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Review
. 2014 Nov;83(5):566-9.
doi: 10.1016/j.mehy.2014.08.023. Epub 2014 Sep 6.

Potential Effect and Mechanism of Action of Topical Chamomile (Matricaria Chammomila L.) Oil on Migraine Headache: A Medical Hypothesis

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Review

Potential Effect and Mechanism of Action of Topical Chamomile (Matricaria Chammomila L.) Oil on Migraine Headache: A Medical Hypothesis

Arman Zargaran et al. Med Hypotheses. .

Abstract

Migraine is a chronic recurring headache for which no complete treatment has been found yet. Therefore, finding new treatment approaches and medicines is important. In this review, we consider the probable mechanism of action of a traditional and ethnic formulary of chamomile extract in sesame oil as a new topical medication for migraine pain relief. Chamomile oil is prepared in Traditional Persian Medicine by boiling aqueous extract of chamomile in sesame oil. To optimize the procedure, we can use a Clevenger-type apparatus to extract the essential oil and add it to the end product. The preparation includes both essential oils (chamazulene and bisabolol oxide) and polyphenols (a flavonoid such as apigenin and its derivatives). It probably possesses pain relief effects for migraines because of the following properties: (1) chamazulene and apigenin, which inhibit iNOS expression in activated macrophages and can lead to the prohibition of NO release and synthesis; (2) chamomile flavonoids, which have a strong inhibitory effect on endogenous prostaglandin E2 (PGE2) levels in RAW 264.7 macrophages and can play the role of selective COX-2 inhibitor; (3) chamomile polyphenols, which possess anti-inflammatory effects due to the inhibition of pro-inflammatory biomarkers in THP1 macrophages and which can reduce inflammation in neurovascular units (NVU) at the site of migraine pain; (4) chamomile, which has neuroprotective effects because of reduced NO levels; (5) sesamine in sesame oil, which possesses an anti-inflammatory effect. These effects are supported by main pathophysiological theories of migraine such as neural and sensitization theories. Chamomile oil is a traditional formulation still used in Iran as an ethno-medicine. Because of the mentioned mechanisms of action, it can be hypothesized that chamomile oil is a novel medicine for the relief of migraine pain.

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