Chrysanthemum Tea: An Indispensable Chinese Treasure for Keeping Your Eyes Healthy
by Rene Ng (DOM, AP, L.Ac)
The Chrysanthemum Flower
if you walk along the streets of Hong Kong, you will notice there are tea shops littered along the majority of the streets. These shops offer various teas available for purchase over the counter, much like fruit stands and smoothie stalls you’ll find here in the United States. Herbal tea as beverages are the norm for the Chinese, and they are consumed to help individuals maintain their health and battle the elements.
Numerous tea varieties are available which, of course, implies that individuals need to know their herbs and teas, and most Chinese—if not all—do. One of the most common herbal teas you will find is Chrysanthemum tea, and its rich, flavorful aroma will frequently fill the tea store. So, what is Chrysanthemum tea, and why is it among the most popular herbal teas consumed by the Chinese for health? What is so special about this variety?
Chrysanthemum flower—also known as Ju Hua—in Chinese is readily found and harvested in China. The flower is very commonly used as a Chinese herb for its medical properties, and used to address a multitude of health issues. It can come in various forms, ranging from daisy‐looking, to decorative shapes, pompoms or even buttons.
This flower can also come in various colors, but the most common is yellow. The head of each Chrysanthemum flower is actually a cluster of many flowers, made up of a central group of short flowers surrounded by rings of longer flowers. According to Teleflora, it is thought that “a single petal of the Chrysanthemum flower placed at the bottom of a wine glass will encourage a long and healthy life.”
In Chinese Medicine. Chrysanthemum is known to have many healing properties, and is especially useful for balancing and detoxifying the liver organ system. The liver system plays an integral part in the human body. In addition to being the body’s toxic filter, it also promotes overall circulation. When the liver meridian system is impaired, the individual will present with a variety of symptoms, from migraines and rashes to tremors and serious ailments such as stroke. Chrysanthemum flower is normally brewed in hot water and taken as a tea. Let’s look at how Chrysanthemum helps maintain health.
A Powerful Herb for the Eyes
Chrysanthemum flower is well‐known for its ability to brighten the eyes, reduce eye dryness, reduce eye pressure, and address various eye diseases. The Chinese frequently drink Chrysanthemum tea to address issues with their eyes, especially floaters, blurred vision and pain behind the eyes. According to Chinese Medicine, the liver system manages the eyes, so an individual whose liver system is imbalanced will present with eye problems.
The liver system is also responsible for ensuring that Qi (pronounced “Chee”—the life energy in the body) and blood is able to flow throughout the body. Therefore, when this function is impaired, insufficient blood flow will affect eyes, causing them dry out, as well as the eye muscles becoming weakened which results in eye movement issues and floaters. The elderly drink Chrysanthemum tea on a daily basis in China, and they find this helps them with their eyesight, along with headaches and other issues tied to poor eyesight.
Helps with High Blood Pressure and High Cholesterol
Chrysanthemum flower has the ability to reduce aggressive Yang energy in the liver channel. If there is an excess of Yang (moving and active life energy) Qi in the body, an individual will present with “over‐excessive” conditions including—but not limited to—hypertension, headaches (especially pounding ones), high blood pressure, high cholesterol and aggressive emotions (such as anger and impatience). By calming down the Yang energy and balancing out the liver system, Chrysanthemum tea can benefit an individual suffering from these disorders.
Furthermore, excessive Yang energy, similar to over‐acidity, will create heat in the body, impairing the circulation and immune systems. This can lead to serious ailments and even cancers. Chrysanthemum has also been known to have properties that benefit individuals battling cancers, and is a common herb included in many Chinese medicine formulas used to address infections, mucus, and cancer. This is another key reason why Chrysanthemum tea is a top‐choice beverage among the Chinese when it comes to health maintenance.
How to Take Chrysanthemum Tea
Chrysanthemum flowers are typically soaked in hot water and served as beverage tea. This is a common drink served alongside green tea at restaurants during meals. Chrysanthemum itself is bitter in taste, and honey is often added to the tea to lessen its bitterness. However, according to Chinese Medicine, bitterness clears pathogenic heat in the body and is able to detoxify the body, while fighting inflammation and infections. Therefore, the more bitter the Chrysanthemum tastes, the stronger its ability to detoxify the body. Wild Chrysanthemum flowers (YeJuHua) are dried, preserved, and made into the herb that is added to Chinese formulas to increase its potency.
Chrysanthemum tea is extremely refreshing and flavorful. I have introduced many people to this tea, and they absolutely love it. So, next time you get the chance, try some for yourself. And, don’t be surprised if those “floaters” you’ve been experiencing in your eyes suddenly go away!
Rene Ng, DOM, AP, L.Ac, is a board-certified, licensed Acupuncture Physician and Chinese Herbalist in Sarasota. In 2014, he was voted Sarasota’s “Favorite Acupuncture Physician” for a second year in a row and was also the area’s “Favorite Anti-Aging Practitioner.” For more information, call 941-773-5156 or email RNG@ChineseMedicalSolutions.com.