Organic Emily

Growing and Using Herbs: Chamomile

Chamomile plant

Chamomile is one of my favorite herbs!  It’s fragrance has a light hint of apple with earthy undertones!  Chamomile is an annual grown easily from seed or starts form your local nursery.  It has very calming effects on the nervous system and is a great digestive aid!  Whenever I feel as though my day has all but done me in, I make myself a cup of tea, sit back and read a good book!  Most of my chamomile grew from reseeding itself last year and popped up perfectly around the small brick wall surrounding my peach tree.  It’s very easy to grow and likes well draining, poor soil if you can believe it, hence it growing practically in the compact sand I have around my garden boxes! …well it’s better than weeds! :)
Chamomile has many benefits!
  • It relaxes the muscles in the uterine wall relieving menstrual cramps.
  • Is an excellent sleep aid.
  • Chamomile soothes stomachache muscles to help alleviate bowel problems and aids in digestion.
  •  Because of the antibacterial properties found in chamomile, a cup of hot tea can help fight common colds.
  • Apply a paste of chamomile flowers on wounds to make them heal faster, improving the quality of skin from the oil of the flower.
  • Chamomile tea is good for preventing the escalation of diabetic ailments.

 

 How to harvest and make chamomile tea:
  • Here is a link to a perfect video on how to harvest your chamomile!
  • Essentially you are going to want to harvest the flowers just as they open up and create a nice flat disc.  Once the petals begin to curve down, they are bit past their prime.  At this point you can either still harvest or allow them to go to seed.  Here is a great video on how to save the seeds.  Keep harvesting the flowers and you will keep getting more and more!

Harvested Chamomile Flowers

  Once you have plucked the chamomile flowers from the plant spread across a paper towel and allow to dry completely, about 5-7 days.

Dry Chamomile Flowers

Once completely dried, place inside a glass container to stay fresh for1 year.

Mesh Tea Infuser

When I make tea from my own herbs I like to use a 2-1/2 mesh ball.  This keeps the herbs contained and allows them to steep appropriately. To make tea with your chamomile flowers, boil a few cups of purified water.  Fill your mesh tea infuser with your herb of choice and place in either a tea cup or in the tea kettle once off the heat.  Never boil herbs.

Chamomile Tea

Allow the herbs to steep in the hot water for 15 minutes.  Enjoy!

Emily Saddler

Emily is a Master Gardener, wife of a professional landscape contractor, Mom of 4 cute kids, Yoga instructor and very passionate advocate of organic home-grown food! Emily maintains a blog called “The Organic Suburban Farm Girl” where she shares gardening advice, delicious recipes made with fresh, organic ingredients and her escapades as the keeper of both backyard chickens and honeybees!

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