The name “chamomile” is derived from the Greek words “chamos,” meaning “ground” and “Milos” meaning “apple” since it sprouts near the ground and smells like an apple. Chamomile is part of a herbaceous plant that has its position in the Asteraceae family. This plant is mainly found in Europe, Asia and North Africa, but it now appears to be found worldwide.
People grow and use only two species out of the vast number of Roman and German Chamomile species. These two kinds of Chamomile differ in size, type of blossom and leaves, and blends distinguished from the plant in type and measure. Old Egyptians discovered Chamomile had healing possibilities, and from that moment on, this plant has been used for medicinal purposes. Other than that, because of its excellent smell, Chamomile is widely used in the perfume industry and fragrance-based therapy.
Additionally, Roman Chamomile is used as a groundcover or creeping spice to mollify the edges of a stone divider or walkway. The German Chamomile is the annual spice for making tea as it is a sensitive and surprisingly intense plant. It’s got a look like a wildflower about
it. The fragrant blossoms are daisy-like with white petals that surround a yellow circle. As the plant grows taller, the stems are not particularly strong and bend and flops as the plant grows.
Types of Chamomile
German Chamomile (Matricaria recutita)
German Chamomile is an annual crop, but it’s so easily self-seeded, you might think it’s a
perennial. It’s easy to start the German Chamomile from seed. Indoors, start seeds about six weeks before the last expected frost. Germinate chamomile seeds require light, so spread the seed and press firmly onto the soil, but do not cover the seed with soil. In seven to fourteen days, seeds should germinate. Outdoors, you can also use direct-seed German
Chamomile. If you do this in the fall, you can get stronger germination and let the seed stratify over the winter for a spring harvest.
In either full sun or partial shade, the German Chamomile grows. The plants bloom best in full sun, but partial shade is a better choice in hot climates. German Chamomile tends to be a low
growing, slippery plant that is eight to 24 inches in height. When cultivated in full sun and not too lush, organic soil, Chamomile will flower best. In poorer soils, it will thrive, but the stems will be even more floppy. Chamomile is not unique in terms of soil pH, preferring a neutral range between 5.6 and 7.5.
A great deal of water is not needed for Chamomile. It is best to allow your plants between moderate waterings to dry out. In any summer weather under 100 degrees Fahrenheit,
Chamomiles, generally, are capable of prospering. It does not need special temperature requirements since it is drought resistant. It does not need fertilizer; in some areas, it is considered to be an invasive weed because it grows so rapidly without any real feeding requirement.
Roman Chamomile (Chamaemelum Nobile)
Unlike its german sister, the roman Chamomile is a perennial and is mostly used for ground cover. It does not produce many blooms like the German Chamomile. However, it does have a
lovely aroma. Roman Chamomile is easily grown from seed; if you allow your plants to go to seed at the end of the season, the following year, it will provide even more soil cover. Water softly.
The Roman Chamomile requires full or partial sunlight. More sun leads to faster growth,
but it may not be a concern as this plant grows rapidly by default. Like German Chamomile,
Roman Chamomile prefers not too rich, organic soil. It does best with neutral pH (between 5.6
and 7.5). Regular water can keep the plants in bloom longer, but chamomile plants are very drought resistant once grown. In extremely hot climates, Chamomile can enjoy being kept watered and having some afternoon shade.
It is possible to harvest both the flowers and the Roman chamomile plant leaves for different uses. The aromatic flowers are edible and can be used in potpourri to produce tea,
while the flowers and leaves can be used together. Flower heads can also be used to make an extract, which can help alleviate digestive issues.
Chamomile has a look-alike called dog fennel (Anthemis cotula). Crushing the leaves and flowers between your fingertips is the best way to say the difference. The look-alike smells awful, and the true Chamomile will remind you of that delicious sleepy-time tea.
How to harvest chamomile
Chamomile flowers, when they are in full bloom, are ready for harvest. Ideally, just before the tiny white petals begin to droop down, the blossoms are open to their fullest. If they’re a little late or a little slack, it’s not dangerous to harvest the blossoms, and it’s just that their beneficial properties may not be at their fullest and most effective condition.
Chamomile harvesting is usually a summer pastime, although you may get a few plants if you’re lucky, which continue to bloom through a frost. Typically, it is the flowers that you will harvest for use in teas, although the leaves are also collected for therapeutic use in some parts of the world. Here’s the process:
• Start harvesting chamomile flowers in the morning after the dew’s evaporation,
but before the high sun.
• Choose the nearly open flowers. Just below the flower head, pinch the stalk and pop the flower off. Collect them in a basket that is tightly woven.
• The blooming flowers allow you to collect seeds or encourage the plants to patch the next year for self-seeding.
How to harvest chamomile for tea
In the tea garden, Chamomile is one of my must-have herbs. It not only adds lovely, cheerful little blossoms to the garden but also creates a delicious, comforting tea.
When collecting Chamomile, unlike many other plants, it is the blossoms that you want to pick,
not the stems, leaves or roots. These perfect white daisies are something you want to harvest for chamomile tea, like flowers.
How to make Chamomile Tea
Dried Chamomile: use 2-3 teaspoons of dried Chamomile per 1 cup of boiling water. Steep for 2-5 minutes.
Fresh Chamomile: use 6-8 teaspoons of fresh Chamomile per 1 cup of boiling water. Steep for
Drying fresh Chamomile for tea have often found that the beneficial chemicals in flower grow better during drying, but this does not mean that a fresh tea can do you no good. Chamomile can be used either fresh or dried. To remove any insects or debris on the flower heads, gently shake the flowers and look them over.
• You can wash the flowers in a basin of water if you wish. Drain well and pat dry gently.
• Spread out the flowers in a single layer and let them dry in a dark, humid, dry space for
1 to 2 weeks.
You can also use heat and airflow to dry your Chamomile. This may mean that in a dark room
you use an oven on the drying setting, a dehydrator, or a small fan.
Dry flowers to keep tiny dried blossoms from dropping through the mesh on a lined dehydrator tray. Place a mesh liner on top of the chamomile flowers to keep the blossoms from blowing off the tray. Set the dehydrator at its lowest (95 ° F or 35 ° C) setting and dry for 12 to 18 hours.
Delicate herbs and flowers should always be dehydrated for better performance in the lowest conditions.
What to do with chamomile leaves?
When you think of Chamomile, you usually think of delicate white-and-yellow roses. The leaves can also be brewed as a tea and eaten as is, giving dishes a delicate flavour.
Pinch the plant’s stem gently just under the head of the flower. Then, between the flower head and the other pinched fingers, put your forefinger and middle finger under the flower head and pop the flower head off. Pour flower heads on a clean cloth and pick all the stems from which you have collected flower heads and choose the leaves carefully or use the stems as they are
As an add-in to salads, chamomile leaves may be used. Try combining them with chopped lettuce butter dressed in olive oil, salt, and a simple lemon splash or finely chop Chamomile and apply it to yogurt with a touch of rubbed garlic (as you would with dill) as a dip for crudités.
How to harvest chamomile seeds
Harvest the dried blooms. Take off a bunch of stems and all, and place it in a brown paper grocery bag. Rub the top of the seed head into the paper bag, the chaff will be some, but you will get several seeds in with it. Transfer seed and chaff in until ready to plant, to wherever you want to save it.How to propagate chamomiles
The method of producing fresh plants is plant propagation. Two kinds of propagation exist:
sexual and asexual. The union of pollen and egg is sexual reproduction, relying on two parents’ genes to produce a new third entity. Sexual propagation requires a plant’s floral sections. Asexual propagation means taking a section of a parent plant into a new plant and regenerating itself. The resulting new plant is genetically the same as its parent plant. Asexual propagation includes branches, roots, or leaves, the vegetative sections of a plant.
Steps for propagation
• Best place: Both Roman and German chamomiles tend to grow in full sun but can tolerate partial shade.
• Soil preparation: The Roman Chamomile favors light, compost-rich, uniformly moist soil. German Chamomile is preferred for well-drained sandy soils; grow
German Chamomile in an elevated bed if your soil is damp. Both favor a soil pH of 6.5 to 7.5. To the planting bed, apply two or more inches of aged compost and turn it down before planting.
• Indoor seeds: Chamomile can be started indoors 3 or 4 weeks before garden transplantation. Sow the seed in an organic potting mix under fluorescent light in flats or containers. Keep the small seeds moist, or it won’t be easy to germinate. In about
Fourteen days, German chamomile seeds germinate at 55 ° to 65 ° in warm soil, about 70 °
F. Roman chamomile germinates best.
• Garden transplantation: seedlings started indoors can be transplanted out after 3 to 5
weeks when all the chance of frost has passed.
• Outdoor planting time: Sow both types of Chamomile in the garden when the soil temperature has reached 55 ° F to 60 ° F after all danger of frost has passed.
• Planting depth: Sow 1⁄4 to 1⁄2 inch deep seed; sow 2 inches apart seed.
• Spacing: When they are 1 to 2 inches tall, small chamomile plants. Enable between
German chamomile plants at 6 to 8 inches and between Roman chamomile plants at
• Watering: In soil that is uniformly moist but not wet, Chamomile grows best.
• Feeding: Side dress chamomile with aged compost or feed plants with a dilute solution of fish emulsion.
• Care: Plants may be cut back in early spring in other to resume growth. In early spring, a lawnmower can be used to cut low-growing Roman Chamomile to promote fuller growth. Keep the weed-free region around Chamomile; it is a weak competitor against weeds.• Container growing: Grow Chamomile in a container at least 8 inches wide and deep.
Some fun facts about Chamomile:
1. Chamomile was used for the process of mummification in ancient Egypt.
2. Chemical compounds and oils that are used in the medical and cosmetic industry are
extracted from the flower.
3. Chamomile possesses anti-inflammatory properties, can be used for disinfection and to relieve pain. It is mainly used for the treatment of urinary and ocular infections,
skin rash, toothache, respiratory pain, premenstrual pain, migraine, insomnia,
4. Chamomile may induce premature birth because it stimulates contraction of the uterus.