Chamomile oils were in general non-irritant to the skin of humans, mice or pigs, although moderate irritation occurred when they were applied to rabbit skin. Inhalation of chamomile dust apparently caused irritation of the respiratory tract and eyes in tea factory workers. Severe allergic reactions have been seen in a few individuals following consumption of chamomile tea, skin reactions have occurred after contact with the chamomile plants or chamomile-containing ointment and conjunctivitis developed in hay fever patients following eye washing with chamomile tea.

The acute oral and dermal toxicity of chamomile oils was low in rats and rabbits respectively. Oral administration of chamomile tea to humans may cause mild effects on the circulatory system and induce sleep, with excessive consumption possibly leading to gastric problems. Effects on rodent behaviour have been seen after oral administration of chamomile oils and injection of extracts. Repeated injections of chamomile oil caused liver enlargement in rats. In a study on bacteria exposed to Roman chamomile oil, there was no evidence of mutagenicity (in an Ames assay) or of DNA damage.

Date of Publication: 1992

Number of Pages: 7

CAS Number*: 8015-92-7


Format: PDF available for immediate download

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