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ARS Home » Northeast Area » Boston, Massachusetts » Jean Mayer Human Nutrition Research Center On Aging » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #193442

Title: A REVIEW OF THE BIOACTIVITY AND POTENTIAL HEALTH BENEFITS OF CHAMOMILE TEA (MATRICARIA RECUTITA L.)

Author
item Mckay, Diane
item Blumberg, Jeffrey

Submitted to: Phytotherapy Research
Publication Type: Review Article
Publication Acceptance Date: 2/14/2006
Publication Date: 7/1/2006
Citation: Mckay, D.L., Blumberg, J.B. 2006. A review of the bioactivity and potential health benefits of chamomile tea (matricaria recutita l.). Phytotherapy Research. 20;519-530.

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: Chamomile (Matricaria recutita L., Chamomilla recutita L., Matricaria chamomilla) is one of the most popular single ingredient herbal teas, or tisanes. Chamomile tea, brewed from dried flower heads, has been traditionally used for medicinal purposes. Evidence-based information regarding the bioactivity of this herb is presented. The main constituents of the flowers include several phenolic compounds, primarily the flavonoids apigenin, quercetin, patuletin, luteolin, and their glucosides. The principal components of the essential oil extracted from the flowers are the terpenoids '-bisabolol and its oxides and azulenes, including chamazulene. Chamomile has moderate antioxidant and antimicrobial activities, and significant anti-platelet activity in vitro. Animal model studies indicate potent anti-inflammatory action, some anti-mutagenic and cholesterol-lowering activities, as well as anti-spasmotic and anxiolytic effects. However, human studies are limited, and clinical trials examining the purported sedative properties of chamomile tea are absent. Adverse reactions to chamomile, consumed as a tisane or applied topically, have been reported among those with allergies to other plants in the daisy family, i.e., Asteraceae or Compositae.