The right time to harvest chamomile

The right time to harvest chamomile

The optimal harvest time

The proportion of medically effective essential oils is highest around three to five days after the flower heads have opened completely. You can tell when the time is right, for example with wild collections, when the majority of the population has already opened the flowers, but some are still closed. Traditionally, chamomile flowers are harvested around St. John's Day on June 24th, and according to legend, flowers picked on this day are particularly beneficial. Also collect on a dry and sunny day, preferably at lunchtime. Before that, it shouldn't have rained for a few days.

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Harvest and prepare chamomile

Only the fully bloomed flower heads are harvested, which are cut off with scissors or a sharp knife directly at the stem base. In addition, you should only cut off clean, healthy, non-withered looking flowers. The very pressure-sensitive flower heads are to be touched as little as possible, it is also better not to wash them. Spread the flowers loosely on a large piece of newspaper, which you will place in a dark, warm and airy place. An attic, a dry cellar or a garden shed are very suitable. (7.70 € at Amazon *) Temperatures between around 20 to 27 ° C are ideal.

Dry chamomile

If you do not have suitable options for properly drying your self-harvested chamomile, you can alternatively dry it in the oven. However, set the temperature as low as possible, around 30 ° C would be optimal. Do not close the oven door completely; instead, wedge a piece of cork or a wooden spoon between the door and the oven. In this way, escaping moisture can escape immediately. The flower heads should be turned several times while drying.


Another possibility is the hanging drying of the chamomile flowers: Cut the stems together with the attached flower heads as a whole, tie them loosely and hang these bundles upside down in a warm, dry and airy place. It is also important that it is dark in this place as solar radiation destroys the volatile essential oils.