Nothing reminds us that summer is coming quite as well as the arrival of beautiful flowers. One flower that always makes us smile is the daisy and its close relative, the chamomile flower. Blooming from late spring to midsummer, its pretty white petals and yellow core evoke thoughts of sunny, breezy days.

Chamomile is a member of the Asteraceae family and is one of the oldest medicinal herbs known to mankind. Revered by the Greeks as magical and worshiped for its healing properties by the ancient Egyptians, chamomile has been used for centuries as a relaxing and soothing herb. People around the world use chamomile and all its derivatives as a medicinal cure-all for many mental and physical health ailments.

Chamomile Flowers

One of the most common uses for chamomile is tea. Well-known for its calming properties, chamomile tea is often recommended for those experiencing restless or sleepless nights. A mug of warm, soothing chamomile tea an hour before bedtime can often work miracles.

Making your own chamomile tea can be very easy if you’re lucky enough to have access to fresh chamomile flowers. Pick the flowers in the early morning, making sure to only pick the flower heads. Soak in water, removing any dirt or insects, sift and allow to dry. Either hang the flowers to air-dry or place in a pre-heated oven (400ºF) that has been turned off, checking them regularly. Once the flowers have dried, you’re ready to make your very own cup of tea! For those of you less fortunate, pick up some organic chamomile tea here!

chamomile

Though conventionally consumed hot, chamomile tea also makes a great cold beverage on warm summer days. Brew a pot of hot tea, let it cool down and add ice. Add honey or lemon to taste and enjoy! A great way to make sure the ice doesn’t water the tea down is to make chamomile ice cubes. Cool freshly brewed chamomile tea and pour into ice cube trays. Fun tip – add some of the chamomile flowers to your ice cubes for a decorative touch!

Besides the well-known calming properties of drinking chamomile, this herb also has a number of useful topical applications. Adding chamomile flowers or oil to your bath can help relieve muscle aches, soothe tired feet and soften skin, while the tea bags are often recommended as a remedy to help reduce dark circles under eyes.

Did you know that this tiny and beautiful flower had so much to offer? How do you enjoy the wonderful benefits of chamomile?