Thursday, May 22, 2008

Chamomile-from flower to tea- make your own today

I try to make some of our own tea around here and so far, one of the easiest to make is Chamomile. It is nice, soothing and can't be beat for mild taste and flavor. To get started making your own, first you must plant chamomile plants. You can do this from seed or from already started seedlings from your local nursery. Once I got mine started, they reseed themselves every year and there has been no need to replant. This is a pic of the actual plant. Not that the flower heads are small about the size of baby peas at the most. As your plants bloom with the flowers, then you go and pick all the millions of tiny little flower heads off your plants and keep them. They take a long time to collect so you need to do this over and over to collect enough. I do it about ever 2 or 3 days and dry it each day and keep adding it together to make a larger amount.
This is a picture of one small batch of the chamomile that I have picked, cleaned and have laying out on the dehydrator. You can use any type of dehydrator that you may have, or even put it in a very low oven (warm setting) or even with a pilot light on and let it dry out. It really doesn't' take to long because it is very small to begin with.
Once all the chamomile is dry, then I place it in a plastic baggy and keep adding to it every few days. It takes a while to collect and to actually accrue any amounts, but it does happen. Once I get about 1 cup of dried chamomile, then I place it in a food saver bag and remove the air, so that it will "save" for a long period of time, without losing any flavor. That is all it takes to make your own wonderful Chamomile tea, right from home.
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