Properties of matricaria chamomile
By its scientific name Matricaria chamomilla L. the most familiar of the plants for its popular virtues is the matricaria chamomile. A small, common flower with a yellow heart and numerous white petals, matricaria chamomile belongs to the asteraceous herbaceous plant family. Widespread throughout Europe, it grows spontaneously in the countryside along paths or in fields and its scent is easily recognisable. This chamomile is also commonly called "German" chamomile.
Matricaria chamomile has many applications, whether in herbal tea, decoction or in the form of essential oil. Mixed in certain compositions or pure, it has a very mild taste which improves sleep; twenty-six countries have this plant in their pharmacopoeia. It promotes restful sleep, reduces stress and tension, which is why it has been widely used in herbal teas and infusions. Thus more than a million cups of chamomile are said to be drunk daily in the world.
The chemical active ingredients that make up matricaria chamomile are indeed powerful: coumarins, fructans, sesquiterpenes (including bisabolol) and azulenes, mucilage, essential oil and polyphenols containing flavonoids.
Based on its natural substances, wild matricaria chamomile has anti-inflammatory and febrifuge properties, as well as healing properties, hence its external use for dermatological conditions. Its soothing virtues, its softening and skin regeneration properties make chamomile an ingredient with great potential in the field of well-being and body care with products such as lozenges, elixir, shampoos, aromatherapy, ointments etc ...
Matricaria chamomile is also used in many pharmaceutical preparations and studies attest to its action on infantile colic and especially on depression and anxiety. (1,2,3,4,5,6) In herbal medicine, for example, its flower heads are used for their remarkable antispasmodic effects and in the treatment of digestive disorders.
1. Melzer J, Rosch W, et al. Meta-analysis: phytotherapy of functional dyspepsia with the herbal drug preparation STW 5 (Iberogast). Aliment Pharmacol Ther. 2004 Dec;20(11-12):1279-87.
2. Madisch A, Holtmann G, et al. Treatment of functional dyspepsia with a herbal preparation. A double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled, multicenter trial. Digestion. 2004;69(1):45-52.
3. Savino F, Cresi F, et al. A randomized double-blind placebo-controlled trial of a standardized extract of Matricariae recutita, Foeniculum vulgare and Melissa officinalis (ColiMil) in the treatment of breastfed colicky infants. Phytother Res. 2005 Apr;19(4):335-40.
4. de la Motte S, Bose-O'Reilly S, et al. Double-blind comparison of an apple pectin-chamomile extract preparation with placebo in children with diarrhea. [Article en allemand, résumé en anglais]. Arzneimittelforschung. 1997 Nov;47(11):1247-9. German.
5. Becker B, Kuhn U, Hardewig-Budny B. Double-blind, randomized evaluation of clinical efficacy and tolerability of an apple pectin-chamomile extract in children with unspecific diarrhea. Arzneimittelforschung. 2006;56(6):387-93.