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Herbalism For Your Day: Chamomile

By Cat Gina Cole

Today from my herbal journal I found one of my favorite herbs, chamomile. I love how the plant looks when it is growing: wild and bushy, pushing all its white and yellow flowers up at you. Its smell is delightful and the entire plant is just cheerful.

While there are several varieties, German chamomile is the most widely used chamomile. The wild variety that grows in America is known as pineapple weed or American chamomile which is not a potent as the German variety. So if you go wildcrafting and collect the American version, you may need to use more herb for effectiveness. The herb smells of apples and while the German species it is a native to the British Isles, its name originated from the Greek language and means “earth apple.” The Egyptians dedicated the herb to their sun gods as the center reminded them of the sun and the petals the sun’s rays. The medicinal part are the flowers and as a tea, it is very relaxing and soothing.

ACTIVE INGREDIENTS: bisabol, apigenin, luteolin, chamazulene, and azulene, (turns oil blue)

CONTAINS: calcium, magnesium, potassium, iron, manganese, zinc, vitamin A

ACTIONS: sedative, calmative, antispasmodic, depressant at very high doses (would be good for hysteria or mania), anti-inflammatory, nervine and diuretic, demulcent.

USES: gastrointestinal inflammation, heartburn, constipation, ulcers, menstrual cramps, colitis, colic, appetite stimulant, asthma (steam inhalant), bladder, bronchitis, constipation, colds, drug withdrawal, earache, kidneys, measles, throat gargle and mouthwash to prevent gingivitis. Used in baths, and face tonics to firm the tissues. A decoction of the plant is used as a antispasmodic and to aid in sleep. It promotes the hormone thyrorine which rejuvenates hair and skin and promotes mental alertness and is good for the spleen.

Another variety, Roman chamomile, was cultivated for medicinal use in Saxony. Its oil was used externally for hard swellings and pains in the joints.

A simple way to make chamomile oil is to take 1 oz of fresh dried flowers, beat them up with pure olive oil, steep for 24 hrs or more and strain. Keep in a cool dry place out of the sun.

This oil can be used to massage or sweat out soreness then cover up warmly to promote sweating. The pineapple weed variety of chamomile was used by the American Indians in much the same way the Romans did. The indigenous Native Americans also used chamomile in their Sun Dance ceremony and in sweat lodges for its fragrance.

Chamomile can be used as a poultice to calm irritated skin. One recommendation is to steep 1 tsp of flowers in boiling water for 30 min. Can be consumed hot or cold. As a tincturem, ½ to 1 fl dr ( 16 drams = 1 fl oz), can be used as a tea infusion to treat children’s nightmares. A bath bag is used in baths to help treat sunburns, wind burn, or varicose veins as it helps repair capillaries or a compress could be used.

This plant is also known as a physician plant, meaning if it is planted next to an ailing plant, it helps revive it. It works well in compost to help decomposition. Chamomile is used in a tonic for the skin but works on acne when an infusion is applied with a cotton ball,. It tones, tightens, and lightens the skin. Steamed vapors can relieve stuffiness and cold congestion.

To make a milk bath for skin treatments, add 3 tbsp. powdered milk (not skim as it does not have the same healing properties) to a fine gauze bag with 2 oz of chamomile or infuse fresh flowers in 1 cup of milk for 2hrs. Strain and add to bath.

MAGIC: Gender – masculine, Planet – Sun, Element –  aawater

Magically used for calming,  sleep,s or meditation and also in incenses and brews to attract money. A hand wash is used by gamblers to ensure winnings or to combat curses and spells. Add to a bath to attract love. Use to purify or protect.

Cat Gina Cole is a Hereditary Witch and author of Psychic Skills for Magic and Witchcraft (Llewellyn, 2022). She is the founder of The Coven of the Rising Phoenix and Staff Coordinator for “Green Egg Magazine.” You can reach her at

1 thought on “Herbalism For Your Day: Chamomile

  1. This is a great article! I am certain it will be super popular!

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