Ju Hua, Chrysanthemum flower in English, has become my new favorite thing to add to hot water, actually cold water too. I learned about it my very first herb class when my professor called it his daily “meditation in a cup.” After trying it a couple times, I now understand why.
Many of times I have brewed a cup of tea as a meditation, as a silent, intentional time for myself and taking a break from my busy life. So I scoop up the dried white and yellow flowers and add them to the boiling water already in my glass thermos. I step out side and sit and sip on my Ju Hua tea. After awhile I feel my relaxation deepen, not a sleepy feeling but the relaxed, lighter feeling you get after a good sigh. The shoulders come down, my breathing is easier,things start to feel like they are running smoother in my body. The taste is light, fragrant, slightly bitter and sweet at the same time, cooling to my spirit and my body as I watch the white flowers with yellow centers dance in the hot water in front of me.
Now,after that description, I hope you understand why it has become my favorite. Now a little bit more about the medicinal side.
In Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), Ju Hua is a frequently used herb to clear wind and heat (i.e. common cold) and calms the Liver (which in TCM can have a wide variety of symptoms). It first uses being mentioned over 3,000 years ago, and it has continued in it’s popularity to this day. Some of it’s many uses are:
- Cold with fever
- Eyes that are red, dry, swollen, and painful
- High Blood Pressure
It is also said that a cup a day prevents aging, I can imagine so with how I have been feeling after drinking it. Less stress=longer, healthier life right? The key for this, however, is persistence “the must be taken over a long time before it starts to take effect. One cannot simply take more for earlier results.” – Chen Shi-Duo. Ju Hua can be brewed many different ways, alone, or with other herbs for a different effect. My favorite way, so far, is adding a heaping tablespoon to a large thermos of boiling water. I let the flowers sit until its cool enough to drink, and then refill it back up through out the day. Its delicious at room temperature as well. You can try adding a couple goji berries to it for a fun color and sweet taste. Enjoy!!
Source: Bensky, D., Clavey, S., Stoger, E. (2004). Chinese herbal medicine: Materia medica study guide. Seattle, WA: Eastland Press.
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