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Chamomile

What we know as chamomile is technically two different plants — German chamomile (Matricara recutita) and Roman (or English) chamomile (Chamaemelum nobile) — with many similarities including gray-green, feathery leaves; tiny, daisy-like flowers; and a pleasing, apple scent. Both types of chamomile are relatives of the daisy family and have been used to aid in digestion, calm frazzled nerves, alleviate menstrual cramps and soothe some skin conditions. It’s thought that the Roman chamomile is also able to reduce some kinds of inflammation. Whether you grow German or Roman chamomile, either will make a soothing cup of tea, herbal bath or steam facial.

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by Heidi StrawnFebruary 4, 2011
PHOTO: Stevie-B/Flickr

Size: German chamomile 2 to 3 feet; Roman chamomile 9 inches to 1 foot

Sunlight requirements: Full sun or light shade

Water requirements: Occasional watering, more once in bloom

Soil requirements: Sandy, well-drained soil; German 6.7 pH and Roman 7.0 pH

When to plant: Spring

Where to plant: Garden; containers

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When to harvest: When blooms in summer

Produce storage: Dry indoors in a warm, well-ventilated place. Direct sunlight harms chamomile oils. Store in sealed container.

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