The common garden “mum” or chrysanthemum flower has been used in China for centuries for its curative properties as well as an energy tisane, or infusion, to stimulate the blood. As with many herbs employed in Oriental medicine, chrysanthemum has many medicinal uses; among its various properties, chrysanthemum is used to treat infections, for eye problems, to lower high blood pressure, for headaches and colds. Chrysanthemum can cause side effects in certain individuals, so consult your health practitioner before you begin
A warm infusion of chrysanthemum flowers is helpful in relieving eyestrain, blurry vision and dry eyes. In addition, it is thought to help prevent and possibly reverse cataracts. Drink the tea or apply hot compresses for relief from aching, tired eyes. If you have the actual chrysanthemum blossoms, soak them in hot water for a few minutes and make a poultice by placing them between two pieces of gauze. Place a poultice on each eyelid and relax for ten minutes for relief from eye pain. If you develop any unusual symptoms, stop taking the herb and seek medical advice.
Cleansing the Blood
Chrysanthemum flower tea is used by the Chinese to relieve the body of excess build-up of toxins in the blood, according to the City University of New York. Drinking the tea not only purifies the blood, but also provides relaxation of mind and body. Drink a cup of tea for relief from insomnia. Chrysanthemum flowers are often combined in a mixture with honeysuckle, cinnamon, licorice and ginseng to produce a tonic that balances the cooling and warming principle in the body, based on the study of Chinese medicine.
Chrysanthemum tea is often used to relieve mild fevers and headaches that might arise from excess toxins in the blood. Conditions such as acne and boils may benefit from chrysanthemum’s antiseptic properties by applying a poultice of chrysanthemum flowers to the inflamed lesions.
Blood Pressure and Cardiac Conditions
Certain herbal tonics made from chrysanthemum are used to relieve hypertension. The tea is also used in Asia to treat concomitant symptoms such as dizziness, light-headedness, tinnitis or ringing in the ears, and headaches associated with changes in blood pressure. In addition, chrysanthemum may be helpful in reducing attacks of angina, artherosclerosis and related cardiac problems. Although there is no scientific research for these claims, anecdotal evidence from hundreds of years of use indicates that chrysanthemum may be helpful for the above conditions.
Chrysanthemum flowers have been found to have antibiotic properties under laboratory conditions, leading researchers to believe it may be effective in the treatment of both staphylococcus and streptococcus bacteria strains, notes Herbs2000.
Chrysanthemum flowers contain alkaloids and volatile oils that may produce side effects or allergic reactions in some people. Handling the flowers or drinking the tea may cause skin rashes or stomach upset; however, most people do not react to chrysanthemum. Consult with your health practitioner before using herbs for serious conditions, especially if you take conventional medications. Do not stop taking your medications in favor of taking herbs without the supervision of your doctor.
“The Green Pharmacy Herbal Handbook: Your Everyday Reference to the Best Herbs for Healing“; James Duke; 2002
City University of New York at Brooklyn: Chinese Herbs
Department of Horticultural Science College of Agriculture & Life Sciences North Carolina State University: Edible Flowers