Chamomile is a beautiful little white-petaled flower that can be dried and made into a fruity-tasting herbal tea. If you are growing chamomile in your balcony garden to make tea, get the German chamomile variety and not Roman chamomile.
Chamomile is a relaxing tea that may help you sleep. This container plant also does wonders for upset stomachs, helps with irritable bowel syndrome, and it can reduce menstrual cramp pain. Research also suggests that it may lower cholesterol.
1. Grow German chamomile. If you want to have extra tea to store for future use, make sure to grow as many flowers as possible. Many gardeners can only harvest enough flowers for several cups of tea. Learn more about growing the German chamomile flower>>
2. Harvest the flowers. Once your chamomile plant blooms, harvest the chamomile flower and dry it to make tea. Chamomile rakes are expensive and not necessary unless you have so much to harvest that you don’t have time to harvest everything by hand.
3. Dry the Chamomile flowers. When drying the chamomile flower, keep the heads, petals, pollen and everything, but do not use the stems or leaves.
4. Store the dried flowers. After they are completely dried, store them whole (crumbling them will release the oils and reduce the flavor and medicinal value). You can keep your chamomile flower heads in plastic bags or containers. Try keeping them in sealed mason jars with a silicone gel pack to keep out moisture. The dried chamomile flower heads can be kept up to a year in a cool, dry place.
5. Make the tea. To make the tea, use 2 to 3 teaspoons of dried chamomile flowers per cup of water. To ingest all of the beneficial oils, steep the tea in a covered cup for 10 minutes. Combine with lemon balm or lemon juice, or add vanilla and honey for great flavors.
Growing, drying, storing and making chamomile tea is easy, tasty and beneficial to your health. These pretty little flowers will make your garden beautiful and can provide you with tea for an entire year.