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Matricaria recutita flowersMatricaria recutita
German Chamomile

Culpeper says the Egyptians considered this Eurasian native a Sun herb, probably because of the shape of the flowers. To others, however (and I concur), this is a Moon herb, because it is not warming in the typical sun fashion but instead brings a Moony relaxation and is especially good for insomnia. This magick herb is said to help with dreams, especially for divination through dreams, and to chase away nightmares, which makes it nice for stuffing dream pillows. In the Wheel of the Year, it is associated with Midsummer, and in the Middle Ages, it was an ingredient in love potions, both of which indicate some consideration of it as Venus. Also, nowadays some people put chamomile flowers in their wallet to attract money or wash their hands with a chamomile decoction before gambling. This is one of the nine sacred herbs of the Saxons. Use in the bath for gentle relaxation before a ritual, especially any ritual with Moon associations. Some sprinkle it around the house to ward of negative magick; in the Middle Ages, it was used as a strewing herb.

Mundane Uses

Matricaria recutitaAlthough its Latin name connects it with Mother, it is classically used to alleviate menstrual cramps and so has more of a connection to the Maiden. It is also traditionally used against heating pains like athritis. For me, chamomile tea is the most comforting of all the herb teas. I use it after a long, jangling day. It is also good for the digestion. Culpeper recommends a bath of chamomile decoction for easing pains, especially sprains. Chamomile and yarrow are traditional herbs for brightening blond hair. The Eclectic movement of botanical medicine, which dominated American medicine before the AMA took over and pretty much banned it, prized chamomile, especially for children. They used it to treat the pain of teething, stomach ache, and generally colicy children. they used it particular for people who were not just in pain but were very upset by being in pain, which can come out as restlessness, impatience, irritability, and unhappiness, as they put it, "sudden nervous explosions of irascibility." They also believed that it worked best when used in small amounts.

Chamomile is called the Plant's Physician, because planting it near sickly plants helped them get well. This is certainly true in its present-day uses with seedlings. Watering seedlings with cooled chamomile tea is great for preventing damping off and for getting rid of fungus gnats. The flowers also make a yellow or gold dye and are nice in pot pourri.

How to Grow German Chamomile

Sow the tiny seeds on the surface of wet potting medium and keep moist by misting or bottom watering. It germinates in 7-14 days at 55-60F/13-16C. Transplant to sunny area and space 8"/20cm apart. It gets 18-36"/45-91cm tall and grows in clumps. This annual plant will die back after producing seeds in the summer unless you harvest the flowers regularly--then it will keep making flowers. You can grow this plant in a container if you want.  General growing info  

Matricaria recutita
German Chamomile "Bodegold"
200 seeds $3.25

This variety of chamomile has larger flowers and more essential oil than the standard variety, but it is not a hybrid, so you can still save seeds from it and have them come true 

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Uses in Witchcraft & Magic:

Celebrating Midsummer
Love Magic
Money Charms
Moon/Sun Herb

2004, 2018 Harold A. Roth; No reproduction without permission