GERMAN OR COMMON CHAMOMILE.
(Chamomilla-Xapai, chamai, earth; melon, apple, so called from the apple-like smell of the flower.)
Chamomilla was first proved by Hahnemann, who recommends its use in the 12th, and says that it “has not a long duration of action.”.
“The fact,” says Dunham, “that Chamomilla exalts the general susceptibility, causing pains to be felt very keenly, so that a pain which might be supposed to be only moderately severe is, to the patient, intolerable,” furnishes us with the most characteristic symptom and the keynote for the use of the remedy.
The disposition is peevish, impatient and restless (160), with excessive susceptibility to pain (148) and is accompanied by the statement, made by speech, expression or pantomime, that she can’t stand it any longer.
The Chamomilla patient would like to dismiss her doctor before he had made his first prescription, so impatient is she, and you can interpret as you please, Hahnemann’s statement that it “is less beneficial to those who remain patient and composed under their sufferings.”
It is primarily a remedy for infants and secondary for grown-ups who act like babies.
Children are extremely cross, irritable and whining. They want this and they want that, but when offered it, either will not take it or push it away in anger, and no matter the lateness of the hour, or your previous condition of fatigue, the only way that they can be comforted and kept from crying is to walk the floor with them, when they will smile and coo, say “pretty papa” and act like perfect little angels. The young father of the comic paper unquestionably had a Chamomilla baby.
Older patients requiring Chamomilla are peevish and impatient and extremely sensitive to pain, so that they speak of the slightest twinge as unbearable (148).
It is of value for people suffering from the excessive use of coffee, “when the symptoms do not rather point to Nux vomica” (Hahnemann), and for those who have been in the habit of taking opium, bromide, etc., for the relief of pain, nervousness or sleeplessness. Hering says: “As long ago as 1830, I gave Chamom. in cases spoiled by the use of opium or morphia, at least as an intercurrent before giving other remedies, and mostly with brilliant results.”
Without the mental symptoms, Chamomilla will seldom be called for; but with them it will be found valuable in a great variety of neuralgias, painful diseases and hysterical conditions, even if other indications pointing to the remedy are wanting; it will at least change the aspect of the case and make it more amenable to treatment.
There is a general aggravation of the pains at night and from warmth (8). When the pains are severe there is an inability to keep quiet; she will toss about in bed, wring her hands or get up and walk the floor (10) insisting upon instant relief.
Chamomilla is of value for convulsions in children, especially with the characteristic symptom of redness of one cheek while the other is pale (27) and usually associated with hot sweat. These convulsions may be due to teething (187) to excitement or anger or from a “fit of anger in the mother previous to nursing the child” (Lilienthal).
It is of value in earache (63) and toothache (187) as well as in various neuralgias of the face, with the intolerance of the pain and aggravation from heat. In the distress of teething children (187), it is of constant use, with the mental distress and peevishness so characteristic of the remedy.
Anger often plays an important part as the cause for many a condition calling for Chamomilla. Convulsions have already been spoken of; other morbid states resulting from anger are, flatulent colic and indigestion (177), diarrhoea, menstrual colic, threatening miscarriage (13) and suppression of milk.
The diarrhoea of Chamomilla is green (59), slimy, mucous; often changeable in color, looking like chopped eggs and spinach, or like scrambled eggs (58), or undigested. This diarrhoea is found in children during teething (58) or as the result of taking cold; it is usually hot and offensive, smelling like rotten eggs (59), and is associated with colic.
Chamomilla is valuable remedy for too early and too profuse menstruation (135) or uterine haemorrhages, associated with bearing down or labor-like pains. Minton says, the patient is “very irritable and peevish, snaps at everybody,” especially before menstruation. The flow is intermittent, dark and clotted (136) and offensive (137). Sometimes there is a constant oozing of dark blood, with occasional gushes (137) of bright blood.
During labor we find frequent use for Chamomilla, with rigidity of the os (154) and spasmodic pains extending down the thighs, but in particular with the great mental excitement and the intolerance of the pains that they tell you they cannot stand any longer. It is also of value for severe after pains (153), especially when they extend down the thighs and are associated with the great nervous excitement so characteristic of the remedy.
Concerning the use of Chamomilla in catarrhal croup, with hoarseness and rawness in the larynx and suffocative attacks, as mentioned in the Handbook, I cannot tell you, never having used the remedy in this condition; but I do know of its value in bronchitis, with free expectoration of mucus, especially in children, and in particular when it has lasted some time, is in the catarrhal stage, and nothing that you have given heretofore has seemed able to finish up and cure the case.
The arms go to sleep (71) when grasping anything firmly, under Chamomilla, and the extremities and joints feel sore and bruised.
It is to be thought of in rheumatism and rheumatoid pains that are violent and unbearable, making the patient wild, so that he walks about in distress (10) and it is useful for the sleeplessness of children, who instead of being quiet, insist upon being carried; here you and not the patient will get wild and walk the floor in distress. It is valuable for sleeplessness (169), in young or old, when they lie awake on account of severe pain.
Aconite, Coffea cr., Ignatia, Nux. v. act as antidotes, and Zincum met. is incompatible with Chamomilla.
I use Chamomilla 1st for adults, and 6th for children, given directly or through the mother’s milk.