Matricaria chamomilla is a common shrub widely distributed in many parts of the world, originating in southern Europe. Its active components are various flavonoids, phenols and volatile oils, which have primarily a soothing and relaxing action.
- Analgesic. The pain reducing activity of chamomile seems to be caused by the localized action of volatile oils on the release of prostaglandins.
- Anti-inflammatory. The compounds azulene, chamazulene, bisabolol and matricine are the principal anti-inflammatory ingredients, against abrasions, allergic rashes, burns, chapped skin, cuts, dermatitis, dryness, eczema, infections, external tumors and wounds. Internally, it soothes ulcers
- Antispasmodic. Enindicycloether and the flavonoids apiginine and luteoline are the principal antispasmodic but also calming and sedative agents. They seem to inhibit muscle spasms by acting on the nervous system, and especially on the digestive tract, a fact that warrants its use in irritable bowel syndrome and Crohn’s disease.
- Carminative. The ability to reduce and expel gas from the alimentary canal seems to be due to the action of volatile oils in relaxing the stomach muscles, and improving intestinal peristalsis and overall digestion.
- Sedative/Relaxant. The antispasmodic agents previously named are equally responsible for the calming and sedative properties of chamomile, which help to ease nervous tension, anxiety, insomnia, etc.