Although it’s been a popular herbal remedy in traditional Chinese medicine since the Song Dynasty in the 10th century, westerners are only now beginning to recognize the powerful benefits of delicious chrysanthemum tea. Made from chrysanthemum flowers steeped in hot – but not boiling – water, the tea has a distinct herbal and slightly woody taste. Some drinkers opt to add rock sugar or goji berries for a sweeter, slightly weaker flavor, but no matter how you like your tea, chrysanthemum tea can have powerful effects on your health. Let’s take a look at 8 powerful benefits of chrysanthemum tea.
1. A Powerful Antioxidant
The liver converts the beta carotene in chrysanthemum tea into vitamin A, and the tea is also rich in vitamin C – two powerful antioxidants. You’ve probably seen antioxidants listed as ingredients in everything ranging from beauty products to herbal supplements, and there’s good reason for this. Antioxidants help prevent cellular breakdown, which can delay the aging process, reduce the lifetime risk of age-related disorders, and even prevent some cancers.
2. Increased Immunity
For centuries, holistic Chinese practitioners have known that chrysanthemum buds can improve the body’s immunity to infections, preventing the spread of disease and speeding up the body’s ability to fight infections. The tea’s vitamin C can improve cold symptoms, particularly head congestion, and may help reduce the severity and duration of symptoms of the flu. Vitamin C plays a key role in preventing vitamin deficiencies such as scurvy, and some holistic medicine practitioners even believe it can prevent cancer. The tea also offers naturally cooling effects that can help lower fevers.
3. Reduced Inflammation
If you’ve ever suffered the misery of a painful skin rash or an inflamed muscle, you know that inflammation is never pleasant. Chrysanthemum tea’s cooling properties can help treat minor skin rashes due to heat rash or sunburns, either by applying the tea directly to the affected area or drinking it every few hours until symptoms subside. It’s anti-inflammatory properties can also help treat the swelling associated with bee stings, pulled or torn muscles, and even allergic reactions.
4. Better Mental Health
If you’re sick of relying on caffeine to keep you going during a stressful day, chrysanthemum tea is a more natural energy booster. Some traditional Chinese medicine practitioners also use chrysanthemum tea as an antidote to anxiety and even depression, and was a perennial favorite among Chinese poets for its ability to spur creativity and fuel productivity.
5. Eye Health
The reddish-orange pigmentation of chrysanthemum flowers is the product of beta carotene. This important nutrient is converted into vitamin A, which is vital for maintaining health eyes. Beta carotene deficiencies can lead to deteriorating eyesight, eye infections, eye pain and a host of other eye conditions, and chrysanthemum tea provides an easy – and delicious! — way to get this important nutrient.
6. Liver Health
You probably don’t think much about your liver, but this organ is one of the key determinants of overall health. In addition to breaking down and filtering toxins such as alcohol, it also helps the body synthesize protein and secretes vital digestive enzymes. An unhealthy liver can quickly lead to serious health problems, but we all eat things that can harm the liver from time to time. Chrysanthemum tea helps cleanse the liver of impurities, which can help you recover from a night of drinking, digestive problems, or even detoxify after giving up illegal or dangerous drugs. The tea may even help lower cholesterol.
7. Improved Skin
The antioxidants in chrysanthemum tea can protect your skin from a bevy of problems due to cellular breakdown, including wrinkles, age spots, loss of elasticity, and dullness. Regular consumption of the tea can help refine the complexion, reducing acne, dryness, and other skin frustrations.
8. Better Circulation
Poor circulation can be a death sentence. Reduced circulation in the legs, for example, can lead to life-threatening blood clots or even limb loss. But you don’t necessarily have to rely on powerful drugs to improve your circulation. Chrysanthemum tea has natural circulation-boosting properties, and can improve the health of your blood vessels by reducing the risk of blood clots, atherosclerosis, decreased blood flow, and other common age-related conditions.
Chrysanthemum tea isn’t tough to make. Although you can buy pre-mixed teas from natural health stores and even chain supermarkets, try making it at home by steeping a few chrysanthemum flowers in hot water for five to 10 minutes. Add a bit of sugar or honey, then drink to your good health!
Antioxidants. (n.d.). U.S National Library of Medicine. Retrieved from http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/antioxidants.html
How to treat heat rash. (n.d.). Natural Health Magazine. Retrieved from http://www.naturalhealthmag.com/beauty/how-treat-heat-rash
Leung, C. (2013, November 26). Protect your liver with chrysanthemum tea. Vancouver Health News. Retrieved from http://vancouverhealthnews.ca/protect-liver-chrysanthemum-tea/
The beauty benefits of Chinese chrysanthemum tea. (n.d.). Flora Organica. Retrieved from http://floraorganica.com.au/blogs/news/6053178-the-beauty-benefits-of-chinese-chrysanthemum-tea
Special feature: Ju Hua. (n.d.). The Jade Institute. Retrieved from http://www.jadeinstitute.com/jade/ju-hua-chrysanthemum-flower-tea.php
What is beta-carotene? What are the benefits of beta-carotene? (2012, November 12).Medical News Today. Retrieved from http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/252758.php