I have a confession to make. I’ve never liked chamomile tea.
It was this insipid drink that was supposed to have all these great stress-reducing and immunity-boosting benefits but even the most expensive blend from dried flowers has left me totally disappointed. But all that has changed.
This spring, shortly after lockdown began, I had decided to dig up some of my tatty lawn and plant myself a Victorian-inspired herb garden. Well, I say garden. More like a patch, but let’s go with garden as it sounds much grander! I carefully chose some of my favourite herbs and ordered plants and seeds from a family run nursery online. They arrived, I planted and sewed and waited patiently for it all to grow.
Three months later and it’s all looking very promising. The little chamomile plant flourished the most. So I thought to myself you know what, I could really do with some immunity-boosting with all this coronavirus about and boy is it stressful. What I need is a lovely cup of chamomile tea. So I decided to make my own. It was simple, you don’t really need a recipe and instructions but hey, I googled it too so here you are.
Fresh Chamomile Tea
- 12 Small fresh chamomile flowers
- 2 Fresh mint leaves
- Boiling water
- Find a teapot. I have a few of those tea-for-one pots – but my favourite is my glass teapot with a built-in strainer. I do drink a lot of loose leaf tea so this was my teapot of choice. No strainer? no problem, just use a piece of cheesecloth or use your normal sieve to strain the tea when you’ve brewed it.
- Time to pick the flowers. Wander into your garden and pick about 12 flower heads off your plant. They don’t keep fresh for long so it’s best to pick and brew rather than try and store them. I added mint – just two small leaves as that really complemented the flavour (yes we’ll come onto that it actually had some).
- Pop them in your teapot and pour on about 300ml of boiling water for one mugful of tea, or a couple of dainty cups if you’re embracing the victorian spirit.
- Stir and let steep for about 5 minutes. I accidentally left mine steeping for about 15 once, it was still lovely!
- To serve, pour into your mug (heathen) or teacup ( much more refined) and enjoy.
The reward for taking the time to make your own is worth it. It tasted divine. Absolutely nothing like dried or pre-bagged chamomile tea (sorry Twinings). The taste from home-brewed chamomile tea has a light sweetness to it with a faint hint of something like apple. In one word, delicious, bringing the promised oasis of calm and tranquillity,
Fun fact. Did you know the chamomile flower (Anthemis nobilis) is native to Asia, Europe, Australia and North America, and blooms during the early summer months (yay!). Chamomile tea actually contains chamazulene, an aromatic chemical compound that possesses anti-inflammatory, analgesic and antispasmodic properties. Now settle down with your fresh brew and enjoy the many benefits.
Here are my favourite 7 benefits of chamomile tea
Chamomile tea relaxes nerves and soothes the nervous system, therefore helping you sleep better. As it is caffeine-free it’s perfect to sip before bedtime.
It fights harmful bacteria and has the ability to boost your immune system.
Relieves cold symptoms
If you have a cold you can inhale the steam to help ease a stuffy nose and sore throat.
Good for tums
Soothes stomach ache.
You can brew the tea, chill it thoroughly, soak a towel in it and then apply to the sunburned area.
Reduces puffy eyes
Save the flowers after brewing and chill them in the fridge. Pop them in some kitchen towel and use as an eye mask to instantly reduce dark circles and puffiness.
And my favourite benefit is that chamomile tea is that as it is a powerhouse of antioxidants and protects the skin from free-radical damage. It accelerates cell and tissue regeneration, helps tighten the pores and slows down the ageing process.
Now I’ve made chamomile tea part of my daily routine and it really is helping me live a happier, healthier life.