Clinical Use

Chamomile is most widely taken as a tea, often after meals or as an alternative to caffeine-containing beverages. In clinical practice, the oral dose form most often used is a concentrated extract, in order to produce stronger therapeutic effects. It is also used as a topical treatment in some indications. SKIN CONDITIONS

Chamomile is used topically for a variety of dermatological conditions. The most tested topical product is known commercially as Kamillosan. Wound healing According to a double-blind trial, external application of a chamomile extract improves wound healing. In the study, chamomile extract significantly decreased weeping and improved wound healing after dermabrasion of tattoos (Glowania et al 1987).

Eczema In one comparative study, 161 patients with eczema on the arms and lower legs were treated with 0.25% hydrocortisone, 5% bufexamac (NSAID), 0.75% fluocortin (glucocorticoid) or a chamomile cream known commercially as Kamillosan. The chamomile cream was as effective as hydrocortisone and was superior to the other two treatments (Aertgeerts et al 1985). (Kamillosan is reportedly made from a high bisabolol-containing chemotype of chamomile.)

Dermatitis A study involving experimentally-induced toxic dermatitis found that chamomile ointment (Kamillosan) produced a more soothing effect on human skin than a chamomile ointment base or hydrocortisone ointment 0.1 % (Nissen et al 1988). (Note: the hydrocortisone cream used in this study was quite weak compared with the usual strength of 0.5-2.5%.)

Chamomile cream helped protect against skin radiation damage in breast cancer patients receiving radiation (Maiche et al 1991). Chamomile cream (Kamillosan) has Chamomile 208

been shown to be slightly less effective than 0.25% hydrocortisone, but superior to

fIuocortin butyl ester and 5% bufexamac in relieving inflammation associated with dermatoses (Aertgeerts 1984, Aertgeerts et al 1985).

Commission E approves the external use of chamomile for inflammation of the skin and mucous membranes, as well as for bacterial skin diseases, including those of the oral cavity and gums (Blumenthal et al 2000).

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