How To Grow Chamomile + The Amazing Health Benefits Of Chamomile

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Chamomile is a very powerful yet gentle herb. It has white and yellow, daisy looking flowers and feathery like leaves along its slender stem. It is a member of the Asteraceae family, having two species, Chamaemelum nobile, or Roman Chamomile, and Matricaria recutita, or German Chamomile. Chamomile is a very useful herb, both medicinally and as a companion plant for your vegetables! Learning how to grow chamomile will put you down the right path of utilizing all the health benefits of chamomile!

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How to Grow Chamomile

The most ideal growing conditions is well draining, full sun, and rich soil. However, chamomile is not picky and will often grow anywhere and everywhere. Sow in early spring or fall by direct seeding or purchasing starts. It is a hardy plant in USDA zones 3-9. If you live in a very hot climate, it is recommended to plant in an area that receives some shade during the hottest part of the day.

How To Grow Chamomile Varieties

chamomile varieties

Roman chamomile is a lower growing plant, often used as a ground cover, growing only 12 inches in height. It grows as a perennial in zones 4-11, meaning the same plant will continue to come back every year. Roman chamomile only grows one flower for each stem it produces but will spread and root along its stem where it touches soil. The flower petals are white with a semi-rounded yellow disc in the center.

German chamomile is a taller plant, growing 24 inches tall and putting out many flowers on branched out stems. It is a annual plant, however, many gardeners find that they plant once and continue to get plants throughout their garden every year. It very easily self-sows when just a few of the flowers are left on the plant to finish out its life cycle and drop to the ground. The center on this variety is more cone shape, with a hollow inside.

Harvesting Chamomile

Herbs, including chamomile, are best harvested in the morning, after the morning dew has dried but before the sun has too much time on the plant. Simply grab a stem between two fingers and run your hand up the stem until the flower plucks off.

Health Benefits Of Chamomile

health benefits of chamomile

Nutrient Dense

Chamomile is a nutrient packed plant in both its flowers and leaves. It is packed full of calcium, iron, magnesium, manganese, potassium, phosphorus and vitamin A. The plant is considered a bitter, the leaves especially, however, the flowers have a sweet, apple scent and taste, and these are often what is used when consuming.

Calming

Chamomile contains many medicinal benefits due to its volatile oils and flavonoids. The most notable medicinal property is its abilities as a sedative and nerve tonic. Chamomile is gentle yet effective at calming the nerves, reducing stress, anxiety, and insomnia.

It was this reason that I began growing chamomile in my garden to begin with. My son and I have always had sleep issues (I have the hardest time falling and staying asleep). We began adding chamomile tea to our nightly routine and our quality of sleep has never been better!

Along with chamomiles ability to relax nerves and thus help sleep, it also relaxes the nerves along the digestive tract and may help with indigestion or stomach pain.

Anti-Inflammatory

Chamomile is a strong anti-inflammatory! This makes it great to use for things such as teething and colic in infants and toddlers. Additionally, chamomile has been shown to have soothing abilities for the skin, mouth, throat and even eyes. This ability is helpful during inflammatory sickness such as bronchitis or conjunctivitis, headaches, ear aches, and stomach aches! These conditions also benefit from chamomiles gentle, yet effective role as a analgesic.

Chamomile can help eliminate nausea and vomiting, making it a great herb to use for things such as morning sickness.

Using Chamomile

how to grow chamomile flowers

The flowers could be used fresh in teas and tinctures or dried for long-term storage. Dry the flowers on a drying rack in a well-ventilated room or in a food dehydrator set between 95-115 degrees F (35-46 degrees C). Drying the flowers at a temperature higher than 115 F will cause the flowers to loose a majority of their medicinal properties.

Chamomile Tea

To make a chamomile tea, take 2 teaspoons of chamomile flowers and 1 cup of boiling water. Combine and place a cover on top in order to prevent the stem from escaping. Allow to steep for 5-10 minutes. Herbal tea is often what is used for an upset stomach, mouth or throat inflammation, and as a sleep aid.

In order to use chamomile for eye issues such as conjunctivitis, or pink eye, simply wet the tea bag in hot water and allow it to rest on the eye for about 10 minutes. Repeat treatment as often as necessary.

Tincture

A tincture is a great way to use and store chamomile, as it helps preserve those volatile oils and can be a quick fix for a lot of ailments. A tincture can be used to sooth infants and toddlers during teething and colic, and for adults to ease menstrual cramps and pain, headaches, anxiety and as a sleep aid.

A quart size batch only needs 1 cup of fresh or dried flowers, 1 ½ cups boiling water, and 1 ½ cups vodka or rum. Pour the boiling water over the flowers in the quart jar, fill the rest of the jar with the alcohol and allow it to sit in a cool, dark place for 4-6 weeks. After 4-6 weeks, strain through a cheesecloth and store in tincture vials with a dropper for easy use! A general recommended dose is up to 2-4ml, 3 times a day, but that is dependent on age. Consult your local herbalist for advice.

I hope you learned something new reading all about this wonderful herb! Knowing how to grow chamomile and getting it started in your garden can offer so many benefits to nature and your health. It really doesn’t matter what variety of chamomile you decided to go with, once you plant it, expect it to be there for years to come!

Thanks for reading and happy growing!

Hey Beautiful! I’m Tara, garden enthusiasts, keeper of chickens, herbal homesteader and stay at home mom of 3 tiny humans and a sourdough starter named Ma. I love teaching others how to live a self-sufficient and sustainable life through homesteading, scratch cooking, and remembering to live barefoot, wild and free!

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