Season 6 Episode 2:
Chamomile with Leslie Lekos

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Chamomile with Leslie Lekos

Episode Summary

Chamomile (Matricaria chamomilla) is one of those common herbs that is too easily overlooked. But chamomile deserves our praise and appreciation. Although it’s gentle, this herb gives us powerful medicine for babies, the elderly, and everyone in between. It can be a soothing, yet highly effective ally for sleepless nights, digestive upsets, skin issues, conjunctivitis…and the list goes on!

In this episode, I’m talking about the *many* gifts of chamomile with my fellow herbalist and longtime friend, Leslie Lekos. Leslie shares a wealth of information with us about this gentle yet powerful herb, along with her wonderful herbal bitters recipe for supporting healthy digestion, Chamomile Cardamom Bitters. (Be sure to get the link for your free copy of her downloadable recipe card in the links below.)

By the end of this episode, you’ll know:

►Why dosage matters for seeing the results you hope for

►How long to let chamomile tea steep

► Why chamomile is a great herb to work with long-term

For those of you who don't know her, Leslie is the founder and director of Wildroot Botanicals, a bio-regionally based herbal school located on the unceded territories of the Coast Salish peoples.

The mission for the school is to foster a learning environment where people develop personal connections with plants through wildcrafting, tending to the land, and working towards right relations.

She also has an herbal product line and is known in her region for distilling hydrosols and for her re-wilding project, a monthly offering of wildcrafted and farm-grown herbs to support mental wellness, nutrition, and connection with the land.  

In addition to herbal work, she has been a doula, childbirth educator, and prenatal yoga instructor for the past 20 years. She is co-author of the book Yoga for Pregnancy, and is a certified Iyengar Yoga teacher and the mother of two sons.

Her favorite part about teaching is when she is able to witness students feel a familiar spark within them when they engage with plants, a reuniting with the basic human skill that was a necessity for all our ancestors somewhere down the line in all of our lineages.

Leslie is one of the most heart-centered, generous, and deeply devoted herbalists I know. I’m so happy to bring you this conversation with one of my favorite people about one of my favorite herbs!

I feel like the medicine that our larger culture needs is this gentle medicine. We have so many driving forces, everybody's so amped up and moving so fast, something to slow us down and get in our bodies and just feel our way through, feel embodied.


Would you prefer reading this episode? If so, click here to download a transcript.

Would you prefer watching this episode? If so, scroll down below.

Connect With Leslie

What You'll Learn from This Episode

  • [01:09] Introduction to Leslie Lekos
  • [03:20] How gardens she knew in childhood introduced Leslie to a love for plants
  • [06:23] Leslie’s introduction to herbalism
  • [08:44] How Leslie and Rosalee met and became friends
  • [11:32] Why Leslie chose chamomile (Matricaria chamomilla) for this conversation
  • [19:08] How Leslie makes chamomile tea for bedtime
  • [21:18] Chamomile for menstrual cramps, digestive upsets, skin issues, conjunctivitis, and more
  • [27:00] Chamomile for chronic issues
  • [27:38] Leslie’s recipe for Chamomile Cardamom Bitters
  • [29:42] Leslie’s current project, Nourished by the Wild
  • [33:03] Giving back to plants



Please note the herbs are not measured in full ounces, but fractions of an ounce.


  1. Measure out on a scale .5 oz of chamomile and .1 oz of cardamom and place in a glass canning jar.
  2. Pour 6 fluid oz 50% vodka or enough to cover the top of the herbs and place a lid on the jar.
  3. Label the jar with the contents
  4. Let macerate (let the herbs sit in the alcohol) for at least 4 weeks.
  5. Strain the herbs out with a cheese cloth or a nut milk bag and squeeze out as much moisture as you can.
  6. Discard the herbs.
  7. Add 2 fluid oz of maple syrup to the liquid or more to taste.
  8. Pour into dropper tincture bottles.
  9. Take one dropperful or 30 drops prior to and after meal times to aid in digestion.


  • 01:16 - Introduction to Leslie Lekos
  • 03:27 - How gardens she knew in childhood introduced Leslie to a love for plants
  • 06:43 - Leslie’s introduction to herbalism
  • 09:14 - How Leslie and Rosalee met and became friends
  • 12:01 - Why Leslie chose chamomile (Matricaria chamomilla) for this conversation
  • 19:38 - How Leslie makes chamomile tea for bedtime
  • 21:53 - Chamomile for menstrual cramps, digestive upsets, skin issues, conjunctivitis, and more
  • 27:39 - Chamomile for chronic issues
  • 28:18 - Leslie’s recipe for Chamomile Cardamom Bitters
  • 30:27 - Leslie’s current project, Nourished by the Wild
  • 33:55 - Giving back to plants

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Rosalee is an herbalist and author of the bestselling book Alchemy of Herbs: Transform Everyday Ingredients Into Foods & Remedies That Healand co-author of the bestselling book Wild Remedies: How to Forage Healing Foods and Craft Your Own Herbal Medicine. She's a registered herbalist with the American Herbalist Guild and has taught thousands of students through her online courses. Read about how Rosalee went from having a terminal illness to being a bestselling author in her full story here.  


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