Matricaria chamomilla L., Chamomilla

recutita (1.) Rauschert

Chamomile was one of the most highly esteemed

medicinal plants of Asclepius,· the late ancient

Greek god of healing (cf. Laurus nobilis, Papaver

somniferum). It appears that the temple sleepers who came to seek help found that chamomile was

frequently recommended during their therapeutic

and visionary dreams (R~itsch 1995a, 194*). It is

uncertain why chamomile acquired its reputation

as a psychoactive plant (Schultes and Hofmann

1980,367*). The entire plant contains an essential

oil of complex composition whose main

components are a-bisabolol and chamzulene.

Also present are flavonoids and coumarins, which

produce the well-known anti-inflammatory

effects of chamomile only in connection with

(synergistically with) the essential oil (Schilcher

1987). Apart from occasional allergic reactions,

the toxicological literature contains no reports of

truly interesting effects (Roth et al. 1994,489*).
Literature (selection) Schilcher, Heinz. 1987. Die Kamille. Stuttgart: WVG.

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