Chamomile

Chamomile is a popular ingredient in a number of magical rituals and spell workings. The two most commonly seen types of chamomile, or camomile, are the Roman and German varieties. While their characteristics vary slightly, they are similar in uses and magical properties. Let's look at some of the history and folklore behind the magical use of chamomile.

Chamomile

Chamomile
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Chamomile's use has been documented as far back as the ancient Egyptians, but it was during the heyday of the English country garden that it really became popular. Country gardeners and wildcrafters alike knew the value of chamomile.

In Egypt, chamomile was associated with the gods of the sun and used in in treatment of diseases like malaria, as well as in the mummification process. It is believed that a number of other cultures used chamomile similarly, including the ancient Romans, the Vikings, and the Greeks. Interestingly, the healing properties of chamomile don't apply only to people. If a plant was withering and failing to thrive, planting chamomile nearby could improve the health of the ailing plant.

Maud Grieve says of chamomile in A Modern Herbal,

"When walked on, its strong, fragrant scent will often reveal its presence before it is seen. For this reason it was employed as one of the aromatic strewing herbs in the Middle Ages, and used often to be purposely planted in green walks in gardens. Indeed walking over the plant seems specially beneficial to it.

Like a camomile bed
The more it is trodden
The more it will spread

The aromatic fragrance gives no hint of its bitterness of taste."

From a medicinal perspective, chamomile has been used for a variety of applications, including diarrhea, headache, indigestion, and colic in babies. In Back to Eden, Jethro Kloss recommends everyone "gather a bagful of camomile blossoms, as they are good for many ailments."

This all-purpose herb has been used to treat everything from loss of appetite to irregular periods to bronchitis and worms. In some countries, it is mixed into a poultice and applied to open wounds in order to prevent gangrene.

 

​Magical Correspondences

Close up of pile of tea leaves
Dried Chamomile is great in teas and infusions. BRETT STEVENS / Getty Images

Other names for chamomile are ground apple, scented mayweed, whig plant, and maythen. There's also Roman, or English, chamomile, as well as German. They're from two different plant families, but are essentially used in the same manner, both medically and medicinally.

Chamomile is associated with masculine energy and the element of water. 

When it comes to deities, chamomile is linked Cernunnos, Ra, Helios, and other sun gods—after all, the heads of the flowers look like little golden suns! 

Using Chamomile in Magic

Chamomile is known as an herb of purification and protection, and can be used in incenses for sleep and meditation. Plant it around your home to ward against psychic or magical attack. If you're a gambler, wash your hands in chamomile tea to ensure good luck at the gaming tables. In a number of folk magic traditions, particularly those of the American south, chamomile is known as a lucky flower—make a garland to wear around your hair to attract a lover, or carry some in your pocket for general good fortune.

Author Scott Cunningham says in his Encyclopedia of Magical Herbs,

"Chamomile is used to attract money and a hand wash of the infusion is sometimes used by gamblers to ensure winnings. It is used in sleep and meditation incenses, and the infusion is also added to the bath to attract love."

If you're getting ready to do a banishing ritual, some practitioners recommend you steep chamomile flowers in hot water, and then use it to sprinkle around as a metaphysical barrier. You can also wash up with it, after the water has cooled, and this is believed to keep negative energies away from you.

Also, plant chamomile near doors and windows, to prevent negativity from entering your home, or blend it into a sachet to carry with you when you think you might be in physical or magical danger. 

Dry chamomile flowers, pulverize them with a mortar and pestle, and use them in an incense blend to bring about relaxation and meditation. Chamomile is especially useful if you're trying to get yourself calmed and centered—blend it with lavender if you'd like to ensure a night of restful sleep with calming dreams. 

You can also use chamomile in candle magic. Pulverize the dried flowers, and use them to anoint a green candle for money magic or a black one for banishing.

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Wigington, Patti. "Chamomile." ThoughtCo, Nov. 29, 2017, thoughtco.com/chamomile-2562019. Wigington, Patti. (2017, November 29). Chamomile. Retrieved from https://www.thoughtco.com/chamomile-2562019 Wigington, Patti. "Chamomile." ThoughtCo. https://www.thoughtco.com/chamomile-2562019 (accessed January 17, 2018).