Chamomile is one of the most popular herbal remedies available today. It’s been used for centuries for its calming effects, but it was only recently that researchers discovered that chamomile could have medicinal properties. Chances are if you’ve ever had a headache or other aches and pains, then chances are you’ve tried some kind of tea made from chamomile flowers. Chamomile is a member of the mint family, which includes such well known herbs as oregano, thyme and marjoram.
The name “chamomile” comes from the Greek word kalamos meaning “sweet.” The flower buds contain small white flowers with pink petals.
They’re not really flowers at all; they’re actually tiny pods that open up when exposed to air. These pods contain the seeds inside.
In addition to being used for its soothing effects, chamomile has been shown to reduce inflammation and relieve pain. Chamomile is also thought to aid digestion and boost immunity.
Studies show that chamomile may even help prevent cancer cells from spreading through your body!
How to Use the Edible Parts of the Plant
While the flowers are the only part of the chamomile plant that are edible, the entire plant can be used in herbal remedies. The flowers can be dried and steeped in boiling water to create a mildly sweet tea that is very soothing and helps with digestion.
The plant does have a bit of a bitter taste that some people find off-putting. If you find yourself in this camp, try mixing it with other herbs like spearmint or peppermint.
The leaves of the plant can also be harvested and eaten. Many gardeners do this with lamb’s ear (a plant in the same family as chamomile) and use the leaves in salads or as a garnish.
The leaves can also be dried and stored for later use. They can even be made into a tea and consumed.
The roots of chamomile can be brewed to create a very bitter tea. This tea was traditionally used as a medicine to help soothe an upset stomach or heartburn.
While chamomile is edible, it should not be consumed in large quantities. It contains a chemical known as chamazulene that can cause diarrhea and vomiting if too much is consumed.
Uses in Witchcraft
Witches have long been fans of chamomile. They use both the flowers and leaves in the brewing of potions, especially those intended to help with sleep.
While many people brew chamomile as a tea, witches often use it to create an oil by macerating fresh flowers in oil. This oil is then applied to the skin to aid in soothing itchy rashes or boils.
Chamomile is added to love potions and incenses.
In Hoodoo, chamomile is used in money and luck oils.
The Druids also used chamomile in their magical practices. In fact, chamomile was often referred to as “linen of the Druids.” They used it in incenses and tea mixes intended to bring clarity to the mind and help with sleep.
Magical Correspondences for Chamomile
Chamomile is a plant that is strongly associated with female energies. It is traditionally used to make teas and incenses intended to help women in their magick.
The scent of chamomile flowers is thought to help bring peace throughout the home and to the people within it.
Because chamomile has a very strong scent, it is often used in love magick or in incenses and bath recipes intended to increase attractiveness.
Dried chamomile flowers can be added to sachets or bath recipes to help attract love or to bring peace and tranquility.
Because the plant tends to grow without too much help, it is associated with natural magick. It is thought to encourage success in all types of spells when used accordingly.
Protection spells can also be enhanced with the use of chamomile.
Chamomile is also used in money spells.
In Hoodoo, chamomile is used in gambling mojo bags and in incenses intended to bring luck.
How to Grow Chamomile
The best way to grow chamomile is from planting the seeds of the flowers you harvest. You can start these seeds indoors six to eight weeks before your last frost.
Plant them about a quarter of an inch deep and keep them watered and light. You’ll know they are ready to transplant when their first set of leaves appear.
You can also plant chamomile seeds directly into your garden. To do this, you should wait until your soil temperature is at least 60 degrees at its lowest.
You can test this by sticking your finger into the ground. If it feels chilly, wait a few days and try again.
Plant the seeds about a quarter of an inch deep and give them room to grow. They will need about 12 inches of space.
Keep the soil moist and well-watered. You can also add a layer of mulch to keep the weeds from overtaking them. It takes about two months for the plants to mature enough to harvest.
When they are ready, harvest the flowers just as the buds begin to bloom. Harvesting them early allows the plants time to grow more flowers for later harvests.
The flowers can be dried and saved for later use.
Chamomile can grow in a variety of soil types, but it prefers fertile soils. It will grow in full sun or partial shade.
Once your plants have grown, they will begin to bloom. You should harvest the flowers when they are just beginning to open.
You can dry the flowers and use them later for incenses, oils, teas, baths, etc.
Sources & references used in this article:
Comparative antioxidant activity of some edible plants by ZA El-Agbar, AK Shakya, NA Khalaf… – Turkish Journal of …, 2008 – journals.tubitak.gov.tr
Phytochemical content, health benefits, and toxicology of common edible flowers: a review (2000–2015) by B Lu, M Li, R Yin – Critical Reviews in Food Science and Nutrition, 2016 – Taylor & Francis
Edible and medicinal plants of the West by GL Tilford – 1997 – books.google.com
Removing cadmium and nickel contents in basil cultivated in pharmaceutical effluent by chamomile (Matricaria chamomilla L.) tea residue by A Pourzare, P Ziarati, Z Mousavi, AR Faraji – J Sci Discov, 2017 – pdfs.semanticscholar.org