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Capricious Charlie Chamomilla - Matricaria chamomilla

by Laura Murphy(more info)

listed in homeopathy, originally published in issue 147 - May 2008

The child’s fit of anger, all because his demands were not catered for, bordered on the comical, his mother mused as she witnessed her son toss his much loved toys across the room. Only moments ago, in-between sobs and sticky mucus bubbles exploding from both his nostrils, the child had passionately demanded those same toys. (throws things asked for). Capricious Charlie Chamomile was never satisfied.

Ear drums assaulted long enough, Charlie’s mother turned away from the spectacle and went into the bright kitchen, retrieved her son’s favourite plastic elephant feeding cup from the spotlessly clean kitchen cupboard and filled it with cold filtered water from the fridge. Charlie was a thirsty child. Noticing Charlie’s face cloth on the thick wooden butcher’s table in the middle of the spacious kitchen, she picked it up, soaked it under the cold stream of water from the tap, squeezed it out and returned to her cross, ugly, angry son, still in the throws of his performance.

As soon as Charlie spied his mother he became silent. His little body jerked with sobs he attempted to stifle. Charlie’s water logged eyes met hers. His mother smiled, stepped onto the plush blue Persian rug and walked towards her son. Two steps into her stride, all hell let loose, Charlie screamed like a Banshee (cried when approached or interfered with). His mother, familiar with the pattern, ignored the bedlam, and scooped her son from the blueness into her arms. Charlie kicked savagely and stiffened his body. However, true to form, when picked up and carried, he soon quietened down (carried). Charlie’s mother offered her son the cold drink, he eagerly gulped down the liquid from the elephant’s trunk, almost choking as involuntary sobs collided with the cold soothing liquid. She wiped his hot face with the cool cloth, and gently patted his chubby cheeks, one distinctly rosy red and hot, the other pale and cool. Mercifully, Charlie was ameliorated with cold drinks and applications and soon quietened down.

Quietly singing a lullaby and gently rocking her son (better when rocked) Catherine walked through the French doors onto the patio. It was a beautiful twilight, pleasantly warm; the warmth ameliorated Charlie along with being in the open air. He adored playing in the circular sand pit on the lush green lawn, but he never ventured outside when the wind played its tune. He was prone to Middle Ear infections, and his hypersensitivity to pain made life a living hell for those around him. The pain drove him to despair, he couldn’t bear to be looked at, let alone touched. Nothing would console him, in fact he became increasingly angry when consoled or when his tantrum, in full throttle, was interrupted. Many a weary mile was trod during these marathon tantrums, and experience dictated the only thing to do for Charlie on these horrific occasions was simply to leave him alone. Catherine believed that Charlie wanted to be alone and secretly she was grateful for the reprieve.

Nine in the evening was a bad time for Charlie, as that was the exact time of his birth. Catherine remembered her labour all too well; it had been intense and extremely distressing. A possible contributing factor was her aggravation to coffee and alcohol. When Catherine’s water broke unexpectedly two months before her due date, to steady her nerves while waiting for her summoned husband to arrive home from his much loved weekly bridge club, she poured a fair measure of brandy to her mug of coffee. In the birthing room, Catherine bordered on hysterical, convinced her baby did not want to be born as it was too early. The excruciating pains she experienced pressed upwards as if the baby was clutching to her uterus. The pains were spasmodic and caused rigidity of the os uteri Catherine was forgivably snappish and fault finding with her timid husband. Legs suspended from the cold, steel stirrups and bearing down for all her worth, she demanded a divorce from her husband. She listed each and every one of his shortcomings for all present in the birthing room to hear. She demanded he open all the windows in the room to satisfy her desire for fresh air. An unusual request, considering it was the Winter Solstice and shockingly cold. There was no wonder Charlie was aggravated in cold, windy or damp weather, especially considering he was born in a fridge with gale force winds assaulting his bare bottom as he suckled on his mother’s breast. Oddly enough, most of Charlie’s symptoms were aggravated by the warmth, and to be quite contrary, he also felt better from the warmth; there was no pleasing Charlie Chamomile.

Master Chamomile thankfully settled after not too much rocking. Catherine tickled her son on the belly, lifted him high above her shoulders and sat him on her head. Charlie loved it and giggled his infectious giggle. He trumped loud and long and chuckled even louder in its aftermath. The heat enveloped Catherine’s head and a smell of rotten eggs assaulted her olfactory nerves. Catherine stretched the elastic waist of Charlie’s check red and blue corduroy trousers investigating the stench for signs of poo. Evidence witnessed, Catherine lay her son down on the changing table in the sea green, mosaic tiled ensuite. As she undressed Charlie she toyed and teased her son with little kisses. Charlie transformed from an ugly, cross, irritable, spiteful, moaning and whining child to a pleasant, happy child in the space of ten minutes. Catherine rarely punished Charlie for his notorious tantrums, as she reasoned to herself and her husband that it was their son’s way of expressing himself. Catherine pulled a funny screwed up face as she was confronted with a nappy full of diarrhea – hot, foul smelling corroding stools that resembled yellowish green chopped eggs. She cleaned her son, threw away the offending nappy liner, placed the stained nappy in the grey nappy bucket and put on a clean towelling nappy. She lifted her son from the changing table and hugged him tightly. Memories of Charlie’s convulsions were always quick to haunt her whenever she felt especially stressed from her son’s behaviour. Recollections of his little legs moving up and down and the grasping and reaching of his hands, had filled her with horror and tormented her thoughts, and never had she felt so helpless in all her life, watching his mouth drawn from side to side and his eyelids, lips and facial muscles twitch. His staring eyes had frightened the living daylights out of her. She kept a detailed diary of Charlie’s milestones and health and had identified a pattern to the convulsions. They occurred sometimes after she had nursed him, when he was cutting his teeth (dentition), after he was especially angry, and when she, the beloved mother, had a rare fit of anger. This latter she did not admit to a soul. Frightful memories cast aside, Charlie searched her face with his cherub lips for her mouth to give her a long sloppy kiss. His little mouth smelt putrid; it always did when he was teething, and he was having a lot of problems cutting his molars. She let him kiss her lips, but refrained from inhaling and waited for him to pull away to do so. She never commented on the rotten smell of his breath, even in jest, as Charlie took offence easily and would feel insulted (delusion). And that would make life hell for everyone.


Chief tissue affinity is with the nervous system inducing an extreme degree of over-excitability and hypersensitivity.

•    Face may have one cheek red and hot whilst the other is pale and cold;
•    Children in a snarling mood;
•    Snapping;
•    Angry;
•    Irritable;
•    Throwing things that are asked for;
•    Cry when approached or interfered with;
•    Become quieter when picked up and carried;
•    If they are punished or their demands are not met with, they throw a fit of anger;
•    Not all angry children need chamomile.

•    Putrid smell of the mouth;
•    Eructations smell like rotten eggs, stools have a similar odour.

•    Hot, foul smelling corroding stools;
•    Looks like chopped eggs;
•    Yellowish greenish colour;
•    Also present is a snappish temperament.

•    After anger, dentition, nursing, fit of anger in mother;
•    Legs move up and down, grasping and reaching with hands;
•    Mouth drawn from side to side;
•    Twitching – eyelids, eyeballs, lips and facial muscles;

•    Great rigidity of the os uteri;
•    Labour pains that press upward and are spasmodic and distressing;
•    Patient is snappish, hysterical and fault-finding;
•    Great desire for fresh air.

•    Continuous problem, chronic, not short-term symptoms;
•    Excitability is leading symptom;
•    Irritability – whole state is focused on this;
•    Ugly in behaviour – cross and uncivil;
•    Kicks when carried and becomes stiff;
•    Send nurse home;
•    Spiteful;
•    Angry;
•    Expresses self by throwing tantrums;
•    Moan, whinge – Not satisfied;
•    Prone to teething problems;
•    Prone to middle ear infections;
•    Hypersensitivity to pain (D/D Coffee, Aconite);
•    Pains are unbearable, drives them to despair;
•    Capriciousness;
•    Want to be left alone;
•    Anger when consoled;
•    Anger from interruption;
•    Restless, rocked;
•    9.00 pm;
•    Ailments from anger;
•    Delusions of being insulted, takes offence easily.

•    Damp, cold weather;
•    Wind;
•    Warmth most symptoms, but the patient himself feels better from warmth;
•    Night around 9.00 pm;
•    Coffee;
•    Narcotics;
•    Alcohol.

•    Warmth;
•    Open air – yet sensitive about the ears;
•    Cold application;
•    Cold drinks.

Clinical Uses
•    Dentition;
•    Labour;
•    Over-sensitivity to pain.


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About Laura Murphy

Laura Murphy BSc (Hons) ND studied at the Australasian College of Natural Therapies in Sydney, Australia, qualifying in 1998, as a Naturopath, Homoeopath, Medicinal Herbalist, Nutritionist and Remedial Massage Therapist. She returned to England in 2002 and qualified in 2005 for her Biological Science (Hons) Degree Course. The Homoeopathic Learning Aid came about by pure accident. Studying for homoeopathy at exam time was horrendous, trying to remember the physical and mental symptoms, the modalities, the peculiar, queer, rare and strange characteristics, and the clinical indications for all the remedies. Laura began writing stories that incorporated the remedy picture. She exaggerated the characters and put them in surroundings that were vivid, colourful and wild. Laura Murphy moved to Spain last year, to the coastal town of Xabia and has a private Homoeopathic/Naturopathic practice. She may be contacted via Tel: 0034966463475;


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