Chamomile Vs. Feverfew: What’s The Difference?

  • Date: May 28, 2022
  • Time to read: 2 min.

Chamomile and Feverfew look remarkably similar. They both have small, white flowers. Both herbs are used medicinally to help with a variety of ailments. In fact, they are both a part of the chrysanthemum family. However, they’re not used for the same purposes and are actually quite different from one another. But how do you tell them apart?

While chamomile and feverfew look very similar, there are several key differences. Feverfew has flat-topped blossoms, while chamomile blossoms are round. Chamomile flowers smell like flowering apple trees, whereasfeverfew has a bitter scent. Chamomile also has smaller, narrower leaves than feverfew.

Keep reading to learn more about each plant and how to tell which one you have in your yard.

Chamomile Characteristics

Chamomile is commonly used in teas as a sleep aid or to help with anxiety. Here are some quick facts about this herbal remedy:

  • I​t’s a vital element in making home-brewed wheat beer.
  • I​t has a fruity, apple-like flavor.
  • I​t has a sweet scent that attracts pollinators.
  • T​he cone in the middle of the flower is very round and tall.

Chamomile is much more readily available in grocery stores and seed catalogs. Its light, airy taste makes it a popular choice for tea drinkers. It’s also sometimes used in drinks or desserts.

Feverfew Characteristics

Though feverfew looks very much like chamomile, its uses are quite different. Even when cooked, feverfew has a bitter taste that makes it less palatable. It’s mainly used for treating migraine headaches or in salads, where a bitter taste is more normal. Here are some more feverfew facts:

  • I​t can be difficult to find, as it isn’t as sweet-tasting as chamomile.
  • T​he cone in the middle of the flower is flat.
  • Pollinators stay away from feverfew’s bitter scent, even though it produces beautiful flowers.
  • A​long with helping with migraines, it can also be used to help with menstrual cramps, inflammation, and fevers.

Telling Feverfew And Chamomile Apart

The easiest way to tell whether you’re dealing with feverfew or chamomile is to smell the flowers. If it smells sweet–like a flowering apple tree–it’s probably chamomile. If smelling the flowers makes you want to gag, you’ve probably got feverfew!

Both feverfew and chamomile are bitter when eaten raw, but steeping the leaves in water to create a tea is another way to tell the difference between them. Chamomile tea has a sweet, light flavor, while feverfew tea will still be bitter and unpleasant tasting.

Can You Use Chamomile And Feverfew Interchangeably?

Because they look alike, it’s easy to believe that chamomile and feverfew are the same thing. However, they have verydifferent tastes and are used for very different purposes. Because of this, you shouldn’t use chamomile and feverfewinterchangeably.

Both chamomile and feverfew are beautiful, useful plants. Their medicinal uses can help with a variety of ailments. By knowing how to tell the difference between them, you’ll be able to make sure you pick the right plant to suit your needs.

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