Chrysanthemum tea is a kind of herbal tea made from chrysanthemum. Chrysanthemum has not only ornamental value but also medicinal value. It is a traditional Chinese herbal medicine.
Chrysanthemum tea originated in the Tang Dynasty (AD 618-907) and was widely used in daily life in the Qing Dynasty (AD 1636-1912).
1. Introduction of chrysanthemum
Chrysanthemum is one of the top 10 famous flowers in China and it can be seen almost everywhere in the whole China.
According to many historical documents, the chrysanthemum cultivated for eating and medicinal purposes is in ancient China. The earliest record about chrysanthemum was in the Zhou Dynasty (1046-256 BC). So Chrysanthemum has been cultivated in China for at least 3,000 years.
Around the 8th century AD, chrysanthemum as an ornamental flower was introduced from China to Japan. In the late 17th century, the Dutch merchants introduced chrysanthemum to Europe. And in the 18th century, it was spread to France, and to North America in the mid-19th century.
2. Four famous Chinese chrysanthemum teas
In the Tang Dynasty, chrysanthemum cultivation was very common. Many new varieties of chrysanthemum were cultivated. In that context, chrysanthemum tea was first created.
Nowadays, there are thousands of different chrysanthemum varieties in China. According to the efficacy, popularity, and producing area of chrysanthemum, there are four most famous chrysanthemums in China, which are together called “China’s Four Famous Chrysanthemum”.
The chrysanthemum teas made from these four kinds of chrysanthemums are very high-quality and beneficial.
1. Huangshan chrysanthemum tea (Gong Ju tea)
Huangshan chrysanthemum also called Gong Ju is produced in Huangshan City of Anhui Province. “Gong” means “Tribute”, because it was offered as a tribute tea to the emperor in the ancient times.
Huangshan chrysanthemum is praised as the “Champion of Chrysanthemum” and “National Treasure” in the famous medical book <Chinese Pharmacopoeia>.
During the Qing Dynasty (1636-1912), many people in the Forbidden City of Beijing suffered from the red-eye disease. The emperor sent some people to visit famous doctors and get medicines, then the Anhui officials offered dried Huangshan chrysanthemum.
Surprisingly, after they drink the tea made from the dried Huangshan chrysanthemum, the eye diseases of Beijing people are cured. Later, Huangshan chrysanthemum became more famous and was honored as “Gong Ju”.
2. Hangzhou white chrysanthemums tea (Hang Bai Ju tea)
Hangzhou chrysanthemum produced in Zhejiang Province can be classified into yellow chrysanthemum and white chrysanthemum. Yellow chrysanthemum is generally used as medicine and the white chrysanthemum is used as tea. Hangzhou chrysanthemum is one of the eight famous Chinese herbal medicines in Zhejiang Province.
Hangzhou white chrysanthemum also known as chamomile or Hang Bai Ju in Chinese Pinyin. “Bai” means “White” and “Ju” means “Chrysanthemums”, is one of the best varieties for making chrysanthemum tea.
3. Chu chrysanthemum tea (Chu Ju tea)
Chu chrysanthemum produced in Chu Zhou City of Anhui Province is one of the four famous traditional Chinese medicines in Anhui Province. It has been approved by the AQSIQ of China to use as a special mark for geographical indication products in 2002.
As early as the Song Dynasty (AD 960-1279), the local people used Chu chrysanthemum to make pastries and chrysanthemum wine to clear heat and eliminate toxins in the body.
In the Qing Dynasty, Chu chrysanthemum was sent to the imperial court as a tribute tea, so it is also called “Chu Zhou Gong Ju”.
Recent studies have found that Chu chrysanthemum has a good preventive effect on SRAS virus, cancer (especially liver cancer), and has a significant therapeutic effect on diabetes.
4. Bo chrysanthemum tea (Bo Ju tea)
Bo chrysanthemum is a treasure of chrysanthemum, produced in Bo Zhou City of Anhui Province, and it was registered as an agriculture product of geographical indication by the Ministry of Agriculture of China in 2014.
In Bo Zhou City, the local farmers have the habit of growing chrysanthemum because of its high medicinal value and high ornamental value.
Bo chrysanthemum can not only be made into tea, but also can be cooked into porridge with rice in summer to prevent heatstroke.
3. Health benefits of chrysanthemum tea
Chrysanthemum tea contains volatile oil, chrysanthemin, adenine, amino acid, choline, stachydrine, berberine, flavonoids, chrysanthemum pigments, vitamins, trace elements, and other substances.
Flavonoids in Chrysanthemum tea have been proved that it have effects on scavenging free radicals, antioxidant and anti-aging.
From the nutrition point of view, the essence of plants lies in flower and fruit. There are 17 kinds of amino acids in chrysanthemum petals, among which glutamic acid, aspartic acid, and proline are higher.
In addition, it is rich in vitamins and trace elements such as iron, zinc, copper, and selenium, so it has the incomparable effect of ordinary fruits and vegetables.
Here are the main health benefits of chrysanthemum tea:
- Treating liver-yang rising
- Clearing heat and detoxifying
- Treating wind-cold and wind-heat
- It has a remarkable effect on the cardiovascular system, expanding the coronary artery and enhancing coronary flow.
- It has a good therapeutic effect on senile diseases such as coronary heart disease, hypertension, and hyperlipidemia, thus eliminating diseases and prolonging life.
4. Precaution of drinking chrysanthemum tea
Should not drink the overnight chrysanthemum tea. The overnight chrysanthemum tea contains chlorogenic acid, which will oxidize and turn green in the air, and the content of vitamin C in the tea is greatly reduced, so it is not recommended to drink.
Chrysanthemum may cause allergic conjunctivitis. People who have a history of allergic conjunctivitis need to pay special attention to it.
People with chronic colitis, spleen and stomach deficiency should not drink chrysanthemum tea.
Chrysanthemum has slightly cold property. People with a cold constitution are not recommended to drink chrysanthemum tea.
5. How to make/brew chrysanthemum tea
When brewing chrysanthemum tea, it’s better to use a glass cup. Put 4-5 pieces of dried chrysanthemum, and brew it with boiling water for 2-3 minutes.
When you drink chrysanthemum tea, you can put some sugar or honey in the cup, so that it tastes sweeter.