Matricaria, the Mother

Commonly known as “Chamomile”, this beautiful tiny flower derived from the Latin word Matrix meaning, Mother, womb, groundwork or parent. It was cultivated in India about 200-300 years back. Grows between 15cm-50cm high with many daisy like flowers growing on their hollow stems.

Matricaria is a very aromatic flower and is all consuming when confined to a room with them. Just one stem can lift the smelliest kitchen odour and makes one feel as thought they waltzing in a garden. It is considered to be a weed, looks amazing in rock gardens and is a must in any herb garden. It will give any garden a “Cottage” feel.

Matricaria is one of the oldest known medicinal plants and a favourite of Hippocrates (500BC). It is used in herbal remedies for almost everything from poor appetite, irritable bowel syndrome, asthmas to nappy rash.

Its primary medicinal usage has been directed at the female organs; menstruation, childbirth, uterine colic etc and has been stated to now be used as a part of pharmaceutical drug ingredient in 26 countries. It is used in other everyday remedies: ear ache, throat inflammation, cuts and weeping wounds and as a hair wash for blonde hair.

In NZ, it is found in the tea section in almost every western country. Is an excellent muscle relaxant, anti inflammatory, antiseptic, sedative, mild analgesic…. the list goes on…

Matricaria adds a nice texture to flower bouquets giving a lovely scent to wedding bouquets, flower girls posies, table arrangements. It is said to attract wealth and adversity so “en masse” in long vases lining aisles, stairways and alters will surely add to the abundance of the occasion.

Disclaimer: This article is written from my view as a keen gardener and florist for many years. Plant origin and medicinal values are a compact compilation of my research and personal use. Gift presentations and ideas eventuated and are related to NZ lifestyle and celebrations.