Chamomile or camomile (pronounced /ˈkæmɵmiːl/ kam-ə-meel or /ˈkæmɵmaɪl/ kam-ə-myl)[1] is a 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 commonly used to help with sleep and is often served with either honey or lemon. Because chamomile can cause uterine contractions which can lead to miscarriage, the U.S. National Institutes for Health says that pregnant and nursing mothers should not consume chamomile. [2] Chrysin, a flavonoid found in chamomile, has been shown to be anxiolytic in rodents,[3][4] and is believed to be at least partially responsible for chamomile's reputation as a sleep aid. Chamomile is the national flower of Russia. It is known to reduce stress.[5]



There are a number of species whose common name includes the word chamomile. This does not mean they can be used in the same manner as the as the herbal tea known as "chamomile." Plants including the common name "chamomile", are of the family Asteraceae, and include:

And to some extent other Anthemis species, such as:
  • Ormenis multicaulis, syn. Cladanthus mixtus Moroccan chamomile
  • Eriocephalus punctulatus, Cape chamomile
  • Matricaria discoidea, wild chamomile or pineapple weed


The word derives, via French and Latin, from Greek χαμαίμηλον (chamaimilon) ("earth apple"). The more common British spelling "camomile", corresponding to the immediate French source, is the older in English, while the spelling "chamomile" more accurately corresponds to the ultimate Latin and Greek source.[6]

Medicinal use

Preliminary research suggests chamomile is an effective therapy for anxiety.[7][8]

In Russia, chamomile tea is used for stomach troubles, colds, and muscle aches as well as the usual anxiety and insomnia.[citation needed]

The National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine caution of rare allergic reactions (Asteraceae allergy) and/or atopic dermatitis (skin rash).


See also


  1. ^ chamomile
  2. ^ "Roman chamomile: MedlinePlus". 
  3. ^ Brown E, Hurd NS, McCall S, Ceremuga TE (October 2007). "Evaluation of the anxiolytic effects of chrysin, a Passiflora incarnata extract, in the laboratory rat". AANA J 75 (5): 333–7. PMID 17966676. 
  4. ^ Wolfman C, Viola H, Paladini A, Dajas F, Medina JH (January 1994). "Possible anxiolytic effects of chrysin, a central benzodiazepine receptor ligand isolated from Passiflora coerulea". Pharmacol. Biochem. Behav. 47 (1): 1–4. doi:10.1016/0091-3057(94)90103-1. PMID 7906886. 
  5. ^ "Discovery Health "Chamomile: Herbal Remedies"". Retrieved 19 August 2010. 
  6. ^ Oxford English Dictionary, online edition, entry "camomile | chamomile"
  7. ^ "Study Shows Chamomile Capsules Ease Anxiety Symptoms". NIH. 
  8. ^ "A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial of oral Matricaria recutita (chamomile) extract therapy for generaled anxiety disorder". NIH. 

External links

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Look at other dictionaries:

  • Chamomile — Cham o*mile, n. (Bot.) See {Camomile}. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • chamomile — (n.) obsolete form of CAMOMILE (Cf. camomile) …   Etymology dictionary

  • chamomile — (also camomile) ► NOUN ▪ an aromatic plant with white and yellow flowers. ORIGIN Latin chamomilla, from Greek khamaim lon earth apple (because of the apple like smell of its flowers) …   English terms dictionary

  • chamomile — [kam′ə mīl΄, kam′əmēl΄] n. [ME camomille < OFr camemile < L chamomilla < Gr chamaimēlon, earth apple < chamai, on the ground (see CHAMELEON) + mēlon, apple (see MELON)] alt. sp. of CAMOMILE …   English World dictionary

  • chamomile — vaistinė ramunė statusas T sritis vardynas apibrėžtis Astrinių šeimos maistinis, prieskoninis, vaistinis augalas (Matricaria recutita), paplitęs Europoje, Azijoje. Naudojamas maisto priedams (kvėpikliams), gėrimams (arbatai) gaminti. Iš jo… …   Lithuanian dictionary (lietuvių žodynas)

  • chamomile — /kam euh muyl , meel /, n. 1. a composite plant, Chamaemelium nobile (or Anthemis nobilis), native to the Old World, having strongly scented foliage and white ray flowers with yellow centers used medicinally and as a tea. 2. any of several allied …   Universalium

  • chamomile — A family of plants with daisy like flowers. Two types are German chamomile and Roman or English chamomile. These are used in teas to calm and relax, to improve sleep, and to help with stomach problems. The essential oil (scented liquid taken from …   English dictionary of cancer terms

  • chamomile — or camomile noun Etymology: Middle English camemille, from Medieval Latin camomilla, modification of Latin chamaemelon, from Greek chamaimēlon, from chamai + mēlon apple Date: 13th century 1. a perennial composite herb (Chamaemelum nobile syn …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • Chamomile — Camomile Cam o*mile, Chamomile Cham o*mile (k[a^]m [ o]*m[imac]l), n. [LL. camonilla, corrupted fr. Gr. chamai mhlon, lit. earth apple, being so called from the smell of its flower. See {Humble}, and {Melon}.] (Bot.) A genus of herbs ({Anthemis}) …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • chamomile — The flowering heads of Anthemis nobilis (family Compositae); a stomachic. SYN: camomile. [G. chamaimelon, c., fr. chamai, on the ground, + melon, apple] * * * cham·o·mile or cam·o·mile kam ə .mīl, .mēl n 1 a) a composite herb (Chamaemelum nobile… …   Medical dictionary