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The Goddess… Chamomile


AKA: Matricaria chamomilla of the Daisy family; L. Family, Asteraceae. Also commonly known as German chamomile or wild chamomile, Baboonig, Babuna, Babuna camornile, Babunj, German chamomile, Hungarian chamomile, Roman chamomile, English chamomile, Camomilla, Flos chamomile, Single chamomile, sweet false chamomile, pinheads, and scented mayweed.


Propagation/Description: It is an annual native to southern and eastern Europe and western Asia that has been widely introduced in temperate areas elsewhere where it thrives in disturbed areas, meadows and fields. The plants begin blooming in early to midsummer, producing a prolific number of solitary terminal flowers until the seeds begin to ripen in late summer or until frost if deadheaded. Plants readily self-seed (unless all flower heads are removed). The terminal flowers have a domed central cone and 10-25 white ray flowers with bright golden yellow tubular florets on the cone. Harvest the flowers when they are near full bloom for best quality, snipping just the inflorescence from the stem. Flowers may be used fresh or dried. It will grow well in poor soils, so does not need much fertilizer, and has few pest problems other than aphids. It is not preferred by deer. Since the plants are shallow rooted irrigate as needed to keep upper levels of the soil moist but not wet.


Folklore/History: The name Chamomile comes from two Greek words: khamai, meaning on the ground, and melon, which means apple The plant’s apple-like smell was noted by Pliny the Elder. It is often referred to as the “star among medicinal species.” It was introduced to India during the Mughal period, now it is grown in Punjab, Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra, and Jammu and Kashmir. The plants can be found in North Africa, Asia, North and South America, Australia, and New Zealand. In India, the plant had been cultivated in Lucknow for about 200 years, and the plant was introduced in Punjab about 300 years ago during the Mughal period. It was introduced in Jammu in 1957 by Handa et al.The plant was first introduced in alkaline soils of Lucknow in 1964–1965 by Chandra et al. Chamomile has been used in herbal remedies for thousands of years, known in ancient Egypt, Greece, and Rome.[6] This herb has been believed by Anglo-Saxons as 1 of 9 sacred herbs given to humans by the lord. Antonelli had quoted from writings of several doctors of ancient times of the 16th and 17th century that chamomile was used in those times in intermittent fevers. Gould et al. have evaluated the hemodynamic effects of chamomile tea in patients with cardiac disease. It was found in general that the patients fell into deep sleep after taking the beverage.

Medicinal: It has historically been used for flatulence, colic, hysteria, and intermittent fever. It is used mainly as an anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, antispasmodic and mildly sudorific, for disturbance of the stomach associated with pain, for sluggish digestion, for diarrhea and nausea. This makes it a great assistive aid with conditions such as Crohn’s disease and IBS. Externally, the drug in powder form may be applied to wounds slow to heal, for skin eruptions such as eczema, and infections, such as shingles and boils, also for hemorrhoids and for inflammation of the mouth, throat, and the eyes such as conjunctivitis. It is also great for insomnia and the antispasmodic actions help with muscle aches. It has also been known to help with colic, asthma, bronchitis, whooping cough, and other respiratory congestion.


Spiritual: Chamomile is an herb of the sun, and it is believed that if you place a chamomile flower under your pillow it will bring good dreams and help you sleep. It also represents Patience through adversity, Protection: used in rituals and spells to protect against harm and bring good luck. Love spell: also believed to have love properties used in love spells and rituals to attract love and affection. It is healing and is believed to have the ability to break curses, bringing peace and harmony. It brings positivity and prosperity to all who weld its strength.

Summary: Chamomile has been a strong and persistent presence on our earth for many millennia. Its gentle nature belies its strength and power among its peers both medicinally and spiritually. We see these delicate flowers among our weeds in ditches and open overgrown fields or pastures. No one seems to notice them except that they resemble the daisy but this powerhouse has the capability to help treat some of the biggest health issues we face in our society today. While small and unassuming, it packs a healthy punch that will bring any illness, body or spirit, to its knees. Chamomile is a plant that is a must have in every household. Our mother earth knew what she was doing when bringing this plant into our lives. While primarily known to help with stress when consumed as a tea, I think with this beginner look at this dainty flower, we can all agree that she is a goddess and conqueror!


Bibliography:

The Lost Book of Herbal remedies, The Healing Power of Plant Medicine by Dr. Nicole Apelian, Ph.D & Claude Davis

Encyclopedia of Herbal Medicine, 550 Herbs and Remedies for Common Ailments by Andrew Chevallier, FNIMH

Herbal Handbook, 51 profiles in Words and Art from the Rare Book and Folio Collections of The New York Botanical Garden

Medicinal Herbs, A Beginner’s Guide by Rosemary Gladstar

Backyard Pharmacy, Plants as Medicine by Elizabeth Millard

The Secret Language of Herbs by Alice Peck

The Magic of Flowers, A guide to Their Metaphysical Uses and Properties by Tess Whitehurst

Plant Witchery, Discover the Sacred Language, Wisdom and Magic of 200 Plants by Juliet Diaz


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