In the Garden
Roman Chamomile (Chamaemelum nobile syn. Anthemis nobilis)
*Also known as common chamomile, English chamomile, garden chamomile, and sweet chamomile
German Chamomile (Matricaria recutita syn. M. chamomilla)
*Also known as blue chamomile, Hungarian chamomile, mayweed, and wild chamomile
With branching stems, German chamomile stands erect and can reach two or three feet in height. Although it is an annual, it readily self-seeds, giving the impression of being a biennial or perennial. Roman chamomile is a perennial, spreading herb with stems that creep along the ground. It is usually less than nine inches high. Both chamomiles have small, daisy-like flowers with white petals and yellow centers that grow at the ends of the stems. German chamomile flowers are less fragrant than the apple-scented Roman. Both plants have feathery leaves; however, the leaves of Roman chamomile are a little coarser.
Used interchangeably, both types of chamomile have been popular in European herbal medicine since antiquity. Roman chamomile was used as a strewing herb because stepping on the flowers releases their sweet fragrance.
Well known for physical and emotional healing, chamomile brings clarity and success in communication. Brew a cup of tea with two teaspoons of crumbled dried flowers and one cup of boiling water. Let it steep for at least ten minutes, and then strain. Drink a cup before going to bed to enhance dream work, or drink a cup before divination sessions. The tea also aids in grounding energy for psychic work, especially Roman chamomile when channeling. Use the tea to purify and consecrate altars and ritual or magic tools. With two stems of German chamomile, make the letter X on your altar to counteract hexes. Use the flowers in spells to attract love, luck, money, and prosperity.
Chamomile is associated with the elements air and water. Its astrological influence comes from the sun. Chamomile is also associated with the gods Balder and Cernunnos.