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Roman Chamomile

Roman Chamomile (Chamaemelum nobile)

Roman Chamomile, also known as English Chamomile and Garden Chamomile, is a low, perennial, creeping groundcover with daisy-like flowers and feathery leaves. It is native to southern and western Europe and to Morocco, although it has been introduced around the world (Natural Medicines, 2022). It is often confused with German Chamomile (Matricaria recutita), both species having been used nearly interchangeably in therapies. However, Roman Chamomile’s specific epithet (nobile) reflects the belief that it was the more useful of the two.

Historical Use

Roman Chamomile was used medicinally as early as the classical period, including in ancient Egypt, and has been listed in medical texts since medieval times. As Gerard’s Herball noted, Chamomile was traditionally useful to relieve heartburn and gas, as a diuretic, as an aid during childbirth, to reduce fevers, and for the relief of various aches and pains (Gerard et al., 1633).

This image is of a text description of “Cammomill” in the 1633 edition of John Gerard’s The Herball, available in the John R. Martin Rare Book Room in Hardin Library for the Health Sciences. 

Modern Use

Natural Medicines, like Gerard, lists a large number of reputed therapeutic uses for Roman Chamomile; it is said to provide relief for anxiety, eczema, high blood pressure, insomnia, nausea and vomiting, and rheumatoid arthritis, and to promote wound healing. However, it should be noted that the same source reports that there is insufficient evidence to rate the effectiveness of Roman Chamomile for any of these uses, and it is likely unsafe for use during pregnancy (Natural Medicines, 2022).

Recent research into the utility of Roman Chamomile for treatment of inflammation, spasmodic gastrointestinal disorders, anxiety, and oral lichen planus is documented by Jia et al. (2021), Lopez Jornet & Aznar-Cayuela (2016), Russo et al. (2021), and Sándor et al. (2018).

Latest Research

  • Aromatherapy Massage for Relief of Pruritus and Stress in Older Women
    by Mi-Sun Shim on March 24, 2022 at 10:00 am

    CONCLUSIONS: Aromatherapy massage can be an effective intervention to decrease pruritus and stress in older women. Further studies with larger samples that also include men are required to confirm the generalizability of these results.

  • Traditional plants from Asteraceae family as potential candidates for functional food industry
    by Paula Garcia-Oliveira on March 8, 2021 at 11:00 am

    Traditional plants have been used in the treatment of disease and pain due to their beneficial properties such as antioxidant, antiinflammation, analgesic, and antibiotic activities. The Asteraceae family is one of the most common groups of plants used in folk medicine. The species Achillea millefolium, Arnica montana, Bellis perennis, Calendula officinalis, Chamaemelum nobile, Eupatorium cannabinum, Helichrysum stoechas, and Taraxacum officinale have been used in different remedies in Northwest…

  • In vivo Antibacterial and Wound Healing Activities of Roman Chamomile (Chamaemelum nobile)
    by Hossein Kazemian on December 31, 2016 at 11:00 am

    CONCLUSION: Our study indicated that antibacterial and wound healing activities of C. nobile ointment were notable. C. nobile therapy in combination with antibiotics can also be useful because medicinal plants contents operate in synergy with antibiotics. These results revealed the value of plant extracts to control antibiotic resistant bacteria in wound infections.

  • Medicinal plants used for ophthalmological problems in Navarra (Spain)
    by M Isabel Calvo on June 9, 2016 at 10:00 am

    CONCLUSIONS: The present study constitutes a good basis for further phytochemical and pharmacological research of these four plants, which could be of interest in the design of new inexpensive, effective and safe drugs. The remaining plants are needed to be screened through standard pharmacological and clinical procedures for their activities.

  • Medicinal and local food plants in the south of Alava (Basque Country, Spain)
    by Rocίo Alarcόn on October 21, 2015 at 10:00 am

    CONCLUSION: Food and medicinal uses of plants are culturally closely linked. A wide range of plants are known and many still used. The analysis shows that the Basques use a wide range of species which are typical for Western European cultures. In comparison to other studies in the Mediterranean countries there are many similarities in the uses of different families, species of plants and their use and preparations. Some of these plants are key Mediterranean species, often used for a multitude of…


Gerard, J., Dodoens, R., Whitaker, R., Norton, J., Payne, J., Priest, R., . . . Davies, R. (1633). The herball, or, Generall historie of plantes. London: Adam Islip Joice Norton and Richard Whitakers.

Jia, Y., Zou, J., Wang, Y., Zhang, X., Shi, Y., Liang, Y., . . . Yang, M. (2021). Action mechanism of Roman chamomile in the treatment of anxiety disorder based on network pharmacology. J Food Biochem, 45(1), e13547. doi:10.1111/jfbc.13547

Lopez Jornet, P., & Aznar-Cayuela, C. (2016). Efficacy of topical chamomile management vs. placebo in patients with oral lichen planus: a randomized double-blind study. J Eur Acad Dermatol Venereol, 30(10), 1783-1786. doi:10.1111/jdv.13770

Natural Medicines (2022). Roman Chamomile. Retrieved from

Russo, C., Edwards, K. D., Margetts, G., Kleidonas, S., Zaibi, N. S., Clapham, J. C., & Zaibi, M. S. (2021). Effects of Salvia officinalis L. and Chamaemelum nobile (L.) extracts on inflammatory responses in two models of human cells: Primary subcutaneous adipocytes and neuroblastoma cell line (SK-N-SH). J Ethnopharmacol, 268, 113614. doi:10.1016/j.jep.2020.113614

Sándor, Z., Mottaghipisheh, J., Veres, K., Hohmann, J., Bencsik, T., Horváth, A., . . . Csupor, D. (2018). Evidence supports tradition: The in vitro effects of Roman chamomile on smooth muscles. Front Pharmacol, 9, 323. doi:10.3389/fphar.2018.00323