A scientific study with promising outcomes showed a chamomile cream was shown to be as effective as hydrocortisone and superior to 2 other treatments (Mahandy et al., 2001). There was no statistical analysis done in this study which is a very concerning limitation to their claims. To be fair I haven’t been able to get my hands no the study to read it directly, but I found the same study quoted by the WHO in a repot from 1999 and they state “The chamomile cream was shown to be as effective as hydrocortisone [0.25%] and superior to the other two treatments [fluocortin butyl ester 0.75% and bufexamac 5%]…in the treatment of eczema of the extremities” (p.91).
Other studies well executed studies showed that chamomile can be an effective treatment of skin inflammation and irritation, it is often used as a treatment for people who are undergoing radiation treatments (Mahandy et al., 2001). PLEASE ALWAYS!! consult an Naturopathic Doctor (ND) prior to use in combination with radiation or chemotherapy (or any other medication) as there may be some interaction. You want to make sure you’re applying it at the appropriate time and that you will not do anything to compromise the treatment or have unnecessary side effects.
The World Health Organization (WHO) (1999) put out a document listing the chemical make up and researched uses for different herbs. Chamomile was noted to have excellent anti-inflammation for irritated skin which included external skin, mouth, gums and haemorrhoids.
It is pretty amazing that this small little flower growing randomly in gardens or around parks also have excellent antibacterial properties! An extract of chamomile was shown to inhibit the growth of known bacteria that can cause many of our skin, digestive, and respiratory illnesses (e.g., Staphylococcus aureus, group B Streptococcus) (WHO, 1999).
And…it’s one of my favourite calming digestive teas! Safe for the whole family (recommendations start for children 2 and older according to Health Canada’s monograph of German Chamomile)
G., Mahandy, H.H.S., Fong, N.R., Farnsworth (2001) Botanical Dietary Supplements: Quality, Safety and Efficacy. CRC Press Taylor & Francis Group.
World Health Organization (1999) WHO Monographs on selected medicinal plants Vol.1. Retrieved August 9, 2016 from http://www.survivorlibrary.com/library/who-monographs-on-selected-medicinal-plants.pdf.
Health Canada (n.d.) Monograph for: German Chamomile. Retrieved August 9, 2016 from http://webprod.hc-sc.gc.ca/nhpid-bdipsn/atReq.do?atid=germ_chamom_allem&lang=eng