History and Folklore of the Chamomile Plant
Chamomile has enjoyed a rich history as a spiritual and medicinal herb. Records of its use date back to the ancient Roman, Greeks and Egyptians who believed the flowers contained both magical and healing properties. To understand the history of this flower, one must begin with its use in ancient rituals and celebrations.
- Romans: The ancient Romans battled many plagues, respiratory and other infectious diseases without the aid of modern medicine. This naturally lead to using herbs as remedies for disease and to ease the symptoms of skin infections and respiratory diseases. Pliny, the noted physician of the time, is known to have used chamomile to ward off headaches and ease the liver and kidney inflammation. It is likely that chamomile was used for skin conditions and digestive disorders, too. Chamomile flowers were also scattered on the floors at banquets to perfume to the air or burned as incense during sacred rituals.
- Greeks: Like the Romans, the Greeks thought of chamomile as a medicinal herb with healing properties. The Greek physician and botanist Dioscorides used chamomile to heal intestinal, nervous and liver disorders and prescribed it for women’s ailments. It was also used to treat kidney stones. The ancient Greeks also made garlands from chamomile to fragrance the air.
- Egyptians: The ancient Egyptians so revered the chamomile plant that they associated it with their sun god Re (Ra). Egyptians also used chamomile on the skin and probably used it in cosmetics and hair care products as well. It was used in rituals and ceremonies.
- Anglo-Saxons: Chamomile was considered one of the nine scared herbs of the Anglo-Saxon and was used ritually to ward off diseases and to promote health.
Spiritual Properties of Chamomile
Chamomile has been used as part of pagan rituals and spells to enhance positive energy and to bring emotional and spiritual balance. Unlike some herbs that simply repel negative energy, the chamomile flower is thought to transform the negative energy into positive energy. It is still used today for similar reasons.
- Vital Energy: Chamomile is still associated with sun and is considered the sun’s herb. Drinking chamomile tea is thought to instill positive energy and to bring prophetic dreams. It is thought to restore your vital energy sources.
- Enchanting Chamomile: Chamomile is thought to be most effective if is it has been enchanted on a Sunday (the day of the sun), preferably when the sun is in Leo. Enchanting is the process of balancing the energy of the herb and preparing it for its intended purpose.
- Wealth: Burning chamomile each day is thought to bring wealth from your work.
- Luck: Washing your hands with chamomile tea before gambling is thought to bring luck and success in your gambling endeavors.
- Banishing Negative Spirits: Sprinkling chamomile over the thresholds of windows and doors it thought to keep negative energy or spirits away while filling the home with positive energy and light.
- The Plant Doctor: Chamomile is often referred to as the plant doctor because it is thought to have the amazing power to heal other sickly plants. Chamomile plants and flowers are thought to improve the growth and health of nearby plants.
Emotional and Physical Benefits of Chamomile
Chamomile has long been used as an herbal tea to promote relaxation and reduce stress. It can also be used in the bath or in aromatherapy to enhance the overall sense of well being. Medicinal properties suggest that it also boosts the immune system, softens skin and evens out skin tones, lightens and brightens blonde hair, and treats a host of physical ailments. It has been shown effective in treating wounds, skin abrasions, digestive problems, and to reduce menstrual cramps and regulate periods. Flowers steeped in hot water make a delightful tea, while those tossed in the bath help soak worries away. Compresses made from chamomile ease sore muscles and achy joints.