Chrysanthemum Flower

Other Names of Chrysanthemum Flower: Dendrathemmorifolium (also known as Chrysanthemum morifolium; Mum; Ye Ju; JuHua

Useful Parts of the Plant: Flowers

The chrysanthemum, Japan's national flower, is an important herb in both Japanese and Chinese traditional medicine. It is now cultivated in Europe, the United States and many other countries because of the great demand for its flowers. The plant grows to a height of 36 inches and needs rich, well-drained soil to thrive in. The name derives from two Greek words, 'chrysos' meaning golden and 'anthos' meaning flower. The beautiful flowers bloom in autumn and come in many different colors, including red, orange, white, yellow and lavender. First introduced to the West by the Chinese in the eighteenth century, these flowers have rapidly become popular as ornamental decorations. In the East, they have been used in traditional medicine since at least the first century A.D.

Nutritional Information and Properties of Chrysanthemum

Some of the compounds in Chrysanthemum are flavonoids like luteolin, apigenin and acacetin, choline, and vitamin B1. It is also a good source of Vitamins C and A, Niacin, Folic acid and Pantothenic acid and is also rich in calcium, magnesium, potassium, iron and phosphorus. Chrysanthemum tea can help detoxify blood, regulate blood pressure and calm the nerves. It has antibacterial properties that can be effective against staphylococcus aureus, streptococcus hemolyticus B, dermatomycosis, shigelladysenteriae and the tubercle bacillus.

Health Benefits and Therapeutic Uses of Chrysanthemum

  • Chrysanthemum can help the body fight off a range of infections including streptococcal and staphylococcal infections.
  • The traditional Chinese have used the tea to treat influenza, fevers, inflammations and even heatstroke due to its cooling effect. The herb also helps to correct imbalances that may affect the liver and also helps in dealing with kidney function, thus helping with their treatment.
  • A rinse made from the flower can be helpful to treat skin infections.
  • The herb can be used in many different forms, from tinctures and creams to chrysanthemum tea that is very popular. While preparing the tea, care should be taken to let the flowers to boil in the hot water for around ten minutes. This should be done in order to protect the essential oil and other nutrients.
  • Chrysanthemum tea is a great aid to digestion, helping the body to digest greasy food more easily.
  • The tea is also helpful in relieving nasal and head congestion.
  • Because of its zero calorie content, it is often used to treat obesity and as an aid to lose weight.
  • It is also said to improve vision and hearing and is given in cases of dizziness, blurred vision and spots in front of the eyes. It may also be helpful in cases of night blindness and to treat conjunctivitis.
  • New research has shown that the flavonoid acacetin that is present in chrysanthemum has the ability to inhibit malignant cell growth in the prostate region. This may make it a useful weapon in the battle against prostate and other forms of cancer.
  • It is believed to be good for the heart and has been known to lower blood pressure levels. It may also be able to increase blood flow to the heart.
  • Traditional Chinese medicine has used these properties of the flower to treat cases of hypertension and angina.

A Cautionary Note: Some people may be allergic to chrysanthemum and can experience adverse reactions on consuming or handling it. Physical handling of the flower may result in skin irritation and consumption can cause stomach upset. People with known allergies to daisies and asters should avoid chrysanthemum as should people with diarrhea. Consult your physician before taking chrysanthemum, especially if you are on other medication that may adversely react with it.