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Haley Lam
Dr. Van Corva
Physical Science 2 Online CRN#71513
8 October 2015
Plant Project: Chamomile
(Also Known As: Matricaria Recutita, Chamaemelum Nobile, Anthemis Nobilis)

This is an image of a field of Chamomile plants. Image Link: www.flowerphoto.org


Part 1: Uses, Treatments, Cures, and Standard Applications
Chamomile is renowned as an ingredient in flavoring foods and in making herbal teas. The plant
is a little bitter with a distinct apple scent. The Greeks named the plant Chamomile for this very
reason as it translates to Ground Apple or Earth Apple (Grieve M.). Dried Chamomile
flowers and Chamomile oils are also used in scented products, such as perfume, cosmetics,
lotions, herb beers, and bath teas (Chamomile Herb Benefits). All parts of the Chamomile plant
are used but the key value of the plant lies in the flower head, or Capitula (Grieve, M.). The
azulene oil found in the Capitula of Chamomile is the main component of the scented products
since the plants active constituents are found in its oil. This oil is mainly composed of the oils
called M. Chamomilla L., Anthemis nobilis L., and Ormenis multicalus Braun Blanquet and
Maire (National Center for Biotechnology Information). These make up the components of an oil
that has a distinctive blue color that eventually fades to yellow over time (National Center for
Biotechnology Information). Beyond its aromatic effects, Chamomile is used to mitigate many

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ailments such as insomnia, muscle spasms, menstrual disorders, headaches, eye inflammation,
toothaches, gum disease, indigestion, and anxiety. It is also widely used as a relaxation therapy to
soothe the mind and body from everyday stresses. Consumption of the plant increases levels of
hippurate and glycine, which calms muscle tensions and menstrual cramps. Other active
ingredients of Chamomile include Apigenin, Quercetin, Patuletin, Luteolin, and Alpha-Bisobolol.
The anti-inflammatory and antioxidant property of Chamomile is due to Apigenin and Quercetin.
Patuletin and Luteolin are the sole reasons why Chamomile promotes healthy eyes. AlphaBisobolol reduces the amount of Pepsin, an enzyme that reacts with the acid in the stomach to
break down proteins, and this is beneficial for gastric or intestinal illnesses. In addition to being a
digestive regulator, Chamomile is an antibacterial and anti-inflammatory agent, thus it is healthy
for skin regeneration and treating eczema (Benefits of Chamomile). In regards to womens
health, Chamomile has been used as a remedy for vaginitis and yeast infections (Chamomile
Herb Benefits). It is also used to heal wounds from cuts, scrapes, and burns (Benefits of
Chamomile).
The herb can be ingested via food, drinks, capsules, or tinctures, and topically applied as
cosmetic products or body cream (Benefits of Chamomile, German Chamomile). There is no
standard application or dose for chamomile. It is commonly consumed as a tea made from hot
water and a chamomile teabag. Chamomile is typically safe to drink often, as it is listed under
the Generally Recognized as Safe list in the FDA (German Chamomile). There has been reports
of drowsiness when consumed in large amounts. People who are allergic to the daisy family are
advised to consult a physician before using Chamomile. There is no sufficient study of the long
term effects of using Chamomile, so it is not recommended for pregnant women, infants, or
people who will be having surgery. This is because the Chamomile might react with the
anesthesia. Chamomile may also interact with other drugs, such as aspirin and blood thinners. A
daily capsule of chamomile contains from 400 milligrams to 1,600 milligrams (German
Chamomile).

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This is an image of Chamomile tea. Image Link:


http://www.zastavki.com/pictures/1920x1200/2011/Food_Drinks_Chamomile_tea_028999_.jpg

This is a close up picture of a Chamomile flower head, or Capitula. Image Link:


http://www.biocompletenaturaldiet.com
Part 2: Folklore and Superstition
Chamomile originated from Southern and Eastern Europe, was used in ancient Egypt, Greece,
and Rome for medicinal and religious purposes, and has emerged in many countries, such as
Germany, France, Russia, and India. Poland, Hungary, Germany, Argentina, and Czechoslovakia
are the main providers of Chamomile today (National Center for Biotechnology Information). In
ancient Egypt, Chamomile was dedicated to the central God Ra who was known as the creator of
the world. The Romans also used Chamomile to pray to their Gods. The Anglo-Saxons honored
Chamomile as one of the 9 sacred herbs gifted by the lord to humans. One folklore highly
practiced in the olden days was placing Chamomile next to dying plants to revive them. This is
why Chamomile is known as the plant doctor. It was also believed that Chamomile was good for
financial luck. People rubbed their hands in Chamomile or washed their hands in Chamomile
infused teas before they gambled. In Norse Mythology, Chamomile, or Balders Brow was the
sacred plant of Balder, the God of Light who was believed to bring solace and light to people
living in darkness. Chamomile is sprinkled around the house as a ritual to pray to Balder to ask
him to provide protection for the family. Another folklore was to bathe in Chamomile infused
water and drink a cup of Chamomile tea before going to bed so that Balder could bless you with

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sweet sleep. This was referenced in the bedtime story, The Tale of Peter Rabbit. Another
folklore is burning Chamomile along with a written form of a prayer to reach the gods in the
Golden City of Asgard. During the Middle Ages in Europe, Chamomile was gathered on the
Witchs Holidays or Midsummer, and used to make beds for lovemaking on May Day. It was
believed that the Witches came out to seek higher powers on these holidays, so people would
pray and have rituals to ward off evil (Wodandis).
Part 3: Medical evidence for efficacy: scientific studies and clinical trials

This is an image of the parts of a Chamomile plant. Image Link:


http://www.pfaf.org/Admin/PlantImages/ChamaemelumNobile.jpg
In a journal publication called Chamomile tea improves glycemic indices and
antioxidants status in patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus, Zemestani M, Rafraf M, and
Asghari-Jafarabadi M describe their experiment to analyze the effects of Chamomile tea on
subjects with type 2 diabetes mellitus. The experiment was conducted in a single-blind
randomized controlled clinical trial where 32 people were asked to drink Chamomile tea three
times daily, for two months, and 32 people were asked to do the same, but with water. The group
of people who drank Chamomile tested out with a decrease in glycosylated hemoglobin, serum
insulin levels, homeostatic model assessment for insulin resistance, and serum malondialdehyde
as opposed to the group of people who drank water (Zemestani M). The data for this experiment
showed a 6.81% increase in antioxidant status, 26.16% increase in superoxide dismutase,
36.71% increase in gluthaione peroxidase, and 45.06% increase in catalyst efficiency. The
authors concluded that Chamomile is beneficial for people with T2DM.

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In Topical use of Matricaria recutita L (Chamomile) Oil in the Treatment of


Monosymptomatic Enuresis in Children: A Double-Blind Randomized Controlled Trial, by
Sharifi H, Minaie MB, Qasemzadeh MJ, Ataei N, Gharehbeglou M, and Heydari M, the
effectiveness of Chamomile, as a topical oil, to treat childhood enuresis was investigated. Eighty
patients with enuresis were requested to apply the oil for six weeks. The experiment was a
double-blind randomized placebo-controlled trial so some people were given a placebo. The
responses indicated that Chamomile is effective in easing down enuresis in children.
In the journal, Highly efficient and compatible shampoo for use after hair transplant,
Schweiger D, Schoelermann AM, Filbry A, Hamann T, Moser C, and Rippke F evaluate the
effectiveness of the rinse-off hypertoelrant shampoo on people with sensitive skin and
particularly sensitive scalps. The shampoo formula consisted of bisabolol, found in Chamomile.
A group of people who have had hair transplantations were requested to use the shampoo. As a
result, people experienced less scabbing and burning, making the new shampoo a
recommendation for patients in post-transplantation.
In the journal, Comparison of the effects of Matricaria chamomila (Chamomile) extract
and mefenamic acid on the intensity of premenstrual syndrome, Sharifi F, Simbar M, Mojab
F, and Majd HA compare how Chamomile extract and Mefenamic Acid affect Premenstrual
Syndrome. The format of the experiment was a randomized, double blind clinical trial with 90
students. For two months, the students who were each either given a Chamomile capsule or a
Mefenamic Acid Capsule, recorded the intensity of their PMS while taking the capsules 3 times,
daily. The results suggested that Chamomile was more effective in relieving PMS symptoms,
emotionally. There wasnt a significant difference for physical symptoms.
A group of researchers from the Islamic Azad University, compared the effectiveness of
Chamomile and Hydrocortisone ointment to treat skin lesions. The results indicated that
Chamomile was more effective in recovering new and healthy skin. There was also less
inflammation and itchiness with Chamomile (German Chamomile).
In the journal, Using chamomile solution or a 1% topical hydrocortisone ointment in the
management of peristomal skin lesions in colostomy patients: results of a controlled clinical
study, by Charousaei F, Dabirian A, and Mojab F, a randomized, double-blind, placebo trial was
conducted to evaluate whether chamomile extract influenced the intensity of anxiety. The people
who were diagnosed with a mild anxiety disorder were asked to take chamomile and the
Hamilton Anxiety Rating Evaluation. The scores suggested that Chamomile was effective in
reducing anxiety.
Fault Arguments:
1) Jargon
Chamomile boasts a long battery of pharmacologically valuable actions such as antioxidant,
antimicrobial, (in vitro) antiplatelet activity, anti-inflammatory, antimutagenic, cholesterollowering, antispasmodic, and anxiolytic activities (German Chamomile).

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This is an example of Jargon because it is a long list of scientific, medical terms such as
antimicrobial (in vitro), antimutagenic, antispasmodic, and anxiolytic. These words are
most likely not familiar to someone who has no background in science or medicine. Jargons are
technical words and phrases that only people who have experience or profound knowledge
would understand. For example, the codes that cops use to communicate with each other are
jargons. When an audience reads an article with these unfamiliar words, they may simply
overlook them because they assume that the author is credible.
2) Research by Exegesis
In English herbalist Culpeper's famous 17th century Compleat Herbal, he states, "It is so well
known everywhere that it is but lost time and labor to describe it." He also goes on to explain
that the Egyptians dedicated it to the Sun, and used it for 'agues' or fevers. [6] In fact, many
ancient cultures valued it, including the Greeks and Romans. Chamomile is also one of the nine
sacred herbs listed in The Lacnunga ('Remedies') which is a compendium of Anglo-Saxon
medical texts and prayers, most likely compiled in England in the tenth or eleventh century and
written primarily in Old English and Latin. [7] (German Chamomile).
The English Herbalist in this example used Research by Exegesis to make the argument that
Chamomile is well known everywhere. He refers to The Lacnunga as an infallible source and
this is faulty because it would not appeal to other groups of people who believe in a different list
of sacred herbs. The nine sacred herbs in the Anglo-Saxon medical texts and prayers may be
revered by many, but using the text to support an argument proves ineffective for the diversity of
religions and beliefs around the world.
3) Testimonials
The end result was that Mary had no stretch marks and no need for an episiotomy (Zappia).
This is an example of a Testimonial because the statement applies to one person, making it a
personal statement without any scientific data to back it up. People tend to believe in these
arguments because there is an inclination to try something if it worked on someone else.
However, Testimonials are faulty because everyone is different and each persons body reacts
differently to the same products. Just because the oil left Mary with no stretch marks, it does not
mean that it would be the same for Martha or Ashley. There are too many circumstances and
factors to consider to have a product that is one-size- fits- all. This is why there are so many
different brands and levels of products available to satisfy all groups.
4) Glittering Generalities
Chamomile soothes the spirit and can be a magnet for gentle nature spirits. It attracts prosperity
and love, and the tiny flowers are enjoyed by flower fairies (Chamomile Herb Benefits).

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This is an example of a Glittering Generality because delightful and appealing words and
phrases, such as soothes the spirit, prosperity, and love are generously thrown into the
sentence, but actually add insubstantial meaning to it.

Conclusion:
I would recommend this herb to someone because it is a mild plant with so many
beneficial effects. By mild I mean that Chamomile has very gentle and somewhat subtle effects.
The plant is approved by the FDA as a safe herb, so it can be used by the general public. There
are a few exceptions; the plant is not recommended for pregnant women and people who are
allergic to the plants family, but these exceptions are precautionary as there is no evidence for a
substantial harmful effects from using Chamomile. The plant is used to treat common maladies
such as stress and external wounds. These remedial purposes can be used by anybody, especially
students who are anxious during midterms or are prone to injuries! Besides the immediate
remedies, Chamomile is effective in relieving skin infections, insomnia, and digestive problems.
It appeals to the female population because it reduces cramps and emotional agitations during
our menstrual cycles. Chamomile is also easy to access because it is vastly grown and increasing
in demand. Furthermore, Chamomile is easy to consume because it is brewed as tea and is used
in flavoring culinary dishes. Personally speaking, the taste of Chamomile is not detestable at all
taking into consideration its remarkable nutritional value. It could also be used topically, such as
in lotions and face wash. Implementing the use of Chamomile is an easy practice because it is an
ingredient in so many daily products. It smells like apples and looks like a flower!

Word Count: 2,320

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Work Cited
"Benefits of Chamomile." Antioxidants Detective. N.p., 2014. Web. 10 Oct. 2015.
"Chamomile Folklore & History - Adams Fairacre Farms." Adams Fairacre Farms. 2015 Adams
Fairacre Farms, 02 Mar. 2013. Web. 10 Oct. 2015.
"Chamomile Herb Benefits." Annie's Remedy. N.p., 2015. Web. 10 Oct. 2015.
Charousaei F, Dabirian A, and Mojab F. "Using Chamomile Solution or a 1% Topical
Hydrocortisone Ointment in the Management of Peristomal Skin Lesions in Colostomy Patients:
Results of a Controlled Clinical Study." PubMed. National Center for Biotechnology
Information, May 2011. Web. 10 Oct. 2015.
"German Chamomile." WebMD. WebMD, 2015. Web. 08 Oct. 2015.
Grieve, M. "Chamomiles." A Modern Herbal. N.p., 2014. Web. 10 Oct. 2015.
Sharifi H, Minaie MB, Qasemzadeh MJ, Ataei N, Gharehbeglou M, and Heydari M. "Topical
Use of Matricaria Recutita L (Chamomile) Oil in the Treatment of Monosymptomatic Enuresis in
Children: A Double-Blind Randomized Controlled Trial." PubMed. National Center for
Biotechnology Information, 30 Sept. 2015. Web. 10 Oct. 2015.
Sharifi F, Simbar M, Mojab F, and Majd HA. "Comparison of the Effects of Matricaria
Chamomila (Chamomile) Extract and Mefenamic Acid on the Intensity of Premenstrual
Syndrome." PubMed. National Center for Biotechnology Information, 20 Feb. 2014. Web. 10
Oct. 2015.
Schweiger D, Schoelermann AM, Filbry A, Hamann T, Moser C, and Rippke F. "Highly Efficient
and Compatible Shampoo for Use after Hair Transplant." PubMed. National Center for
Biotechnology Information, 22 July 2015. Web. 10 Oct. 2015.
Wodandis, Beth. "V. Members of the Family Genealogical Connections Part 1." Wytch of the
North. Wordpress, 11 July 2015. Web. 10 Oct. 2015.
Zappia, Anthony. "Essential Oils for Pregnancy Stretchmarks." Essential Oils for LivingRoman Chamomile. Wordpress, 24 Dec. 2010. Web. 10 Oct. 2015.

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Zemestani M, Rafraf M, and Asghari-Jafarabadi M. "Chamomile Tea Improves Glycemic Indices


and Antioxidants Status in Patients with Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus." PubMed. National Center for
Biotechnology Information, 14 Aug. 2015. Web. 10 Oct. 2015.