Camomile (or chamomile) takes its name from the Greek words for "ground" and "apple," because it grows close to the ground and its strong aroma is reminiscent of apples. It is one of the most loved teas in Greece and is regularly gathered in the wild, washed thoroughly, and laid out to dry at home.

Greek name and pronunciation:

χαμομήλι, pronounced hah-mo-MEE-lee


Physical characteristics:

Dried leaves are narrow and spear-shaped, 1/2-inch to 1-inch long and light tan to pale green. Flowers are 1/4-inch diameter yellow-orange bulbs. Stems are 1/16-inch diameter and shades of brown. In the wild, fields of camomile look like a light dusting of snow.


Therapeutic Effects:

In Greece, camomile is enjoyed for its wonderful taste, but it is also attributed with medicinal properties that have come down through the centuries (see history, below). It is thought that camomile relieves upset stomachs and indigestion, calms and relaxes, and promotes sleep.