I am sorry to say that Peter was not very well during the evening. His mother put him to bed, and made some camomile tea; and she gave a dose of it to Peter! —The Tale of Peter Rabbit, Beatrix Potter
With her strong connection to the natural world, Beatrix Potter knew that chamomile was just the thing to ease her mischievous protagonist. Preparing and sipping herbal infusions is soothing and healing. But we needn’t wait for upset to benefit from them!
In the last few years, I have liberalized my consumption of chamomile and other tisanes. I admit to getting a little bored with plain water. I crave variety. I always keep a few herbal teas on hand, and chamomile is one of my “fun” hydration options. I find chamomile to have herbaceous, subtly floral notes. Warm, it calms me. At room temperature, the drink tastes more botanical. Chilled chamomile tea is refreshing and cooling.
Studies on the health benefits of chamomile are intriguing. Yet even without reading up on the medicinal uses of this dainty flower, we can choose to use it in healing ways. As we prepare tisanes, we connect with the plant and the people who grew and harvested it. Drinking a chamomile infusion is hydrating, and that in itself is therapeutic. Peter’s mother instinctively knew that chamomile would help her little rabbit. We, too, can trust ourselves to reach for the tin of chamomile when we need to rebalance, rehydrate, or rejuvenate.
Miss Potter, a charming biographical film about Beatrix Potter
Blog post on chamomile and other tisanes, by tea expert Bruce Richardson