What is Chrysanthemum Flower?
The Chrysanthemum, a vibrant yellow and fragrant flower, is a symbol of vitality in Chinese culture. Together with the orchid, bamboo, and plum blossom, it has been regarded as the four symbols of noble characters by Chinese scholars. Its rich symbolism comes from the fact that it blooms in bright colors during the chilly autumn season, a time when most flowers wither. It blooms after all the color flowers ‘finish competing’ in the summer and doesn’t ‘show off’ in any way. Because of these reasons, it is a symbol of both strength and virtue.
Not only is the Chrysanthemum Flower beautiful in its appearance and representation, Chrysanthemum tea has also been well regarded in Asian culture for its delicious taste and health benefits. It was first brewed and popularized during the Song Dynasty (960 AD - 1279 AD) and its formal day of recognition is the Chong Yang or Double Ninth Festival, held on the 9th day of the 9th lunar month, but today people drink Chrysanthemum tea liberally and casually, in the comfort of their homes or at Dim Sum.
What does Chrysanthemum Tea Taste Like?
Its taste is similar to that of chamomile tea, but with more floral notes and a rounder taste. Depending on how long the Chrysanthemum flower is steeped, the taste can range from light, cooling, and subtly sweet, to slightly bitter, herbal, and honey-like. Chrysanthemum tea, if brewed longer without burning the petals or oversteeping, can have a lovely round and fresh aftertaste, leaving you with a lingering full-body floral fragrance.
Health Benefits of the Chrysanthemum Flower
The Chrysanthemum flower is traditionally known for its ability to detoxify and cool down the body, as well as promote a healthy metabolism and skin.
1) Detoxify your body
Chrysanthemum tea is known to detoxify and protect the liver, helping the liver cleanse blood of toxins while also producing bile to support healthy digestion. An unhealthy liver cannot filter out toxic substances as efficiently, which can lead to disease. Traditional Chinese Medicine suggests it as a remedy to purge the body of any excess heat and calm the liver, balancing the body’s energy.
2) Anti-aging and healthy skin
Chrysanthemum has been known to be good for the skin. Chrysanthemum has been traditionally used to treat skin irritation and redness, as well as chronic skin illnesses such as eczema and psoriasis. In addition, the flower’s high amounts of beta-carotene, which breaks down into Vitamin A, creates antioxidants that eliminates damaged cells in organ systems around the body as well as fights free radicals. Drinking Chrysanthemum tea can help reduce signs of aging, such as wrinkles and blemishes, and leave you with a sparkling glow.
3) Deep relaxation
Chrysanthemum tea helps calm nerves by cooling the body, clearing internal heat, and lowering blood pressure. Its high potassium concentration widens blood vessels and increases blood flow, making the body regulate itself more effectively and eliminate stress hormones in the blood. In Traditional Chinese Medicine, this plant is known for its sedative properties, which may be caused by the flower’s effects on serotonin receptors.
4) Healthy metabolism
Chrysanthemum can also help with weight loss. Chrysanthemum tea is high in Vitamin B, including choline, riboflavin, folic acid, and niacin, which are all beneficial for a healthy metabolism. Vitamin B also helps with digestion and the body to process fats faster and to eliminate them more quickly, too.
5) Prevent colds and boost immunity
Chrysanthemum has remarkable anti-inflammatory properties and high levels of Vitamin C, which makes it an amazing treatment for soothing early-stage cold symptoms like discomfort in the throat, headaches, and rising temperature. The Chrysanthemum Flower is a natural coolant, making it a popular remedy for cooling down the body during fevers. The flower can also clear phlegm and reduce discomfort in the lungs.
Ways to Use Chrysanthemum
There are many ways to use dried chrysanthemum, both for tea and to use topically for skin. This popular and cooling Asian superfood is versatile both in health benefits as well as its applications. See below some of our favorite ways to use this mighty flower.
1) Chrysanthemum face mask
Because Chrysanthemum can reduce skin redness and irritation, you can give yourself a facial with the steam from brewing chrysanthemum, soaking a sheet mask in chrysanthemum water, or creating a chrysanthemum and egg white face mask.
2) Homemade Chrysanthemum tea
We love making a warm pot of chrysanthemum at home before bed. Here is a simple recipe from our friends at Woks of Life.
2) Bo-yi Chrysanthemum tea
We created our own rendition of the traditional and popular Chrysanthemum tea we grew up with by adding other amazing Asian superfoods such as licorice root, honeysuckle root, and rock sugar. Check it out here!