Studies have not established the effect of chamomile on breast cancer

Chamomile has been shown to have potent anti-inflammatory activity, as well as moderate antioxidant, antimicrobial, antispasmotic, anti-anxiety, cholesterol-lowering and antimutagenic properties. Chamomile tea, which is brewed from dried chamomile flower heads, has traditionally been used for various purposes, including promoting relaxation. Frequent consumption of chamomile tea has been found to reduce the progress of hyperglycemia and diabetic complications. Only traces of chamomile essential oil are found in chamomile tea.

Cancer-related effects of eating chamomile

Chamomile contains the flavonoids apigenin, quercetin, patuletin, and luteolin. Apigenin has been shown to induce apoptosis in human skin, thyroid, gastric, liver, colon, cervical, and prostate cancer cells, and to inhibit migration and invasion of ovarian cancer cells. Apigenin has also been shown to exhibit potent growth-inhibitory effects in HER2/neu overexpressing breast cancer cells. The growth-inhibitory effects of apigenin are less powerful for those cells expressing normal levels of HER2/neu. Luteolin has been shown to induce apoptosis in oral cancer calls, to promote cell cycle arrest and apoptosis in colon cancer cells, and to inhibit insulin-like growth factor 1 receptor signaling in prostate cancer cells. A major Italian population study including 2,569 women with breast cancer found that the risk of breast cancer was reduced for increasing intake of flavones (e.g., apigenin, luteolin, tangeritin) and flavonols (e.g., fisetin, quercetin, patuletin, myricetin, kaempferol), including those found in chamomile.

Additional comments

Chamomile essential oil exhibits virucidal activity against genital herpes when applied topically. However, allergic reactions to chamomile in a form of contact dermatitis are not unusual and anaphylactic reactions have also been reported.

Drinking chamomile tea can interfere with the absorption of dietary iron. Apigenin and other flavonoids may be present in chamomile tea, but the content varies greatly between tea brands. Several studies have found chamomile mouthwash not to be an effective treatment for mouth ulcers arising from chemotherapy.

Note that while we are continually searching for new evidence specifically concerning this food, there is not much interest in it among breast cancer researchers, so few studies are available.

Tags: apigenin, chamomile, flavone, Her2Overexpressing, inflammation, insulinLikeGrowthFactor, iron, kaempferol, luteolin, ovarianCancer

Selected breast cancer studies

Induction of Caspase-dependent Apoptosis by Apigenin by Inhibiting STAT3 Signaling in HER2-overexpressing MDA-MB-453 Breast Cancer Cells Luteolin Supplementation Modulates Mammary Tumor Growth in C3H Mice Fed Diet with High- and Low-Fat Content Antioxidant and antimicrobial activities of essential oil and extracts of fennel (Foeniculum vulgare L.) and chamomile (Matricaria chamomilla L.) Infusion and decoction of wild German chamomile: bioactivity and characterization of organic acids and phenolic compounds Flower Extracts and Their Essential Oils as Potential Antimicrobial Agents for Food Uses and Pharmaceutical Applications Dietary flavones and flavonones display differential effects on aromatase (CYP19) transcription in the breast cancer cells MCF-7 Activities of Ten Essential Oils towards Propionibacterium acnes and PC-3, A-549 and MCF-7 Cancer Cells Apigenin inhibits antiestrogen-resistant breast cancer cell growth through estrogen receptor--dependent and estrogen receptor--independent mechanisms Antiproliferative and Apoptotic Effects of Chamomile Extract in Various Human Cancer Cells Interventions for preventing oral mucositis for patients with cancer receiving treatment A Review of the bioactivity and potential health benefits of chamomile tea (Matricaria recutita L.) Flavonoids and Breast Cancer Risk in Italy Apigenin Induces Apoptosis through Proteasomal Degradation of HER2/neu in HER2/neu-overexpressing Breast Cancer Cells via the Phosphatidylinositol 3-Kinase/Akt-dependent Pathway

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