Chamomile Tea Benefits
German chamomile, most recognized as a calming tea is often mistaken for Roman chamomile, (Chamaemelum nobile). Roman chamomile is a low growing perennial that produces a bitter tea. German chamomile is an annual from the Asteraceae family and makes a much sweeter tea that is often used for calming nerves, inducing sleep, and soothing digestion. Chamomile has been used medicinally for centuries and considered to be a universal remedy by ancient Egyptians.
Chamomile Tea Benefits
Brewing chamomile tea is very easy and offers many benefits. To fix a healthy herbal tea such as chamomile all you need to do is scoop 1-2 teaspoons of dried chamomile flowers to 8 ounces of boiling water for about 10 minutes and then strain. Here are some of the wonderful benefits chamomile tea is known for.
- Boosting the immune system and fighting infections associated with colds.
- Relaxes nerves
- Relieves muscle spasms, and menstrual cramps in woman.
- Can reduce inflammation.
- Improve liver function.
- Soothe stomach aches.
- Relieve back pains
- Improve sleep.
Growing chamomile is very simple and though it is an annual it does reseed very easily. You can sow chamomile seed in early spring or late fall. If you sow seeds in late fall the seeds benefit from the cold exposure and allow for an early start come spring. Chamomile does well in uncultivated soil and is drought tolerant, but can always benefit from occasional watering. If you are planning to start chamomile indoors you should start 8-10 weeks before last spring frost. Chamomile seeds are very tiny and should be buried very lightly beneath the soil.
Harvesting chamomile should be done during mid-day when the flowers of fully opened and dry. When chamomile is being harvested for oil it is typically cut 2 to 4 inches below the flowers. Harvesting chamomile for tea all you want is the flower heads- no stems. This is done by pinching or cutting the flower head off manually, or using your fingers as a rake, plucking the flower heads off. Chamomile rakes are extremely handy to have and make harvesting chamomile very simple, efficient and fast.
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