Chamomile

Chamomile

While chamomile is a name often used to refer to a number of small, daisy-like members of the Asteraceae family, German chamomile and Roman chamomile are both commonly used in food , beauty, folk/herbal medicine, and have a history of use in folk magic. 

The name 'chamomile' comes from the ancient Greek χαμαίμηλον (khamaimēlon), meaning "earth apple", in reference to the fragrance of the plant. 

Origin: Europe, Northern Africa, and Asia

Family: Asteraceae
Sub-Family: Asteroideae
Tribe: Anthemideae
Scientific Name: Chamaemelum nobile (Roman chamomile) & Matricaria chamomilla (German chamomile)

Folk Names: Camomyle, chamaimelon, ground apple, roynetree

Magical Associations

Arguments are presented for multiple (arguably conflicting) sets of correspondences for chamomile. Some argue it should be given solar associations, due to the bright colour and scent of the flowers, while others argue that its healing qualities suggest it should be associated with water and the moon. I have listed my personal correspondences first (which is absolutely inconsistent), with the alternate in brackets for reference.

Element: Water (fire)
Direction: West (north)
Day: Sunday (Monday)
Planet: Sun (Venus)
Zodiac: Cancer, Leo
Associated Celebrations: Quickening/Imbolc, Spring Equinox, (Winter Solstice)
Deities: Apollo, Balder, Cernunnos, Hypnos, Woden

Magical Properties: Balance, communication, forgiveness, friendship, love, luck, meditation, peace, prosperity, protection, purification, spirituality, success, victory

Substitutions: Lavender

Lore

German Chamomile is one of the Nine Sacred Herbs of the Anglo-Saxons. It was also used as a strewing herb to combat pests and odour.

Magical Uses:

  • Place pressed flowers in wallet to attract money.
  • Wash thresholds with infusion to keep it unwanted energies/entities.
  • Wash hands in a chamomile infusion before a job interview or sales meeting to attract luck and success.
  • To keep away nightmares: chamomile tea can be drunk before bed, flowers used in a sleep sachet, or 3 drops of oil placed on a tissue in your pillowcase.

Botanical

While both German and Roman chamomile are used in magic & teas, German chamomile (Matricaria chamomilla) is most common, so the following information pertains to this kind. 

Type: Upright herb
Plant size: 15-60cm
Leaves: Long, narrow, branched leaves
Flowers: Small, white, daisy-like flowers

Etymology: Matricaria comes from the Latin matrix, which can mean ‘womb’, due to its use in treating gynaecologic complaints such as menstrual cramps.

In the Garden

Type: Annual
Sow: Spring
Light: Full sun to partial shade
Water: Low
Soil: Well-drained

Companion Planting: German chamomile particularly enjoys the company of lavender, rosemary, and hyssop.

Tips:

  • Harvest the leaves in spring and early summer.
  • Harvest flowers in summer when fully open.
  • Harvesting individual flowers can be incredibly labour-intensive, so it is generally easier to harvest the entire flowering tops. 

 

Need some? You can buy chamomile here!

Back to blog

Leave a comment

Please note, comments need to be approved before they are published.