What Are the Signs of a Chamomile Allergy?

Lainie Petersen

Signs of a chamomile allergy may closely resemble hay fever symptoms, as chamomile is in the same family as ragweed. Hay fever symptoms typically include sneezing, stuffy nose, and throat irritation. Other possible indications of a chamomile allergy may include skin and eye irritation, particularly if an individual comes into contact with chamomile flowers or is using personal care products that contain them. Severe allergies can sometimes result in sinus infections and trouble sleeping. In rare cases, an individual may develop anaphylaxis, a life-threatening allergic reaction that may impair the ability to breathe.

Chamomile flowers are often used as ingredients in herbal teas.
Chamomile flowers are often used as ingredients in herbal teas.

Chamomile is a plant with flowers that resemble daisies. Its flowers are often used in various medicinal preparations, as an herbal tea, and in skin care products. Although it is generally considered a safe herb for ingestion, high doses may result in stomach upset and vomiting. There is also some concern that chamomile may contribute to miscarriage. A more significant problem with chamomile is that it is related to chrysanthemum and ragweed and, like both these plants, chamomile can trigger allergies in some people.

Sneezing is a common sign of chamomile allergy.
Sneezing is a common sign of chamomile allergy.

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In many cases, a chamomile allergy will show itself in the form of sneezing, watery eyes, and congestion. Those who are more sensitive may experience difficulty breathing as a result of a chamomile allergy, particularly if they have asthma. Another way that a chamomile allergy may reveal itself is by the development of allergic contact dermatitis, an itchy rash on the skin. In many cases, the symptoms can be treated with over-the-counter or prescription medications.

Chamomile is in the same family as ragweed.
Chamomile is in the same family as ragweed.

If someone suspects a chamomile allergy, he should read the ingredients on any herbal teas or supplements that he has consumed. Chamomile is frequently included in herbal tea blends and supplements because it is reputed to have some medicinal properties, such as encouraging relaxation and soothing stomachaches. In some cases, purveyors of herbal blends may not list all the ingredients included in their products, so those who are concerned about allergies may wish to contact manufacturers directly to verify ingredient information. Users of personal care products, such as body lotions and creams, should likewise check ingredient labels to determine whether these products contain chamomile.

Allergens, such as chamomile, can cause eyes to become red and irritated.
Allergens, such as chamomile, can cause eyes to become red and irritated.

In all cases, someone who is experiencing allergy symptoms should consult her physician. Her doctor may wish to order allergy testing and can provide allergy sufferers with appropriate medication for addressing their condition. This is particularly important for those who suffer from severe allergic reactions, as these can severely affect an individual's health and well-being.

Those who experience symptoms of anaphylaxis after using chamomile require immediate medical attention.
Those who experience symptoms of anaphylaxis after using chamomile require immediate medical attention.

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Discussion Comments


My daughter had trouble breathing and developed dermatitis. We figured out that it was the day after she drank chamomile tea.


I found out I was allergic after allergy testing. Environmental factors were negative, so they tested for foods. The list included: turkey, tuna fish, chamomile, sunflower seeds and oils, Jerusalem artichokes, cheddar cheese and chemical allergies. The whole list really stinks.

I avoid most of these but when I went to a friend's house that didn't know my allergy, she had put chamomile and lavender oil on her AC filters to make the house smell good. Breathing it in caused me to develop internal welts in my throat, sinus congestion and severe pain. I ended up getting a steroid injection, oral steroids, and antibiotics. The chemical allergies usually include perfumes and baby powder. Right now I am being treated for a recent reaction to perfume. Ugh.


@ddljohn-- Chamomile allergy is not all too common but it's possible. People who are allergic to chamomile, like me, are definitely also allergic to ragweed.

I don't swell up like some people do when I have chamomile tea, but I itch like crazy. It took me forever to figure out it was the chamomile because I wasn't always allergic.

Plus, so many things can cause itching. I had changed all my detergents, bed sheets and body lotions when I finally went for an allergy test. I tested positive for ragweed and my doctor asked me if I had been having any ragweed or chamomile.


@ddljohn-- Anything has the potential to cause allergies.

I found out I was allergic to chamomile after using a face cream that contains chamomile. My face started to swell, my lips were huge! My nose also started running.

Thankfully, my tongue didn't swell and I also had some allergy medication at home and I took that right away.

The only ingredient in the cream I hadn't tried before was chamomile so I'm sure it was that. Scary!


Chamomile is so soothing, I can't believe that it can cause allergies in some people.

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