Matricaria recutita

scientific name: 
Matricaria recutita L.
Matricaria courrantiana DC.
Botanical family: 

Botanical description

Annual herb, erect, aromatic, densely branched, up to 60 cm high.  Leaves pinnatisect, with linear segments; flower capitula 2.5 cm in diameter, on short terminal peduncles; ligules white, emarginate.  Achenes with 3 to 5 ribs, not very apparent.

There are major nomenclature problems with this genus and numerous synonyms exist for this species1.






  entire plant, decoction, orally2

menstrual pain:

  leaf and flower, infusion, orally4

stomach pain:

  leaf, infusion, orally4


  entire plant, decoction, orally2-3

élimination des lochies:

  entire plant, decoction, orally2

For menstrual pain and stomach pain:

Prepare an infusion adding 250 mL (1 cup) of boiling water to 3 grams of dried flower. Cover pot, leave to settle for 5-10 minutes and filter.  Drink one cup between meals, 3-4 times a day32-33.

There is no available information about preparation and dosage of the decoction of the entire plant, the infusion of the leaf, or the infusion of the leaf and flower, other than that referred to by traditional use.

According to published and other information:

Use for colic, diarrhea, stomach pain and expulsion of placenta is classified as REC, based on the significant traditional use documented in the TRAMIL surveys, and on available published scientific information.

For diarrhea, the use of this plant can be considered complementary to oral re-hydration therapy.

Should there be a notable worsening of the patient’s condition, or should the colic, diarrhea or stomach pain last more than 3 days, seek medical attention.

The pollen is potentially allergenic and may induce reactions of hypersensitivity in susceptible individuals or those with prior allergy to Asteraceae (esp. ragweed and Chrysanthemum).


TRAMIL Research34

A decoction of the dried ground flower (30%; yield 2.57 mg/mL), in a single oral dose of 2 g/100 g body weight, (equivalent to 6 g plant material/kg or 514 mg total solids/kg) in female rats under conditions for acute toxicity measurement, did not provoke any death nor evident signs of toxicity in the first 24 hours nor during the 14 days of observation. Histopathology studies showed no alterations.

TRAMIL Research35

A decoction of the dried ground flower (30%), was applied topically to the skin (0.6 mL, equivalent to 0.18 g fresh plant material on an area of approximately 6 cm2) of a male New Zealand rabbit. After 4 hours the patch was removed and the area examined for possible erythema or edema after 24, 48 and 72 hours. No evidence of clinical alteration was observed and the decoction of the fresh leaf may therefore be considered as non-irritant.

The LD50 of the leaf, after oral administration to rat, was 10-20 g/kg25.

The LD50 of the flower ethanolic extract (30%), administered orally to mice (both male and female), was 25 mL/kg18.

The LD50 of the dried flower ethanolic extract (80%), after intraperitoneal administration to rats, was higher than 4 g/kg26.

The entire plant ethanolic extract (40%), administered orally (1.6 mL/kg) to female rat and female rabbit, did not cause signs of embryotoxicity27.

The entire plant ethanolic extract (40%), administered orally to rat, did not cause signs of chronic toxicity27.

The essential oil, administered to rat (above 500 mg/kg), induced behavioral alterations and signs of depression23.

The hot aqueous extract from the flower, administered orally (150 mL/person), may induce allergenic activity28.

The LD50 of chamazulene following oral administration was 10 g/kg and 3 g/kg after intramuscular administration.  The LD50 of bisabolol was 14.8 g/kg.  Neither constituent was teratogenic at the stated doses.  The LD50 of the essential oil was higher than 5 g/kg23,29.

Petrolatum-based preparations, containing up to 4% of the essential oil, did not cause skin irritation30.

Matricaria chamomillahas been classified by the Food and Drug Administration as "GRAS" (Generally Regarded As Safe)31.

There is no available information documenting the safety of medicinal use in children or in women during pregnancy or while breast feeding.

The flower heads contain essential oil (0.2-1.8%), whose main constituents are: matricin (which on distillation gives rise to chamazulene (1-15%), (-)-α-bisabolol (10-25%), 1.8-cineol and various hydrocarbons5-6.

The plant contains flavonoids: apigenin, apiin and derivatives; coumarins: dioxycoumarin, herniarin and umbelliferone; carotenes; vitamin C; salicylic acid and phytosterols: stigmasterol and derivatives7-9.

TRAMIL Research10

The hydroalcoholic extract (30%) from the flower heads decreased, on a dose-dependent basis, the amplitude of spontaneous contractions in isolated rabbit jejunum, and inhibited the contractions induced by barium chloride, acetylcholine and histamine in isolated guinea pig ileum, in a way comparable to papaverine.

TRAMIL Research11

The aqueous extract from the flower at pH5 was orally administered (12.5-100 mg/kg) to 10 native rabbits whose weight was 2-2.5 kg. In experiments where it was compared with saline solution, bronchoconstriction and bronchodilating agents, no increase in lung resistance or adaptability was observed.

TRAMIL Research36

The lyophilized aqueous decoction of the whole plant without the flowers, administered to 10 male Wistar rats (322.51 ± 7.66 g) as a single oral dose of 1 g/kg using the hotplate analgesic tail-flick latency test (D’Amour & Smith) resulted in 6.18% analgesia during one hour from the time of treatment. There was no significant difference between the values observed for the test and control groups in terms of resistance to heat.

TRAMIL Research37

The lyophilized aqueous decoction of the whole plant without the flowers, administered to 5 female (243.22 ± 3.06 g) and 5 male (298.52 ± 4.51 g) Sprague Dawley rats (322.51 ± 7.66 g) as a single oral dose of 1 g/kg resulted in an anti-inflammatory effect using the rat paw edema induced by carrageenan model, during 1 and 2 hours after treatment when compared to the control group which received water.

The aqueous extract of the dried leaf and stem administered intraperitoneally to mouse (0.2 mL/animal) was active against picrotoxin-induced convulsions12.

The aqueous and methanolic extracts from the leaf and flower were active in vitro as an antispasmodic agent in the rabbit small intestine13.

The extract of the leaf administered orally to rat showed anti-inflammatory effects (ED50 = 35 moles/kg)14.

The aqueous extract of the dried flower (decoction), administered orally to mouse (1102 g/kg) was inactive as an antiulcer agent15.

The warm aqueous extract of the flower (1.5% of diet) administered for 10 days to partially hepatotectomized male rat was active as a stimulant of liver regeneration16.

The aqueous and ethanolic extracts (95%) from the dried flower (100 µg/mL) were active against histamine and barium-induced spasms in guinea pig ileum17.

The ethanolic extract (30%) from the flower (3%) was active against histamine- and acetylcholine-induced spasms in guinea pig ileum18.

The ethanolic extract (30%) from the flower, applied externally (12.5%), was active as an anti-inflammatory agent in cat.  After oral administration to cat (3.2 mL/kg) and rat (2.8 mL/kg), it showed weak anti-inflammatory activity18.

The ethanolic extract (40%) from the flower administered orally to male rat (1 mL/animal) was active as an inhibitor of the formation of gastric ulcers and as a healing agent19.

The ethanolic extract (30%) from the flower (3%), administered orally to female rat (0.5 mL/kg), was inactive as an antiulcer agent.  The same extract, instilled in rabbit eye (8%) was active as a local anesthetic18.

The aqueous extract (infusion) from the entire plant in vitro increased uterus tonicity20.

The essential oil had spasmolytic effects on isolated guinea pig ileum21.

The essential oil of the flower has been described as having antibacterial and fungicidal properties against several pathogenic microorganisms22.

Matricin and chamazulene have been claimed to have anti-inflammatory activity in experimental arthritis models1,14,23.

The hydrophilic fraction of apigenin and the lipidic fraction of a-bisabolol are claimed to have spasmolytic activity 21,24.




1 RAUSCHERT S, 1974 Nomenklatorische Probleme in der Gattung Matricaria L.

Folia Geobot Phytotax Praha 9:249-260.

2 LAGOS-WITTE S, 1988-89, 1996 Encuesta TRAMIL. Laboratorio de Histología Vegetal y Etnobotánica, Dep. de Biología, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de Honduras UNAH, Tegucigalpa, Honduras.

3 GOMEZ H, GAITAN R, DIAZ F, 2003 Encuesta TRAMIL (Norte del departamento de Bolívar). Grupo de Productos Naturales, Facultad de Ciencias Químicas y Farmacéuticas. Universidad de Cartagena, Cartagena de Indias, Colombia.

4 GIRON L, 1988 Encuesta TRAMIL (Costa atlántica). Centro Mesoamericano de Tecnología CEMAT, Guatemala, Guatemala.

5 FRANZ C, WICKEL I, 1980 Contribution to the heredity of bisaboloids in Chamomilla recutita. (abstract). Planta Med 39:287-288.

6 SALAMON I, 1992 Production of chamomile, Chamomilla recutita (L.) Rauschert, in Slovakia. J Herbs Spices Med Plants 1(1/2):37-45.

7 MANCHENO MN, 1987 La manzanilla dentro del plan terapéutico de tratamiento de la enfermedad diarreica aguda del Ministerio de Salud. Nicaragua. Rescate de la Medicina Popular Tradicional.

8 MERICLI AH, 1990 The lypophilic compounds of a Turkish Matricaria chamomilla variety with no chamazulene in the volatile oil. Int J Crude Drug Res 28(2):145-147.

9 TOPOLOV V, GABROLOV M, YANKOLOV J, 1983 Plantas medicinales and fitoterapia (Bilki and Bilcosvirane). Plovdiv, Bulgaria: Ed. Jristo G. Danov.

10 MORON F, FURONES J, PINEDO Z, 1996 Actividad espasmolítica del extracto fluído de Matricaria recutita (Manzanilla) en órganos aislados. Rev Cubana Plant Med 1(1):19-24.

11 CAMBAR P, 1992 Efectos broncopulmonares de los extractos acuosos de flores de Matricaria chamomilla L. (Manzanilla) en conejos. Informe TRAMIL. Unidad de Farmacología, Facultad de Ciencias Médicas, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de Honduras UNAH, Tegucigalpa, Honduras.

12 ABDUL-GHANI AS, EL-LATI SG, SACAAN AI, SULEIMAN MS, AMIN RM, 1987 Anticonvulsant effects of some Arab medicinal plants. Int J Crude Drug Res 25(1):39-43.

13 HOERHAMMER L, 1962 Flavone concentration of medicinal plants with regard to their spasmolytic action. Congr Sci Farm Conf Commun 21st Pisa 1961(21):578-588.

14 JAKOVLEV V, ISAAC O, FLASKAMP E, 1983 Pharmacologische Untersuchungen von Kamillen-Inhaltsstoffen. VI. Untersuchungen zur antiphlogistiche Wirkung von Chamazulen und Matricin. Planta Med 49:67-73.

15 YAMAZAKI M, SHIROTA H, 1981 Application of experimental stress ulcer test in mice for the survey of neurotropic naturally occurring drug materials. Shoyakugaku Zasshi 35:96-102.

16 GERSHEBIN LL, 1977 Regeneration of rat liver in the presence of essential oils and their components. Food Cosmet Toxicol 15(3):173-182.

17 ITOKAWA H, MIHASHI S, WATANABE K, NATSUMOTO H, HAMANAKA T, 1983 Studies on the constituents of crude drugs having inhibitory activity against contraction of the ileum caused by histamine or barium chloride (I). Screening test for the activity of commercially available crude drugs and the related plant materials. Shoyakugaku Zasshi 37(3):223-228.

18 LESLIE GB, 1978 A pharmacometric evaluation of nine bio-strath herbal remedies. Medita 8(10):3-19.

19 SZELENYI I, ISSAC O, THIEMER K, 1979 Pharmakologische Untersuchungen von Kamillen-inhaltsstoffen. III. Tierexperimentelle Untersuchungen uber die ulkusprotektive Wirkung der Kamille. Planta Med 35:218-227.

20 SHIPOCHLIEV T, 1981 Uterotonic action of extract from a group of medicinal plants. Vett Med Nauki 18(4):94-98.

21 ACHTERRATH-TUCKERMANN U, KUNDE R, FLASKAMP E, ISAAC O, THIEMER K, 1980 Pharmacological investigations with compounds of chamomile. V. Investigations on the spasmolytic effect of compounds of chamomile and Kamillosan on the isolated guinea pig ileum. Planta Med 39(1):38-50.

22 AGGAG ME, YOUSEF RT, 1972 Study of antimicrobial activity of chamomile oil. Planta Med 22(2):140-144.

23 MANN C, STABA E, 1986 The chemistry, pharmacology and commercial formulations of chamomile. In: Herbs, spices and medicinal plants; recent advances in botany, horticulture and pharmacology. Phoenix, USA: Oryxpress 1:235-280.

24 ISAAC O, 1979 Pharmacological investigations with compounds of chamomile I. On the pharmacology of alfa-bisabolol and bisabolol oxides (review). Planta Med 35:118-124.

25 JAKOVLEV V, SCHLICHTEGROLL A, 1969 Antiinflammatory activity of (-)-alpha-bisabolol, an essential component of chamomille oil. Arzneim-Forsch 19:615.

26 AL-HINDAWI M, AL-DEEN I, NABI M, ISMAIL M, 1989 Antiinflamatory activity of some Iraqi plants using intact rats. J Ethnopharmacol 26(2):163-168.

27 LESLIE G, SALMON G, 1979 Repeated dose toxicity studies and reproductive studies on nine bio-strath herbal remedies. Swiss Med 1(1/2):1-3.

28 BENNER MH, LEE HJ, 1973 Anaphylactic reaction to chamomille tea. J Allergy Clin Immunol 52(5):307-308.

29 LEWIS R, TATKEN R, (Eds.), 1980 Registry of toxic effects of chemical substances. Vol. 1. Cincinnati, USA: Nat. Instit. Occupational Health.

30 OPDYKE D, 1974 Monographs on fragrance raw materials. Chamomile oil German and Roman. Food Cosmet Toxicol 12(Suppl.):851-853.

31 ANON (Select Committee on GRAS Substances), 1976 GRAS status of foods and food additives. Washington, USA: Food and Drug Administration, Department of Health and Human Services, Office of the Federal Register National Archives and Records Administration 41, 38644.

32 WICHTL M, 1994 Herbal drugs and phytopharmaceuticals. Stuttgart, Germany: Medpharm GmbH Scientific Publisher.

33 GIRON L, CACERES A, FREIRE V, ALONZO A, SALVADOR L, 1995 Folleto informativo sobre algunas plantas medicinales comúnmente utilizadas por la población Garifuna de Livingston. Guatemala, Guatemala: Programa TRAMIL-Centroamérica/enda-caribe/CONAPLAMED/FARMAYA/CIID. p37.

34 MARTINEZ MJ, MOREJON Z, LOPEZ M, BOUCOURT E, MORON F, 2005 Clases tóxicas agudas (CTA) de decocción de flor seca de Matricaria recutita L. Informe TRAMIL. Laboratorio Central de Farmacología, Facultad de Ciencias Médicas “Dr. Salvador Allende”, La Habana, Cuba.

35 LOPEZ M, MARTINEZ MJ, MOREJON Z, BOUCOURT E, FERRADA C, FUENTES V, MORON F, 2005 Irritabilidad dérmica primaria de una decocción de flor seca de Matricaria recutita L. Informe TRAMIL. Laboratorio Central de Farmacología, Facultad de Medicina “Dr. Salvador Allende”, Cerro, C. Habana, Cuba.

36 GarcIa-GONZÁLEZ M, BolaÑos An, arguedas cr, 2005 Efecto analgésico en ratas, por vía oral,del extracto acuoso (decocción) de la planta entera sin flor de Matricaria recutita dosis única. Informe TRAMIL.PRONAPLAMED. Depto de Fisiología, Escuela de Medicina, Universidad de Costa Rica, San Pedro, Costa Rica.

37 GarcIa-GONZÁLEZ M, Arguedas R, y Fernández A, 2005 Efecto antiinflamatorio en ratas, por vía oral, del extracto acuoso (decocción) de la planta entera sin flor de Matricaria recutita dosis única. Informe TRAMIL.PRONAPLAMED. Depto de Fisiología, Escuela de Medicina, Universidad de Costa Rica, San Pedro, Costa Rica.


The information provided is for educational purposes only for the benefit of the general public and health professionals. It is not intended to take the place of either the written law or regulations. Since some parts of plants could be toxic, might induce side effects, or might have interactions with certain drugs, anyone intending to use them or their products must first consult with a physician or another qualified health care professional. TRAMIL has no responsibility whatsoever towards the user for any decision, action or omission made in relation to the information contained in this Pharmacopoeia.