Skip to main content Accessibility help

Anthelmintic activity of Tunisian chamomile (Matricaria recutita L.) against Haemonchus contortus

  • S. Hajaji (a1) (a2), D. Alimi (a1) (a2), M.A. Jabri (a2) (a3), S. Abuseir (a4), M. Gharbi (a1) and H. Akkari (a1)...


The chemical treatment of gastrointestinal parasitic diseases has been undermined by increasing resistance and high toxicity. There is an urgent need to search for alternative natural sources for the treatment of such parasites. In this respect, the present study aims to quantify phenolic compounds of chamomile (Matricaria recutita L.) and to study their in vitro anti-oxidant and anthelmintic activities in solvents with increasing polarity. In vitro determination of anti-oxidant capacity was carried out using 2,2-diphenyl-1-picrylhydrazyl (DPPH) and 2,2-azino-bis-(3-ethylbenzthiazoline-6-sulphonic acid) (ABTS) radical cation methods. In vitro anthelmintic activity was investigated on egg-hatching inhibition and loss of motility of adult worms of Haemonchus contortus from sheep. The results showed that methanolic and aqueous extracts contain more total polyphenols, total flavonoids and condensed tannins than chloroformic and hexanic extracts. ABTS and DPPH assays showed that methanolic extracts had the highest anti-oxidant potency (IC50 = 1.19 μg/ml and 1.18 μg/ml, respectively). In vitro anthelmintic activity showed that both methanolic (IC50 = 1.559 mg/ml) and aqueous (IC50 = 2.559 mg/ml) extracts had the greatest effect on egg hatching and motility of worms (100% after 8 h post exposure at 8 mg/ml). A significant and positive correlation between DPPH and ABTS tests was observed for all tested extracts. Therefore, total phenolic, total flavonoid and condensed tannin values were correlated with IC50 from both ABTS and DPPH, and with inhibition of egg hatching. To our knowledge, this report is the first of its kind to deal with in vitro anthelmintic activities of chamomile extracts.


Corresponding author

*Fax: +21671 537044 E-mail:


Hide All
Akhtar, M.S., Iqbal, Z., Khan, M.N. & Lateef, M. (2000) Anthelmintic activity of medicinal plants with particular reference to their use in animals in the Indo-Pakistan subcontinent. Small Ruminant Research 38, 99107.
Akkari, H., Jebali, J., Gharbi, M., Mhadbi, M., Awadi, S. & Darghouth, M.A. (2013) Epidemiological study of sympatric Haemonchus species and genetic characterization of Haemonchus contortus in domestic ruminants in Tunisia. Veterinary Parasitology 193, 31183125.
Akkari, H., Rtibi, K., B'chir, F., Rekik, M., Darghouth, M.A. & Gharbi, M. (2014) In vitro evidence that the pastoral Artemisia campestris species exerts an anthelmintic effect on Haemonchus contortus from sheep. Veterinary Research Communications 38, 249255.
Akkari, H., Hajaji, S., B'chir, F., Rekik, M. & Gharbi, M. (2016) Correlation of polyphenolic content with radical-scavenging capacity and anthelmintic effects of Rubus ulmifolius (Rosaceae) against Haemonchus contortus . Veterinary Parasitology 221, 4653.
Al Bahtiti, N.H. (2012) Chemical analysis and biological activity of Jordanian chamomile extracts. Advanced Journal of Science and Technology 4, 2225.
Alibabaei, Z., Rabiei, Z., Rahnama, S., Mokhtari, S. & Rafieian-kopaei, M. (2014) Matricaria chamomilla extract demonstrates antioxidant properties against elevated rat brain oxidative status induced by amnestic dose of scopolamine. Biomedicine and Aging Pathology 4, 355360.
Alonso-Díaz, M.A., Torres-Acosta, J.F.J., Sandoval-Castro, C.A. & Hoste, H. (2010) Tannins in tropical tree fodders fed to small ruminants: a friendly foe? Small Ruminant Research 89, 164173.
Amsterdam, J.D., Shults, J., Soeller, I., Mao, J.J., Rockwell, K. & Newberg, A.B. (2012) Chamomile (Matricaria recutita) may have antidepressant activity in anxious depressed humans: an exploratory study. Alternative Therapies in Health and Medicine 18, 4449.
Angulo-Cubillán, F.J., García-Coiradas, J.M.A. & Cuquerella, M.C. (2010) Biological characterization and pathogenicity of three Haemonchus contortus isolates in primary infections in lambs. Veterinary Parasitology 171, 99105.
Athanasiadou, S., Kyriazakis, I., Jackson, F. & Coop, R.L. (2001) Direct anthelmintic effects of condensed tannins towards different gastrointestinal nematodes of sheep: in vitro and in vivo studies. Veterinary Parasitology 99, 205219.
Bahorun, T., Gressier, B., Trotin, F., Brunet, C., Dine, T., Luyckx, M., Vasseur, J., Cazin, M., Cazin, J.C. & Pinkas, M. (1996) Oxygen species scavenging activity of phenolic extracts from hawthorn fresh plant organs and pharmaceutical preparations. Arzneimittel-Forschung 46, 10861089.
Besier, R.B., Kahn, L.P., Sargison, N.D. & Van Wyk, J.A. (2016a) The pathophysiology, ecology and epidemiology of Haemonchus contortus infection in small ruminants. Advances in Parasitology 93, 95143.
Besier, R.B., Kahn, L.P., Sargison, N.D. & Van Wyk, J.A. (2016b) Diagnosis, treatment and management of Haemonchus contortus in small ruminants. Advances in Parasitology 93, 181238.
Boubaker Elandolsi, R., Akkari, H., Bchir, F., Gharbi, M., Mhadbi, M., Awedi, S. & Darghouth, M.A. (2013) Thymus capitatus from Tunisian arid zone: chemical composition and in vitro anthelmintic effects on Haemonchus contortus . Veterinary Parasitology 197, 374378.
Bradley, P. (1993) The British herbal compendium: A handbook of scientific information on widely used plant drugs. London, British Herbal Medicine Association.
Carocho, M. & Ferreira, I.C.F.R. (2013) A review on antioxidants, prooxidants and related controversy: natural and synthetic compounds, screening and analysis methodologies and future perspectives. Food and Chemical Toxicology 51, 1525.
Cemek, M., Yilmaz, E. & Büyükokuroğlu, M.E. (2010) Protective effect of Matricaria chamomilla on ethanol-induced acute gastric mucosal injury in rats. Pharmaceutical Biology 48, 757763.
Chandrashekhar, V.M., Halagali, K.S., Nidavani, R.B., Shalavadi, M.H., Biradar, B.S., Biswas, D. & Muchchandi, I.S. (2011) Anti-allergic activity of German chamomile (Matricaria recutita L.) in mast cell mediated allergy model. Journal of Ethnopharmacology 137, 336340.
Chartier, C. & Hoste, H. (1994) Effect of anthelmintic treatments against digestive nematodes on milk production in dairy goats: comparison between high and low producing animals. Veterinary Research 25, 450457.
Coles, G.C., Bauer, C., Borgsteede, F.H.M., Greerts, S., Klei, T.R., Taylor, M.A. & Waller, P.J. (1992) World association for the advancement of veterinary parasitology (WAAVP) methods for the detection of anthelmintic resistance in nematodes of veterinary importance. Veterinary Parasitology 44, 3544.
Cutler, G.J., Nettleton, J.A., Ross, J.A., Harnack, L.J., Jacobs, D.R. Jr, Scrafford, C.G., Barraj, L.M., Mink, P.J. & Robien, K. (2008) Dietary flavonoid intake and risk of cancer in postmenopausal women: the Iowa women's health study. International Journal of Cancer 123, 664671.
Dupuy, J., Larrieu, G., Sutra, J.F., Lespine, A. & Alvinerie, M. (2003) Enhancement of moxidectin biovailability in lamb by a natural flavonoid: quercetin. Veterinary Parasitology 112, 337347.
Ferreira, J.F.S. (2011) Artemisia species in small ruminant production: their potential antioxidant and anthelmintic effects. Available at (accessed 15 April 2014).
Formisano, C., Delfine, S., Oliviero, F., Tenore, G.C., Rigano, D. & Senatore, F. (2015) Correlation among environmental factors, chemical composition and antioxidative properties of essential oil and extracts of chamomile (Matricaria chamomilla L.) collected in Molise (south-central Italy). Industrial Crops and Products 63, 256263.
Gardiner, P. (2007) Complementary, holistic, and integrative medicine: chamomile. Pediatrics in Review 28, 1624.
Githiori, J.B., Athanasiadou, S. & Thamsborg, S.M. (2006) Use of plants in novel approaches for control of gastrointestinal helminths in livestock with emphasis on small ruminants. Veterinary Parasitology 139, 308320.
Gorinstein, S., Haruenkit, R., Park, Y.S., Jung, S.T., Zachwieja, Z., Jastrzebski, Z., Katrich, E., Trakhtenberg, S. & Belloso, O. (2004) Bioactive compounds and antioxidant potential in fresh and dried Jaffa sweetie, a new kind of citrus fruit. Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture 84, 14591463.
Guimarães, R., Barros, L., Dueñas, M., Calhelha, R.C., Carvalho, A.M., Santos-Buelga, C., Queiroz, M.J. & Ferreira, I.C. (2013) Infusion and decoction of wild German chamomile: bioactivity and characterization of organic acids and phenolic compounds. Food Chemistry 136, 947954.
Gupta, V., Mittal, P., Bansal, P., Khokra, S.L. & Kaushik, D. (2010) Pharmacological potential of Matricaria recutita: a review. International Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences and Drug Research 2, 1218.
Hamad, İ., Erol-Dayi, Ö., Pekmez, M., Önay-Uçar, E. & Arda, N. (2010) Antioxidant and cytotoxic activities of Aphanes arvensis extracts. Plant Foods for Human Nutrition 65, 4449.
Hoberg, E.P., Kumsa, B., Pilitt, P.A. & Abrams, A. (2010) Synlophe structure in Pseudomarshallagia elongate (Nematoda: Trichostrongyloidea), abomasal parasites among Ethiopian ungulates, with consideration of other morphological attributes and differentiation within the Ostertagiinae. Journal of Parasitology 96, 401411.
Hoste, H., Jackson, F., Athanasiadou, S., Thamsborg, S.M. & Hoskin, S.O. (2006) The effects of tannin-rich plants on parasitic nematodes in ruminants. Trends in Parasitology 6, 253261.
Hoste, H., Martínez-Ortiz-De-Montellano, C., Manolaraki, F., Brunet, S., Ojeda-Robertos, N., Fourquaux, I., Torres-Acosta, J.F.J. & Sandoval-Castro, C.A. (2012) Direct and indirect effects of bioactive tannin-rich tropical and temperate legumes against nematode infections. Veterinary Parasitology 186, 1827.
Hounzangbe-Adote, M.S., Paolni, V., Fouraste, I., Moutairou, K. & Hoste, H. (2005) In vitro effects of four tropical plants on three life-cycle stages of the parasitic nematode, Haemonchus contortus . Research in Veterinary Science 2, 155160.
Kelebek, H., Selli, S., Canbas, A. & Cabaroglu, T. (2009) HPLC determination of organic acids, sugars, phenolic compositions and antioxidant capacity of orange juice and orange wine made from a Turkish cv., Kozan. Microchemical Journal 91, 187192.
Knox, M.R., Besier, R.B., Le Jambre, L.F., Kaplan, R.M., Torres-Acosta, J.F.J., Miller, J. & Sutherland, I. (2012) Novel approaches for the control of helminth parasites of livestock VI: summary of discussions and conclusions. Veterinary Parasitology 186, 143149.
Leathwick, D.M. (2012) Modelling the benefits of a new class of anthelmintic in combination. Veterinary Parasitology 186, 93100.
Makris, D.P. & Kefalas, P. (2004) Carob pods (Ceratonia siliqua L.) as a source of polyphenolic antioxidants. Food Technology and Biotechnology 42, 105108.
Mann, C. & Staba, E.J. (1986) The chemistry, pharmacology, and commercial formulations of chamomile. pp. 235280 in Craker, L.E. & Simon, J.E. (Eds) Herbs, spices, and medicinal plants: Recent advances in botany, horticulture and pharmacology. Phoenix Arizona, Oryx Press.
Martínez-Ortíz-de-Montellano, C., Arroyo-López, C., Fourquaux, I., Torres-Acosta, J.F.J., Sandoval-Castro, C.A. & Hoste, H. (2013) Scanning electron microscopy of Haemonchus contortus exposed to tannin-rich plants under in vivo and in vitro conditions. Experimental Parasitology 133, 281286.
McKay, D.L. & Blumberg, J.B. (2006) A review of the bioactive and potential health benefits of chamomile tea (Matricaria recutita L.). Phytotherapy Research 20, 519530.
Mekinić, I.G., Skroza, D., Ljubenkov, I., Krstulović, L., Možina, S.S. & Katalinić, V. (2014) Phenolic acids profile, antioxidant and antibacterial activity of chamomile, common yarrow and immortelle (Asteraceae). Natural Product Communications 9, 17451753.
Min, B.R., Barry, T.N., Attwood, G.T. & McNabb, W.C. (2003) The effect of condensed tannins on the nutrition and health of ruminants fed fresh temperate forages: a review. Animal Feed Science and Technology 106, 319.
Naczk, M. & Shahidi, F. (2006) Phenolics in cereals, fruits and vegetables: occurrence, extraction and analysis. Journal of Pharmaceutical and Biomedical Analysis 41, 15231542.
Nováková, L., Vildová, A., Mateus, J.P., Gonçalves, T. & Solich, P. (2010) Development and application of UHPLC-MS/MS method for the determination of phenolic compounds in chamomile flowers and chamomile tea extracts. Talanta 82, 12711280.
Papagiannopoulos, M., Wollseifen, H.R., Mellenthin, A., Haber, B. & Galensa, R. (2004) Identification and quantification of polyphenols in carob fruits (Ceratonia siliqua L.) and derived products by HPLC-UV-ESI/MSn. Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry 52, 37843791.
Peña-Espinoza, M., Thamsborg, S.M., Demeler, J. & Enemark, H.L. (2014) Field efficacy of four anthelmintics and confirmation of drug-resistant nematodes by controlled efficacy test and pyrosequencing on a sheep and goat farm in Denmark. Veterinary Parasitology 206, 208215.
Petronilho, S., Maraschin, M., Coimbra, M.A. & Rocha, S.M. (2012) In vitro and in vivo studies of natural products: a challenge for their valuation. The case study of chamomile (Matricaria recutita L.). Industrial Crops and Products 40, 112.
Pyo, Y.H., Lee, T.C., Logendra, L. & Rosen, R.T. (2004) Antioxidant activity and phenolic compounds of Swiss chard. Food Chemistry 85, 1926.
Roby, M.H.H., Sarhan, M.A., Selim, K.A.H. & Khalel, K.I. (2013) Antioxidant and antimicrobial activities of essential oil and extracts of fennel (Foeniculum vulgare L.) and chamomile (Matricaria chamomilla L.). Industrial Crops and Products 44, 437445.
Sebai, H., Jabri, M.A., Souli, A., Rtibi., K., Selmi, S., Tebourbi, O., El-Benna, J. & Sakly, M. (2014) Antidiarrheal and antioxidant activities of chamomile (Matricaria recutita L.) decoction extract in rats. Journal of Ethnopharmacology 152, 327332.
Sebai, H., Jabri, M.A., Souli, A., Hosni, K., Rtibi, K., Tebourbi, O., El-Benna, J. & Sakly, M. (2015) Chemical composition, antioxidant properties and hepatoprotective effects of chamomile (Matricaria recutita L.) decoction extract against alcohol-induced oxidative stress in rat. General Physiology and Biophysics 34, 263275.
Sharafzadeh, S. & Alizadeh, O. (2011) German and roman chamomile. Journal of Applied Pharmaceutical Science 1, 15.
Siddhuraju, P. (2006) The antioxidant activity and free radical-scavenging capacity of phenolics of raw and dry heated moth bean (Vigna aconitifolia) (Jacq.) Marechal seed extracts. Food Chemistry 99, 149157.
Sifaoui, I., Lopez-Arencibia, A., Martin-Navarro, C.M., Chammem, N., Reyes-Batlle, M., Mejri, M., Lorenzo-Morales, J., Abderabba, M. & Pinero, J.E. (2014) Activity of olive leaf extracts against the promastigote stage of Leishmania species and their correlation with the antioxidant activity. Experimental Parasitology 141, 106111.
Singleton, V.L., Orthofe, R. & Lamuela-Ravento, R.M. (1999) Analysis of total phenols and other oxidation substrates and antioxidants by means of Folin–Ciocalteu reagent. Methods in Enzymology 299, 152178.
Sun, B.S., Leandro, M.C., Ricardo-da-Silva, J.M. & Spranger, M.I. (1998) Separation of grape and wine proanthocyanidins according to their degree of polymerisation. Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry 46, 13901396.
Tolouee, M., Alinezhad, S., Saberi, R., Eslamifar, A., Zad, S.J., Jaimand, K., Taeb, J., Rezaee, M.B., Kawachi, M., Shams-Ghahfarokhi, M. & Razzaghi-Abyaneh, M. (2010) Effect of Matricaria chamomilla L. flower essential oil on the growth and ultrastructure of Aspergillus niger van Tieghem. International Journal of Food Microbiology 139, 127160.
Van den Brom, R., Moll, L., Kappert, C. & Vellema, P. (2015) Haemonchus contortus resistance to monepantel in sheep. Veterinary Parasitology 209, 278280.
Vinha, A.F., Soares, M.O., Castro, A., Santos, A., Oliveira, M.B.P.P. & Machado, M. (2012) Phytochemical characterization and radical scavenging activity of aqueous extracts of medicinal plants from Portugal. European Journal of Medicinal Plants 2, 335347.
Waghorn, G.C. & McNabb, W.C. (2003) Consequences of plant phenolic compounds for productivity and health of ruminants. Proceedings of the Nutrition Society 62, 383392.
Waller, P.J. (2006) From discovery to development: current industry perspectives for the development of novel methods of helminth control in livestock. Veterinary Parasitology 139, 114.
Wangchuk, P. (2008) Health impacts of traditional medicines and bio-prospecting: A world scenario accentuating Bhutan's perspective. Journal of Bhutan Studies 18, 116134.
Zhao, H., Wang, Z., Cheng, C., Yao, L., Wang, L., Lu, W., Yang, X. & Ma, F. (2011) In vitro free radical scavenging activities of anthocyanins from three berries. Journal of Medicinal Plants Research 5, 70367042.
Zielinski, A.A.F., Haminiuk, C.W.I., Alberti, A., Nogueira, A., Demiate, I.M. & Granato, D. (2014) A comparative study of the phenolic compounds and the in vitro antioxidant activity of different Brazilian teas using multivariate statistical techniques. Food Research International 60, 246254.


Altmetric attention score

Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between <date>. This data will be updated every 24 hours.

Usage data cannot currently be displayed