Introduction: Chamomile (Matricaria chamomilla L.), as widely used as a medicinal herb and is brewed beverages, and has been used for the treatment of several conditions. The evidence from in vitro, in vivo, and clinical studies suggests that chamomile and its many flavonoid components have anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. This review aimed to provide an overview of the chemical constituents of chamomile and the effectiveness of the chamomile preparations and several of its constituents for the treatment of several medical conditions.
Methods: The present comprehensive review study was conducted by searching electronic databases including Scopus, Web of Sciences, Embase, and PubMed, using relevant keywords.
Results: Both animal and human studies indicate the positive effects of chamomile on the antioxidant enzyme activity. However, the mechanisms involved in the action of chamomile against the production of ROS remain still unknown. When it comes to its anti-inflammatory properties, a number of in vitro, in vivo, and clinical investigations have been reported regarding to the selective inhibition of COX-2, suppression of NO production, prevention of IL-1β, IL-6 and TNFα-induced NO levels, reduction of iNOS mRNA and protein expression, impediment of leukocyte adhesion and adhesion protein up-regulation in human endothelial cells, and blockage of IL-1 α-induced prostaglandin production, TNF-α-induced IL-6 and IL-8 release.
Conclusions: Current studies suggest that chamomile and its flavonoid components have anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. On the basis of the existing evidences, chamomile appears to ameliorate several diseases caused by oxidative stress as well as inflammatory reactions.