The Chinese drink chrysanthemum as a summer beverage for its refreshing taste and cooling properties. It clears heat from the Liver and Lungs and indirectly, the Stomach and Kidneys, thus making it a perfect beverage during hot months.
It also calms the Liver and extinguishes Wind, treating anger, irritability, dizziness, headaches, hypertension and deafness.
The yellow chrysanthemum flowers are included in many cold and flu formulas, including the well-known Yin Chiao (Qiao) Chieh Tu Pien formula, which treats fevers, headache, colds, flu, and pneumonia.
For an even better summer drink, add lycii berries (gou ji berries) so easily found in health food stores now. Their warming energy balance the coolness of chrysanthemum and support Liver Blood and Kidney functions. As well, they add sweetness and color to the tea.
You can find prepared, sweetened chrysanthemum tea in cans in the cooler at Asian markets, but it’s fun (and pretty) to make your own. Just brew it hot and cool it as you would regular iced tea. Don’t go overboard with iced drinks, however, as overconsumption of these will slow digestion. Chrysanthemum tea consumed at a cool (not ice cold) temperature should be perfect for those hot summer days.
Pin yin: Ju hua
Part used: flowers
Energy and taste: slightly cold; pungent, sweet, bitter; Lungs, Liver
Actions: Cools and releases the Exterior
Properties: antipyretic, anti-inflammatory, antihypertensive, diaphoretic
Biochemical constituents: essential oil, adenine, choline and stachydrine
Dose: 5-15 gms, infusion
Precautions: Deficient Qi with poor appetite and/or diarrhea
Other: the yellow-flowered chrysanthemums are preferred; wild chrysanthemum flowers (ye ju hua) are white, colder in energy and seems more similar to feverfew (C. parthenium). They are a stronger detoxifier for hypertension, skin ailments, eczema, scrofula, boils and inflammation of the throat, eyes and cervix.