Daisy-Like Flower That Is A Member Of The Sunflower Family Chamomile – The Pretty, Calming Herb

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Chamomile – The Pretty, Calming Herb

Chamomile or camomile is a beautiful daisy-like creeping plant that is often used to make herbal tea. It has beautiful white flowers with yellow centers that appear above delicate pinnate leaves from May to October. There are several varieties of this plant – some are used to make tea, while others are excellent for making lawns or edging paths.

Chamomile comes from the Asteraceae family – one of the largest plant families, containing over 22,750 species. This family also includes daisies, asters, sunflowers, marigolds, chrysanthemums, and dahlias, to name a few.

Chamomile cultivation

Chamomile, like other plants, prefers a well-drained, sunny site – although it will adapt to almost any soil condition. The plants spread quite quickly, so they will need to be spaced nine to ten inches apart. Due to their rapid growth, they will need to be trimmed to prevent them from invading the rest of your borders. You can also divide the plants every three years.

Use it

Roman (Matricaria Recutita) and German (Chamomilla Recutita) varieties are most often used to prepare chamomile tea, while non-flowering varieties are used to make chamomile lawns. The flowers and leaves are also used in pot-pourri, while the open flowers are used in herbal hair rinses. As the flowers are edible, you can also add them to salads.

Chamomile tea is said to help with sleep, as well as a whole host of other ailments, including digestive and nervous problems. It is also said to be very beneficial for those suffering from irritable bowel syndrome. The flowers can be used fresh or dried.

To make chamomile tea, simply add boiling water to a cup containing one heaping tablespoon of dried or fresh flowers. Let it sit for about five minutes before straining. You can add honey and lemon to sweeten the taste and you can drink it hot or cold.

Dried chamomile flowers can also be used as an insect repellent.

Drying flowers

The flowers can easily be dried for future use. Pick the open flowers in the morning and rinse them in cold salt water to get rid of any insects. Strain through a colander to remove excess water (alternatively, use a salad spinner), then place the flowers on paper towels to dry for about 25 minutes.

Place the dried flowers on trays lined with paper, making sure they are not touching, cover with a paper towel and leave in a well-ventilated room for about three days. Alternatively, you can dry them in a preheated oven for several hours. Turn off the oven and place the flower trays inside for about four hours. Leave the oven door slightly open during the drying period.

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