The Chrysanthemum flower is one of the most prized in Asia thanks to its mild flavour and floral aroma. In Eastern cultures, Chrysanthemums also symbolise good luck, wealth, happiness, and longevity. Apart from its aesthetic and culinary values, this beautiful ornamental plant is also known for its medicinal properties.
Health Benefits of Chrysanthemum Flowers
As one of the most important flowers in the botanical industry, Chrysanthemums provide a myriad of healing benefits. Scientists found that the flowers from the Chrysanthemum morifolium species, which contain the most active phenolic compounds, help relieve fatigue, improve the cardiovascular system (because it contains potassium as a vasodilator), and lower serum cholesterol levels.
This flower also helps protect the body against numerous illnesses caused by free radicals. In addition, other studies found that Chrysanthemum can potentially improve bone density and even prevent osteoporosis due to the presence of minerals in the plant, including calcium and magnesium. The flower can also boost the immune system because of its high levels of vitamins C and A.
Other health benefits of Chrysanthemum include:
- increasing metabolism, which contributes to weight loss.
- improving blood circulation.
- regulating hormone levels.
- protecting against eye diseases such as retinal neuropathy, cataracts, macular degeneration and, relieving dry or itchy eyes and blurry vision.
- alleviating varicose veins.
- easing digestive issues.
- detoxing the liver.
- reducing acne, and as a natural remedy for other skin problems.
Medicinal Properties of Chrysanthemum in TCM
In Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), the Chrysanthemum flower or Ju Hua is considered a cool, light, and fragrant herb that is widely consumed as a herbal infusion or tea to alleviate a range of ailments. According to TCM Physician Ng Teck Xiang, Chrysanthemums offer different healing functions according to their types:
- yellow Chrysanthemums dispel wind and clear heat.
- white Chrysanthemums nourish the liver and improve vision.
- wild Chrysanthemums remove heat and resolve toxicity.
“TCM physicians believe that Chrysanthemums have cold properties, a bittersweet taste, and they are mainly used to treat the lung and liver meridians. As for their medical properties, Chrysanthemums can prevent bacterial infection, reduce inflammation, and lower blood pressure,” Physician Ng says.
“You can use these flowers to treat discomfort in our eyes, swollen throat, dizziness, migraines, high blood pressure, feverish dysphoria in the heart and chest, furuncles, and intense toxic swellings.”
Early research indicates that consuming herbal products containing Chinese Chrysanthemum and chromium (jiangtangkang) three times daily for six months can potentially lower blood sugar in people with type 2 diabetes.
Some studies also suggest that a combination of Chrysanthemum, liquorice, and Panax pseudoginseng (huashengping) can reverse the development of pre-cancerous stomach sores in some people.
How to Consume Chrysanthemum Tea
Chrysanthemum tea is a healthy caffeine-free alternative to coffee or black tea. It is mild-tasting, gentle on the palate and stomach, and is generally safe for consumption. Patients with hyperlipidemia, high cholesterol, high blood pressure and coronary heart disease can consume Chrysanthemum tea every day.
Due to its various healing attributes, this tea is also particularly beneficial for people who usually smoke, drink, stay up late at night, or have been diagnosed with exuberant liver fire. Computer users who often strain their eyes may also find relief with a daily cup of Chrysanthemum tea.
In TCM, Chrysanthemum tea is often paired with other herbs for different healing purposes. Physician Ng shares a few suggestions:
- Place 6g of Chrysanthemum and 10g of goji berries into a cup. Pour in hot water and let it sit for 10-15 minutes.
Effects: Cleanses the liver, improves vision and nourishes the liver and kidneys.
- Place 6g of Chrysanthemum and 6g of mulberry leaf into a cup. Pour in hot water and let it sit for 10-15 minutes.
Effects: Dispels wind and heat and relieves headaches.
- Place 6g of Chrysanthemum, 6g of hawthorn berry, and 10g of wolfberry into a cup. Pour in hot water and let it sit for 10-15 minutes.
Effects: Reduces fat and stress, lower blood pressure
- Place 6g of Chrysanthemum and 6g of honeysuckle flower into a cup. Pour in hot water and let it sit for 10-15 minutes.
Effects: Prevents wind heat, common cold, and swollen throat.
- Place 6g of Chrysanthemum into a cup. Pour in hot water, let it sit for 10-15 minutes, and add honey to sweeten the tea.
Effects: Nourishes the liver, improves vision, quenches thirst, and moistens the intestines.
Additionally, herbal teas like Wu Hua tea which comprise a mixture of Chrysanthemum, pearl barley, liquorice root, stir-fried white bean, honeysuckle pagoda tree flower, and Pueraria flower, can help reduce excess heat and toxin in the body. You can also use it as a natural remedy for hangovers.
The Chrysanthemum flower tea is light, aromatic and is power-packed with healing benefits like protecting the body from free radicals and chronic illnesses. It can also alleviate fatigue caused by a hectic lifestyle.
It is also an effective natural remedy for various diseases when paired with other herbs. Remember to talk to a TCM physician before consuming any types of herbs to ensure it is safe for you.