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Herb & Garden Knowledge: Chamomile- peace & pretty & pain management

Updated: Mar 23

  • One of the renowned herbs for peace and tranquility


Easily homegrown, grows wild in the backyard pretty and scraggly.

Super fragrant.

So I quickly learned, there are two common varieties of chamomile you can find, I began to grow both and this is what I have learned.. both contain the essential oil chamazulene (also found in yarrow & rose- how cool!) renowned for it's calming anti-inflammatory properties.

  • ROMAN CHAMOMILE- mine grew less scraggly than the German crop and in long upright but fallen bunches. It usually will end up being an annual unless you turn some of the flowers (containing seed) into the soil and protect them from the harsh winter. Larger flowers but blooming less frequent/less overall. Not as fragrant, contains less essential oil, however can be used as an edible flower in salads and tea with calming properties.

  • GERMAN CHAMOMILE- more essential oil concentration and obviously more fragrant, used in herbal medicine, self-seeding, grows more scraggly like fallen and creeping long across the ground. Very fragrant. Smaller flowers and abundant bloom, the more you pick, the more it blooms. This quickly spread into different areas of the gardens, and I am pretty sure it was originally in a planter across the yard, so the seed blew in the wind.

How to use chamomile flowers:

My favourite way to consume this flower; hands down is in a tea- my favourite is our WIND IT DOWN Tea, a herbal garden tea for relaxation.


Dry your plant.

First I would dry your harvested plant. I like to harvest the flower and some of the leaves/stem. The highest concentration of essential oil is in the flower, so I would keep this in mind depending on how intense you would like your extraction to be.

Place herb on a tray in a light and well circulated room, put the base as paper so evaporation and moisture will be wicked off the plant.

Another option I do more frequently: place the herb in a paper bag in a well ventilated area, loosely closed and shake every few days to ensure the plant dehydrates evenly. This method dries the plant well and protects the delicate essential oils, plus prevents dust contamination.

For some herbs you can gather the plant bunch and hang it upside down to dry. This works really well with hardy herbs and roots, but I would not recommend this for chamomile as the petals will fall very easily and would waste some of the essential oil and flavour content.

Extract & use:

  • Use chamomile in the tea method mentioned above

  • Infused into an oil- you can do this from dry or wet flower, I like to do it from dry herb to ensure there is no chance of oil rancidity. Cover the plant in oil and let it absorb for 2-3weeks. I like to add a low heat or place in a warm area to help the extraction come along. Favourite oils to use are local sunflower oil and olive oil, but use your favourite. Once it has infused, apply this oil to the back, chest, feet or use it as a serum in your beauty routine. If you don't add any other essential oils this oil can be taken in small amounts orally for relaxation.

  • Infused into alcohol- cover the dry plant in alcohol, we use brandy, for 3-5 months. Shake regularly to aid the extraction. The final product can be taken in small amounts 0.5tsp for relaxation.

  • Infused into vinegar- a great calming ingredient in a homemade skin toner. Cover in vinegar and allow to infuse for multiple months.

Benefits of chamomile:


  • An antispasmodic for mind, body and soul.

  • Releases tension, spasms, cramps and over-active muscles- including the digestive, lungs and surface of the skin.

  • Commonly used in children who are teething, gassy or hyperactive.


  • Helps to soothe and distract the sensation of recurring pain.

  • Can be taken as a preventative or to relieve.


  • A common addition in digestive formulas for it's ability to relax the muscles of the digestive tract to relieve gas and bloating.


  • Releases endorphins (our feel-good hormones), and these counteract inflammation.

  • Beneficial for low mood, depression, anxiety and fear.


  • Classified as an "emmenagogue", chamomile can regulate hormones in small regular doses (including men), or induce (paired with similar herbs) menstruation in large doses. High doses as in 5+cups of strong tea per day in addition to tinctures, not an effect to be worried about by drinking a daily cup.

  • This can be beneficial to shift a cycle, or to come out of amenorrhea.


  • Bitter taste stimulates liver detoxification and flushes waste from the bowels.


  • Nutrients promote hair growth and strength (also when we are calm our hair is receives circulation).

  • A nice ingredient to add to herbal hair rinses, and herbal hair serums, especially for blonde hair.

Thank you for reading! I hope this intrigues you as you plan for next years garden season.

- Samantha

DISCLAIMER: Please note the NIH herbal encyclopedia is created to share the herbal benefits and notes through personal experience working with plants in the NIH garden and in the wild. Herbal knowledge shared here is referenced by various herbal texts in the NIH library. Any information gathered from our herbal blog posts should be utilized at your own risk. If you have medical conditions, are taking medication or are unsure of your health diagnosis, please speak with a physician or medical professional about the use of herbs.


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