Chamomile and allergies.
Article Type: Report
Subject: Chamomile (Chemical properties)
Chamomile (Usage)
Chamomile (Health aspects)
Mast cells (Physiological aspects)
Allergic reaction (Care and treatment)
Allergic reaction (Models)
Allergic reaction (Reports)
Allergy (Care and treatment)
Allergy (Models)
Allergy (Reports)
Antiallergic agents (Research)
Author: Finney-Brown, Tessa
Pub Date: 12/22/2011
Publication: Name: Australian Journal of Medical Herbalism Publisher: National Herbalists Association of Australia Audience: Academic Format: Magazine/Journal Subject: Health Copyright: COPYRIGHT 2011 National Herbalists Association of Australia ISSN: 1033-8330
Issue: Date: Winter, 2011 Source Volume: 23 Source Issue: 4
Topic: Event Code: 310 Science & research
Accession Number: 275312595
Full Text: Chandrashekhar V, Halagali K, Nidavani R, Shalavadi M, Biradar B, Biswas D, Muchchandi I. 2011. Anti-allergic activity of German chamomile (Matricaria recutita L.) in mast cell mediated allergy model. J Ethnopharmacol 137;336-40.

Traditionally Matricaria recutita (German chamomile) has broad application, particularly in allergic and inflammatory disorders. As allergic diseases such as rhinitis, asthma, atopic eczema and dermatitis have been increasing in prevalence globally, more people are searching for effective antiallergic and anti-inflammatory agents. Allergy and anaphylaxis are linked with mast cell activation which causes the process of degranulation. This results in the release of mediators such as histamine, leukotrienes, prostaglandins, proteases and several proinflammatory and chemotactic cytokines.

This study assessed the ability of ethanolic extracts of Matricaria recutita to inhibit allergic inflammatory reactions. Male Sprague-Dawley rats and Balb/c mice were given an intraperitoneal injection of compound 48/80 which is known to induce mast cell degranulation. The DSCG standard drug (10 mg/kg) and methanol extract of chamomile were administered at 100, 200 and 300 mg/kg orally 1 h prior to administration of compound 48/80. Five days later mast cells were collected.

The chamomile extract group showed significantly less scratching behaviour compared with the control group; effects were greater at higher doses. These showed significant protection from mast cell degranulation; standard (DSCG) group showed 67.75% of protection and treated groups at doses 100, 200 and 300 mg/kg showed 51.92, 65.42 and 73.33 per cent of protection from mast cell degranulation respectively. Whilst the control group showed significantly elevated histamine and nitric oxide levels, these were much lower in the treated animals.

The authors believe that the antiallergic activity of chamomile may be due to the presence of tannins and flavonoids which have been shown to have mast cell stabilising effects and reduce the release of histamines from basophils. The anti-inflammatory effects (reduction of nitric oxide production) may also have inhibited mast cell degranulation. It seems traditional folkloric use of chamomile in allergies is justified.

Tessa Finney-Brown MNHAA
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