Chamomile has long been treasured for its medicinal qualities.* It is known primarily for its calming, healing and soothing properties.
There are two main types of chamomile: Roman and German. Roman, aka English chamomile, is a perennial creeping ground cover with dainty daisy-like flowers. German chamomile is a re-seeding annual. It grows upright and can reach heights up to two feet. Otherwise, the two varieties are very similar in terms of how they are used.
Growing tips and facts
Chamomile is easy to grow from seed, cuttings or by dividing established plants. This fuss-free, forgiving plant prefers partial shade over full sun.
It also prefers dry soil, which means it is drought tolerant. Its natural beauty makes chamomile a lovely addition to any garden. It is also a wonderful companion plant because it is a natural deterrent to many pests. Chamomile plants weakened by lack of water are more susceptible to pests, however.
Tips for using and preserving chamomile
Chamomile is commonly used to make herbal tea, essential oils and tinctures.
Chamomile tea can be made with either fresh or dried flowers. For best results, harvest chamomile flowers when the plant is totally dry. Evening is the best time, or wait until the morning dew has completely evaporated. Otherwise, mold may form during the drying process.
To harvest, either pluck the individual flower heads from the plants with your fingers or cut full stems from your plants. Allow individual flowers to dry completely on a baking sheet or some cheesecloth. Hang stems upside down in an area with good air circulation. Once dry, remove the flower petals and discard the leaves and stems before using.
Store in an airtight container away from sunlight for future use.
*This information is for entertainment purposes only. It should not be construed as medical advice.