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Phytother Res. 2013 Jun;27(6):852-8. doi: 10.1002/ptr.4807. Epub 2012 Aug 16.

Chamomile and marigold tea: chemical characterization and evaluation of anticancer activity.

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Institute of Oncology and Radiology of Serbia, Belgrade, Serbia.


With the aim to evaluate the selectivity in the antitumor action, the cytotoxic activity of chamomile and marigold tea was tested against various malignant cell lines and against healthy immunocompetent peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC). Chemical profiles of chamomile and marigold infusions and decoctions were analyzed by liquid chromatography/mass spectrometry; their total phenolic content and radical scavenging activity were determined, too. Results from present research demonstrate that chamomile and marigold tea exert selective dose-dependent cytotoxic action against target cancer cells. It is noteworthy that cytotoxicity of tea prepared from Calendula officinalis is remarkably higher in comparison to that from Matricaria recutita tea. The cytotoxic effect of chamomile tea is very weak to healthy PBMC, while the effect of marigold tea on PBMC is more pronounced. Marigold tea exerts highly selective antitumor effect especially to melanoma Fem-x cells in comparison to the action to normal healthy PBMC. Chemical analyses show that dominant phenolic compounds in examined infusions and decoctions are flavonoid glycosides and hydroxycinnamic acid derivatives. There are no considerable differences in total phenolic content and antioxidant activity between examined infusions. Antitumor potential of chamomile and marigold tea should be further investigated.

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