The Tea For Really Tired Eyes: Chrysanthemum
The Tea For Tired Eyes and More
The great thing about chrysanthemum* flowers made into a tea to relieve tired eyes - is that it works! Sometimes my eyes get so groggy sitting here writing all day, that it becomes hard to function. Then I remember the chrysanthemum tea. A couple of flowers steeped in 8 ounces of water is all it takes.** I've received immediate results.
This is not new, however. Chrysanthemum has been used in traditional medicine for thousands of years in the East - for eye care and for many other health benefits. In fact, the excellent loose tea I have was a gift from friends when I lived and worked in S. Korea. The tea is made up of dried yellow flowers.
It is believed that the chrysanthemum originated in China (known as Ju Hua), as far back as the 15th century BC. It was then introduced to Japan around the 8th century and is commonly regarded as the national flower. The flower also grows in the wild in other East Asian countries.
The wild chrysanthemum is a leafy perennial, herbal plant that has clusters of daisy-like flowers on its crown.
As a tea it is light yellow in color (see photo) with a floral aroma and taste.
The chrysanthemum has long been used in traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) for eye care. The flower is beneficial for correcting imbalances in kidney and liver function that is a cause of dry eyes, blurred vision, dizziness, spots in front of the eyes and excessive tearing. One of my favorite TCM doctors, Dr. Maoshing Ni, writes in his book "Secrets of Longevity" about how chrysanthemum flowers reduce pressure buildup in the eyes.
Chrysanthemum also has antibiotic properties making it effective against streptococcus and staphylococcus bacteria and is therefor, a helpful remedy against infection in the body. The compounds also help fight staph skin infections and other skin problems such as boils, sores and acne.
Helps lower blood pressure
Is used to treat headaches
May help in the treatment of tinnitus
Is beneficial for treating colds and flu
Is believed to help improve alertness
Note: The wild variety is believed to be more beneficial than the cultivated varieties, especially for treating abscesses and sores of the back and head. Cultivated varieties are generally used for decorative purposes.
In addition to using chrysanthemum as a tea, it is also added to a variety of preparations. This includes tinctures, lotions, creams and in supplement form as a capsule.
*Using herbs to make a tea is referred to as infusions. All real tea actually comes from the camellia sinensis plant and includes green tea, white tea, oolong and black tea. All four are harvested from the same plant but are processed differently.
**To try chrysanthemum tea for the first time, you may want to start with just 1 to 2 dried flowers per 8 ounces of water. Pour hot water over the flowers. I then cover my cup and let it sit for 3 to 5 minutes. Any more time and it can get a bit bitter. The dried flowers will open. You can reuse the flowers for tea at least once again.
For more information about the health benefits of infusions, how to select both Chinese and Japanese teas, and how to use lettuce tea for insomnia, see links below:
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