Social Anxiety Disorder Treatment and Therapy How Is Chamomile Used for Social Anxiety? Characteristics, Dosage, Interactions, Side Effects and Risks By Arlin Cuncic Arlin Cuncic Arlin Cuncic, MA, is the author of "Therapy in Focus: What to Expect from CBT for Social Anxiety Disorder" and "7 Weeks to Reduce Anxiety." Learn about our editorial process Updated on November 04, 2020 Medically reviewed Verywell Mind articles are reviewed by board-certified physicians and mental healthcare professionals. Medical Reviewers confirm the content is thorough and accurate, reflecting the latest evidence-based research. Content is reviewed before publication and upon substantial updates. Learn more. by Elena Klimenko, MD Medically reviewed by Elena Klimenko, MD Facebook LinkedIn Elena Klimenko, MD, is a board-certified doctor in internal medicine and licensed in medical acupuncture and homeopathy. Learn about our Medical Review Board Print Tetra Images/Getty Images Table of Contents View All Table of Contents Characteristics How to Take It Dosage Guidelines Who Should Not Take It Medication Interactions Side Effects Effectiveness for SAD Risks Associated Chamomile, a flower in the daisy family, is a dietary supplement popular for a variety of uses including sleep problems, anxiety, digestive upset, mouth sores, skin infections, wound healing, colic, and diaper rash. Chamomile has been used for thousands of years, including by the ancient Greeks, Egyptians, and Romans. You've probably most often used chamomile in the form of chamomile tea—one of its most popular uses. While many people find it to be relaxing before bed or when feeling anxious, not much research has been conducted on its effectiveness for these uses. Characteristics German chamomile (matricaria recutita) is the focus of most scientific research and is available almost everywhere except for England, where Roman chamomile (chamaemelum nobile) is popular. In North America, chamomile is most often found prepared as an herbal tea to aid in sleep. Research suggests that chamomile may have a number of health benefits including: Decreasing skin irritationLowering depression and anxietyImproving sleepImproving wound healingProviding pain reliefReducing inflammationReduced gastrointestinal upset How to Take It Chamomile is available as capsules, liquid extracts, tinctures, teas and topical creams among other preparations. Dosage Guidelines Always read the product label for dosing instructions and consult a healthcare provider if necessary. For adults, the recommended doses are the following: Capsules: 400 to 1600 mg in divided doses dailyLiquid extract: 1 to 4 ml three times dailyTincture: 15 ml three to four times dailyTea: 1 to 4 cups of tea per day There is not enough scientific evidence to recommend the use of chamomile in children. Who Should Not Take It The following groups of people should avoid the use of chamomile: Those with allergies to plants in the daisy family such as aster, chrysanthemum, ragweed, marigold, and daisyThose with bleeding disorders and those taking drugs that may increase the risk of bleedingPregnant and nursing women because chamomile may act as a uterine stimulant or lead to the fetus being aborted Medication Interactions In general, more research is needed to fully evaluate medication interactions for chamomile. There are a number of potential interactions with medications and other dietary supplements. Before using chamomile, consult a medical professional about potential interactions with other products or medications you are using. Some common interactive effects include the following: Drowsiness when combined with benzodiazepines, barbiturates, narcotics, anti-seizure medications, some antidepressants, and alcohol Increased risk of bleeding if combined with blood thinners, ibuprofen, or naproxen Risk if combined with medications that affect blood sugar or blood pressure May interfere with the effectiveness of hormone therapy because chamomile is similar to estrogen Side Effects Reported side effects of using chamomile include: Serious allergic reactions including anaphylaxis, throat swelling, and shortness of breathSkin allergic reactions such as eczemaVomiting when taken in large doses Effectiveness for SAD In general, not enough scientific research has been conducted to support any of the many common uses of chamomile; however, exploratory studies in 2009 and 2012 by Amsterdam and colleagues demonstrated its potential usefulness for generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) and depression. Research is needed to determine whether there is a significant effect of chamomile for social anxiety disorder (SAD). Risks Associated The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) does not regulate the production of herbs and supplements. Most herbs and supplements are not thoroughly tested, and there is no guarantee regarding the ingredients or safety of the products. Although a number of potential side effects and interactions are presented here, the risks associated with chamomile have not been adequately studied. There has been no incidence found in the published literature of overdose. 6 Sources Verywell Mind 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. National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NIH). Chamomile. Amsterdam JD, Shults J, Soeller I, Mao JJ, Rockwell K, Newberg AB. Chamomile (Matricaria recutita) may provide antidepressant activity in anxious, depressed humans: an exploratory study. Altern Ther Health Med. 2012;18(5):44-49. Kazemian H, Ghafourian S, Sadeghifard N, Houshmandfar R, Badakhsh B, Taji A, Shavalipour A, Mohebi R, Ebrahim-Saraie HS, Houri H, Heidari H. In vivo Antibacterial and Wound Healing Activities of Roman Chamomile (Chamaemelum nobile). Infect Disord Drug Targets. 2018;18(1):41-45. doi:10.2174/1871526516666161230123133 Sebai H, Jabri MA, Souli A, Rtibi K, Selmi S, Tebourbi O, El-Benna J, Sakly M. Antidiarrheal and antioxidant activities of chamomile (Matricaria recutita L.) decoction extract in rats. J Ethnopharmacol. 2014;152(2):327-32. doi:10.1016/j.jep.2014.01.015 Aronson JK. Meyler's Side Effects of Herbal Medicines. Elsevier; 2009. Amsterdam JD, Shults J, Soeller I, Mao JJ, Rockwell K, Newberg AB. Chamomile (Matricaria recutita) may provide antidepressant activity in anxious, depressed humans: an exploratory study. Altern Ther Health Med. 2012;18(5):44-9. Additional Reading Amsterdam JD, Li Y, Soeller I, Rockwell K, Mao JJ, Shults J. A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial of oral Matricaria recutita (chamomile) extract therapy for generalized anxiety disorder. J Clin Psychopharmacol. 2009;29(4):378-382. doi:10.1097/JCP.0b013e3181ac935c. Amsterdam JD, Shults J, Soeller I, Mao JJ, Rockwell K, Newberg AB. Chamomile (Matricaria recutita) may provide antidepressant activity in anxious, depressed humans: an exploratory study. Altern Ther Health Med. 2012;18(5):44-49. Medline Plus. Roman Chamomile. National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NIH). Chamomile. University of Maryland Medical Center. German Chamomile; 2015. By Arlin Cuncic Arlin Cuncic, MA, is the author of "Therapy in Focus: What to Expect from CBT for Social Anxiety Disorder" and "7 Weeks to Reduce Anxiety." See Our Editorial Process Meet Our Review Board Share Feedback Was this page helpful? 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