Harvesting Chamomile and Other Herbs
Answered by: Inge Poot
Question from: Jeff Miller Sr.
Posted on: June 05, 2004

I currently have Chamomile maturing and would like to find out how to harvest it. When do I pick the flowers? After they are fully bloomed or just as they are blooming?

Pick the flowers just after they started to open. Do the harvesting in the morning after the dew has dried off, but before the sun has been heating the plant so much that some of the oils are driven off.

And how much do I use the herb once it’s dried out -per how many fluid ounces of water?

Use one heaped teaspoon of dried flowers per cup (8 ounces or 250 milliliters) of boiling water, let steep for 10 minutes and then strain and enjoy. As a medicine or an antibacterial wash for plants or human use, use about 3 tablespoons per cup of water.

I can’t find any herb books that states how to harvest herbs and use them!

Actually Richters carries several books that would fit the bill. Examples: Richters’ catalogue number B2375, Culinary Herbs by Ernest Small. B2730, Encyclopedia of Herbs and Their Uses, Deni Bown. B4700, Herb Gardening For Beginners by Derek Fell. B5060, Herbal Harvest: Commercial Organic Production of Quality Dried Herbs.

As a general rule, harvest herbs just before they flower if the whole herb is to be harvested, just as the flowers open if the flowers are to be harvested, and in the fall after the top has died down if the root is to be harvested.

Culinary herbs whose leafy tops are to be harvested, cut off anything above 10 centimeters(4 inches) and if the plant only forms a rosette, harvest the outer leaves only as needed.

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