Decoding Chinese Herbs: Chrysanthemum

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Chinese herbs have been used for centuries. The first traditionally recognized herbalist, Shénnóng, is said to have lived around 2800 BC. There are roughly 13,000 medicinals used in China and over 100,000 medicinal recipes recorded in the ancient literature. In this blog post series, I highlight one Chinese herb and its healing properties: chrysanthemum, also known as Chu-hua.

ChrysanthemumStruggling with winter weather blahs and the colds and flu that are more common this time of year? I often recommend chrysanthemum tea as a good traditional Chinese herbal remedy. Chu-hua is used in teas throughout Asia, sometimes in combination with other herbs. In Korea, for example, the tea is traditionally recommended for increasing alertness, so it is commonly served as refreshing tonic. It can often be found in health food stores and Asian groceries here in Wilmington, NC and throughout the United States.

Chu-hua is used in traditional medicine to improve circulation and to address a variety of common conditions related to the circulatory and nervous systems. These conditions include acne, colds, and headaches. Because of its detoxifying effects, chu-hua has a wide array of uses. It can even be used as a compress for conditions like varicose veins and atherosclerosis.

Its reputation as a “cooling” herb makes chrysanthemum tea especially good for treating the symptoms of influenza. It can help soothe your sore throat and reduce fever symptoms because of its association with yin or fluid deficiency. Especially during the winter months, when our lives are busy and the weather places more stress on our bodies than in warmer months, it is important to keep our energy, or Qi, balanced with proper fluid intake. Adding Chrysanthemum tea to your diet can be very useful if the season has taken its toll on you!

 

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