Suppression

Chamomile tea

Category: Food

Type

Voluntary

Introduction and description

Chamomile is the common name for several daisy-like plants of the family Asteraceae. These plants are best known for their ability to be made into an infusion which is often served with either honey or lemon.

Chamomile has developed a reputation for doing all sorts of helpful things health wise, there are claims that it helps with anxiety, yet more claims that it helps with period pain and insomnia.  We will be looking at this a little more objectively by using Dr Duke's phytochemical database. 

Some of the claims are justified, and are obtained from the vitamins and minerals that the flowers have.  And indeed there are studies that show that a warm cup of chamomile tea has helped to reduce stress. But there is a bit more to chamomile than meets the eye.

The Chamomile family

chamomile, yes, aaaah but which one ?

Matricaria chamomilla synonym: Matricaria recutita, commonly known as chamomile (also spelled camomile), Italian camomilla, German chamomile, Hungarian chamomile (kamilla), wild chamomile or scented mayweed, is an annual plant of the composite family Asteraceae. M. chamomilla is one of the sources of the herbal product chamomile.

Chamaemelum nobile also commonly known as chamomile (also spelled camomile), Roman chamomile, English chamomile, garden chamomile, ground apple, low chamomile, or whig plant, is a low perennial plant found in dry fields and around gardens and cultivated grounds in Europe, North America, and in Argentina. It is usually but not always the one used for chamomile lawns.  It too belongs to the family Asteraceae, it too along with Matricaria chamomilla, is an important source of the herbal product known as chamomile.

But their medicinal profiles are different, leading to a great deal of confusion.  We have included the profile of both plants so that you are able to compare – both analyses come from Dr Duke’s phytochemical database.

The difference is actually extremely key in some medicinal uses, as such it is important to distinguish between the two plants and know their different properties.

The Dangers of Essential oils

 

The entire plant of chamomile - both plants - contain chemicals that are not helpful to us.

When we drink Chamomile tea [either plant] you use the flowers only and the flowers should do you no harm if you take it as a tea and in moderate quantities.

But hidden away in the activities of the plant itself [roots, leaves etc] are some extremely dangerous effects.  One of the activities of Matricaria recutita,  for example, is that it is Embryotoxic - toxic to the fetus.

In effect, any  essential oil of chamomile, should not be ingested and must be treated with great respect.  We are now talking about a different product and one that must be used with extreme caution as it represents in some senses a possibly toxic product [Reference: Meyer’s Side Effects of drugs]. The following is from the Medical Toxicology of Natural substances:

“A case report associated the development of anaphylaxis – urticaria, laryngeal edema, hypotension, tachycardia – with the administration of an enema containing an oily extract of chamomile flowers during labour. An emergency cesarian section revealed an atonic, ischemic uterus and the neonate died the following day ”

Matricaria recutita

So it can be a killer. But although this word of caution is needed, it may have very distinct uses as a medicine.

In effect, very carefully used by someone who knows what they are doing, the rest of plant has extra properties that may be of great use.  There is one PubMed observation that seems to indicate it may be helpful in very specific circumstances and we have included a number of observations from Dr Duke showing that he too was able to identify additional properties.

If we take just one example chemical in Chamaemelum nobile Apigenin, it is active against aflatoxin, is an antibacterial and is an antiviral with activity against herpes and HIV.

Chemical constituents

The two observations from Dr Duke provide considerable detail on the different chemicals and their activities, furthermore every observation also has the specific plant and its full name so that you are aware which plant is being described.  Here, however, we decided that it might be useful to use Dr Duke's analysis to show just how very different the plants are in their chemical constituents and thus their properties.

The list is long, but this only shows Dr Duke did his analysis thoroughly:

Chemicals and their Biological Activities in: Chamaemelum nobile (L.) ALL. (Asteraceae) -- Garden Camomile, Perennial Camomile, Roman Camomile

 

1,10-EPOXYNOBILIN Plant:

1,8-CINEOLE Plant:

2,3-DIHYDROXYCINNAMIC-ACID Plant:

2-METHYL-2-PROPYL-ANGELATE Plant:

2-METHYL-BUTYL-2-METHYL-BUTYRATE Plant:

2-METHYL-PROPANE-1,3-DIYL-1-(Z)-2'-METHYL-2'BUTEONATE... Plant:

2-METHYLBUTYL-2-METHYLPROPIONATE Plant:

2-METHYLBUTYL-BUTYRATE Plant:

2-METHYLIDENEPROPANE-1,3-DIYL-1-(Z)-2'-METHYL-2'BUTENOATE... Plant:

2-METHYLPROPYL-2-METHYL-BUTYRATE Plant:

2-METHYLPROPYL-3-METHYL-BUTYRATE Plant:

2-METHYLPROPYL-BUTYRATE Plant:

3,4-DIHYDROXYCINNAMIC-ACID Plant:

3-DEHYDRONOBILIN Plant:

3-EPINOBILIN Plant:

3-HYDROXY-2-METHYLIDENE-BUTYRIC-ACID-ANGELATE Plant:

3-METHYL-1-BUTANOL Plant:

3-METHYLAMYL-ANGELATE Plant:

3-METHYLBUTYL-ANGELATE Plant:

3-METHYLIDENE-4-OXPENTYL-ANGELATE Plant:

3-METHYLPENTYL-ANGELATE Plant:

4-ISOPROPENYL-BENZALDEHYDE Plant:

4-ISOPROPENYL-TOLUENE Plant:

5 Plant:

5-(3-FURYL)-2-METHYL-1-PENTEN-3-OL Plant:

5-(3-FURYL)-2-METHYL-1-PENTEN-3-ONE Plant:

5-ISOPROPENYL-2'-(2-METHYLPROPYL)-2-CYCLOHEXEN-1-ONE Plant:

ALPHA-BISABOLENE-OXIDE-A Plant:

ALPHA-BISABOLOL-OXIDE-A Plant:

ALPHA-BISABOLOL-OXIDE-B Plant:

ALPHA-CADINENE Plant:

ALPHA-COPAENE Plant:

ALPHA-CUBEBENE Plant:

ALPHA-METHYLBUTYL-ISOBUTYRATE Plant:

ALPHA-P-DIMETHYL-STYRENE Plant:

ALPHA-PINENE Plant:

ALPHA-TERPINENE Plant:

ALPHA-TRANS-PINOCARVEOL Plant:

ALPHA-TRANS-PINOCARVONE Plant:

ALUMINUM Flower 27 ppm;

ANTHEMIC-ACID Plant:

ANTHEMOL Plant:

APIGENIN Plant:

APIGENIN-7-APIOSYLGLUCOSIDE Plant:

APIGENIN-7-GLUCOSIDE-(2",3")-DIACETATE Plant:

APIGETRIN Plant:

APIIN Plant:

ASCORBIC-ACID Flower 267 ppm;

ASH Flower 62,000 ppm;

AZULENE Plant:

BETA-BISABOLENE Plant:

BETA-BOURBONENE Plant:

BETA-CAROTENE Flower 2.2 ppm;

BETA-CARYOPHYLLENE Plant:

BETA-COPAENE Plant:

BETA-CUBEBENE Plant:

BETA-DAMASCENONE Plant:

BETA-MYRCENE Plant:

BETA-PINENE Plant:

BETA-SELINENE Plant:

BISABOLENE Plant:

BORNEOL Plant:

BUTANE-1,3-DIYL-1-((Z)-2'-METHYL-2'-BUTENOATE)-3-ISOB... Plant:

BUTYL-ANGELATE Plant:

CAFFEIC-ACID Plant:

CALCIUM Flower 6,720 ppm;

CAMPHENE Plant:

CARBOHYDRATES Flower 785,000 ppm;

CHAMAZULENE Plant:

CHOLINE Plant:

CHROMIUM Flower 6 ppm;

COBALT Flower 58 ppm;

CYCLODODECANE Plant:

D-3-METHYL-PENTANOL Plant:

DEHYDROMATRICARIA-ESTER Plant:

EN-YN-DICYCLOETHER Plant:

EO Plant 6,000 - 17,500 ppm

EPICATECHOL Plant:

EPSILON-1-(2,6-DIMETHYLPHENYL)-2-BUTEN-1-ONE Plant:

EUCANNABINOLIDE Plant:

FARNESENE Plant:

FARNESOL Plant:

FAT Flower 39,000 ppm;

FERULIC-ACID Plant:

FIBER Flower 72,000 ppm;

GERMACRENE-D Plant:

HERNIARIN Plant:

HEXYL-ACETATE Plant:

HEXYL-BUTYRATE Plant:

HUMULENE Plant:

HYDROXYISONOBILIN Plant:

INOSITOL Flower:

IRON Flower 170 ppm;

ISOAMYL-2-METHYL-BUTYRATE Plant:

ISOAMYL-ANGELATE Plant:

ISOAMYL-BUTYRATE Plant:

ISOAMYL-PROPIONATE Plant:

ISOBUTANOL Plant:

ISOBUTYL-2-METHYL-BUTYRATE Plant:

ISOBUTYL-ANGELATE Plant:

ISOBUTYL-BUTYRATE Plant:

ISOBUTYL-ISOBUTYRATE Plant:

ISOBUTYL-ISOVALERIANATE Plant:

KILOCALORIES Flower 2,999 /kg;

LIMONENE Plant:

LUTEOLIN Plant:

LUTEOLIN-7-GLUCOSIDE Plant:

MAGNESIUM Flower 2,920 ppm;

MANGANESE Flower 52 ppm;

METHACRYLIC-ACID Plant:

METHACRYLIC-ACID-ESTER Plant:

MYRCENE Plant:

MYRTENAL Plant:

MYRTENOL Plant:

N-BUTANOL Plant:

NEROLIDOL Plant:

NIACIN Flower:

NOBILIN Plant:

P-CYMENE Plant:

PHOSPHORUS Flower 3,220 ppm;

PINENE Plant:

PINOCAMPHONE Plant:

POLYACETYLENE Plant:

POTASSIUM Flower 13,200 ppm;

PROPYL-ANGELATE Plant:

PROTEIN Flower 115,000 ppm;

QUECIMERITRIN Plant:

QUERCETRIN Plant:

RIBOFLAVIN Flower 4.3 ppm;

RUTIN Plant:

SABINENE Plant:

SCOPOLETIN Plant:

SCOPOLETIN-7-GLUCOSIDE Plant:

SCOPOLETOL Plant:

SELENIUM Flower:

SILICON Flower 31 ppm;

SODIUM Flower 2,580 ppm;

TANNIN Plant:

TARAXASTEROL Plant:

THIAMIN Flower 0.8 ppm;

TIGLIC-ACID Plant:

TIGLIC-ACID-ESTER Plant:

TIN Flower 10 ppm;

TRIACONTANE Plant:

UMBELLIFERONE Plant:

WATER Flower 812,000 ppm;

ZINC Flower:

 

Chemicals and their Biological Activities in: Matricaria recutita L. (Asteraceae) -- Annual Camomile, German Camomile, Wild Camomile

 

2,4-DIHYDROXYBENZOIC-ACID Plant:

2,5-DIHYDROXYBENZOIC-ACID Plant:

3,4-DIHYDROXYCINNAMIC-ACID Plant:

3-CARENE Plant:

3-HYDROXY-2-METHYLIDENE-BUTYRIC-ACID-ANGELATE Plant:

4-HYDROXY-3-METHOXY-BENZOIC-ACID Plant:

4-METHOXYBENZOIC-ACID Plant:

6,3-DIMETHOXYQUERCETIN Plant:

6,7-DIMETHOXYQUERCETIN Plant:

6-HYDROXY-LUTEOLIN-7-GLUCOSIDE Plant:

6-METHOXYKAEMPFEROL Plant:

ALPHA-BISABOLOL Flower 725 - 10,000 ppm

ALPHA-BISABOLOL-OXIDE-A Plant:

ALPHA-BISABOLOL-OXIDE-B Plant:

ALPHA-BISABOLOLOXIDE-C Plant:

ALPHA-BISABOLONEOXIDE-A Plant:

ALPHA-CUBEBENE Plant:

ALPHA-MUUROLENE Plant:

APIGENIN Plant:

APIGENIN-7-(6"O-ACETYL)-GLUCOSIDE Plant:

APIGENIN-7-APIOSYLGLUCOSIDE Plant:

APIGENIN-7-GLUCOSIDE Plant:

APIGENIN-7-GLUCOSIDE-(2",3")-DIACETATE Plant:

APIGENIN-7-GLUCOSIDE-(3",4")-DIACETATE Plant:

ASCORBIC-ACID Plant:

AXILLARIN Plant:

AZULENE Plant:

BETA-CARYOPHYLLENE Plant:

BETA-DAMASCENONE Plant:

BISABOLENE Plant:

BORNEOL Plant:

BORNYL-ACETATE Plant:

CAFFEIC-ACID Plant:

CALAMENE Plant:

CAPRIC-ACID Plant:

CAPRYLIC-ACID Plant:

CARYOPHYLLENEPOXIDE Plant:

CATECHIN-TANNINS Plant:

CHAMAZULENE Plant:

CHAMOMILLA-ESTER-I Plant:

CHAMOMILLA-ESTER-II Plant:

CHAMOMILLOL Plant:

CHLOROGENIC-ACID Plant:

CHOLINE Flower:

CHRYSOERIOL Plant:

CHRYSOERIOL-7-GLUCOSIDE Plant:

CHRYSOSPLENOL Plant:

CHRYSOSPLENTIN Plant:

CIS-CARYOPHYLLENE Plant:

CIS-EN-YN-DICYCLOETHER Plant:

EO Flower 2,400 - 20,000 ppm

EPSILON-1-(2,6-DIMETHYLPHENYL)-2-BUTEN-1-ONE Plant:

ETHYL-BENZOATE Plant:

ETHYL-DECANOATE Plant:

ETHYL-PALMITATE Plant:

ETHYL-PHENYLACETATE Plant:

EUPALETIN Plant:

EUPATOLETIN Plant:

FARNESENE Plant:

FARNESOL Plant:

FRUCTOSE Plant:

FURFURAL Plant:

GALACTOSE Plant:

GALACTURONIC-ACID Flower:

GALLIC-ACID-TANNIN Plant:

GENTISIC-ACID Plant:

GERANIOL Plant:

GLUCOSE Flower:

HERNIARIN Plant:

HYPEROSIDE Plant:

ISOFERULIC-ACID Plant:

ISORHAMNETIN Plant:

ISORHAMNETIN-7-GLUCOSIDE Plant:

JACEIDIN Plant:

KAEMPFEROL Plant:

LINOLEIC-ACID Plant:

LUTEOLIN Plant:

LUTEOLIN-4'-GLUCOSIDE Plant:

LUTEOLIN-7-GLUCOSIDE Plant:

LUTEOLIN-7-RHAMNOGLUCOSIDE Plant:

MALIC-ACID Plant:

MATRICARIN Plant:

MATRICIN Plant:

MUCILAGE Flower 100,000 ppm;

NIACIN Plant:

O-COUMARIC-ACID Plant:

OLEIC-ACID Plant:

P-COUMARIC-ACID Plant:

PALMITIC-ACID Plant:

PATULETIN Plant:

PATULETIN-7-GLUCOSIDE Plant:

PECTIC-ACID Plant:

PERILLYL-ALCOHOL Plant:

POLYACETYLENE Plant:

QUERCETAGETIN-3,5,6,7,3',4'-HEXAMETHYLETHER Plant:

QUERCETAGETIN-3,6,7,3',4'-PENTAMETHYLETHER Plant:

QUERCETAGETIN-33,6,7,3'-TETRAMETHYLETHER Plant:

QUERCETIN Plant:

QUERCETIN-3-0-GALACTOSIDE Plant:

QUERCETIN-7-GLUCOSIDE Plant:

QUERCETRIN Plant:

QUERCIMERITRIN Plant:

RHAMNOSE Plant:

RUTIN Plant:

SALICYLIC-ACID Plant:

SINAPIC-ACID Plant:

SPATHULENOL Plant:

SPINACETIN Plant:

TANNIN Plant:

THIAMIN Plant:

THUJONE Plant:

TRANS-ALPHA-FARNESENE Plant:

TRANS-BETA-FARNESENE Plant:

TRANS-EN-YN-DICYCLOETHER Plant:

TRIACONTANE Plant:

UMBELLIFERONE Plant:

XANTHOXYLIN Plant:

XYLOSE Plant:

 

 

 

 

 

 Now let us home in to flower specific chemicals to make the analysis a little more specific.

 

 

 

Chemicals and their Biological Activities in: Chamaemelum nobile (L.) ALL. (Asteraceae) -- Garden Camomile, Perennial Camomile, Roman Camomile

 

ALUMINUM Flower 27 ppm;

ASCORBIC-ACID Flower 267 ppm;

ASH Flower 62,000 ppm;

BETA-CAROTENE Flower 2.2 ppm;

CALCIUM Flower 6,720 ppm;

CARBOHYDRATES Flower 785,000 ppm;

CHROMIUM Flower 6 ppm;

COBALT Flower 58 ppm;

FAT Flower 39,000 ppm;

FIBER Flower 72,000 ppm;

INOSITOL Flower:

IRON Flower 170 ppm;

KILOCALORIES Flower 2,999 /kg;

MAGNESIUM Flower 2,920 ppm;

MANGANESE Flower 52 ppm;

NIACIN Flower:

PHOSPHORUS Flower 3,220 ppm;

POTASSIUM Flower 13,200 ppm;

PROTEIN Flower 115,000 ppm;

RIBOFLAVIN Flower 4.3 ppm;

SELENIUM Flower:

SILICON Flower 31 ppm;

SODIUM Flower 2,580 ppm;

THIAMIN Flower 0.8 ppm;

TIN Flower 10 ppm;

WATER Flower 812,000 ppm;

ZINC Flower:

 

Chemicals and their Biological Activities in: Matricaria recutita L. (Asteraceae) -- Annual Camomile, German Camomile, Wild Camomile

 

 

CHOLINE Flower:

EO Flower 2,400 - 20,000 ppm

GALACTURONIC-ACID Flower:

GLUCOSE Flower:

MUCILAGE Flower 100,000 ppm;

 

 I think you can see that knowing which chamomile you are using is actually extremely important and the vendors of chamomile tea need to know what they are doing too! 

 

 

Method

Chamaemelum nobile

 

 

 

 

 

 

Drink the tea, very weak with honey.

 

 

 

 

 

 

References and further reading

The Plants for a future has a good entry on Chamomile which has both more medicinal uses as well some helpful references and instructions on how to grow it.  They say:
Camomile is a common herb with a long history of safe and effective medicinal use .... It is particularly useful as a remedy for various problems of the digestive system, as a sedative and a nervine, ... A tea is made from the flowers. The flowers are anodyne, anti-inflammatory, antispasmodic, nervine, stomachic, tonic, vasodilator

 

Related observations