Have you heard about chrysanthemum tea? This tea is one of the favorites and most popular in China, due to its properties and health benefits. It has a pleasant and delicate aroma, slightly floral and with a refreshing and light flavour. It is considered one of the oldest remedies in traditional Chinese medicine, helping to strengthen the liver, eliminate toxins and help with eye health.

Chrysanthemum tea to detoxify and revitalize the body

Health benefits of Chrysanthemums:

Chrysanthemums tea provides many health benefits. It is free of caffeine which helps calm and softens the nerves. Tea also helps regulate cholesterol levels and blood pressure. In addition, it has a cooling effect and can be used to help treat heat stroke. In addition, when you drink with food, it helps digestion, especially of fats and fried foods.

Chrysanthemums contain:

  • Beta-carotene, which is converted into vitamin A, helping to improve the immune system and alleviate skin problems.
  • High levels of potassium and calcium and other minerals, such as iron, magnesium, and phosphorus.
  • Vitamin B, such as choline, folic acid, niacin and riboflavin.
  • Vitamin C, which helps relieve nasal congestion, cold and flu symptoms.

Chrysanthemums tea has antiviral and antibacterial properties and can help to inhibit bacterial infection, caused by Staphylococcus, E. coli, Streptococcus, C. diphtheriae, and B. dysenteriae.

Tea also has a detoxifying effect; purifies the blood and improves blood flow. Cleanses the liver and helps improve vision and hearing. It also helps strengthen the lungs and relieves difficulty breathing.

Finally, chrysanthemum tea has zero calories when consumed without sugar or honey. Therefore, it is a good drink for individuals concerned about calories.

How to prepare chrysanthemums tea

There are several ways to make tea with chrysanthemum flowers. Some people add dried flowers to green or black tea, or you can buy pre-mixed teas, such as Ba Bao Cha (eight tea treasures), which contain dried chrysanthemum flowers. You can also easily prepare simple chrysanthemum flower tea, with dried flowers available in Asian grocery stores or in Chinese herb stores. I usually buy chrysanthemum buds, which are only a little larger than a chickpea, and when they get wet, they open up into tiny flowers about an inch in diameter.

Many Asian grocery stores also sell pre-made chrysanthemum tea in packs or cans, but they often contain a large amount of sugar, which for many reasons, is best avoided. From the perspective of Chinese medicine, sugar is very yin (cold), and because chrysanthemum tea is already a relatively cold yin drink, the addition of sugar can make it excessively cold. Conversely, if you have an excess of yang or hot condition, or if you live in the tropics, chrysanthemum tea is a great way to cool off. On colder days, you can add a small pinch of sea salt, which is yang and hot, to balance the effects of cooling.

Ingredients and utensils for Chrysanthemums:

  • 6-8 dry flowers or buds of chrysanthemum per person
  • Hot water
  • A teacup with lid

Preparation of Chrysanthemums:

  • Place dried chrysanthemum flowers in the cup.
  • Add some hot water to soak the flowers.
  • Shake the water around you and then pour the liquid from afar. If you want you can skip this step, but I usually do it to get rid of the superficial dirt of the flowers.
  • Add more hot water and cover the cup.
  • Let the tea rest for five minutes.
  • Drink it while it is hot.

The previous preparation is for a single person. I prefer to use a transparent glass cup, because it is nice to contemplate the flowers, while I drink tea.

The buds can be reused several times, simply by adding more hot water to the flowers, after having finished the first tea infusion.

The tea is clear, with a yellowish colour and gives off a floral aroma. It can be enjoyed hot or cold on warm summer days. For its many healing benefits, chrysanthemum flower tea could be a perfect substitute for traditional tea or coffee.

Note: These natural food remedies are for the maintenance of health and well-being. They do not substitute any medical treatment. If you have been diagnosed with an illness, or have doubts, you should always consult a doctor.

Chrysanthemums in Chinese culture

In Chinese culture, many flowers and plants have a special meaning. The chrysanthemums (Juhua in Chinese), symbolize integrity. They are often combined with plum blossoms (mei), orchids (LAN) and bamboo (zhu), to symbolize nobility, poetic temperament, moral strength and integrity. Since ancient times, Chinese scholars have sung praises to chrysanthemums. They were an important subject in poetry, calligraphy, paintings and other works of art, appearing in lacquered boxes and porcelain pieces. Chrysanthemums are also known as autumn flowers. They are able to withstand very low temperatures and bloom in late fall and early winter when all the other flowers have withered and died.

Tao Yuanming (365-427 AD) was the most eminent Chinese poet during the period of the Six Dynasties of China, between Han and Tang. A Taoist, he created something inspired by the chrysanthemums that grew near his house: “I will pull chrysanthemums under the hedge of the east, and I will look far, towards the mountains of the south”. Yuan Zhen, the famous poet of the Tang dynasty, once wrote a poem alluding to the strength of the chrysanthemum flowers.

Fall clusters surround my house like Tao Yuanming’s. We walk in full circle around the fence, while the sun slowly tilts. It’s not that I love chrysanthemums more than other flowers, But it is that no other flowers after these flowers wither. It was Confucius who once suggested the use of chrysanthemum flowers as an object of meditation. The ancient Chinese revered chrysanthemums for their ability to grow almost anywhere; they grow equally on the slopes of the mountains, roadsides, farms and gardens of humble people and academics. As such, he often resembles a cultured and wise person, who does not care about fame and gain, nor adjusts to bureaucracy, but appreciates the peaceful and simple life of simple people.