological Uses.


11.  Khalesi ZB, Beiranvand SP, Bokaie M. Efficacy of Chamomile in the Treatment of Premenstrual Syndrome:  A Systematic Review.


12.  Jenabi E, Ebrahimzadeh S. Chamomile Tea for Relief of Primary Dysmenorrhea.


13.  Bazrafshan M, Masmouei B, Soufi O, Delam H. Comparison of the Effectiveness of Lavender and Chamomile Herbal Tea on Anxiety and Depression in Postmenopausal Women: a Randomized Controlled Trial.


14.  Guimarães R, Barros L, Dueñas M, Calhelha RC, Carvalho AM, Santos-Buelga C, Queiroz MJRP, Ferreira ICFR. Infusion and decoction of wild German chamomile: Bioactivity and characterization of organic acids and phenolic compounds.


15.  Srivastava JK, Gupta S. Antiproliferative and apoptotic effects of chamomile extract in various human cancer cells.


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