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Contact Dermatitis. 2010 Jun;62(6):338-42. doi: 10.1111/j.1600-0536.2010.01730.x.

The coumarin herniarin as a sensitizer in German chamomile [Chamomilla recutita (L.) Rauschert, Compositae].

Author information

  • 1Department of Dermatology and Allergy Centre, Odense University Hospital, University of Southern Denmark, DK-5000 Odense C, Denmark. evy.paulsen@ouh.regionsyddanmark.dk

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Although German chamomile (Chamomilla recutita) is considered a weak sensitizer, recent studies have shown several possible non-sesquiterpene lactone allergens in tea (infusions) from the plant.

OBJECTIVE:

The aim of this study was to report the results of patch testing with herniarin (7-methoxycoumarin), which is one of the possible coumarin allergens in chamomile.

PATIENTS/MATERIALS/METHODS:

Between 1991 and 2009, selected patients with known or suspected Compositae contact allergy were patch tested with herniarin 1% petrolatum.

RESULTS:

Among 36 patients tested, there was one positive and three doubtful positive reactions to herniarin. All 4 patients had a relevant contact allergy to German chamomile, whereas the majority of the remaining 32 patients had chamomile allergy of unknown relevance.

CONCLUSIONS:

The clinical results suggest that herniarin indeed is one of the non-sesquiterpene lactone sensitizers in German chamomile and that sensitization may occur through, for example, external use of chamomile tea or use of chamomile-containing topical herbal remedies.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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