Monastic Tea Garden – Chamomile

Greetings on a hot and humid day from the Ohio River Valley. 🙂  I thought this Saturday afternoon a good time to talk about Tea once again. You can see our previous post in this series here: Monastic Tea Garden – The Mints

In May 2013, a friend gave us three packets of German Chamomile seeds, which were lovingly sown in an unused section of one of our sacristy gardens. They re-seeded themselves, and this year we also sowed Roman Chamomile. The difference? German chamomile is a tall annual, and Roman is a perennial groundcover. Both have delightfully ferny foliage and cheerful daisy flowers. The flowers are what are harvested for tea. A great debate has raged over the centuries as to which variety is better for tea. We choose both!

German Chamomile

German Chamomile

Roman Chamomile

Roman Chamomile

Chamomile harvesting is an every day event during the summer months. Unlike most herbs, which are best harvested in the cool of the morning before the leaves have become limp from sun and weather, ripe chamomile flowers are best gathered when the sun has warmed them. We troop out at our noon recreation to pick the happy little blossoms. They are ready when the whole yellow center has opened up and the white petals have folded under the flower. Wash them two or three times, pat them dry, and put them in the oven – they will be ready for storage in the morning. The dried flowers should be crumbled before they are steeped in tea.

Storing Chamomile

Storing Chamomile

Chamomile is one of the celebrity herbal teas for its medicinal qualities: anti-anxiety, sleep-inducing, anti-inflammatory, and anti-cancer are some of its main uses! Many people – nuns included – are fond of it as a bedtime tea.

Chamomile Tea

Chamomile Tea

Sleepy Time Tea

Sleepy Time Tea – A mix of Chamomile and Spearmint

Be sure to stay posted for the next Tea article which will feature the herb Hyssop.

4 thoughts on “Monastic Tea Garden – Chamomile

  1. I never knew that chamomile was a daisy looking flower. Thank you for sharing your tea expertise. Happy tea drinking!

  2. Dear Sisters – the tea sounds just lovely! I wonder – would you ever consider offering you tea for sale? There is probably a huge market out there for your tea!

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