Are you fascinated by chamomile? So many of us have this herb in our homes, and I always have it in my kitchen because I know how to preserve chamomile correctly, and today I’m sharing it.
Fresh chamomile can be left at room temperature for seven days, or you can place it in the fridge for about 15-20 days. And to preserve chamomile for the long term, you can freeze or dry it with a shelf life of more than a year.
Read on to learn the methods and tips for preserving chamomile.
How to keep chamomile fresh at room temperature
Did you buy fresh chamomile and have a lot of it? Then, if you are looking for the best way to preserve it, you are in the right place.
Learn how to keep chamomile fresh at room temperature without being damaged quickly.
- Step 1. Clean the chamomile.
Remove leaves and flowers in poor condition from the stems of chamomile, which is essential for longer conservation.
- Step 2. Cut the root and some leaves from the stem.
Make sure there are no roots on the stem. In addition, remove the leaves closer to the base, as you will immerse the chamomile in water, this could increase the risk of damage.
To do this, use pruning scissors and leave 10cm (4in) of stem without the leaves.
- Step 3. Find a vase or small glass container.
Add water inside the glass container halfway.
- Step 4. Place the chamomile stems inside the container.
Carefully place one by one the stems of chamomile inside the container.
- Step 5. Store in a dry place without direct sunlight.
You can leave the container with the chamomile on the countertop, or any place that meets the requirements of being a dry environment, without light, and that is away from appliances that emanate heat.
You can keep fresh chamomile in perfect condition for up to 7 days. For better preservation, change the water in the container every other day and if you notice that there are flowers and withered leaves, remove them.
How to keep chamomile fresh in the fridge
If you think seven days to preserve the chamomile is not enough, you can maintain it in the fridge, but you should not do the same as in the previous method at room temperature.
Listed below are the steps and tips to do it the right way.
- Step 1. Look for paper towels.
You should place the stems and flowers on a paper towel. In the end, you must roll the towels with the chamomile.
Important note: although some moisture is required, you should not wash the chamomile before preserving it, as it would speed up the process of flower decay, so you should only wash chamomile when using it.
- Step 2. Store in a plastic container.
Place the chamomile wrapped in paper inside an airtight plastic container.
- Step 3. Store in the vegetable drawer.
Ensure that the place you store is not near foods with strong odors because chamomile will absorb them and get damaged.
By using this way of preserving chamomile, you can maintain its freshness for about 15-20 days.
How to freeze chamomile
Is it possible to freeze chamomile? Are you afraid that it will be damaged? These are some doubts you may have when it comes to preserving chamomile. However, the freezing method is one of the best for keeping your chamomile fresh and incredibly scented.
To freeze fresh chamomile, you can use two methods: the ice bucket or wrapped in aluminum foil.
Steps to freeze chamomile in ice buckets
This method is suitable when you have a considerable amount and want to break it down into precise portions so you don’t have to be thawing the whole package. It also has the advantage, combined with water, of being used directly in cold infusions for the summer months.
- Step 1. Remove chamomile flowers from stems.
Begin to remove chamomile flowers from the stems with scissors. If you notice that some flowers are in poor condition, you should discard them.
While selecting the flowers, you must reserve them in a dry and clean bowl.
- Step 2. Wash the flowers.
In a container full of water, place the flowers and leave them there for a few minutes to remove the dirt.
- Step 3. Remove excess water.
With the help of a colander, remove the flowers from the container with water and let it drain well.
- Step 4. Find an ice bucket.
In an ice bucket, place several flowers to fill half of each space. Do it without pressing the plant so that it does not spoil.
- Step 5. Fill the bucket with water.
Carefully add water inside each space until you fill the ice bucket.
- Step 6. Place in the freezer.
Find a place in your freezer to place the bucket and leave it there for 24 hours.
- Step 7. Store the cubes in a plastic bag.
Carefully remove the chamomile cubes and store them quickly in a plastic bag. Ensure the bags are not full to prevent fresh flowers from being damaged.
- Step 8. Store in the freezer.
Place the bags with the chamomile cubes in the freezer. If there are several, you can place them on top of each other. However, adding much weight to them is not recommended because of their fragility.
Note: When you want to use them, you have to remove the cubes you need and let them thaw for a few minutes. This way, they will be in perfect condition to use in your preparations.
Freezing chamomile in this way will ensure that your flowers stay around 4-5 months.
Steps to freeze chamomile in aluminum foil
This method is as if you were going to make a taco with the chamomile since you will wrap it. In addition, this method is simpler to do and has the advantage of lasting slightly longer.
- Step 1. Place the flowers on aluminum foil.
Remove the flowers from the stems and place them on aluminum foil with care not to spoil them.
- Step 2. Form a bag with aluminum foil.
Let’s create a chamomile package similar to the one we wrap a gift.
First, you will put the chamomile near one of the sides, and on the opposite side, you will fold half of the aluminum foil, leaving the chamomile fully covered.
Then, you will make small folds to close the three sides left open, similar to what you do when preparing empanadas.
While doing so, remove as much air as possible without crushing the flowers. Do it delicately; remember that chamomile is very sensitive.
- Step 3. Label the foil bag.
So that you know what you keep inside it, you must place a label with the name and the date of conservation.
Also, optionally, you can put the aluminum foil packaging in an airtight container, such as a ziplock bag.
- Step 4. Store in the freezer.
Store the bag with the chamomile at the bottom of the freezer to avoid sudden temperature changes every time you open the door.
Chamomile frozen in aluminum foil will retain its freshness for six months.
How to dehydrate or dry chamomile
One of the foolproof methods to preserve chamomile is drying, as it allows the extension of the shelf life of this aromatic plant for longer. There are several ways to dry chamomile, including in the sun, the dehydrator, and the microwave.
Drying chamomile is a good option when you do not want to use the fridge to keep them for a long time. In addition, you can mix the chamomile in sachets with tea, and you will have a novel infusion.
I will expand each form described below, giving you the steps and tips to last its aroma and properties for a long time.
Dry chamomile in the sun
- Step 1. Select the best flowers.
You should select the best flowers, those that are not rotten or with chopped broken leaves of insects. Then you shake each flower carefully to remove the dirt.
- Step 2. Cut the stems of chamomile.
With a sharp knife, cut the stems of chamomile and only leave the flowers since, in general, it is what is used.
- Step 3. Wash chamomile flowers.
In a large bowl, add enough cold water and soak the chamomile flowers for about a minute.
- Step 4. Drain chamomile flowers.
With the help of a strainer, drain the chamomile flowers. Then, dry it carefully with a paper towel so as not to damage them.
- Step 5. Dry the flowers.
Once the flowers are well cleaned, spread them on newspaper to dry them. Ensure you do not stack the chamomile.
- Step 6. Place the flowers inside the house.
Leave the chamomile flowers inside the house in a warm, well-ventilated, dark (avoid direct sunlight) room for about two weeks.
- Step 7. Store flowers in an airtight container.
Once the flowers are dehydrated, you pour them into a sterilized glass container and close it tightly. Then you place it in a cool, dry place in your pantry.
Drying chamomile flowers in the sun will allow you to enjoy this plant for approximately one year. 
Dry chamomile with a dehydrator
- Step 1. Preheat the dehydrator.
Please turn on the dehydrator at a temperature of 105°F (41°C).
- Step 2. Place the flowers in the dehydrator.
With the help of butter paper or parchment paper, spread it on the dehydrator tray and place the chamomile flowers one by one so they are not very close to each other.
- Step 3. Let the flowers dry.
After one hour, you should check the flowers every 30 minutes to see if they are already dehydrated or not. This process can take a few hours.
- Step 4. Check the texture of the flowers.
If the chamomile flowers, when touched, have a crunchy texture and break easily, then they are already dehydrated, and you can take them out of the dehydrator to cool.
- Step 5. Store chamomile flowers in a container.
Once the chamomile flowers are cold, you can store them in a glass container with an airtight lid and place them in your pantry or cupboard.
This technique of dehydrating chamomile flowers extends the shelf life of the herb up to 1 year.
Dehydrate chamomile in the microwave
- Step 1. Turn on the microwave.
The microwave is turned on at the lowest temperature or in thaw mode.
- Step 2. Place the flowers in the microwave.
With the help of parchment paper, spread it on the microwave tray and place the chamomile flowers one by one so that they are not very close to each other.
- Step 3. Heat the flowers for 30 seconds.
Heat the flowers for 30 seconds and then take them out of the microwave for one minute at room temperature. Repeat the process as many times as necessary to dry the flowers.
- Step 4. Check the flowers.
Check the flowers to touch and feel their texture. If they are crispy and brittle, it is because they are already dehydrated.
- Step 5. Store dried chamomile flowers.
Once the flowers are dry, you can store them in a glass container with an airtight lid and then place them in a dry, cool place in the pantry.
This method of preserving microwaved chamomile flowers lasts up to a year.
How do you know if chamomile is bad?
When the chamomile gets bad can cause various side effects on our body like allergy, throat swelling, and other problems. So it is vital to know the signs of decomposition to discard it immediately.
What are the symptoms of chamomile being bad or spoiled? Check this:
- Fresh chamomile can be spoiled when its leaves and flowers have withered.
- It has a rotten smell.
- Dry chamomile is terrible when it has mold or strange coloration in any of its parts.
How long does chamomile last?
|Fresh chamomile at room temperature
|Refrigerated fresh chamomile
|Fresh frozen chamomile cubes
|Fresh frozen chamomile wrapped in aluminum foil
What is the best way to preserve chamomile?
As lovers of chamomile, we always want to have it in perfect condition so that we can enjoy all its benefits when we use it. One of the best ways to keep chamomile fresh in the short term is to leave it inside a water container and have it on the countertop.
If you do not want to use the fridge, you can dehydrate the chamomile, where it can last one year, maintaining its peculiar aroma.
I hope you like the ways to preserve chamomile, and I invite you to put them into practice. If you want to continue learning about other conservation methods, I have many posts dedicated to this topic.