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Chamomile Flower Meaning in the language of flowers

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Join me on a deep dive into chamomile flower meaning and symbolism, where we will uncover its History, Origins, and Uses. Let’s explore the soothing Matricaria bouquet of relaxation amidst life’s adversities.

I first encountered chamomile, even learning its Latin name, when I was a young child. We also had a cartoon story about a mole with a mouse friend. However, one day, the mouse fell ill, and the mole embarked on a long and adventurous quest to find a miraculous medicine to cure her. He sought advice from a wise owl who told him about an herb that could cure everything, known as Matricaria chamomilla. The mole was unfamiliar with this herb, so he entered the world to find it. Eventually, he discovered it grew in their meadow, which was our familiar chamomile. I wish we had more fairy tales like this for kids to memorize easily the herb’s name and appearance, where it grows, and its uses. 

Chamomile (Matricaria chamomilla and Chamaemelum nobile) 

While I have been busy making chamomile tea hair rinse, chamomile oil or face wash I realized that now is the right time to explore the language of flowers and go deeper into symbols and meaning associated with chamomile. What Matricaria represents in various cultures, and discover the hidden messages it conveys.

Chamomile (Matricaria chamomilla and Chamaemelum nobile)

Chamomile or camomile is the common name for several daisy plants from the Asteraceae family, like zinnias or dandelions.

This hardy plant with restorative powers features delicate fern-like leaves and hairy, highly branched stems, creating a charming appearance reminiscent of plants resembling daisies. The entire plant is crowned with small daisy flowers with a central bright yellow disc filled with tiny pollen grains. Unlike most herbaceous plants, chamomile grows as a compact bush, usually reaching 8 to 12 inches in height. It is a seasonal flower, blooming from June to July.

History of Chamomile

The name “chamomile” comes from two Greek words: “Khamai,” meaning “on the ground,” and “melon,” meaning “apple,” due to its apple-like scent. Pliny the Elder noted that Chamomile’s fragrance is akin to apple blossoms, leading the ancient Greeks to call it “Chamomaela,” meaning ‘ground apple’.

There are two types of chamomile plants: Roman chamomile (Chamaemelum nobile or Anthemis nobilis) and German chamomile (Matricaria chamomile, Matricaria recutita L. or Chamomilla recutita). These differ in composition and appearance but share chamazulene as the primary active ingredient, with German chamomile having a higher concentration.

flash card - chamomile

History of Chamomile

The chamomile plant has been known since ancient times and was highly valued by the Egyptians, Romans, and ancient Greeks for its medicinal properties.

One of the oldest medicinal herbs, chamomiles, were primarily used to heal wounds and alleviate skin conditions like rashes and eczema. 

In terms of their historical significance, it is believed in ancient Egypt, they incorporated chamomile into the mummification process to ward off insects. Meanwhile, the Romans held chamomile in such high regard that they dedicated it to their gods, used it for bathing and walking, and harnessed its medicinal properties. On the other hand, Vikings added chamomile to their hair shampoos to help lighten blonde hair.

making chamomile hair rinse

Use of Chamomile

Chamomile, a remarkably versatile, aromatic, and cheerful herb, has a rich history of uses. 

Not only has it been used to make and brew flavoring beers like hops in modern brewing practices, but it has also been cherished for its medicinal qualities. 

German and Roman chamomile leaves and flower heads possess disinfectant, analgesic, and antiinflammatory properties. They heal infections like neuralgia, toothache, sore nipples, earache, diaper rash, and urinary infections.

In Europe, chamomile was considered a panacea, aiding digestive health benefits, and used crushed in herbal teas, baths, gargles, inhalations, and compresses. This herb, known as “alles zutraut” in German, meaning ‘capable of anything,’ was used across cultures to treat skin conditions in various herbal products.

chamomile tea

A mild herbal infusion was traditionally used to calm energetic and restless children and ease teething and colic pain in babies.

Millennia later, chamomile’s beneficial effects have expanded. Some Studies suggest its potential as a natural sedative to improve sleep, possibly due to compounds like apigenin, a phytochemical in chamomile. Homemade chamomile tea, known for its mild sedative apple-like scent and effects, has relieved nerves, anxiety, and insomnia. 

Chamomile Flower Meaning – energy in diversity

In the language of flowers, chamomile has a symbolic meaning of “energy in adversity.” 

There is a belief that when chamomile grows alongside a struggling plant, the weaker plant may benefit and improve.

Calmness and Relaxation

Like lavender, chamomile is often linked to calmness and relaxation because of its well-known calming properties. Its gentle aroma and soothing qualities symbolize tranquility and the ability to find peace even in stressful situations.

What is a lifespan chamomile?

Healing and Recovery

Chamomile’s historical use as a medicinal herb has led to its association with healing and recovery. It signifies the potential for physical and emotional healing.

Resilience and Adaptability

Chamomile’s ability to thrive in different environments and even support struggling plants represents resilience and adaptability. It’s seen as a reminder that one can endure challenges and adapt to changing circumstances, like lotus.

When to give a bouquet of chamomiles?


In some cultures and traditions, chamomile is believed to possess protective qualities. People use it to ward off negative energies or provide a shield against harm, whether physical or metaphysical.


Like other yellow flowers, Chamomile symbolizes friendship and unity, often given as a gesture of care and well-wishing to a friend. It represents the bond of friendship and the desire for the recipient’s well-being.

Use of Chamomile

Simplicity and Humility

Chamomile’s unpretentious appearance with its simple, daisy-like flowers and unassuming fragrance is associated with the virtues of simplicity and humility, like the bluebell. It encourages appreciation for life’s simple pleasures and the humility to find beauty in the ordinary.

Russia’s National Flower

In 1998, chamomile was officially declared as the national flower of Russia. Mainly, as a mythical healing herb and a symbol of the sun’s power.

In Russia, they use chamomile for love-related fortune-telling, and the tradition of plucking petals while saying, “He loves me” or “he loves me not” originated from this practice.

Furthermore, chamomile in Russia grows abundantly or in chamomile lawns. It serves as a symbol of the enduring resilience of the Russian people.

chamomile rinse

What is a lifespan of chamomile?

The lifespan of Roman Chamomile extends beyond two years, in contrast to the one-year lifespan of German chamomile.

When to give a bouquet of chamomiles?

Chamomiles often appear as a filler in floral arrangements, but you can also give a bouquet of chamomiles.

Chamomile’s association with healing and soothing properties makes it an excellent choice for wishing someone a speedy recovery with a “get well soon” message. 

Known for its calming and relaxing qualities, giving a bouquet of chamomiles to someone going through a stressful period is a thoughtful way to offer support and relaxation.

Since they symbolize friendship and unity, giving them to a friend is a way to show appreciation for their company and well-wishes for their happiness.

Expressing gratitude, birthdays, or romantic gestures are good occasions to use chamomiles to express your feelings and appreciation. 

Chamomile Flower Meaning in the language of flowers

Other flowers meanings and symbolism

Vladka Merva on October 6th, 2023

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