Other names: German chamomile, Hungarian chamomile, mayweed, sweet false chamomile, true chamomile
Chamomile was used in ancient Egypt and was given as an offering to their gods. Chamomile has been utilized extensively in Europe as somewhat of a panacea which supported digestive health. Common preparations were teas, baths and sitzbaths, gargles, inhalations, and compresses.
Germans refer to this herb as alles zutraut meaning 'capable of anything.' Matricaria chamomilla and Chamaemelum nobile are similar and have been traditionally used interchangeably to some degree, although differences in taste and action have been noted. In the Mexican folkloric tradition, manzanilla was used to support healthy respiratory function and for soothing the stomach and easing digestion.
Native Americans have used this and related species since their introduction to the Americas, often utilizing the entire plant. The Aleut drank teas to alleviate gas, and also considered the plant a cure-all. Drinking the tea was a Cherokee trick for "regularity." The Kutenai and Cheyenne got creative, the former making jewelry and the later, perfume, out of the pulverized dry flowers.
Chamomile has magical implications for attracting money and, accordingly, as a hand rinse for gamblers needing good luck. Cosmetically, chamomile has also been used as a rinse for accentuating highlights and lightening blonde hair. Topically, this herb has an emollient effect and is softening and soothing to the skin.