Merry Meet my friends! It’s hard to believe but our Summer has been amazingly mild here. As a matter of fact, it has been so cool at night that leaves are turning and even falling on some trees already! Birds and critters like squirrels and chipmunks have changed their patterns, my gardens are looking more like early fall then late summer, and we’ve had the house opened up for days instead of running the AC. All of which I love! Even my herbs have slowed down their growth, gone to seed etc. *Post…..I wrote this a few days ago…it is now HOT and Humid and 90’s all week! 🙂 Gotta love Ohio 🙂
Speaking of herbs, for the Sunday Stew this week, I wrote about the herb Chamomile. A really wonderful herb in so many ways. To read the Stew just click on the Cauldron on the right side of the page here. As per usual, part of my post is there and the entire post is here. At the end of this post here, you’ll find a link to again print out the info, if you wish, for your BOS or herb book.
I have hesitated a bit to write about Chamomile. I know several people who can’t drink the tea or even use external products with chamomile due to allergic reactions. So I’m going to start off by saying this: If you are allergic to ragweed, daisies, marigolds, or mums…you may not be able to ingest chamomile. You also may not be able to use it externally. So use great caution if you’ve never tried chamomile before ok? Allergic reactions can be a mild dermatitis or a full blown anaphylactic reaction. Now let me say this too, I have seasonal allergies due to ragweed and mold, but I have no trouble with chamomile. So again, be careful when and if you try it! Ok…warning done..so let me go on about all the wonderful things about chamomile for those of us who can enjoy this herb!
Matricaria recutita , Pinheads, Scented Mayweed, Sweet false chamomile, Whig Plant, Ground Apple, and Earth Apple
Growing and Cultivating
There are two types of chamomile…Roman and German. The German is used most often in the USA but if you buy chamomile essential oil it will most likely be Roman. Both varieties have the same effects medicinally and magically of course.
German Chamomile is an annual plant that will grow up to 2 1/2 feet high. The leaves are fern-like and the flowers look like small daisies..white flowers with yellow centers about an inch across. Roman Chamomile is a perennial plant that is wide spreading and only grows less than a foot tall. The leaves are slightly different and it has the same flowers. Roman Chamomile is often used as a ground cover. It can tolerate even being walked on!
These plants belong to the sunflower family Asteraceae . The flower heads are the primary plant parts used in herbal medicine. Commonly found all over Europe and Asia. It was introduced to North America and Australia. You can find chamomile in the wild…. near road sides, around landfills and in cultivated areas as a weed.
Chamomile requires Full Sun, and doesn’t tolerate really dry or HOT conditions. It can be planted from seed, cuttings and, of course, seedlings or small plants. Chamomile is self-seeding so even if you plant the annual version, it may come back. You can harvest the flower heads (the parts used for medicinal purposes) about 6-8 weeks after planting. Harvest them in the morning and when the flowers look fresh and healthy. The flower heads can be used fresh or dried for teas and other herbal preparations. You can dry the flower heads in a basket or on a screen best.
Medicinal Uses of Chamomile
Chamomile has a wonderful taste of apples that most people find appealing. The scent of chamomile is sweet and apple-y is well. Chamomile has many properties. It is used for:
– Anxiety and stress
-For calm and sleep aid
-To help heal burns
-Safe for children who have stomach aches or are teething or for trouble sleeping
-For any stomach ailments such as sick stomach, ulcers, cramps or diarrhea/constipation
-Soothes skin ailments such as eczema, reddened skin, rashes and sunburn
-As a hair rinse for light colored hair
A cup of chamomile tea before bed is a must for many people I know..it just calms and comforts and helps you feel drowsy. But you can use it for so many things as you can see above. Put a cup of brewed tea in your bath to calm and soothe your skin and to let the scent calm your anxiety or stress. A bath in it will also help with hemorrhoids. Make a hair rinse using flowers brewed in water or apple cider vinegar. Make a poultice for cuts, rashes or sunburned skin. Make a cool compress to ease eye puffiness. Make a good healing balm or oil for muscle aches, swollen joints or a burn. Rinse your mouth with warm chamomile water or tea for sore gums. You can apply a drop of chamomile oil straight on an abscess in your mouth. A cup of chamomile tea with ginger added will aid nausea too. Just some of the ways you can use it!
Children can use chamomile too in small amounts as a tea. You can also buy chewable chamomile tabs to help them to fall asleep or ease teething and sore mouth. Works to soothe a child who is anxious or stressed as well. My grandkids have used it with success.
Chamomile essential oil blends well with cedarwood, clary sage, frankincense, geranium, lavender, rose, marjoram, neroli, orange, rosewood and ylang ylang essential oils. It works wonderfully in a simmering potpourri and in bath salts. If you are sensitive to chamomile..you may still be able to use the essential oil if it’s diluted well with a base oil etc. But again, try it on a small area before bathing in it or slathering it on your skin.
PLANET: Sun or Venus
Chamomile can be used in Magic for
-Power or Energy
-Peace and Calm
-Plant chamomile in your garden for protection
-Place chamomile in a mojo bag before doing something stressful such as taking a test or a doctor appt
-Take a chamomile bath to soothe and calm or to bring love and romance to your night
-Simmer chamomile on your stovetop with lavender to bring Peace to your home
-Drink chamomile tea or place some on your altar before practicing any divination
-Use it as an incense to smudge your house for purification and protection
-Use in a sleep pillow to aid sleep
-Place a few flowers in cool water to wash your face when you’re upset or stressed
-It is said that you can wash your hands in it before playing a game of cards or gambling to bring money to you
-Use with spells to draw money, to divine, to rid of negativity or to protect
– Sprinkle the dried flowers around your property to protect from spells or curses.
– Anoint your healing candles with chamomile essential oil
I’m sure that you can come up with many ways to use chamomile in your daily Craft. Also, though I say that this is some of the magical uses for Chamomile….and for that matter with any herb I’ve talked about. The herbs may mean something completely different to you. That’s fine….use it for that purpose!!
“If you are cold, tea will warm you;
if you are too heated, it will cool you;
If you are depressed, it will cheer you;
If you are excited, it will calm you.”
― William Ewart Gladstone
Chamomile is a very important herb in any Witch’s arsenal of supplies. Put it on your list of must have or at least must try!
You can print out this information for your BOS or herb book here: Chamomile2
Blessings and Love, Autumn