The western world knows the Chinese plant “Ju hua” as the florists' chrysanthemum, primarily valued as an ornamental plant. However, the chrysanthemum is a well known medicinal herb in China, where it is also commonly drunk as an energizing tisane as well. Vision is improved by using the herbal medication made from the chrysanthemum. The floral medication is also used to soothe sore eyes as well as to bring relief from persistent headaches and to counteract all kinds of seasonal infections including the common cold and the flu. In addition, clinical research conducted on the herb and its properties shows that the chrysanthemum is a very helpful remedy for the treatment of high blood pressure problems in patients.
The Chinese have utilized herbal remedies made from the chrysanthemum for thousands of years. The herb has been used as a medicine and as a beverage for centuries in China. Ancient writings confirm the long use of the remedies made from the chrysanthemum, the herb finds mention and is categorized in the Divine Husbandman's Classic, called “Shen'nong Bencaojing". This treatise was written down sometime during the 1st century AD in China.
Other medical uses
Habitat and cultivation
The chrysanthemum plant is indigenous to China and other Far Eastern countries - it grows in the wild in eastern Asia. However, due to its ornamental value, the plant is mostly cultivated and is naturalized in many other countries. The plant is propagated from the cuttings which are planted in the spring or in the early summer months. Gardeners around the world are familiar with the chrysanthemum flowers. During the fall, the flower heads open fully and they are usually gathered from the field at this time. Floral heads to be used in herbal medications are normally dried by exposing them to sunlight; this process is needless to say a long drawn out affair and takes many days.
Chrysanthemum was extensively investigated in a number of Japanese and Chinese led clinical trials during the 1970s. These tests demonstrated that the chrysanthemum was quite effective in reducing elevated blood pressure and in relieving the physical symptoms that accompany such blood pressure problems. These symptoms including persistent headaches, spells of dizziness, as well as insomnia. The chrysanthemum used in these trials was mixed with the jin yin hua herb. Researchers also say that chrysanthemum possesses a potent antibiotic effect and it was subsequently proven to be useful in treating angina and related cardiac problems.
The herbal infusion made from the chrysanthemum may be drunk thrice daily at a dosage of 200 ml or 8 fl oz per dose. Dosages of this infusion recommended in Chinese medicine is about 4.5 - 15 g or 1/4 - 3/4 oz per dose per person on a daily basis.
How it works in the body
In clinical research carried out on the active constituents of the chrysanthemum, it has been established that the herb possesses antibiotic principles which under laboratory conditions act against both the staphylococcus and streptococcus strains of bacteria. The herb can be considered to be a general remedy against infection in the body from different strains of bacteria. At the same time, the beneficial action of yellow chrysanthemum on disorders such as headache and eye problems is supported by clinical research done on high blood pressure and its causes. During the course of one study, forty six patients suffering from essential hypertension and atherosclerosis displayed an improvement in different conditions that ranged from headaches and spells of dizziness to insomnia following just one week of treatment using the herbal remedy. The elevated blood pressure of thirty five of the patients returned to normal, and continuing improvements in the condition of the remaining patients was also observed. Respiratory disorders are also beneficially affected by remedies made from the chrysanthemum; it is used to clear fevers and headaches accompanying common colds and flu. An herbal infusion made from the chrysanthemum has traditionally been employed as a tonic for the eyes, particularly in the treatment of reddened, painful, and dry eyes or in case of excessive watering of the eyes. Remedies made from the chrysanthemum are also used in treating disorders such as spots appearing in front of the eyes, blurred vision, or to quell sudden spells of dizziness in a person. In the Chinese system of medicine, the properties given to the remedies made from the herb include sweet, bitter, and slightly cold effects.