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Royal Chrysanthemum Flower

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Royal Chrysanthemum Flower


Shou-Lao Tea & Herb



Royal Chrysanthemum Flower (Ju Hua) 菊花茶

Chrysanthemum flowers are used extensively in TCM formulas to treat upper respiratory infections, allergies, headaches, red eyes and hypertension.  It’s usage effectively reduces irritation and inflammation in the lungs, nasal passageways and throat. Scientific studies have shown it to be anti-bacterial, anti-fungal and anti-viral (reported in Yeung, 1983). It also has a calming anti-hypertensive effect.  The Chinese use it for the same purposes echinacea is used in the West, and it is commonly found in various cold and sinus remedies such as the famous Yin Chiao. Excellent when mixed with Puerh tea.

Chrysanthemum tea has adenine, choline, vitamins A, B, amino acids, glycosides, volatile oil and more. It is a high class drink. It is a nerve energizer, detoxifier and blood vessel softener in Chinese medicine to maintain healthy cholesterol level, normal blood pressure, and improve blood flow. Used to "sharpen the vision and hearing, calm the nerves and clear the brain", it remains one of the most important supplementary food items and longevity elixirs in China. It is an ideal beverage for cold and flu season, to clear stuffy nose and head, and for general health.

As an important food supplement and tonic, chrysanthemum has been used in China for more than two thousand years. The Shen Nong's Canon of Materia Medica compiled around 2,800 B.C., rated it as a superior herb the use of which prolongs life. Its central pharmaceutical properties recorded in traditional Chinese medical manuals, are, "pacifying the liver and brightening the vision, relieving fever and removing toxins".

Cuisines with chrysanthemum flowers abound in China, especially in the south. Guangzhou (Canton) features its famous Autumn Chrysanthemum Banquet, and Nanjing (Nanking) provides serialized cuisines with chrysanthemum flowers as the principal ingredient. Chrysanthemum liquor is also very popular.

Eye Problems

A warm infusion of chrysanthemum flowers may be helpful in relieving eyestrain, blurry vision and dry eyes. In addition, it is thought to help prevent and possibly reverse cataracts. You can drink the tea or apply hot compresses for relief from aching, tired eyes. If you have the actual chrysanthemum blossoms, soak them in hot water for a few minutes and make a poultice by placing them between two pieces of gauze. Place a poultice on each eyelid and relax for 10 minutes for relief from eye pain. Speak to your herbalist or practitioner before using chrysanthemum for eye treatments. If you develop any unusual symptoms, stop using the herb and seek medical advice.

Cleansing the Blood

Chrysanthemum flower tea is used by the Chinese to relieve the body of excess build-up of toxins in the blood, and drinking the tea is thought not only to help purify the blood, but also to provide relaxation to the mind and body. Drink a cup of Chrysanthemum tea for relief from insomnia that may be associated with excess heat in the body. Chrysanthemum flowers are often combined in a mixture with honeysuckle, cinnamon, licorice and ginseng to produce a tonic that balances the cooling and warming principle in the body, according to studies in Chinese medicine.

Chrysanthemum tea is often used to relieve mild fevers and headaches that might arise from excess toxins in the blood. Conditions such as acne and boils may benefit from chrysanthemum's antiseptic properties by application of a poultice of chrysanthemum flowers to the inflamed lesions.

Blood Pressure and Cardiac Conditions

Certain herbal tonics utilizing chrysanthemum are used to relieve hypertension. The tea is also used in Asia to treat concomitant symptoms such as dizziness, light-headedness, tinnitis or ringing in the ears, and headaches associated with changes in blood pressure. In addition, chrysanthemum may be helpful in reducing attacks of angina, artherosclerosis and related cardiac problems, adds Herbs2000. Although there is no scientific research for these claims, anecdotal evidence from hundreds of years of use in China indicates that chrysanthemum may be helpful for those conditions. Always talk to your physician before using herbs for serious conditions, especially if you take conventional medications. Do not stop taking your medications or start taking herbs without the supervision of your doctor.

Antibiotic Properties

Chrysanthemum flowers have been found to have antibiotic properties under laboratory conditions, leading researchers to think this herb may be helpful in the treatment of both staphylococcus and streptococcus bacteria strains, yet more research is necessary.

Origin:  Zejiang Province, China

Harvest Period: 2013

Brewing Guide: To get the most out of your tea, as a general rule it's always recommended to use glass-based or porcelain tea ware. First rinse the tea cup and teapot with hot water.  Then use 1 teaspoons for every 250ml (8 fl oz.) of water. Steep your Chrysanthemum Tea in hot water at 195°F to 205°F for 2 to 4 minutes. Gradually increase steeping time and temperature for subsequent brewings.

Harvesting Chrysanthemum in Zejiang

References

  • Clayton College: Celebrating Hot Tea and Promoting Eye Health
  • "The Green Pharmacy Herbal Handbook: Your Everyday Reference to the Best Herbs for Healing"; James Duke; 2002
  • Herbs2000: Chrysanthemum
  • City University of New York at Brooklyn: Chinese Herbs
  • Department of Horticultural Science College of Agriculture & Life Sciences North Carolina State University: Edible Flowers
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