What Is Roman Chamomile?

Roman chamomile (Chamaemelum nobile or Anthemis nobilis), also known as English chamomile, is native to Morocco and Europe. It belongs to the Asteraceae family.

Roman Chamomile is one of several variations of the chamomile plant. Another common type of chamomile is German chamomile (Matricaria chamomilla). Roman chamomile and German chamomile are not the same species. This article covers Roman chamomile, not German chamomile.

Chamomile flowers and oil
 marrakeshh / Getty Images

Chamomile is one of the western world's most widely used medicinal plants. Many people drink chamomile tea for its relaxing properties and calming effects on the digestive system.

Roman chamomile contains terpenoids - an organic chemical naturally produced by plants. Flavonoids, also found in Roman chamomile, are potent antioxidants with immune system benefits and anti-inflammatory properties. 

Roman chamomile is used to make tea, creams, ointments, and extracts, mainly from the plant's white and yellow flower portion. Flower heads are first dried, then used to make powders or tea. They may also be steamed to produce chamomile essential oil.

Although Roman chamomile is generally safe, there are some contraindications and side effects. In addition, there's no proven safe or effective dose for children.

This article discusses the potential uses of Roman chamomile. It also covers possible side effects and precautions.

Dietary supplements are not regulated in the United States, meaning the FDA does not approve them for safety and effectiveness before products are marketed. When possible, choose a supplement that has been tested by a trusted third party, such as USP, ConsumerLabs, or NSF. However, even if supplements are third-party tested, that doesn't mean they are necessarily safe for all or effective in general. It is important to talk to your healthcare provider about any supplements you plan to take and to check in about any potential interactions with other supplements or medications.

Supplement Facts

  • Active Ingredient(s): Terpenoids, flavonoids, esters, lactones
  • Alternate Name(s): Anthemis nobilis, Camomille noble, Chamomilla, Common chamomile, English chamomile, Garden chamomile, Ground apple, Scotch chamomile, Sweet chamomile, Whig plant
  • Legal Status: Herbal supplement
  • Suggested Dose: Tea: 1-4 grams (g) of the herbal substance in 100-150 milliliters (ml) of boiling water three times each day, between meals; liquid extract: 1-4 ml three times per day
  • Safety Considerations: Pregnancy, breastfeeding, allergies, children under 12 years old,

Uses of Roman Chamomile

Supplement use should be individualized and vetted by a healthcare professional, such as a registered dietitian, pharmacist, or doctor. No supplement is intended to treat, cure, or prevent disease.

People have used Roman chamomile for different ailments for centuries. Preliminary studies have been done in cells and animals.​ ​However, few studies in humans have been completed​. More substantial scientific evidence is needed to support the use of Roman chamomile for specific conditions. ​

Other traditional uses for Roman chamomile yet to be verified by clinical proof include health conditions such as:

  • Bloating
  • Flatulence
  • Hay fever
  • Inflammation
  • Menstrual disorders
  • Insomnia
  • Ulcers
  • Wounds
  • Rheumatic pain

Gastrointestinal Uses

Roman chamomile has been studied for its effect on the stomach and other parts of the gastrointestinal (GI) system. A lab study suggested that it had antispasmodic effects in tissue. However, the study only looked at effects in human tissue. These effects weren't observed in high-quality clinical trials in humans.

Due to a lack of clinical data, the effectiveness of Roman chamomile as an antispasmodic can't be verified.


A cream whose active ingredient is claimed to be Roman chamomile was studied for its effects on eczema symptoms. The partially double-blind randomized study looked at how this cream addressed the discomforts of eczema compared to 0.5% hydrocortisone cream and a placebo. The Roman chamomile-based cream was just slightly better than both hydrocortisone and placebo. This is not enough clinical data to say that Roman chamomile is superior in easing eczema symptoms compared to other treatments. Further studies are needed.

What Are the Side Effects of Roman Chamomile?

Roman chamomile is considered a mild herb and is relatively safe for most people. As with all herbal supplements, there is the possibility of allergies.

The topical application of Roman chamomile may cause redness and itchiness. Any person with allergies to ragweed or other plants, such as chrysanthemums, marigolds, or daisies, should avoid using chamomile because these plants are in the same family as chamomile.

Other notes of reactions, such as the sesquiterpenes in Roman chamomile causing sensitivity or that inhalation may cause an allergic reaction, are not definite. In those situations where five or fewer individuals reported such a reaction, it can't be for sure that the sesquiterpenes or Roman chamomile caused the effects.

Common Side Effects

Roman chamomile is considered generally safe. There are a few reported incidents where it appears that Roman chamomile may have been the culprit of a slight reaction. However, the presence of other possible allergens leaves causality unknown.

Severe Side Effects

There is always the risk of an allergic reaction to an herbal supplement. Allergic reactions such as anaphylaxis can be life-threatening.

If you have a known allergy to ragweed, chrysanthemums, marigolds, or daisies, it is possible you may have the same reaction to Roman chamomile. It is best to not use it if you have these known allergies. 


Even though Roman chamomile is considered safe, there are times when caution should be used when choosing to use the supplement.

There is not enough information to know if this supplement is safe for use while pregnant. For that reason, it is not recommended to be used when a person is pregnant.

Roman chamomile may also have the ability to induce menstruation. The effects it may have on the smooth muscles - relaxing them - may be the reason for this. This is another reason it is not recommended for use by pregnant people.

Clinical data is not available about how Roman chamomile may affect lactation. It is not recommended to use this herbal supplement if you are lactating because of the unknown effects.

There is a lack of clinical data on the effects on children under the age of 12 years. Due to this lack of data, Roman chamomile is not recommended for use in children under 12.

Use by anyone who may have an allergy to any plant in the Asteraceae family should not use Roman chamomile. It is not suggested for use by people with these allergies. It may cause an allergic reaction or worsen existing symptoms.

Dosage: How Much Roman Chamomile Should I Take?

Always speak with a healthcare provider before taking a supplement to ensure that the supplement and dosage is appropriate for your individual needs.

Roman chamomile can be taken in several forms. Each has its dosing recommendations.

For use in tea, place 1-4 grams of the herbal substance in 100-150 ml of boiling water three times each day between meals.

When using a liquid extract, it is suggested to use 1-4ml three times per day.

Roman chamomile is used in lotions and oils, but there's not enough clinical data to give dosing information.

What Happens If I Take too Much Roman Chamomile?

The upper limit for Roman chamomile is unknown.

There is concern that a large dose may cause vomiting. If you are using Roman chamomile and begin vomiting, stop using it and consult your healthcare provider for dosing guidelines.

Extended use of the herbal supplement should not be continued if symptoms persist. It is best to consult with your healthcare provider about continuing symptoms and whether using Roman chamomile is the best way to treat them.


Roman chamomile is not known to have any documented interactions with medications. Though there are no interactions that have been reported, it cannot be guaranteed not to interact with any other medications. Before using Roman chamomile, it is best to discuss its use with your healthcare provider.

How to Store Roman Chamomile

When storing Roman chamomile, it is best to follow the recommendations found on the product label. The product label will contain storage and disposal guidelines. Following these guidelines are best for product quality.

Note that when storing Roman chamomile oil, the color may be a dark yellow color.

Similar Supplements

Roman chamomile may be similar to other herbal supplements that belong to the Asteraceae family or may have anticoagulation properties. Such supplements may be:

  • Artichoke (Cynara scolymus)
  • Dandelion (Taraxacum officinale)
  • Chicory (Cychorium intybus)

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Is Roman chamomile the same as German chamomile?

    Roman chamomile (Chamaemelum nobile) and German chamomile (Matricaria chamomilla) are not the same. They are often mistaken as the same herbal supplement, but they are two different herbs with different effects.

  • Is Roman chamomile safe for babies?

    There is no clinical data on the effects of Roman chamomile on babies. Because of this, it is not recommended to give it to children under 12 years old.

  • Is Roman chamomile toxic?

    Roman chamomile is generally considered safe.

Sources of Roman Chamomile & What To Look For

Roman chamomile is available in most grocery stores and online. It is available in many different forms. It is available as tea. It can also be found in liquid form. Roman chamomile is available as a lotion and a bath additive.


When purchasing chamomile, look for the dry powder obtained by the flowers. This is the form that is used traditionally for health issues. The oil of the plant is also used.

Most forms of chamomile tea are prepared with German chamomile. Be sure to read the ingredient label of your tea packaging to ensure the tea contains Roman chamomile.


Roman chamomile is an herbal supplement used in traditional medicine for centuries. It remains used today, but the amount of clinical data available to support these uses is minimal. For the same reason, the effects of Roman chamomile are not known.

Precautions about its use are advised for pregnant people, breastfeeding people, children under 12 years old, and people with liver or kidney disease. Those who have allergies to plants in the Asteraceae family should not use Roman chamomile.

Further human studies are needed to understand how Roman chamomile affects health conditions. Until such information is available, it is best to seek the guidance of a healthcare professional on your individual use of Roman chamomile.

8 Sources
Verywell Health uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
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  2. Sándor Z, Mottaghipisheh J, Veres K, et al. Evidence supports tradition: the in vitro effects of roman chamomile on smooth muscles. Front Pharmacol. 2018;0.

  3. National Library of Medicine. Roman chamomile. MedlinePlus. 2022.

  4. European Medicines Agency. Community Herbal Monograph on Chamaemelum nobile (L.) All., flos. Science Medicines Health. 2011. 2-5.

  5. European Medicines Agency. Assessment Report on Chamaemelum nobile (L.) All., flos. Science Medicines Health. 2001.

  6. Srivastava JK, Shankar E, Gupta S. Chamomile: A herbal medicine of the past with a bright future (Review). Molecular Medicine Reports. 2010;3(6):895-901.

  7. Al-Snafi Ali E. Medical Importance of Anthemis Nobilis (Chamaemelum nobile) – A Review. AsianJournal of Pharmaceutical Science & Technology. 2016; 6(2):89-95.

  8. Rolnik A, Olas B. The plants of the asteraceae family as agents in the protection of human health. Int J MolSci. 2021;22(6):3009.

Additional Reading

By Dawn Sheldon, RN
Dawn Sheldon, RN, is a registered nurse and health writer. She is passionate about sharing her knowledge and empowering others.