Chamaemelom nobile – Roman or English Chamomile

Matricaria recutita – German Chamomile

Ancient Egyptians believed Chamomile was the universal remedy, curing chills and fits and assuring everlasting life. To the Saxons it was one of the nine sacred herbs- calling it maythem. The French cherish it as one of their six favored tisanes – or herbal teas. To me it looks and feels like a smiley face. You know those silly have a nice day smiley faces? 

 

There are two types of Chamomile German and Roman or English

Roman Chamomile grows low to the ground and is used as a ground cover. And is best to make into fragrant paths, in front of a garden seat or around a bird-bath, or other lawn ornaments. When walked on the Chamomile plant releases an apple like fragrance.

Fun Fact: The Lawn at Buckingham Palace is made of Chamomile!

German Chamomile is a variety that grows about 12 high in my garden. This is the chamomile I grow and use in my tea, as it’s easier to reach and typically produces a bigger flower. The flowers are small and daisy like with white petals surrounding a conical yellow disc.

Chamomile can grow just about anywhere. It will flourish in a spot clear of weeds in soil that is well drained. It likes full sun but can handle partial shade. You can sew the chamomile directly into the soil in spring, or start indoors and plant 3 inches apart. Roots will spread and fill in gaps. Watch for this to re-seed and pop up in new spots every year. Harvest flowers when the white petals begin to droop slightly. Plucked flowers will dry easily in a warm dry location. To dry lay on a sheet or cloth in the sun. As they dry remove the leaves and stems. Once dried, store the flowers in an airtight container.

Chamomile in Tea

Use 3 teaspoons of the fresh flowers or 1 teaspoon dried, in 1 cup 8 oz of freshly boiling water.

Chamomile is one herb that can be enjoyed after steeping a little as 7 minutes but can steep for as long as 30 minutes. For medicinal effects, steeping for at least 25 minutes is recommended. A touch of honey can be added to sweeten the pot!

Uses: On of the most beneficial of herb teas, chamomile relieves nausea and when taken before bedtime, promotes sleep and relieves anxiety. Chamomile has been reported to relax the smooth muscles of the body, including the muscles of the digestive tract and can help with, bloating, abdominal pains, spasms and gas. Chamomile tea as a hair rinse will add highlights to blonde hair.

(Note: Because the tea is made from flower heads that contain pollen, some people may have allergic reactions.” It also contains thuaone and should be drunk in moderation- no more than a cup or two a day.)

Laughing Tree Tea offers Chamomile in