German chamomile
German chamomile

Background

German chamomile (Matricaria recutita) is an herb that is native to southern and eastern Europe. It is popular throughout the world as a medicine.

German chamomile contains chemicals that seem to promote relaxation and reduce swelling. It was used by the ancient Greeks, Romans, and Egyptians, and is still commonly used today.

People use German chamomile for common cold, indigestion, anxiety, excessive crying in infants (colic), and many other conditions, but there is no good scientific evidence to support these uses.

Do not confuse German chamomile with Roman chamomile, which is a different plant.
When taken by mouth: German chamomile is likely safe when taken in amounts found in food. German chamomile is possibly safe when used as a medicine for short periods of time.

When applied to the skin: German chamomile is possibly safe. It can cause allergic skin reactions. It might cause eye irritation when applied near the eyes.

When used as a mouthwash: German chamomile is possibly safe.

Special Precautions & Warnings:

Pregnancy and breast-feeding: There isn't enough reliable information to know if German chamomile is safe to use when pregnant or breast-feeding. Stay on the safe side and avoid use.

Children: German chamomile is possibly safe when taken by mouth or applied to the skin as a medicine, short-term. Several products containing German chamomile are safe in infants when taken by mouth for up to one week. Oil containing German chamomile is safe in children and teenagers when applied to the skin nightly for up to 6 weeks.

Allergies to ragweed or related plants: German chamomile may cause an allergic reaction in people who are sensitive to the Asteraceae/Compositae family of plants. Members of this family include ragweed, chrysanthemums, marigolds, daisies, and many other herbs.

Hormone-sensitive condition such as breast cancer, uterine cancer, ovarian cancer, endometriosis, or uterine fibroids: German chamomile might act like estrogen in the body. If you have any condition that might be made worse by exposure to estrogen, don't use German chamomile.

Surgery: German chamomile might interact with anesthesia for surgery. Stop using German chamomile at least 2 weeks before a scheduled surgery.

Effectiveness

There is interest in using German chamomile for a number of purposes, but there isn't enough reliable information to say whether it might be helpful.
Likely effective Effectiveness definitions
Possibly effective Effectiveness definitions
Likely ineffective Effectiveness definitions
Possibly ineffective Effectiveness definitions
Insufficient evidence Effectiveness definitions

Dosing & administration

German chamomile extract has most often been used by adults in doses of 220-1100 mg by mouth daily for 8 weeks. Speak with a healthcare provider to find out what dose might be best for a specific condition.

Interactions with pharmaceuticals

Birth control pills (Contraceptive drugs)

Interaction Rating=Moderate Be cautious with this combination.

Some birth control pills contain estrogen. German chamomile might have some of the same effects as estrogen. Taking German chamomile along with birth control pills might decrease the effects of birth control pills. If you take birth control pills along with German chamomile, use an additional form of birth control such as a condom.

Estrogens

Interaction Rating=Moderate Be cautious with this combination.

Large amounts of German chamomile might change the effects of estrogen. Taking German chamomile along with estrogen might decrease the effects of estrogen.

Medications changed by the liver (Cytochrome P450 1A2 (CYP1A2) substrates)

Interaction Rating=Minor Be watchful with this combination.

Some medications are changed and broken down by the liver. German chamomile might change how quickly the liver breaks down these medications. This could change the effects and side effects of these medications.

Medications changed by the liver (Cytochrome P450 2C9 (CYP2C9) substrates)

Interaction Rating=Moderate Be cautious with this combination.

Some medications are changed and broken down by the liver. German chamomile might change how quickly the liver breaks down these medications. This could change the effects and side effects of these medications.

Medications changed by the liver (Cytochrome P450 2D6 (CYP2D6) substrates)

Interaction Rating=Moderate Be cautious with this combination.

Some medications are changed and broken down by the liver. German chamomile might change how quickly the liver breaks down these medications. This could change the effects and side effects of these medications.

Medications changed by the liver (Cytochrome P450 3A4 (CYP3A4) substrates)

Interaction Rating=Moderate Be cautious with this combination.

Some medications are changed and broken down by the liver. German chamomile might change how quickly the liver breaks down these medications. This could change the effects and side effects of these medications.

Sedative medications (CNS depressants)

Interaction Rating=Moderate Be cautious with this combination.

German chamomile might cause sleepiness and slowed breathing. Some medications, called sedatives, can also cause sleepiness and slowed breathing. Taking German chamomile with sedative medications might cause breathing problems and/or too much sleepiness.

Tamoxifen (Nolvadex)

Interaction Rating=Moderate Be cautious with this combination.

German chamomile might change the effects of estrogen in the body. By affecting estrogen, German chamomile might reduce the effects of tamoxifen.

Warfarin (Coumadin)

Interaction Rating=Moderate Be cautious with this combination.

Warfarin is used to slow blood clotting. Taking German chamomile and warfarin together might slow blood clotting too much and cause bruising and bleeding. Be sure to have your blood checked regularly. The dose of your warfarin might need to be changed.

Interactions with herbs & supplements

Herbs and supplements with sedative properties: German chamomile might cause sleepiness and slowed breathing. Taking it along with other supplements with similar effects might cause too much sleepiness and/or slowed breathing in some people. Examples of supplements with this effect include hops, kava, L-tryptophan, melatonin, and valerian.

Interactions with foods

There are no known interactions with foods.
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This monograph was last reviewed on 29/06/2022 02:37:19 and last updated on 02/09/2022 03:58:21. Monographs are reviewed and/or updated multiple times per month and at least once per year.
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