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.