A honeyed apple-scented, and a relative of the daisy, chamomile tea is one of the most prominent teas everywhere you go. This tea is best-known for its sedative ability and much-loved tea before bedtime.
The term “chamomile” comes from the Ancient Greek words “kamai” (earth) and melon (apple). These subtle flowers flourish nearly in any kind of soil. The yellow bud and white petals and the aroma are truly captivating in the daylight.
Just like other herbal teas, chamomile tea does not fall under the category of a ‘true tea’ since it does not come from Camellia Sinensis, the only source of true teas. Thus, this is a herbal infusion, or ‘tisane’ – so do not be confused albeit the word tea on its name.
In this article, we will discuss the amazing benefits of chamomile, how to brew one with fresh flowers, recipes you can make, how to grow the herb, and some questions answered.
Varieties of Chamomile
You might be astounded to find that there are different types of chamomile seeds and plants available.
There are two most popular varieties of chamomile that are grown: German chamomile (Matricaria recutita) and Roman chamomile (Chamaemelum nobile).
German chamomile is often used to soften the boundaries of a grit wall or pavement.
On the other hand, Roman chamomile is a plant that lives more than 2 years (perennial plant.)
However, the annual herb that is used for making tea is the German chamomile.
Chamomile Tea Health Benefits
With its remarkable health benefits, chamomile tea is indeed a common variety of tea. It is packed with anti-inflammatory properties, soothing effect, and other benefits. Here are some of the recognized health benefits of drinking chamomile tea:
1. Induces Calming Effect
Undeniably, this tea is well-known for its power to soothe and reduce stress. It works by activating happy hormones such as serotonin and melatonin, thus, helps combat worries and anxiety. Moreover, it can help relieve headaches or migraines. Therefore, chamomile tea can make you sleep faster and get a deep rest.
2. Soothes Digestion
Another amazing benefit is it helps prevent stomachaches and other problems with the digestive system. The excess gas is relieved by the tea, more so, inflammation due to stomach pain and bloating is also placated. The acid levels in the stomach are controlled by the chemical compounds so ulcer is stopped as well.
3. Enhances Immune System
Both in traditional and modern medicine, the immune-boosting benefits of this tea have been acknowledged. Breathing some fresh scent of chamomile tea helps alleviate congestion and soothe a sore throat as antibacterial properties reduce the source of the common cold or flu.
4. Good for the Skin
Do you know that drinking a hot chamomile tea could do miracles not only for your inner health but also for your skin too! This magical brew can be used as regular skin bleach. Due to the antioxidants, it truly helps boost your skin health. Your complexion becomes brighter and gives you fair-glowing skin.
5. Reduces Acne
Not only making you glow but also chamomile tea also helps fight every girl’s nightmare: frequent acne breakout. It helps reduce your spots, reduce acne scars, and combat breakouts, if used frequently, with the aid of anti-inflammatory and antibacterial abilities.
Being a natural antioxidant, it protects the skin from impairments. It speeds up cell and tissue regeneration, tightens the pores and makes the aging process slow down.
How to Make Chamomile Tea
Preparing chamomile tea is not that hard at all. If you opt to make one using a teabag, simply boil water and add the tea bag to it. But, we are telling you that making the tea using fresh flowers is the better option. The smell of apple-like scent is simply irresistible. Here’s a simple recipe on how to make chamomile tea using fresh flowers:
Basic Fresh Flower Chamomile Tea
- Fresh chamomile flowers (more petals for stronger tea)
- 2 pieces of apple mint leaves (optional)
- 8 ounces of boiling water
- Gather the fresh flowers by eradicating the entire flower from the stem. Wash them in warm water and let them dry. Making chamomile tea is best prepared using freshly reaped blossoms. Store the flowers in the fridge for up to 48 hours, if you can. Put the petals in a soaked paper towel and keep in a sealed container.
- Put water into a boil in a large pot or tea kettle. Infusion tea kettles are the best option for fresh flower teas since they have built-in parts to keep the petals away from each other. Other infusion devices such as a tea ball or cheesecloth also make a good alternative. Remember to always use pure or spring water and not tap water when making this tea to maintain the natural flavor.
- Put the flower petals in an infuser and let them steep in the kettle or pot for 5 minutes.
- Take the flower petals out of the pot or kettle and you can add mint leaves if you want before pouring some into a teacup. Enjoy yourself!
Best Chamomile Tea Recipes
Chamomile tea is a stress-free drink to make and its delicate flavor combines wonderfully with other herbs and spices. When making variations, chamomile teas that are made with fresh flowers are best to offer super flavor. Read on to check out our different recipes using fresh chamomile flowers.
1. Lavender and Chamomile Tea
- 1/2 cup of fresh chamomile flowers (more petals for stronger tea)
- 1/2 cup of fresh lavender flowers
- 1/2 cup of apple mint leaves
- 2 whole-juiced lemons (optional)
- 1/4 cup of honey (optional)
- Boil water into a large pot or kettle. Cool for 1 minute after removing from heat.
- Put the chamomile flowers, lavender flowers, and mint leaves to a tea ball. Let them infuse in the hot water and steep for 5 minutes.
- Remove the tea ball and strain loose flowers and leaves.
- You can add some lemon juice and honey to hot tea if you like. Serve while hot.
2. Chamomile and Cinnamon Latte
- 8 ounces of spring or pure water
- 8 ounces of milk (any kind will do)
- 1 handful of fresh chamomile flowers
- 1 tbsp. of maple syrup
- 1/2 tsp. of ground cinnamon
- Boil water in a medium saucepan.
- Remove heat then add the chamomile flowers. Steep for 5 minutes.
- Pour some maple syrup and cinnamon.
- Heat and put the milk into a whip by using a milk frother on an espresso machine or a hand frother. In case you do not have one, just heat the milk in another pan and whisk briskly. Continue whisking until little bubbles form and the milk becomes fizzy.
- Mix the water potion and milk into a cup. Add some milk foam to the top of the mug. Sprinkle with cinnamon and enjoy yourself!
3. Chamomile Ginger Iced Tea
- 8 cups of water
- 1 fresh ginger (2 inches)
- 2 cups of fresh chamomile flowers
- 4 tbsp. of honey
- 2 freshly squeezed lemons
- Have a medium saucepan to get water to a quick simmer. Let heat subside and cool for 1 minute.
- Combine chamomile flowers, ginger, lemons, and honey. Steep for 1 hour or until it cools down to room temperature.
- In a large glass pitcher, strain the tea. Store in the refrigerator for 3 hours.
- Prepare tall glasses with ice cubes and pour the tea. Relish with a lemon slice and fresh chamomile flower if preferred.
How to Grow Chamomile Herb at Home
If you are so interested in this type of tea that you choose to grow chamomile in your own garden, here are some easy steps and tips that guide you:
Method 1: Growing Chamomile Seeds Indoors
1. Begin growing indoor chamomile seeds in the last days of winter.
Before the last expected cold weather in your area, you can start seeds indoors around six weeks. Light is necessary for germination, so simply scatter the seeds and scratch them into the soil. For faster sprouting, leave the seeds with uncovered. Usually, it takes about seven to fourteen days for chamomile seeds to develop.
2. For sowing, utilize a multi-container tray.
Get a seeding tray that has several tiny containers. They can be used to do multiple plantings all at once.
3. Make the seed sowing compost damp in the containers.
You can buy a soil mix specially designed for growing seeds. Put each container ¾ full of it with soil. Dampen the soil well.
4. Cover the seeds lightly with little soil.
Pour about six chamomile seeds in each container. Have them covered lightly with just enough amount of soil.
5. Water the containers using a spray bottle or a sprinkler.
Make sure to moist the soil and keep checking on the seeds daily to ensure the soil is moist, but not soaked. Sprinkle water on the seeds, probably once a day.
6. Change the temperature to promote germination.
The suitable temperature for growing the seeds is between 65-85℉. During daytime, put the pots in a higher temperature (sunny spot). Meanwhile, set it in a little colder temperature at night.
7. Cut one seedling when plants are 2 inches high.
This process will leave one healthy seedling in one container. Cut seedlings to thin them. Do not pull their roots so as not to disturb their growth.
8. Ready your plants for transplanting for two weeks.
Prepare your plant for their life outside by putting them outside under shade for some hours a day. Expose them more outdoors by adding a few hours a day for two weeks.
9. Transfer the plants once all danger of extreme cold is done.
This must be done after about six weeks of starting your seeds. When removing sprouts, keep in mind to space them about 8 to 10 inches apart in the lawn bed. Place the holes with a combination of soil and fertilizer that releases slow.
Method 2: Growing Chamomile Outdoors
1. Find a warm and sunny spot for your chamomile.
The plant will blossom at its finest under full sun. If you live in a scorching environment, partial shade is preferable to guarantee your plants to have some protection from the heat.
2. Use a rake to smooth the soil.
Prepare the soil by removing any rocks, clumpy soil, or any weeds by raking the area. Aim for a minimum of 1 foot deep. After that, put the soil back and prep for it for an even planting surface.
3. Choose German chamomile if you have low-quality soil.
This can thrive with low nutrition in the soil.
4. Opt for Roman chamomile if you have good, fertile soil.
Roman chamomile blooms best in high-quality soil. This variety is a perennial, so it does not need replanting every year.
5. Plant your seeds in the last days of spring or summer to prevent frost.
Make sure the season of cold temperature has passed before sowing your seeds. This varies depending on where you live.
6. Pour the seeds gently on top of the soil.
Sprinkle the seeds all over the soil. Gently cover them with only a small amount of soil for they need sunlight to germinate better. You should still be able to see the seeds even when covered.
7. Water the seeds until it the soil is wet enough.
After your plants have adjusted outdoors, consistent watering will boost more blossoms. Since chamomile is a drought-tolerant bush, it can survive without water if needed.
8. Cut seedlings when they are 2 inches tall.
Make some space of about 8 to 10 inches between seedling. Cut the seedlings at a ground level, and not their roots.
When to Harvest Your Chamomile
Gather the chamomile flowers once they are completely open. These aromatic flowers can be used fresh or withered. You can even store them to be used later. In case the leaves that you brew make your drink bitter, leave them out and just harvest the flowers.
Common Chamomile Tea Questions: Answered
Below are some the questions that are frequently asked about chamomile tea. Scroll down below to see more:
Does chamomile tea really help fight insomnia?
Certainly, this has been proven to be true. People who have sleeping problems or insomnia are helped by drinking this sleep-inducing tea for years. This is all because of apigenin – a flavonoid that impasses itself to benzodiazepine receptors in our brain. Hence, it helps pacify our nerves as we drink it after such a long day, causing a peaceful and uninterrupted sleep.
What is more, chamomile serves as a natural cure for mood disorders such as anxiety and depression. As reported, it was found to be effective in the treatment of Generalized Anxiety Disorder.
How long before bed should you drink chamomile tea?
Be careful not to let the steeping stay for more than 10 minutes. The ideal time to drink this tea is about 30 minutes before bed. It’s widely regarded as a mild tranquilizer and sleep-inducer. As mentioned, the tranquilizing effect happens from the said flavonoid in the brain receptors.
Is it safe to drink chamomile tea every night?
The many benefits of drinking this chamomile tea have been proven to be true based on the studies. Since it is a tisane or non-caffeinated, drinking this every night would not be a bad idea after all. Nevertheless, chamomile is a very safe brew to have before you go to bed.
How many cups of chamomile tea can I drink a day?
It has been said that there is no limit as to how many cups of chamomile tea you can drink a day. In terms of daily capsule form, 400 milligrams to 1,600 milligrams is the amount being used. For some people, they drink one to four cups daily. Nonetheless, it is still up to the person’s tolerance and preference.
What are the side effects of chamomile tea?
Here are some of the common side effects that have been reported, though it is not usually severe, it still varies from person-to-person. Therefore, it is always best to drink in moderation:
- Allergic reaction
- Skin reactions or irritations
- Hypersensitivity reactions
- Nausea or vomiting (only in excess dosage
Truly, chamomile tea does many wonders and is considered as a healthy concoction. Although its potential as a sedative and antioxidant beverage may have many health benefits, the research and studies could still be improved to provide stronger evidence further to support its effects on health.
Even so, this is really a safe brew and no one can stop themselves from drinking it for its delightful taste and soothing scent. In case you find it in your heart to discover chamomile tea’s potential benefits, it is undeniably perfect for having a healthier lifestyle.
From a simple penchant for yellow flowers as a child to becoming a full-time gardener, nature advocate, and garden designer, I am extremely happy to finally have a platform for me to successfully spread knowledge and expertise in the garden. After highschool graduation, I took many courses related to garden design to feed myself with more knowledge and expertise other than what I learned from my mom growing up. Soon as I finished courses, I gained more experience through internships and most especially, garden shows! I also tried to join as many garden design competitions locally. For any garden design inquiries, ping me!