Chamomile, ground apple, scented mayweed, whig plant, maythen. These are all the common names for this beautiful plant alluding to its fragrant scent that resembles apples. The German name for Chamomile is alles zutraut (capable of anything) because it is quite literally an herbal panacea. Chamomile has received the nickname the “plant’s physician” because of its ability to have positive effects on surrounding plants that are growing nearby. It is also a magnet for bees, butterflies, and other beneficial insects. This is a plant you want to get to know for both its physical and metaphysical properties.
Ancient Egyptians believed chamomile to be a sacred gift of the Sun God (Ra). They used the herb for fevers, heat strokes, and to “cure” malaria. Chamomile was also utilized during the mummifying process of the dead. Chamomile’s association with the sun probably has something to do with its sun-like flowerheads and the cheerfulness they bring.
Chamomile pairs well with lemon balm for sleep aid, peppermint for headaches, and rose or mimosa for sadness or grief.
Chamomile is known to relax the body and mind and promote a good night’s sleep. It is also safe enough to use for children. Several cultures have a ritual of bathing newborn babies for the first time in chamomile water. It is also used for teething stress and colic. For nerves and insomnia, drink warm at bedtime. It can be mixed with warm milk and honey.
Chamomile is known to aid in digestion and soothe gastric complaints and colitis including irritable bowel problems due to its antispasmodic, and anti-inflammatory actions. It can be used, especially in combination with similar herbs, to soothe problems associated with muscle cramps, spasms, or PMS. 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 your bathwater.
A chamomile tea bag makes a good compress. Eye inflammations can be treated by placing a cool compress soaked in chamomile tea over the eyes and chamomile mouthwash helps keep gums healthy and soothes mouth inflammations.
Chamomile is known as an herb of purification and protection and can be used in incenses for sleep and meditation. Plant it around your home to ward against psychic or magical attack. It is also said that if you wash your hands in chamomile tea you will have good luck at the gaming tables. In a number of folk magic traditions, particularly those of the American south, chamomile is known as a lucky flower—make a garland to wear around your hair to attract a lover, or carry some in your pocket for general good fortune.
Chamomile is especially useful if you're trying to get yourself calmed and centered. It can be used as an incense. Dry chamomile flowers, pulverize them with a mortar and pestle and use them to bring about relaxation and meditation. Blend it with lavender if you'd like to ensure a night of restful sleep with calming dreams.
In color floral magic, the dainty white flowers of chamomile are used in spells for purification, protection, peace, and new beginnings. According to flower folklore, chamomile has power for strength in difficult situations. It has been placed in many charm bags and dream pillows. For a healing “amulet” –add chamomile, a peeled garlic clove, eucalyptus, cinnamon, sage, and a pinch of saffron together; then place the herbs in a blue cloth or bag and sprinkle with sandalwood oil.
There is so much to say about this herb but we think that you should try it for yourself and see what feelings it evokes for you. With chamomile starting to sprout, we think it is the perfect time to get to know this amazing plant for yourself.
* 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.