Anthemis tinctoria, dyer’s chamomile is used for dye and also makes a lovely ornamental plant. It has lacy foliage and yellow daisy like flowers. German chamomile is widely sold throughout Europe as a bedtime tea to promote restful sleep. Plants are tolerant of tough conditions and can often be seen growing wild along railroad tracks or up through cracks in parking lots.
Planting and Care:
Perennial chamomiles are smaller than annual forms, but they have similar, fine, fernlike foliage and a pleasant apple like scent when crushed. Grows as a flat mat of spreading leaves. Best grown by dividing runners in Spring or Fall. All chamomiles prefer full sun to light shade. Once established, all self sow.
Harvesting and Use:
Gather leaves in early Spring and early Summer for best scent. Dried flowers can be added to potpourris, but not to retain much scent. Harvest flowers for drying anytime. A rinse for lightning blonde hair can be made by boiling flowers and leaves. You can use the same solution for treating acne and other skin ailments. A calming tea is made with an infusion of fresh or dried flowers or leaves. There is no know toxicity, but the tea has demonstrated mild laxative properties. Avoid excess use. Also good for upset stomach and cramps. A decoction, made by gently boiling leaves and flowers can be used as a topical antiseptic on burns and painful scrapes. Cool before applying to injuries.
In the Language of Flowers, Chamomile means energy in adversity.