How do I harvest chamomile for tea?

habman(5B CND)June 20, 2007

First time growing chamomile.

Right now they are about 5 inches tall and starting to flower.

How do I harvest chamomile for tea?

Do I just cut the entire flower and let it dry?

Do I use only the petals?

Or do I also use the green leaves?

I have no clue.

Can I make it with fresh flowers or does it need to be dried first?

Can't wait to try my first brew of fresh chamomile :)

Thanks

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rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

You're growing German Chamomile, right?

You'll harvest the flower heads at their peak and dry them whole. After they are completely dry, you can crumble them up to store them. No stems and no leaves.

You know, I don't know the answer about using fresh flowers to make your tea. I hope that someone jumps in on that one.

    Bookmark   June 20, 2007 at 3:29PM
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herbalbetty

I grow German chamomile for tea, the Bodegold variety. It will get over 2 foot high. I use my fingers as a "rake" and harvest the whole flower heads. You can use chamomile fresh or dry it. I don't crumble my dried chamomile to store it. I keep all my dried herbs as whole as possible. Crushing/crumbling releases the volatile oils and there goes the flavor and medicinal value. I crush as I use the herb. Chamomile combines very well with lemon balm (fresh or dried) for an excellent tea. Enjoy your harvest!

    Bookmark   June 20, 2007 at 4:24PM
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habman(5B CND)

Great! thx for the info.
yes it's German Chamomile. I started them from seeds.
By looking at the tiny seeds I figured nothing would grow.Ah!
Just whish I grew more.
Oh well next year.

    Bookmark   June 20, 2007 at 9:14PM
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classicbud808

I have recently painted my thumb Green and I have a couple of questions.
why doesn't my chamomile have a flower?
What else can I use it for

    Bookmark   June 25, 2008 at 1:17PM
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fatamorgana2121(Zone 5/6)

Try Plants for a Future for more info on what you could use it for.

FataMorgana

Here is a link that might be useful: PFAF - Matricaria recutita

    Bookmark   June 25, 2008 at 5:49PM
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happycatpaws_yahoo_com

I just read about chamomile interactions with other meds. Such as, combined with aspirin, it can cause internal bleeding. I just drank chamomile tea last night and also took an aspirin, so I wasn't excited to read this. There are some other interactions possible also. So, just suggesting you might research this factor to have the knowledge before making your tea.

    Bookmark   July 23, 2008 at 11:12AM
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fatamorgana2121(Zone 5/6)

Normal foods can interact with medicines as well herbs. As such it is important to know what medicines you are taking and the possible interactions with it.

FataMorgana

    Bookmark   July 23, 2008 at 6:51PM
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plumetta

I don't know if my chamomile is German. It was a gift. Is it safe to use as tea?

    Bookmark   September 5, 2008 at 11:29AM
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botan

Could someone tell me how long I can keep dried camomile flowers? I harvested mine last summer, and kept them in a plastic container. I noticed that they smelled funny yesterday. Is the plastic container the problem? Or will they actually get bad after so many months? Is it still good/safe to make tea with them? Thank you.

    Bookmark   May 12, 2010 at 1:29PM
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fatamorgana2121(Zone 5/6)

As a rule, a year is the average shelf-life for raw herb material. After that it's quality comes into question.

Plastic containers are prone to lingering flavors from the last item kept in the container.

Kept in average conditions, your chamomile should still be good to use. If moisture got in at some point, there could be a mold issue which means a trip to the compost bin in my book.

FataMorgana

    Bookmark   May 12, 2010 at 5:39PM
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gardencrazy5341_hotmail_com

I'm looking for a chamomile rake to harvest flowers? Saw one one on Etsy, but not currently listed for sale. Anybody know where to find one?

    Bookmark   March 3, 2011 at 11:54PM
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fatamorgana2121(Zone 5/6)

Johnnys Selected Seeds has one for sale. Too pricey for me. I just hand harvest.

FataMorgana

    Bookmark   March 4, 2011 at 8:39AM
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cre8tive_gwi_net

My chamomile petals are white. Do you know what kind the are? Are they still good for teas? Do you use the bud too? Do I take off the pollen?

    Bookmark   June 18, 2011 at 5:06PM
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fatamorgana2121(Zone 5/6)

Whole open chamomile flowers are used, petals, pollen, seeds, and all. Good for tea.

Sorry, but lot of things have white petals. If you give us a name (from the plant label or seed packet) or maybe a photo of the plant (including foliage), we could maybe tell you more.

FataMorgana

    Bookmark   June 19, 2011 at 10:32AM
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wywild_aol_com

I have bought my chamomile (german) plants for two years now, they are annuals. I only seem to get 40 or so flowers each year, not really enough for a couple small brewed pots.
I have my peppermint which is a perennial to back me up and with the peppermint I get about 150 leaves a week and dry and store enough for iced in summer and hot with honey all winter. The pepperment even spreads so I get more each year but have 22" patio blocks built around my pepperment bed to contain it, but am still enjoying it's spreading since it's only it's 3rd year.
Below is a link to anything you want to know about the chamomile tea.
Enjoy!

Here is a link that might be useful: Growing Chamomile

    Bookmark   June 26, 2011 at 4:39PM
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Rabimole

We've been growing our own chamomile for tea but my tea comes out really bitter, to the point that you have to spit it out. It also has a weird after taste. I'm drying the chamomile after harvest (picked as soon as flower opens, no stem or leaves), until completely dried...bone dry. Whats the deal? Could it be the variety? Think its german but not sure.

    Bookmark   June 29, 2011 at 9:20PM
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robyn_nicole_parker_gmail_com

can you harvest chamomile many times throughout the summer? Or is it a one time thing?

Robyn.

    Bookmark   July 4, 2011 at 4:45PM
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fatamorgana2121(Zone 5/6)

If it is blooming you can harvest it. My chamomile usually has 1 big flush of blooms and followed by more scattered, infrequent blooms.

FataMorgana

    Bookmark   July 5, 2011 at 9:25AM
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flannelguy69_comcast_net

You might want to try storing all of your herbs and such in small Mason jars rather than plastic containers. If you are lucky as I am to have too much slip in an AirPac and simply screw the lid on hand-tight. Would anyone care to venture to guess what family and friends are going to be receiving for Christmas this year!?? It will go very well with the fresh square of honey harvested from my hive I started this spring.

    Bookmark   July 5, 2011 at 11:52PM
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animaldrj

Curious as to the best way to dry the flowers...do you leave them out? dry them in an oven on low? Also, if you combine the flowers with lemon balm for tea, do you dry the lemon balm leaves or use them fresh?

joe

    Bookmark   July 8, 2011 at 9:23AM
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fatamorgana2121(Zone 5/6)

I air dry both chamomile and lemon balm on screens for later use.

FataMorgana

    Bookmark   July 8, 2011 at 9:40AM
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hykaiaxgun

do you wash the flowers first?

    Bookmark   August 21, 2011 at 11:14AM
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fatamorgana2121(Zone 5/6)

No. The only herbs I wash are roots collected. Everything else I do not wash. I use no chemicals, pesticides, or herbicides in my gardens so there will be none of that on the botanical materials collected. Any bits of clinging dirt (which usually isn't much) tends fall off during the drying process.

FataMorgana

    Bookmark   August 21, 2011 at 6:47PM
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sheryl_ontario(Muncho Lake, BC z2)

Can the leaves of chamomile be used for tea as well, does it have to be just the flowers?

    Bookmark   August 26, 2011 at 3:39PM
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fatamorgana2121(Zone 5/6)

I suspect that the leaves have a bitter quality to them that make them unpalatable for tea - else people would have been harvesting the entire plant for tea for centuries, don't you think? ;)

FataMorgana

    Bookmark   August 28, 2011 at 10:12AM
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sheryl_ontario(Muncho Lake, BC z2)

hmm...possibly. I have fairly new plants and not many flowers this year but want it for sleepy tea in the winter. I think I will give the leaves a try. It can't possibly be as bad tasting as feverfew! lol!

    Bookmark   September 8, 2011 at 7:59PM
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nygardener(z6 New York)

When I grew chamomile, I had a difficult time separating the flowers from their stems and the green sepals. Does anyone have any tricks for this?

    Bookmark   September 12, 2011 at 9:04AM
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drmbear

The leaves of chamomile are not acceptable for tea - very bitter, and for some reason I believe I saw somewhere that it has some toxic qualities. German chamomile is an annual, and it grows well from seed. Meaning, considering all those flowers that don't get harvested, it reseeds itself with no problems at all. I use my little herb scissors to harvest chamomile, snipping off the flowers when at their peak. I like them best included in tea fresh, but I also dry some for use later.

    Bookmark   November 16, 2011 at 2:23PM
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Alyssa DeRonne

Did anyone find out if there is a problem with chamomile that isn't german? I have a volunteer chamomile plant in my garden. Not sure what kind it is, but I would like to make a cup of tea with it!

    Bookmark   March 11, 2012 at 10:36AM
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