|Grow, dry, and enjoy a cup of chamomile tea.|
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Plant Tea in your Herb Garden
About 6 weeks ago, I started my herb garden. I went to the nursery and bought about a dozen different young starts. In the mix, I bought some German chamomile. It's a hardy, fast-growing plant and, if you've never grown your own tea, this would be a good one to start with.
|Chamomile (Matricaria Recutita).|
Its daisy-like flowers contain many
healing and therapeutic substances.
German chamomile contains substances that promote relaxation and decrease inflammation. As a tea, it helps reduce anxiety and many people take it at night to help them relax so that they can fall asleep. It is also used by some for digestive system issues and menstrual cramps. Chamomile is often found in creams used for skin conditions, such as eczema.
Once the little yellow and white flowers bloom, you can pinch or cut them at the very top of the stem and place them on a screen or cheese cloth and dry naturally.
I use my Excalibur Dehydrator and place the flowers on the dehydrator screen with another screen on top to keep them from blowing away. I dry the flowers on the lowest heat setting until they feel crunchy, about 10 to 12 hours. If they are still pliable, they are not ready.
|Flowers on a dehydrator screen|
|Flowers weighted down with another screen|
Another way to dry them, is to just hang up a big branch. I have this pretty statue in my kitchen that holds enough to make a few cups of tea. It's quite decorative :-)
|Hang a branch or the entire plant to dry.|
Make tea by steeping a few teaspoons of dried flowers, or more depending on the desired strength, in boiling water for several minutes. Strain and enjoy.
Or place the dried tea in a tea filter bag and submerge the bag in boiling water. This prevents having to strain the tea.
|No need to strain the tea leaves |
when you use a T-Sac Filter Bag.
German chamomile should be avoided by people with allergies to ragweed, daisies, and other asters. It also should be avoided for two weeks before having surgery as it may interact with anesthesia.
Although chamomile tea is good for soothing the tummy, something women in their first trimester of pregnancy would appreciate, studies as to the safety of drinking chamomile tea during pregnancy are inconclusive. So use caution and talk to your healthcare provider.