Chrysanthemum is a flower belonging to the sunflower family. It originates from China and is used in traditional Chinese medicine. However, relatively recently Chrysanthemum has been in having a much-deserved spotlight for its many great health benefits.
As western medicine catches up, it entirely fair to expect more research that uncovers additional benefits, but in the meantime here are some of the amazing proven health benefits of Chrysanthemum tea.
Science-Backed Health Benefits of Chrysanthemum Tea
1. It's a Good Source of Antioxidants
The one very strongly backed benefit of Chrysanthemum tea is that it is a great source of antioxidants.
Chrysanthemum is rich in many different types of antioxidants, i.e. various types of flavonoids, phenolic acids, and lignans, and is proven to be protective against oxidative stress caused by free-radicals.
There are three different types of Chrysanthemum flowers: white, purple, and yellow. The purple one has higher antioxidant content when compared to the yellow one.
2. It Is Rich In Vitamins
These vitamins are essential for the maintenance of many functions in our body.
- Vitamin A is essential for good vision
- Vitamin B complex performs a number of functions including maintenance of our nervous system.
- Vitamin C is essential for functions like the formation of collagen, which keeps your skin younger-looking and maintains our joints.
- Vitamin E, along with vitamin C and A is important as it maintains our immune system and blood vessels.
Studies even suggest that when vitamin C and E are present in it reduces embryo toxicity preventing congenital malformations (neural tube defect caused by sodium valproate). This makes drinking a drink high in these vitamins a healthy pregnancy drink. These two vitamins have been shown to reduce oxidative damage during pregnancy.
3. It Has Neuroprotective Action
Chrysanthemum is rich in antioxidants. A specific flavonoid component of Chrysanthemum called myricetin is known to exhibit many important actions. One of these actions includes neuroprotection.
Studies have shown that myricetin has a protective action against Alzheimer's and Parkinson's disease. It protects against the free-radical that when left unchecked can cause damage to the brain.
Apart from that, myricetin is also active against a specific brain tumor called medulloblastoma.
And, it appears to be effective for migraines as well. Research has shown it does this by increasing the levels of serotonin in the brain; a mechanism that some of the migraine-medications (sumatriptan) follow too.
Myricetin also has some anti-aging action, as per studies.
4. It Has Anti-Allergic Action
Arthritis is a common painful joint condition that affects quite a number of people around the world. Arthritis is inflammatory and degenerative in nature. Research suggests that Chrysanthemum tea might help with arthritis too.`
This study was conducted on mice, but if you are someone who suffers from allergies quite often, a few cups of Chrysanthemum tea might come handy to you.
5. It Might Be Helpful in Arthritis
Arthritis is a common painful joint condition that affects quite a number of people around the world. Arthritis is inflammatory and degenerative in nature.
A 2017 study shows that the anti-inflammatory effect of Chrysanthemum delays the onset of arthritis and even reduces the clinical severity of the disease, and therefore helpful for conditions like rheumatoid arthritis.
Chrustanthum also has analgesic properties. So overall, adding a few cups of this tea each day can help you deal with arthritis pain.
6. It May Help With Diabetes
In a nutshell, diabetes occurs in either one following scenario: insulin is not produced adequately or the body stops responding to insulin (insulin resistance).
In both cases, the body fails to utilize glucose, leading to an increase in blood sugar levels.
Studies suggest that Chrysanthemum reduces blood sugar levels, as well as improves glucose tolerance and insulin tolerance; the primary defect in type 2 diabetes.
In addition to that, studies also suggest that it might provide protection against diabetic retinopathy; a common long-term complication of uncontrolled diabetes.
There are anecdotes of it being used for conditions like varicose veins, acne, cold, dizziness, and even angina (chest pain). But there is no scientific evidence to support these. Chest pain should not be taken lightly, visit your nearest hospital if you are experiencing chest pain.
Side-Effects of Chrysanthemum Tea
Chrysanthemum tea seems to be quite safe to use on a regular basis. Although not a lot of studies have been conducted regarding the side-effects of Chrysanthemum tea.
But some of the side-effects that you should consider are:
1. Allergic reaction to Chrysanthemum. If you have a known allergy, avoid it. Studies suggest that people who have ragweed allergy may also react to Chrysanthemum flowers.
2. Excessive tea drinking can cause side-effects like insomnia, restlessness, and anxiety. Keep a maximum intake of 3-4 cups per day to avoid the side-effects.
3. Myricetin has anti-platelet action (i.e. prevents coagulation). This might be good for people with thrombotic diseases, but anyone who is on anti-platelet medication should avoid drinking too much of Chrysanthemum tea to avoid any possible risk of bleeding.
4. Be cautious of your blood sugar levels if you are on insulin or oral hypoglycemic drugs. Moderate the consumption of Chrysanthemum tea.
How to Prepare Chrysanthemum Tea
You can buy premade Chrysanthemum tea bags, or you can buy dried Chrysanthemum flowers to prepare the tea.
If you have fresh Chrysanthemum flower growing in your garden, you can use that as well. You’ll need to dry it first for a while. Pluck a few flowers and sun-dry them for a day. You can use them in your tea once they are dried for a day.
Do not dry for long, as the antioxidant activity is maximum when the flower is the very initial stages of drying.
Boil water and add 1-2 teaspoon of Chrysanthemum flowers in the water. Let it sit there and steep for 15 minutes, or until the water is yellow. Strain the flowers out and your tea is ready.
You can drink this steeped Chrysanthemum tea just like that if you are looking for a caffeine-free tea. Or you can steep tea leaves along with the Chrysanthemum flowers if you don’t mind a little bit of caffeine with your drink. You can also add other herbs of your choice if you like.
Add honey or stevia, if desired.
Chrysanthemum tea is gaining popularity, especially because of its antioxidant properties. But that is not its only effect. Studies are now establishing that it has some amazing health benefits. More research is still needed to know more about this edible flower better.
Beware of all the "too-good-to-be-true" claims by any company or anyone regarding this tea. It's great, but it's not a cure for anything.
Limit your daily intake to 3-4 cups, and keep an eye on any kind of allergic reaction.