If you know me and my view on plant-based wellness, you know I'm a huge fan of cultivating relationships with plants that grow in your neck of the woods. While exotic plants are exciting, the ones growing in your backyard (literally or figuratively) are attuned to the same seasonal energies as you are.
This is just one of the many reasons why I love Chamomile, one of the most popular herbal remedies. It's VERY easy to grow if you get any kind of sun and is happy in a pot or directly sown into the ground.
But my favorite thing about Chamomile is that it's the perfect example that gentle does not mean less effective. Chamomile treats conditions ranging from colic and indigestion to muscle spasms, tension, inflammation, and infection. It can help to ease nervousness and stress, and I love it on those days when I want to throw a tantrum but have to keep it together (which, let's be honest, is probably more often than normal these days).
ACTIONS + ENERGETICS
But why does it have these effects? What makes Chamomile the epitome of gentle strength? Let's check out its energetics...
The flavor of Chamomile tells us a lot. These little flowers taste somewhat bitter and sweet. The bitter flavor stimulates digestion, but also often indicates the plant is a relaxant. In addition, bitter most often signifies a cooling, drying herb which helps with patterns associated with too much heat and/or damp.
Sweet is typically a nourishing, nurturing, rebuilding kind of energy. It is gentle and mothering. It reminds us who we are and where our center is.
Temperature-wise, Chamomile is fairly neutral or slightly warming. What does that mean? Generally, the more neutral plants can be taken by most people, more consistently, and in higher amounts without causing unwanted side effects. Something that is either very warming or cooling can cause imbalances if too much is taken or for too long.
As a mild sedative and nervine, Chamomile relaxes physical and mental tension including anxiety, irritability, and insomnia. It acts as an anti-spasmodic on both smooth and skeletal muscle to ease muscle spasms, intestinal cramping, and even menstrual cramping. It's gentle enough for kids and has been used for hundreds of years for colic and teething babies. This points to the archetypal energies Chamomile likes to work with: the meltdown. On days when you feel like you're going to lose it, are overwhelmed, stressed out, and just want to cry and hide under the covers, Chamomile is your best friend.
Chamomile is what we call a carminative, meaning it harmonizes digestion, especially digestive issues with a heat component like ulcers, IBS, heartburn, and relieves bloating and gas.
And as for skin, Chamomile is anti-inflammatory and what we call vulnerary, meaning it heals wounds, irritation, and inflamed or damaged skin. It works beautifully as a slow infusion to soothe, tone, and repair all skin types and its essential oil is what gives our Selkie Cleansing Balm that gorgeous blue hue. Chamazulene is a special compound found in the volatile oils of Chamomile, Tansy, and Yarrow and, as the color indicates, is especially beneficial for cooling irritation, inflammation, and overheated tissues.
Find Chamomile in some of our favorite Wild Grace products: