Chamomile is the name for a category of flowering plants belonging to the Asteraceae family, which also includes daisies and sunflowers. With their round yellow centers and delicate white petals, chamomile flowers have long been associated with tranquility and rejuvenation.
Cultures around the globe have used chamomile for ages to make herbal infusions and as a natural remedy for several health conditions. Chamomile is known for its soothing, gentle fragrance, making it a popular choice for aromatherapy and personal care products.
The chamomile plant thrives in Central and Eastern Europe, and in temperate parts of Asia and North America. Chamomile flowers can be found growing wild on the mountainous slopes of the Italian Alps, as well as in Slovakia, Germany, and Hungary.
Chamomile History and Folklore
The origins of chamomile can be traced back to ancient Egypt, where the plant was considered sacred. Chamomile flowers were commonly burned as incense in offerings to the Egyptian sun deity Ra. The ancient Romans and Greeks also valued chamomile for its medicinal properties. Citizens regularly sipped chamomile tea as a healing beverage, and the plant was used to calm fevers and soothe skin conditions.
Chamomile came into widespread use during the Middle Ages. European doctors frequently prescribed chamomile syrups and ointments to treat various ailments, including fevers. The Saxons—an early Germanic people closely linked with the Vikings—regarded chamomile as one of the nine sacred herbs, and used it to soothe digestion. Norse Vikings are believed to have rinsed their hair with chamomile infusions to give their braids a lustrous shine.
During the Middle Ages, European monks began cultivating chamomile and using the plant as both a healing herb and a bittering agent in beer. Chamomile blossoms were commonly strewn about at religious festivals and other gatherings as a natural air freshener.
Today, chamomile remains an important part of many European culinary and wellness traditions. A common saying in Slovakia is “an individual should always bow before the curative powers of the chamomile plant.” Italian culture, in particular, is closely intertwined with the practice of drinking chamomile tea. “Prenditi una camomilla” is an Italian expression that translates to “have yourself a chamomile tea,” but colloquially means “take a chill pill.”
Chamomile Tea & Beverages
Chamomile is known for its light, palatable flavor, and has been used for thousands of years in tea and cuisine. The term “chamomile” is derived from the Greek word “chamomaela,” which means “ground apple.” The Roman naturalist and author Pliny the Elder described the sweet apple-like scent of the chamomile blossom in his writings, which may explain why the ancients adopted this name.
In Spain, chamomile has been called “mantazilla” or “little apple” for hundreds of years—another reference to the plant’s refreshing, crisp aroma. Chamomile has long been used to flavor a light Spanish sherry, also known as Manzanilla. Additionally, many beermakers around the globe still use chamomile blossoms as a bittering agent in beer, just as monks have done across Europe for hundreds of years.
The most well-known libation made from the chamomile flower is chamomile tea. This soothing beverage has been sipped for thousands of years since the ancient Egyptians, Greeks, and Romans began steeping fragrant chamomile elixirs for healing purposes.
Delight your palate, mind, and body with the calming flavor and aroma of Biodynamic® Heirloom Chamomile Tea. This tea is made from 100% heirloom, organic chamomile, grown on a small certified Biodynamic® garden at the base of the Italian Alps. The chamomile blossoms are harvested at night when the essential oils are at their peak, then dried using thermal energy created from the farm’s other crops.
We recommend a nightly ritual of sipping chamomile tea before bed, to ensure a deep and restful slumber.* Slip into a state of tranquility and surrender to sleep as you enjoy your chamomile infusion sip by sip.*
*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.