How to Make Chamomile Tea: Bedtime Brew
Proponents claim a tremendous number of health benefits for chamomile. Most people find tea made from chamomile to be a relaxing brew. It can relieve stress and aids in sleep if taken just before bedtime.
Many chamomile teas are available on the market and can be purchased from grocery store shelves, as well as on-line. Hundreds of thousands of pounds of chamomile are imported to the U.S. every year to make teas (or tisanes). Often, branded chamomile tea is made from a blend of different chamomile flowers to provide the right combination of bitter and sweet. Chamomile is also often mixed with other herbs and flowers to produce remarkable and unique tisanes.
Chamomile tea can be made from natural ingredients at home. Though chamomile can often be found wild in unsprayed lawns, it is best to buy seeds from a seed company and grow chamomile in the garden. This insures the chamomile is bred specifically for making tea, and can avoid harmful herbs or insecticides. Chamomile tea can be made from any variety of the chamomile flower.
The tea can be made from flowers freshly picked or dried. Freshly picked flowers can be added directly to a pot filled with just boiled water. Steep the flowers for about three minutes and then remove. The tea can then be poured off into a cup. Consuming a petal or two is not harmful. Nevertheless, to avoid getting petals in the cup, the tea can be poured through a strainer.
Dried chamomile blossoms are steeped in the same manner. Dried tea allows the tea connoisseur to make his or her own blends, storing them for easy access throughout the year. Try mixing in other flowers used to make tisanes, especially roses petals, or mint herbs. Tea balls can be used to contain the crumbs that will be the result of drying and handling flowers and leaves. An alternative is a tea steeper, which simplifies the process of making homemade teas. Also, automatic drip coffee makers can be used to make tea. However, if coffee has been made in the dripper before, the tea will very likely take on some of the coffee flavor.
Chamomile is a relative of the daisy and ragweed. Those with allergies should be careful about its use.
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