This native of the Mediterranean region has been introduced to North America, Argentina, Australia, and New Zealand. It has spread and taken over so effectively that it is considered a noxious weed in many places. By 1995 Mayweed was found in almost all of the lower, contiguous 48 states. Mayweed is also called Stinking Chamomile due to its foul smelling scent, but that same scent is very attractive to ladybugs!
Although Mayweed is related to chamomile, it is not as effective a medicine as chamomile. It has historically been used as an antispasmodic, to encourage menstruation, and to treat ‘hysterical’ conditions of the uterus. Although rarely used, the whole plant is considered antispasmodic, astringent, diaphoretic, diuretic, emetic, emmenagogue and tonic.
In Peru the plant is used as a flavoring, and the flowers are used to make tea. The flowers make a less unpleasant flavored tea than the whole herb. Care must be exercised in using this herb as just touching it can cause allergic reactions in some people.