M. chamomilla can be found near populated areas all over Europe and temperate Asia, and it has been widely introduced in temperate North America and Australia. It often grows near roads, around landfills, and in cultivated fields as a weed, because the seeds require open soil to survive.
German chamomile is used in herbal medicine for a sore stomach, irritable bowel syndrome, and as a gentle sleep aid. It is also used as a mild laxative and is anti-inflammatory and bactericidal. It can be taken as a herbal tea as well as a mouthwash against oral mucositis. It has acaricidal properties against certain mites, such as Psoroptes cuniculi. Research with animals suggests antispasmodic, anxiolytic, anti-inflammatory and some antimutagenic and cholesterol-lowering effects for chamomile. Chamomile has sped healing time of wounds in animals. It also showed some benefit in an animal model of diabetes. In vitro chamomile has demonstrated moderate antimicrobial and antioxidant properties and significant antiplatelet activity, as well as preliminary results against cancer. Essential oil of chamomile was shown to be a potential antiviral agent against herpes simplex virus type 2 (HSV-2) in vitro. The methanol extract of M. recutita showed potent antiallergic activity by inhibition of histamine release from mast cells in cell-mediated allergic models.
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