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Laura Shane-McWhorter

, PharmD, University of Utah College of Pharmacy

Last full review/revision Jul 2020| Content last modified Jul 2020

The daisy-like flower of chamomile is dried and used as tea or in a capsule or extract. It is also applied externally. Active ingredients include the essential oil, bisabolol, and plant nutrients called flavonoids.

(See also Overview of Dietary Supplements.)

Medicinal claims

People most often take chamomile as a mild sedative or antidepressant, and the tea is said to improve sleep quality and reduce inflammation and fever. People sometimes take chamomile by mouth to relieve stomach cramps and indigestion or apply a compress of chamomile extract to soothe irritated skin.

Possible side effects

Chamomile is generally considered safe. The most likely side effect is an allergic reaction, especially in people who are allergic to ragweed or sunflowers. Allergic reactions may include skin irritation, itchy eyes, sneezing, and runny nose. People very rarely have a severe and life-threatening allergic reaction (anaphylaxis).

Possible drug interactions

Chamomile may reduce the absorption of drugs taken by mouth. Chamomile may also increase the effects of drugs that prevent blood clots (anticoagulants) and sedatives (including alcohol) and decrease the absorption of iron supplements.

More Information about Chamomile

The following is an English-language resource that may be useful. Please note that THE MANUAL is not responsible for the content of this resource.

  • National Institutes of Health (NIH), National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health: General information on the use of German chamomile as a dietary supplement

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