Chamaemilum nobile and Matricaria recutita
Other Names (German Chamomile) Wild Chamomile, Scented Mayweed, Hungarian Chamomile, (Roman Chamomile) Garden Chamomile, Ground Chamomile, Low Chamomile, Whig Plant, English Chamomile
Chamaemilum nobile– Roman Chamomile
A perennial. Reaches 4-12 inches high, makes a good ground cover. Feathery foliage, daisy like flowers with turned down petals, apple- like fragrance from both foliage and flowers.
Matricaria recutita– German Chamomile
An annual. Grows up to 20 inches tall. Feathery foliage with scented daisy like flowers.
Both can be used the same and work equally well. German Chamomile is usually used in the US, Roman Chamomile is usually used in Britain.
History and Folklore
The word Chamomile comes from the Greek meaning “ground apple”, probably because of its apple-like fragrance.
The Romans used Chamomile for incense. Roman Chamomile gained its name, not from ancient Rome, but because a 19th century plant collector found some growing on the ruins of the coliseum in Rome.
Chamomile was used in ancient Egypt for fevers and was dedicated to their Sun God Ra.
To the Anglo Saxons, it was one of the nine herbs charm.
Roman chamomile is usually propagated by division.
German chamomile is usually grown from seed. Sow directly into soil in the spring. It will reseed itself each year if you allow the heads to go to seed.
Chamomile prefers sandy, slightly acidic soil and direct sunlight, but likes a bit of shade if it gets too hot on a regular basis.
Harvesting & Storage:
Cut flower tops as they form and hang or spread on cloth to dry.
Chamomile is associated with the sun, Leo and the element of water. It helps cleanse and invigorate the throat chakra (5th). It is associated with various Sun Gods, including Ra, Cernunnos, Lugh and others.
It is used in spells for money, peace, love, tranquility and purification.
An infusion used to wash thresholds (doors and windows) will help keep unwanted energies or entities from passing through. Sprinkle powdered chamomile flowers around your self or home to remove spells cast against you and to prevent fires and lightening strikes. You may also use herbal water, if you prefer.
Use it in a ritual bath before performing spells for any of these purposes. Just a simple chamomile bath while visualizing will increase your attractiveness to the opposite sex. Also, use it in a bath as part of a spell to release a loved one, or to release feelings of pain, loss or anger.
Washing your hands in chamomile water before gambling will increase your luck.
Add to sachets for luck or money. Or place pressed chamomile flowers in your wallet to attract money to it.
Use in meditation incense.
Chamomile added to the bath is very relaxing. It is especially good for fretful babies.
Chamomile tea is an excellent rinse for brightening blonde hair.
The dried flowers are excellent in potpourri.
Infuse chamomile flowers in milk for a soothing skin cleanser that both fights acne and moisturizes. Use within one week.
Chamomile planted near sick or delicate plants will help them return to or maintain their health.
Water young plants with chamomile tea to prevent “damping off”.
German chamomile is most often used in healing in the US, but Roman chamomile works as well.
It relaxes the body and mind and promotes a good night’s sleep. It’s safe enough to use for children. Also for teething stress and colic. Scientific studies have shown that it acts like leading anti anxiety medications, check with your doctor if you plan to use it this way. For nerves and insomnia, drink warm at bedtime. Can mix with warm milk and honey.
It is also a gentle muscle relaxant, anti-spasmodic and anti-inflammatory. It can be used, especially in combination with similar herbs, to sooth problems associated with muscle cramps and spasms. Especially useful for menstrual cramps. Drink two or three cups of tea per day.
It aids in digestion and soothes gastric complaints and colitis including irritable bowel problems. It also safely relieves morning sickness and restlessness that comes with pregnancy. For stomach problems, including gastritis, colitis and morning sickness, drink a cup of tea an empty stomach first thing in the morning hot or cold.
When used topically, it speeds the healing of cuts, scrapes, blisters and burns. It is also helpful for rashes, eczema and other skin inflammation. Add it to a salve, rinse the affected area with chamomile tea, or add a few drops of essential oil to bathwater.
Do not use ointments for burns, use compresses or light lotions instead. Oils hold in body heat and don’t let the burns heal.
A chamomile tea bag makes a good compress. Chill or use warm.
Eye inflammations can be treated by placing a cool compress soaked in chamomile tea over the eyes.
Chamomile mouthwash helps keep gums healthy and soothes mouth inflammations.
Chamomile Tea- 2 teaspoons German Chamomile flowers to 1 mug of boiling water. Cover and steep five minutes.
Chamomile may cause allergic reactions in those allergic to ragweed.
Chamomile should not be used by people who are already using blood thinners because some constituents may have anticoagulant action.
Roman chamomile is most often used in cooking.
The fresh leaves are good mixed with butter or sour cream for potatoes.
In Spain it is used to flavor Mantazilla, a light sherry.
Chamomile flowers were used in Anglo Saxon Europe for making beer until they started using hops.