Chamomile and IBS

Chamomile was an important herb in ancient Egypt, Greece, and Rome, where the dried flowers were commonly used to make a tea to ease digestion.  Chamomile is used in health supplements today to help with sleeplessness, stress, and gastrointestinal discomfort.

In one study patients age 12 years and above with symptoms of acute diarrhea due to acute inflammatory disorders (AID) of the gastrointestinal tract, inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD), or irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) were treated with a mixed herbal preparation containing chamomile.  At the conclusion of the study, the extracts studied were comparable to conventional therapies used in routine care (1).

Preliminary research suggests that chamomile blocks slow wave activity in the small intestine, which could slow peristaltic movement (2).



  1. Albrecht U,  Müller V, Schneider B, Stange R. Efficacy and safety of a herbal medicinal product containing myrrh, chamomile and coffee charcoal for the treatment of gastrointestinal disorders: a non-interventional study. BMJ Open Gastroenterol. 2015;1(1):e000015. doi:10.1136/bmjgast-2014-000015.    
  2. Storr M, Sibaev A, Weiser D, et al. Herbal extracts modulate the amplitude and frequency of slow waves in circular smooth muscle of mouse small intestine. Digestion. 2004;70:257-264.