The Chamomile in my garden is doing so well! This cute little flower helps take away the day’s stress and tastes great as a tea especially if you add a little Manuka honey, but also just as nice by itself.
I like to have it about an hour before bed, it helps my body slow down and start prepping for a good nights sleep. The herb works on your nervous system and relaxes the nerves, making sleep a little easier. Chamomile also aids in cell and tissue regeneration, bonus!
Did you know this tea will naturally lighten your hair and skin. Why spend a lot on harsh chemicals to add highlights to your hair when you can get the look you want with all natural chamomile? You can also give your skin a brighter glow with chamomile. Your skin and scalp with thank you: chamomile has anti-aging and anti-acne benefits as well. (Remember this because next week I am sharing a steam facial with Chamomile as one of the ingredients.)
If you’re looking for an all natural treatment for eczema, acne, sunburn, psoriasis, and small cuts and scrapes you can turn to chamomile. It has both anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties. Ancient Greeks, Romans, and Egyptians recognized chamomile’s incredible healing properties and used it to clean and dress wounds. Just make sure your tea has cooled to a lukewarm temperature before applying it.
If you have a nasty upper respiratory infection or cold, drinking chamomile will help relieve the symptoms. Its antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties soothe sore throats and help eliminate the bugs making you sick. You can also use chamomile as aromatherapy, which helps it reach your sinuses and lungs.
Bottom line, this cute little flower is pretty amazing, and I highly recommend you get to know her. Wink Wink
Ok, so now that you know how great this tea is, lets talk more about how to make it.
Once chamomile flowers start to bloom, you can harvest them! You want to harvest during the day when the flowers are fully open, but make sure it’s late enough in the day that the morning dew has evaporated. (I live in Bakersfield, Ca so we don’t see much dew this time of year… lol) If the plants are wet from dew, or if it recently rained, the flowers might mold as they are drying.
Harvest chamomile flowers as soon as the petals are full, and lay flat around the center of the flower. If the petals are still curled up around the center of the flower, it’s too early. And if the petals have started to droop down towards the stem of the plant, pick that flower right away! Ideally, you want to grab the flowers when the petals are perfectly flat and perpendicular to the stem; that’s when they have the most essential oils, which give them their flavor.
Slide your hand underneath the chamomile flower, slipping the stem between two fingers. Then gently lift your hand until the flower head pops off the plant!
Once the flower comes off in your hand, turn it over and gently shake it or blow on it to remove any insects. Or wipe them away with your fingers if they’re really stubborn. Bugs like chamomile (just like humans do!) so make sure your flowers are bug free before you dry them!
As long as you didn’t spray pesticides on your plants as they were growing, you shouldn’t need to wash or rinse the flowers. In fact, you shouldn’t get them wet or you might wash away some of the pollen, and the flowers might mold as they dry!
To air dry chamomile flowers, remove all stems and leaves and place the flowers on a screen. Set them aside for a few days until they are dried.
Once your flowers are completely dried, put the whole flowers into an airtight container for storage. You don’t want to crumble the flowers if you can help it; crumbling the dried flowers will release their flavor, so it’s best if you crumble them right before you use them, rather than right before you store them!
Most herbs will last about a year in storage as long as they are in an airtight container and don’t get wet.
Chamomile Tea Recipe
Chamomile tea has a light, refreshing flavor, especially if you make it with homegrown chamomile!
You need about 1 to 1.5 teaspoons of dried chamomile flowers per 8 oz cup of water, depending on how strong you want your tea. Chamomile is supposed to be a light flavor, so even though I normally like my tea quite strong, I err on the lesser side and use about 1 teaspoon per cup.
The secret to tea is, if you want your flavor stronger, use more dried flowers rather than leaving the flowers steeping for longer. Most herbal, green, and white teas will get bitter if you leave them steeping too long, so for a stronger flavor, add more dried tea but stick to the recommended brew time.
If you stored your flowers whole, feel free to crumble them slightly just before brewing them; it will help release more of the flavor stored in the flowers.
Measure the dried flowers into your tea strainer (or tea bag, or tea ball, or whatever!) Boil a full kettle of water. Once the water boils, pour the water into the teapot immediately. Green and white teas are delicate and the leaves will burn and become bitter if you steep them in water that’s too hot. When making green or white tea, it’s better to let the water cool for about a minute before adding it to the tea leaves. But herbal teas are quite hardy and can handle extremely hot water temperatures, so pour that boiling water in right away!
Let the tea steep for 5-7 minutes, then remove the flowers, pour the tea into a cup, and enjoy!