Just because it’s not already a staple in your tea cupboard, doesn’t mean that chrysanthemum tea doesn’t warrant becoming a new addition. In fact, with the high level of flavonoids, amino acids, vitamins and minerals contained in Chrysanthemum tea, it makes a great daily addition to a healthy diet and even better as a replacement for caffeinated teas. It’s increasingly found throughout supermarkets in the western world, and its health benefits which were long ago appreciated in traditional Chinese medicine, are becoming increasingly well known.
The Ancient History of Chrysanthemum Tea
Traditionally, chrysanthemum tea was used throughout China as a revered herbal medicine. Evidence has been found in countless texts of traditional Chinese medicine, and it is believed to have been cultivated as early as 1500 B.C.. The first known appearance in ancient Chinese texts was from a herbal encyclopedia called “Shen Nong Ben Cao Jing,” or the “Divine Farmer’s Materia Medica.” This book was from the Han Dynasty. It has since appeared throughout legend and lore, becoming an important aspect of many medicinal practices.
Although relatively unknown in western cultures, in Asia chrysanthemum tea has been used to treat a variety of ailments throughout its history. Taoists enjoyed chrysanthemum tea for treatment of qi (energy), anti-aging, and increased blood flow. Practitioners of traditional Chinese medicine in modern times still use the herbal tea to treat eye issues, illnesses caused by wind, poor circulation, and inflammation.
A Properly Brewed Chrysanthemum Tea
Brewing chrysanthemum tea properly requires a bit more attention than your normal pot of English breakfast tea, but it’s not overly complicated. If brewed under the correct temperature, time and care, it will allow the delicate flowers of the tea to release all their beneficial vitamins and nutrients.
The first step is sourcing a quality tea, which can usually be found in Asian supermarkets and specialty tea shops. Look for organic teas to ensure chemicals and other toxins are not also infused into your tea along with the flowers. Stay away from prepackaged tea bags, and mixtures as these typically contain high levels of sugars. Instead look for whole flowers. Investing in high-quality flowers is worth the money, as you can easily reuse the buds for multiple steepings by simply increasing the steeping temperature and time with each use.
Chrysanthemum tea should be steeped in hot but not boiling water, approximately 90°C for 3-4 minutes. Use two teaspoons of flowers per cup of tea. The liquid will be light yellow to light amber and emit a gentle floral aroma. A perfectly soothing cup to enjoy.
The Powerful Health Benefits of Chrysanthemum Tea
1. Heart Health
Chrysanthemum tea works to lower blood pressure, and lower bad cholesterol. It promotes overall heart health and lowers risk of cardiovascular issues such as heart attacks, strokes and heart disease.
Long used in traditional Chinese medicine for detoxification, the effects of chrysanthemum tea are now better understood. The tea specifically targets a buildup of toxins and heavy metals in the liver, letting them be flushed out and allowing the liver to continue to clean the blood without congestion.
Carrots aren’t the only food that boosts eyesight because Chrysanthemum tea is also extremely high in B carotene. Once processed by the body, B carotene turns into vitamin A which helps maintain and improve eye health. If you are already experiencing eye sight issues related to age, a herbal tea concoction gives an added boost to help fight the decline.
4. Bone Health
Chrysanthemum tea has been found to prevent bone mineral density loss because it contains extremely high levels of trace minerals essential to bone health. In every cup of chrysanthemum tea, you’ll find 20.91% DV (percent Daily Value) of manganese, 7.78% DV for copper, as well as extremely high levels of potassium and iron. All these minerals are difficult to find in a normal western diet, but can easily be added with a soothing cup of tea.
It’s very common for young women to become anemic during their teenage years, and for it to continue to affect their health long into adulthood. Roughly 9% of women between the ages of 12 and 49 suffer from anemia. Many women, especially in their younger years, find it difficult to consume enough iron every day to alleviate the symptoms of anemia, such as fatigue and weakness. Chrysanthemum tea offers a great alternative to iron supplements, or dark greens because it contains 21% of your required daily intake simply from 1 cup of tea!
A Word of Caution
Although a very low risk, it is always important to keep an eye out for a chance of side effects. Especially for people who have allergies to ragweed, or daisies, there is a greater risk that they might also react to chrysanthemum tea. If there are any unwanted side effects, discontinue use immediately.