Camomile (chamomile is the American spelling) is a daisy- like plant often used in traditional medicines and teas.
Camomile is in the Asteraceae
family of plants which includes artichokes, marigolds and daisies. The most allergenic plants in this family are lettuce
Contact reactions linked to camomile have been linked to nobilin (Sweet chamomile) and desacetylmatricarin (German chamomile). Both are sesquiterpene lactones and are commonly used in cosmetics. These are the most likely culprit for any contact reactions to camomile.
Camomile is in the same family of flowers as mugwort
and as a result is linked to Celery Mugwort Spice Syndrome, which is similar in it's symptoms as Pollen Food Allergy Syndrome
. Instead of being sensitised by Bet v proteins which are PR-10 (pathogenesis-related) proteins this group of foods are all defensin protein
Camomile is a high FODMAP food. FODMAP
stands for F
olyols. Foods high in FODMAPs can cause symptoms of food intolerance, affecting the gastro intestinal system which can be mistaken for a true IgE food allergy.
Camomile is a food low in salicylates. Salicylates
have the potential to cause worsening of asthma, swelling, itching and hives as well as food intolerance symptoms in people who are sensitive to salicylates.
You can read more about Food Intolerances
on the dedicated Food Intolerance Page.
You may have Celery Mugwort Spice Syndrome
if you suffer from camomile allergy with oral allergy symptoms to 3 or more of the foods mentioned in cross reactivity section.
As a pollen camomile has been known to induce asthma and cause allergic rhinitis and allergic conjunctivitis.
If sensited to mugwort pollen you may have Pollen Food Allergy Syndrome and may also react to celery, carrots, dill, parsley, fennel, coriander, cumin, and sunflower seeds.
Defensin proteins are also found in celery, mango, peanut, sunflower seeds and fresh wasabi.
Food lists are not exhaustive, the most up to date information is on the Cross Reactivity Tool.
Science Direct - Sesquiterpene lactones
Allergen Encyclopedia - Camomile
Allergy information for: Camomile (Matricaria chamomilla)
NCCIH - Chamomile
Healthline - FODMAP 101
DermNet NZ - Chamomile
Articles and Journals
The Role of Defensins as Pollen and Food Allergens, 2023
Allergic contact dermatitis from essential oil in consumer products: Mode of uses and value of patch-tests with an essential oil series. Results of a French study of the DAG (dermato-allergy group of the French Society of Dermatology). 2023
Anaphylaxis to bee products: About 32 cases reported to the French Allergy-Vigilance Network, 2022
Anaphylatic reaction after chamomile tea consumption, 2021
Severe Airborne Allergic Contact Dermatitis From the Invasive Species Oncosiphon piluliferum (Globe Chamomile), 2021
Asteraceae species as potential environmental factors of allergy, 2019
Anaphylactic reaction to camomile tea, 2018
A survey of plants responsible for causing allergic contact dermatitis in the Amathole District, Eastern Cape, South Africa, 2015
Clinical cross-reactivity between Artemisia vulgaris and Matricaria chamomilla (chamomile), 2001
Anaphylaxis to camomile: clinical features and allergen cross-reactivity, 2000
Allergy to foods in patients monosensitized to Artemisia pollen, 1996
Allergy to natural honeys and camomile tea 1995
Allergic conjunctivitis to chamomile tea, 1990
Let me know if you found any of these interesting or useful.
If you spot an article or research that you think is interesting you can message me or tag me on Facebook or Twitter - links at the bottom of the page.