Post by Contributing Writer, Stacy
With spring beginning, many of us are thinking about the garden. Besides growing plants for food, I hope to persuade you to include chamomile your backyard this year.
Chamomile is well known for its ability to relax and soothe. Often used to encourage sleep, it is also helpful in relieving indigestion. In addition to these benefits, chamomile is said to reduce colic symptoms, menstrual cramps, and also have the ability to enhance blond highlights in your hair!
But it’s not just chamomile’s medicinal properties that get me excited. . .
As someone who enjoys making things from scratch, chamomile provides an abundance of possibilities. Here are a few things that can be made with chamomile flowers:
- Tea – Steep 1 teaspoon of dried chamomile or 2 teaspoons of fresh in 1 cup of warm water (follow these tips to brew a perfect cup of tea!).
- Tincture – this is very easy to make (I’ll share in a future post).
- Bath Tea Bag – Fill a fabric tea bag with chamomile flowers and let float in the water. Soak and relax for at least 15 minutes.
- Sleep Pillow – Sew a rectangle shape leaving one end open, fill with dried chamomile (can also add lavender flowers), sew up the open end and voila, a sleep pillow!
- Potpourri – Dried chamomile flowers are often included in potpourri because they keep their sweet smell and color for a long time.
- Salve or Cream
So far we can see that chamomile has some wonderful medicinal benefits, is an excellent ingredient in all manner of homemade goodies, and last of all. . .
It is easy to grow!
As a busy mother, if something is going to make it in my garden, it can’t be difficult to take care of.
If it is, it will die!
I don’t have a green thumb, but I still want to benefit from growing my own herbs. I’m always looking for plants that are easy to grow and will be useful to my family. Chamomile fits the bill on both counts.
There are two kinds of chamomile: German chamomile and Roman chamomile. For making sweet-tasting tea and other herbal products, German is the one you want.
German chamomile is an annual, which means it needs to be replanted each year (although it does often self-seed and can be quite aggressive). This plant prefers temperate climates and requires light to moderate watering. It is recommended for zones 4 – 9.
German chamomile seeds can be directly sown in soil that is above 55 degrees F, however the seeds are very small and can easily be sown too close together and may be difficult to keep moist until germination. Because of this, it may be safer to start plants inside five weeks prior to the date you wish to transplant outdoors. It is best to wait until all danger of frost has past before planting outside.
For making tea and homemade body products, we are interested in the chamomile flowers. These bloom around June until the frost. They can be picked and dried, or used fresh for tea and tincture making.
So, have I convinced you? Will chamomile be growing in your yard this year? Does it already?
Stacy is wife to a preacher and mom to three busy children. She strives to live a healthy, happy life with God at the helm. Stacy writes about finding peace and joy at home, on her blog: Delighting in the Days.