Chrysanthemum flowers, or Ju Hua in pin-yin, have a long history of use in Chinese Herbal Medicine as a beverage. The flowers are collected, dried, covered with boiling water, and then strained. The liquid is drunk as a light warm tea; alone or sometimes with sugar added.
The Taoists favored this tea the one to
although to achieve this benefit the tea must be consumed daily over a long period of time.
There is a poem written by the eighteenth-century painter Zheng Ban-Qiao which reads:
Tasting chrysanthemum tea of old – this flower of longevity!
A man of eighty years picks and sips, assiduous;
Teaching his frosty beard to turn raven black.
Chinese Herbalists consider the Ju Hua flower to be one that disperses wind and heat, calms the Liver and clears the eyes. It is used for treating the common cold and for any disorders related to Liver heat or Liver wind, such as blurry vision, spots before the eyes, dizziness, and headaches.
I find this beverage particularly useful for conditions in which there is a sudden onset of heat in the body, such as for hot flashes or excessive sweating. It is calming and cooling in the moment, and over time.
Chrysanthemum tea might be prescribed by your herbalist, but it is also a safe and tasty non-caffeinated drink for anyone to consume during the warm summer months.
The flowers can be bought in bulk and steeped in the traditional way, or a box of powdered chrysanthemum tea with sugar is sold in individual dosage packages.