Chamomile flowers are dainty, white, wild, daisy-like flowers with great benefits. These small fragrant flowers have great healing powers! The delicate blooms with white petals and a yellow heart are one of the oldest known medicinal herbs.
Well-known for their use in chamomile tea, these cheerful flowers belong to the family Asteraceae.
The Asteraceae family, also called Compositae, is one of the largest plant families. It consists of more than 32,000 known species of flowering plants. These flowering varieties are commonly called daisy, aster, daisy, sunflower, and composite. They are widely distributed all over the world except Antarctica.
Chamomile plants have existed for centuries on earth and are well-known for their herbal uses in traditional medicine. Native to eastern, western, and southern Europe, India, Africa, and western Asia, now chamomiles have been introduced to all the continents. These fragrant flowers are now abundantly found in the USA and are found to grow freely in fields, pastures, roadsides, and other well-drained, sunny, spots.
The Chamomile flower meaning is connected to its apple-like fragrance. The name is derived from the Greek words ‘χάμω’ – chamo which means ‘on the ground’ and “μήλο” – milo, which means apple. So the Chamomile flower meaning literally translates to ‘ground apple’. Not only that, butChamomile plants are also known by some other names like scented mayweed, mayhem, magarza, dogs chamomile, pinheads, and whig plant.
The most popular types of Chamomile plants that are grown in gardens for herbal purposes are Roman Chamomile and the German Chamomile or the Common Chamomile. Leaves and flowers of both the Chamomile varieties are edible and can be used for herbal tea and culinary use. However, Roman chamomile has a slightly bitter taste. The common Chamomile is a sweeter variety with a hint of apple flavor.
Chamomiles are hardy plants and can grow in semi-desert or desert conditions too. They flower well in full sun, but can also grow in partial shade. Spots with afternoon shade are the best and keep flowers from drooping. Chamomile plants grow well in sandy or partly clay mixed soil that’s rich in organic matter.
Extremely easy to grow, these lovely flowers are not only used for making tea but also in a range of products like soaps, lotions, perfumes, flavoring, healing medicines, etc. These fragrant flowers also make good cut flowers when picked fresh from the garden.
What do Chamomile flowers symbolize
Chamomile flower meaning and symbolism are linked to calmness, rest, peace, and poise due to the herbs’ calming and soothing properties. In different cultures, the white flowers are a symbol of renewal and rebirth. The wildflower’s ability to survive through hardships and bloom despite the wear and tear and trampling from the foot traffic connects it to energy and resilience. Since ancient times the Chamomile flower meaning has also been associated with wisdom, ingenuity, sleepiness, patience, wealth, and love despite difficulties.
The healing powers of Chamomile have been known since the Middle ages. These white flowers were hung in bunches from the door to ward off evil and as protection from the witches. Chamomile is believed to drive away negative energy.
Dried Chamomile flowers have an excellent anti-inflammatory effect and can alleviate symptoms of cough and cold.
In some cultures, Chamomile is also associated with masculine energy. It is seen as an element of water. According to some stories, gamblers sometimes washed hands with an infusion of chamomile to attract money. People bathed in chamomile water to attract love and burnt dry chamomile incense made from Chamomile flowers to get a good sleep. Such is the power of these humble wildflowers.
With so many positive notes tagged to the Chamomile flower meaning, it is said that placing potted Chamomile plants near the door or windows can prevent negativity from entering the house.
Some other significant Chamomile flower meaning and symbolism in different cultures include:
- Egypt: In ancient Egyptian culture, chamomile flowers were associated with the Sun god Ra and were used in treating diseases like malaria. They were also used in the mummification process.
Not only did the Egyptians use Chamomile for healing and worship but it is believed this flower was put to similar use by several other cultures. Chamomile flowers are also linked to Roman God Cernunnos and the Greek Sun God Helios. The connection may also have been drawn due to the flower’s sun-like appearance.
Rome: The sweet fragrance of the Chamomile flower inspired the Romans to use them as incense. The Roman Chamomile flower meaning does not have roots in ancient Roman culture. This variety derived its name from the fact that in the 19th century a plant collector discovered some of these Chamomiles growing on the ruins of the colosseum in Rome.
Anglo-Saxon: Chamomile was of great herbal importance to the Anglo-Saxons. It was one of the old English nine herbs charm or recorded medical compilation dating back to the tenth-century CE.
What do the various colors of the Chamomile flower mean
Chamomile flowers bloom only in white. Chamomiles have a yellow center surrounded by multiple white, elongated petals. There are scented and unscented varieties of the flower often referred to as true and false Chamomiles.
Like most white flowers, the Chamomile flower meaning is linked to purity, peace, enlightenment, poise, and calmness. Everything about Chamomile flowers is about positive emotions as they heal, cure, and soothe the body.
Chamomile flowers also symbolize a fresh start. They can be gifted to someone to help them move forward from a period of grief. The yellow heart symbolizes warmth and happiness. Yellow is the color of the sun and implies a new day.
Interesting facts and characteristics of the Chamomile flower
Mythology, folklore, and medical benefits, Chamomile is always mentioned as a magical herb with many benefits. Here are some interesting facts about Chamomile flowers.
- In Germany, this popular herb is called ‘alles zutraut’, which means ‘capable of anything’.
- Chamomile is used for various therapeutic purposes such as boosting digestion, improving sleep, reducing stress, and relieving gas and nausea. This herb also has anti-inflammatory and antiseptic properties.
- In several folk magic traditions such as in South America, chamomile symbolizes good luck. A chamomile garland is worn around the hair to attract a lover. Carrying some Chamomile flowers in the pocket is said to invite good fortune.
- Chamomile preparations are used topically to speed up the healing of burns, cuts, skin rashes, and blisters.
- Chamomile mouthwash also improves oral health.
- Chamomile also finds use in cooking and drinks. In Spain, Chamomile is used for flavoring a light and dry sherry wine called Mantazilla.
- Anglo Saxons used it for making beer until hops were used for the purpose.
Best time to gift someone Chamomile flowers
Chamomiles look quite similar to daisies. They have a strong apple-like scent which makes them popular as freshly cut flowers. Chamomile flowers may not be a popular flower to give in a bouquet but they are popular gifts given in the form of tea.
Dried Chamomile flowers can be gifted to someone when they are under stress or are having trouble sleeping.