Wild Chrysanthemum Flower
What is Wild Chrysanthemum Flower?
Wild Chrysanthemum Flower (ye ju hua, 野菊花) is a flowering plant that is native to China and Japan, but nowadays it grows in many places around the world. In China, it is found most often in Zhejiang, Anhui, Henan and Sichuan provinces.
Wild Chrysanthemum Flower comes in a variety of colours, with the most common being Yellow Chrysanthemum Flower or White Chrysanthemum Flower. The cultivated or domesticated versions of chrysanthemums have larger flower heads, while the wild varieties have smaller flower heads. Unlike most perennial plants, the Wild Chrysanthemum Flower blooms in the fall. They grow well in well-drained soils that have plenty of Sun.
The plant has been used medicinally in many cultures since ancient times, such as ancient China and Greece. Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) records showed that Wild Chrysanthemum Flower has been used by medical practitioners since the Song Dynasty (960 – 1279).
In TCM, Wild Chrysanthemum Flower falls under the category of ‘Cool/Acrid herbs that release the Exterior’. This herb helps to treat the early stages of diseases that affect the upper respiratory tract, the eyes, the ears, the nose, the throat, or the skin. TCM believes that External diseases such as colds or allergies can only invade the body if the External environment overwhelms our wei qi, 卫气 (immune system). In order to counteract this invasion, Wild Chrysanthemum Flower can induce sweating by dilating our capillary pores to expel the disease from the body.
Cool in nature, Wild Chrysanthemum Flower helps to restore the yin-yang balance in individuals who have too much heat in their body, such as those with a Yang Excess or Yin Deficiency. Bitter and sweet in taste, this herb can cleanse the body by clearing Heat, dying Dampness and promoting elimination via urination or bowel movements. It can also slow down acute reactions and detoxify the body. It also has a tonic effect on the human body by replenishing qi and blood.
Functions and Benefits of Wild Chrysanthemum Flower
Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) shows that Wild Chrysanthemum Flower has 3 main functions:
Firstly, Wild Chrysanthemum Flower can relieve both Exterior syndromes caused by Wind-Heat and Warm diseases that are manifesting in our defense system. By dispelling Wind pathogens and removing Heat from our lungs, it can help to treat fever, headache and cough caused by Warm Heat invading our lungs.
Secondly, Wild Chrysanthemum Flower can remove Liver Heat and dispel Wind-Heat caused by Liver Deficiency. It is indicated for the flaming up of Fire in our Liver, which is often followed by symptoms such as conjunctival congestion with pain and swelling, painful sensation in the eyes, tears, or blindness due to the Deficiency of blood in our Liver and Kidneys.
Thirdly, Wild Chrysanthemum Flower can reduce vertigo and headache caused by the flaming up of Liver yang or Liver Heat. Its effect is further enhanced when used with herbs that can tonify yin and subdue Liver yang to treat the hyperactivity of our Liver. Besides this, it is indicated for carbuncle and furunculosis by clearing Heat-toxin.
Today, Chrysanthemum has become a popular choice among our drinks due to its pleasant taste and numerous Chrysanthemum Flower Tea benefits.
For example, Wild Chrysanthemum Flower has been used for generations to lower blood pressure, cool the body and reduce inflammation, all of which can induce calmness and help tackle sleep issues such as lack of sleep. Packed with powerful antioxidants and minerals, this herb can help the body to better regulate itself and eliminate unnecessary stress hormones in the blood.
Studies have also linked Wild Chrysanthemum Flower to the relieving of coronary artery diseases. By lowering blood pressure and cholesterol levels, it can even serve as a long-term preventive measure for cardiovascular issues, such as heart attacks and strokes.
A popular ingredient in skincare products, Wild Chrysanthemum Flower is rich in beta-carotene, which breaks down into Vitamin A to eliminate oxidative stress and damaged cells in our body. This helps to clear up skin irritation, redness, chronic conditions such as eczema and psoriasis. It also helps to fight signs of aging such as wrinkles, and lighten blemishes.
Other potential benefits of Chrysanthemum Flower include strengthening immune functions, boosting bone health, improving vision, and promoting healthy metabolism.
How to Use Wild Chrysanthemum Flower
Dried Chrysanthemum Flowers can be found at many Asian markets, and some herbal shops and flower shops. Some stores also sell powdered Chrysanthemum Flowers. Chrysanthemum is also available in the form of tea and ready-made beverages.
Generally, most medical practitioners recommend 5 to 15 grams of dried Chrysanthemum Flowers, usually in an infusion or decoction.
Cautions and Side Effects of Wild Chrysanthemum Flower
If you are allergic to daisies or ragweed, chances are that you might also be allergic to Wild Chrysanthemum Flower.
This means that there is a higher chance that direct contact with the flowers may cause skin irritation and asthma. One study also linked drinking Chrysanthemum tea to the development of anaphylaxis in a small number of cases. If you have a reaction such as skin rash or respiratory irritation, do stop consuming the herb and immediately seek medical attention.
Also, Wild Chrysanthemum Flower may also interact with prescription medications. Research showed that the herb may interact with several statins and impact its efficiency. Hence, if you are taking prescription medications, do ask your doctor before you start using any Chrysanthemum Flowers.
Here is a summary for Wild Chrysanthemum Flower:
- Herb name (Chinese): 野菊花
- Herb name (Pin Yin): yě jú huā
- Herb name (English): Wild Chrysanthemum Flower
- Herb name (Botanical): Flos Chrysanthemi Indici
- Origin of species: Chrysanthemum indicum L.
- Part(s) of herb used: Flower
- Geo-specific habitat(s): Jiangsu, Sichuan, Anhui, Guangdong, Shandong
- Taste(s) & Properties: Bitter, pungent; Slightly cold; Administrates the Liver and Heart meridians
- Actions: Eases severe throat and eye discomforts; Externally use to ease skin irritations.
Shahrajabian, M. H., Sun, W., Zandi, P., & Cheng, Q. (2019). A review of Chrysanthemum, the eastern queen in traditional Chinese medicine with healing power in modern pharmaceutical sciences. Applied Ecology and Environmental Research, 17(6), 13355-13369. [Accessed on 22 September 2022]
Su, J. Y., Tan, L. R., Lai, P., Liang, H. C., Qin, Z., Ye, M. R., … & Su, Z. R. (2012). Experimental study on anti-inflammatory activity of a TCM recipe consisting of the supercritical fluid CO2 extract of Chrysanthemum indicum, Patchouli Oil and Zedoary Turmeric Oil in vivo. Journal of Ethnopharmacology, 141(2), 608-614. [Accessed on 22 September 2022]
Zheng, J., Lu, B., & Xu, B. (2021). An update on the health benefits promoted by edible flowers and involved mechanisms. Food Chemistry, 340, 127940.[Accessed on 22 September 2022]
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