Fact Checked

What is Chamomilla?

Allison Boelcke
Allison Boelcke

Chamomilla is an herbal medication that comes from the German chamomile plant. The leaves and flower of German chamomile may be dried out and placed into capsules or the plant can be crushed to release its natural oils. The administration method for chamomilla will typically depend on the health condition that a person is trying to treat.

Herbalists believe that chamomilla is an effective natural sedative. It may be recommended in larger amounts to people with difficulty sleeping. The herb is also thought to work as an alternative to anti-anxiety medications and may be used in smaller doses to treat any anxiety disorders. In some cases, herbalists may recommend the herb for children who exhibit signs of hyperactivity or difficulty focusing. For use as a sedative, the herb will generally be taken orally.

Chamomilla may cause drowsiness.
Chamomilla may cause drowsiness.

Chamomilla may also be used by some as a possible treatment for any conditions affecting the digestive system. It is believed to be an anti-spasmodic, meaning it may be able to reduce or completely eliminate painful contractions of the intestines that may occur during digestive problems. Conditions that may use chamomilla as an alternative treatment option include irritable bowel syndrome, diarrhea, and abdominal cramps. It can also be used as a possible treatment option for colic, a condition that causes severe intestinal cramping in babies. The herb will typically be administered orally for digestive problems.

Chamomilla has been used to treat abdominal cramps.
Chamomilla has been used to treat abdominal cramps.

The oil extracted from the German chamomile plant can be used topically for a variety of skin conditions. Herbalists believe the oil has soothing, anti-inflammatory abilities. It can be applied onto the skin as a treatment for acne, as well as skin rashes and insect bites. The oil can also be added into bath water so a person can soak it in, especially if he or she has a skin condition that affects a large area of the body.

Chamomilla may be used to treat colic in babies.
Chamomilla may be used to treat colic in babies.

The effectiveness of herbal medicines like chamomilla has not been conclusively proven. Both doctors and herbalists may advise against the use of this herb for people with chronic conditions who are taking other medications. The herb may cause medications, such as oral contraceptives, antifungal, and cholesterol regulators, to not work properly because it can affect the body’s ability to properly digest them. Since it can cause drowsiness, the herb is also not recommended to be combined with other prescription sedatives or alcohol because it could slow the heart rate to a dangerously low level and even result in death.

You might also Like

Discussion Comments


I think it's funny how superstitious people can get about herbs. Chamomilla may be proven to help people sleep, relax, get drowsy and reduce anxiety because of the other three I just listed, but there's actually no scientific proof it can help cure or even treat the list of over one hundred other things that people around the world traditionally like to say it helps with.

Did you know that some people think chamomilla will help with open sores on the penis? How about hemorrhoids? Eczema? Faster wound healing? Yes, not one but all of these are believed to be helped by the humble little chamomille plant.

MedLine Plus specifically warns that chamomille isn't proven to treat anything except for trouble sleeping, and even then the doctor will always prescribe you with a chemical sleep aid instead. I'll stick with the pills, they were made for what they do.


@Lindsay21 - There are a couple of cautions for side effects, though they're pretty specific, so they're not likely to bother the average person.

The biggest concern is for pregnant women: according to the United States National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine, drinking chamomille tea can stimulate the muscles in the uterus.

I'm not clear on exactly why or how, but apparently it is enough of a concern to warn pregnant women away from drinking chamomille or taking chamomilla products to prevent any increased risk of having a miscarriage.

Other than the above, the only "side effect" I could find in my reading is that chamomilla's sedative-like sleep-inducing qualities are amplified if you drink it along with alcohol, so you'll probably conk out quick if you like your tea "spirited".


@M1ddle - I don't think there are many negative side effects linked to chamomilla. Just avoid any activity that requires you to be alert after drinking chamomile tea because you'll probably be drowsy. And like every other substance, watch out for an allergic reaction.

My mom always brews a cup of warm chamomile tea when she can't sleep and it really relaxes her. It helps that it tastes great, too!

In my opinion, it's always better to use herbs and natural substances over chemical sleep aids. Even though your body produces melatonin naturally, a big cup of chamomile tea is a more natural relaxant that's been used for centuries.


I've been taking melatonin supplements to help me sleep, but I always have weird dreams. I wonder if I should start taking chamomilla for my insomnia instead.

If anyone knows about the chamomilla side effects, I'd love to know more.

Post your comments
Forgot password?
    • Chamomilla may cause drowsiness.
      By: Klaus Eppele
      Chamomilla may cause drowsiness.
    • Chamomilla has been used to treat abdominal cramps.
      By: Dessie
      Chamomilla has been used to treat abdominal cramps.
    • Chamomilla may be used to treat colic in babies.
      By: Dmytro Panchenko
      Chamomilla may be used to treat colic in babies.
    • Chamomilla can reduce the effectiveness of birth control pills.
      By: Kimberly Reinick
      Chamomilla can reduce the effectiveness of birth control pills.