Chamomile: properties and contraindications

Chamomile: properties and contraindications

Chamomile is one of the most famous medicinal plants in the temperate climate zone. Distributed on a par with the plantain, chamomile drug or pharmacy has long been used for medical and prophylactic purposes. The medicinal properties of chamomile pharmaceutical have been known for a long time: flowers used to make tea, decoctions, tinctures, extracts have a mild anti-inflammatory, disinfecting, analgesic effect.

Scientists and scientists of the ancient world endowed the whole plant and parts of chamomile with medicinal properties: for example, Avicenna used herbal tea for patients to strengthen and recuperate, and according to the method of Pliny the Elder, all parts of chamomile were used to make antidotes for snake bites. Not surprisingly, the use of chamomile for medicinal purposes is not discontinued, a common medicinal plant and is used today in medicine and cosmetology.

Chamomile: a description of a plant

Chamomile is an annual plant
Photo: rodrigobark /

Chamomile pharmaceutical belongs to the annual plants of the Matricaria genus of the composite Asteraceae family. The Latin name for chamomile means “uterine grass”, as in ancient Rome, healers who healed gynecological inflammations and diseases gave great importance to this plant.

The plant belongs to wild plants cultivated in separate farms for the purpose of collecting medicinal herbs. The average height of the stem of the plant, suitable for use in therapeutic and preventive purposes, is not less than 20 cm and not more than 40. Deviations from the height parameters indicate inappropriate growing conditions, lack of sunlight, possible disease of chamomile, affecting its chemical composition and reducing the manufactured drugs.

The stem of the plant belongs to a thin, erect, inside the stem of the cavity in its entire length. The leaves are arranged alternately on the stem, have a narrow linear shape with pointed cuts. Length – from 2 to 5 cm. The root of the root is thin, with a limited number of branches. The flowers are multiple, small, with a characteristic combination of yellow convex tubular middle and white petals around the circumference. Reproduction occurs by spreading small seeds that ripen in flower baskets.

Chamomile differences from other members of the family

White narrow petals are located horizontally on the receptacle horizontally around the circumference, by the end of the flowering period they descend to the stem. The tubular head of the flower basket is hollow, with a pronounced conical shape unlike other flat varieties.

Chemical compounds found in chamomile

Chemical compounds found in chamomile
Photo: by dejavu /

The use of a herbaceous plant entirely is currently considered inexpedient: the highest concentration of valuable chemical compounds is observed in chamomile flowers. Among the chemicals in chamomile flowers, there are:

  • coumarin compounds;
  • bioflavonoids (apigenin, luteolin, quercitin in small quantities);
  • polyin compounds;
  • salicylic, isovalerian, caprylic, anti-misis organic acid in unbound forms;
  • phytosterol;
  • vitamins (ascorbic, nicotinic acids);
  • carotenes;
  • polysaccharide compounds;
  • protein, tannins;
  • bitterness, gum, mucus, etc.

Up to 50% of the composition is accounted for by sesquiterpenoids (farnesene, bisabolol, monoterpene myrcene, etc.).

From dried inflorescences, up to 1% of essential oils of blue color and a saturated composition, which do not have a strong pronounced odor, are isolated. Chamomile essential oil is distinguished by a pronounced antihistamine, anti-inflammatory and bactericidal action due to its active ingredient, azulene chamazulene, which is synthesized during the distillation from matricarine and matricin lactones.

Spectrum of medicinal properties of chamomile pharmaceutical

The main studies conducted to study the properties of chamomile pharmaceutical and medicinal forms made from it confirmed the effectiveness of drugs as smooth muscle spasmolytics, which also reduce the tone of blood vessels and have a mild sedative and anti-depressant effect.

Types of exposure to chemicals that are part of the inflorescences of chamomile pharmaceutical Therapeutic and prophylactic effect of chamomile essential oil
Antibacterial Antibacterial
Reducing inflammation Sweatshops
Choleretic gas reduction
Mild Sedative Stimulating digestive processes
Painkiller Antispasmodic
Anticonvulsant Anti-inflammatory
Antihistamine Vasodilator
Hemostatic Sedative, anti-anxiety
Facilitating the elimination of intestinal gases Painkiller
Weakly astringent

The use of chamomile pharmaceutical: properties and contraindications

The use of chamomile pharmaceutical: properties and contraindications
Photo: Elya Vatel /

For medicinal purposes, using chamomile extract, chamomile extract, ready-made dosage forms or home-made, essential oil, herbal teas from dried inflorescences of the plant.

The main areas of application of camomile pharmaceutical:

  • diseases and lesions of the epithelium, mainly of bacterial and inflammatory etiology;
  • Diseases and disorders of the biliary system;
  • diseases of the respiratory system, accompanied by cough, swelling of the mucous membranes, cramps;
  • gastric diseases with inflammatory, erosive mucosal lesions, both in the acute and in the chronic stage;
  • inflammation of the organs and ways of the genitourinary system;
  • other inflammatory processes of tissues, organs;
  • diseases associated with individual hypersensitivity to various stimuli (bronchial asthma, eczema, allergic gastritis);
  • reduction of pain, including dental and migraine pain;
  • sleep disturbances, increased anxiety, irritability;
  • injuries, sprains of connective tissues, ligaments.

Chamomile pharmaceutical treatment is carried out by the course of up to 3 months in the absence of allergic reactions. The addiction to active substances does not develop.

Pharmaceutical chamomile dosage forms and their use

Various medicinal forms of chamomile (chamomile extract, infusion, herbal teas, essential oil and manufactured cream with the inclusion of extracts, chamomile solutions and other forms) are used depending on the types and stages of diseases and dysfunctions inside or outwardly, as for local and systemic action.

Chamomile Flask Infusion

Chamomile tinctures are applied orally for the following diseases and conditions:

  • diseases of the gastrointestinal tract (gastritis, gastropathy, colitis, enteritis and mixed forms of diseases), biliary system, pathologies and dysfunctions of the liver, diarrhea of ​​non-viral etiology, spasms of the intestine, stomach, increased gas generation;
  • inflammatory processes of the respiratory tract and organs;
  • hyperthermia;
  • painful menstruation;
  • acute respiratory diseases;
  • emotional and mental overstrain, exhaustion, sleep disturbances, increased irritability, loss of appetite, etc.

External use of chamomile infusions is recommended in the following cases:

  • inflammatory processes in the mouth, pharynx (tonsillitis, non-atrophic pharyngitis, gingivitis, stomatitis, periodontal disease) – in the form of rinsing and rinsing of the cavities;
  • for violations of the skin: burns, frostbite, ulcers, erosion, eczema, inflammatory rashes, long healing wounds – as a composition for compresses;
  • inflammatory processes of the eye mucosa – in the form of washing and lotions;
  • to reduce the severity of hemorrhoidal inflammatory processes – in the form of a solution for microclysters, local compresses with external localization of nodes, sitz baths;
  • acne, acne eruptions – as a compound for wiping, including frozen, or as a component of lotions;
  • for manifestations of rheumatism, gouty attacks, sprains, dislocations, arthritis – as compresses;
  • with increased sweating of the palms, feet – as a solution for wiping.

Preparing decoctions and chamomile infusions

To prepare the broth, you need to take 4 tablespoons of dried medicinal raw materials, heated in a water bath for half an hour along with 300 ml of boiling water. After cooling, filter, wring out the flowers. Cooked broth is stored in the refrigerator for no more than two days.

Acceptance of broth: 100 ml (half glass) 2-3 times a day after eating. Honey can be added.

For an infusion of chamomile pharmaceutical, 4 tablespoons of dry inflorescences pour 200 ml of boiling water over and insist 3 hours in a thermos. After insisting filter.

Reception infusion: up to 4 times a day no more than 50 ml at a time.

Preparing decoctions and chamomile infusions
Photo: Sea Wave /

Herbal Tea

The most common recipe for herbal tea, combining camomile flowers with other medicinal herbs, is used for sedation and reduction of flatulence.

To make tea with chamomile, the following proportions follow: chamomile flowers (dry) are mixed with cumin seeds and valerian root in a ratio of 3: 5: 2, for example, 6 parts (spoons, measures) chamomile take 10 parts of cumin and 3 – rhizomes of valerian.

A mixture of herbs with chamomile is mixed, for every 2 tablespoons of the mixture, 400 ml (2 cups) of boiling water are taken, drawn in a sealed container for 20 minutes, filtered, squeezed raw. For sedative, sedative and carminative action take 100 ml (1/2 cup) after a night’s sleep and in the evening.

Pharmaceutical Chamomile for Baths

Pharmaceutical chamomile in the form of solutions, tinctures and extracts, mixed with salt, is used for baths with a therapeutic and prophylactic effect on the skin surface and on the organism as a whole.

Chamomile as a component of water treatment solutions is recommended in the following cases:

  • in the presence of diseases of the skin of an inflammatory, allergic nature, dry skin, superficial foot cracks;
  • for cramps in the calf muscles;
  • for sleep disorders, irritability, anxiety;
  • to reduce leg swelling.

For the manufacture of the solution, you can use the whole plant, excluding the roots. 500 g of chamomile: the stems, leaves, flowers pour 2 liters of water, bring to a boil and keep in a boiling state for 10 minutes. After straining and squeezing the raw materials, decoction is added to the water.

A decoction when added to bath water helps with a regular course of therapeutic procedures of 2 weeks with water treatments every other day. The duration of one bath is 30 minutes.

Topical Cream

The fat composition of the cream, including chamomile pharmaceutical, is recommended for use with the following characteristics of the skin:

  • dryness, the formation of surface cracks, peeling epithelium;
  • a tendency to hypersensitivity, irritation, redness;
  • lethargy, decreased turgor.

For the manufacture of cream mix 50 g of low-fat butter, 3 tbsp. l vegetable (sunflower, olive) oil and melt the mixture in a water bath.

To the fat mixture add 2 chicken yolks, 1 teaspoon of glycerin solution, 30 ml of camphor alcohol, 2 tablespoons of natural honey and 50 ml of chamomile tea extract prepared according to the recipe above.

The resulting composition is stored in a glass container with a tightly screwed lid in the refrigerator. Apply externally according to indications.

The use of chamomile pharmaceutical for douching and contraindications for women

The content of matricin, a component that has a beneficial effect on the inflammatory diseases of the female reproductive system, caused the name of the medicinal plant “uterine grass”. Today, douching with a solution containing chamomile extract is used as part of therapy for the following diseases of the female genitourinary system:

  • Vaginosis of specific and non-specific etiology;
  • cystitis;
  • Vaginal candidiasis (thrush);
  • Erosive, inflammatory processes of the mucous membrane of the vagina and cervix outside the acute stage.

Vaginal douching with the use of this medicinal plant has contraindications for use in women for the following factors:

  • age group from 40 years (due to hormonal decrease in moisture of the mucous membrane, its hypersensitivity);
  • gestational and postpartum period;
  • during menstrual discharge;
  • in acute inflammatory processes;
  • in the recovery period after surgery, spontaneous or instrumental abortion.

To prepare the solution, mix 1 teaspoon of crushed dry inflorescences with 200 ml of boiling water, leave for 30 minutes in a sealed container, cool and filter the resulting suspension.

Douching is done at bedtime, daily for a week. The solution is introduced into the vagina above the bath, using a clean syringe, in the form of heat, the introduction is slow.

Chamomile pharmaceutical as a component of cosmetics

Chamomile pharmaceutical as a component of cosmetics
Photo: rodrigobark /

The components of a medicinal plant, their beneficial properties and the high prevalence of areola growth suggest that camomile is a popular plant in cosmetology, which is part of many lotions, creams, shampoos.

At home, infusions and decoctions are used to reduce skin dryness, reduce inflammation, strengthen hair and make it shine. The composition of decoctions for home remedies may include various medicinal herbs (celandine, oak bark, birch buds), lemon juice, honey, vegetable oil, egg yolk and chamomile as a decoction. Depending on the desired effect, select the appropriate components and application methods.

Chamomile essential oil

Essential oil from chamomile pharmaceutical is used for aromatherapy, ingestion and externally, depending on the evidence. You should be aware of possible allergic and individual reactions, as well as the need for consultation with your doctor before starting the application.

Aromatherapy targets

Chamomile oil is used in aromatherapy to disinfect air, a mild sedative effect on the body. Oil is used in the evening, the therapy is up to 20 minutes.

Intake of chamomile essential oil

The high concentration of active substances, the likelihood of allergic reactions and the lack of scientifically approved doses when using essential oil orally are the reasons for specialists being cautious. With self-administration, you should start with small doses and stop taking at the first negative manifestations.

Essential oil is used in gastritis and peptic ulcer disease outside periods of exacerbation, weakened immunity, unstable emotional background. Intake is carried out by a course up to 1 week, twice a day. 2 drops of oil mixed with 1 teaspoon of honey, it is possible to drink water or weak tea.

Contraindications: pregnancy, lactation, acute forms of disease, age up to 6 years.

Outdoor use

A non-aggressive effect on the epidermis of chamomile oil allows its use on the skin without dilution, in its pure form. Recommended point and non-durable (up to 10 minutes) exposure in the following conditions of the skin:

  • allergic reactions accompanied by dryness, peeling;
  • thermal and sunburns without compromising the integrity of the skin, frostbite;
  • puffiness and local reaction to insect bites;
  • acne, acne, rosacea;
  • prolonged healing of scratches, non-penetrating wounds, the stage of healing after minor surgical procedures;
  • alopecia;
  • fungal diseases of the skin of the scalp.

The course of therapy – up to 10 days, 1-2 times a day, every day. Application lasts no more than 10 minutes, except for the treatment of the scalp (up to 30 minutes followed by rinsing).

Other uses of essential oil:

  • enrichment of cosmetics, creams, lotions, compositions in the proportion of 3 drops of oil per 5 ml of the composition;
  • as an additive to the mixture for body massage;
  • for aromatherapy while bathing (up to 10 drops, diluted at the base, per bath);
  • to enhance the efficacy of blends with other essential oils.

Medicinal chamomile for children: medicinal properties, methods of use and age restrictions

Ready-mix tea with chamomile tea is recommended for use from 1 year. Tea has a slight sedative, spasmodic effect, improves digestion, strengthens the immune system. To prepare the solution, you must read the instructions for use.

When self-cooking herbal tea for children, the broth is diluted with water, reducing the concentration calculated for an adult by half.

When externally used decoctions and infusions, it is also necessary to bring the concentration up to 50% compared with the baseline. Baths with decoction, lotions, wiping can be used from birth in the absence of allergic reactions.

Essential oil is forbidden to use until the child reaches the age of six. Any application of infusions and decoctions beyond the age recommendations and volumes should be consulted with the pediatrician.

Possible side effects

Despite the beneficial properties of medicinal plants, the following side effects of decoctions, tinctures and essential oils are possible when ingested, exceeding the concentration, individual reaction intolerance or related diseases:

  • nausea, vomiting, epigastric pain;
  • increase in blood pressure;
  • internal bleeding;
  • allergic reactions down to bronchospasm and angioedema.

External use may be accompanied by rash, pruritus, local hyperemia, edema.
In case of any intolerance, the treatment should be stopped immediately.

Independent collection and preparation of medicinal raw materials

Depending on the subsequent uses, pharmaceutical chamomile flowers or the whole ground part are collected.

For the manufacture of extracts for the purpose of ingestion collect inflorescences of plants, for the outside – the whole plant, except for the roots. Harvest period – throughout the summer, subject to flowering.

Drying is carried out in a dry, shady, well-ventilated area with a temperature not higher than 40 ° C. For storage of raw materials using fabric or paper bags, the shelf life is not more than 1 year.

Drug Release Form

Medicinal plants are produced both in monoforms and as part of herbal teas, dietary supplements and cosmetics. The most common forms:

  • dry powdered raw materials;
  • liquid extracts, tinctures, including spirit;
  • fat compositions with extract;
  • essential oils;
  • cream, ointment with herbal ingredients.
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