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Chamomile

by Ara DerMarderosian, PhD

The flower of chamomile is dried and drunk as a tea or used topically as an extract.

Claims

Chamomile tea is said to reduce inflammation and fever, to act as a mild sedative, to relieve stomach cramps and indigestion, and to promote healing of gastric ulcers. Chamomile extract applied topically in a compress is said to soothe irritated skin. Mechanism is due to essential oil containing bisabolol constituents.

Adverse effects

Chamomile is generally safe. It may interact with alcohol and sedatives (eg, barbiturates). Some people are allergic to pollen in chamomile products.

Chamomile may reduce the absorption of oral drugs. Chamomile may also increase the effects of anticoagulants and sedatives (including alcohol) and decrease the absorption of iron supplements.

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