Monday, September 8, 2008

Chrysanthemum tea

Chrysanthemum tea is a flower-based tisane made from chrysanthemum flowers of the species ''Chrysanthemum morifolium'' or ''Chrysanthemum indicum'', which are most popular in East Asia. To prepare the tea, chrysanthemum flowers are steeped in hot water in either a teapot, cup, or glass; often is also added, and occasionally also . The resulting drink is transparent and ranges from pale to bright yellow in color, with a floral aroma. In Chinese tradition, once a pot of chrysanthemum tea has been drunk, hot water is typically added again to the flowers in the pot ; this process is often repeated several times.


Several varieties of chrysanthemum, ranging from white to pale or bright yellow in color, are used for tea. These include:
*Huángshān Gòngjú (, literally "Yellow Mountain tribute chrysanthemum"; also called simply Gòngjú
*Hángbáijú , originating from Tongxiang, near Hangzhou; also called simply Hángjú,
*Chújú , originating from the Chuzhou district of Anhui
*Bójú , originating in the Bozhou district of Anhui

The flower is called ''gek huay'' in Thai.

Of these, the first two are most popular. Some varieties feature a prominent yellow while others do not.

Medicinal use

Chrysanthemum tea has many purported medicinal uses, including an aid in recovery from influenza, acne and as a "cooling" herb. According to traditional Chinese medicine the tisane can aid in the prevention of sore throat and promote the reduction of fever. In Korea, it is known well for its medicinal use for making people more alert and is often used to waken themselves. In western herbal medicine, Chrysanthemum tea is drunk and used as a compress to treat circulatory disorders such as varicose veins and atherosclerosis.

In traditional Chinese medicine, chrysanthemum tea is also used to treat the eyes, and is said to clear the liver and the eyes. The liver is associated with the eyes and the liver is associated with anger, stress, and related emotions. It is believed to be effective in treating eye pain associated with stress or yin/fluid deficiency. It is also used to treat blurring, spots in front of the eyes, diminished vision, and dizziness.

Commercially available chrysanthemum tea

Although typically prepared at home, chrysanthemum tea is also available as a beverage in many Asian restaurants , and is also available from various drinks outlets in East Asia as well as outside Asia in canned or packed form. Due to its medicinal value, it may also be available at Traditional Chinese medicine outlets, often mixed with other ingredients.

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