ums may remind you of autumn gardens, but did you know that chrysanthemum tea has been consumed in Asia for hundreds of years? If you love drinking dandelion tea for its antioxidant properties, you may want to give “mum flower tea” a try, too.
This pleasant, aromatic tea is made from the flowers of the chrysanthemum plant, and it’s been used in Chinese medicine to treat a range of conditions, from migraines to hypertension and throat inflammation.
As it grows in popularly, chrysanthemum tea is being evaluated by researchers for its antioxidant activity. The flowers have proven to possess an impressive phytochemical composition that can potentially boost your overall health.
What Is Chrysanthemum Tea?
Chrysanthemum indicum is a perennial herb that belongs to the Asteraceae family. The chrysanthemum, or mum, plant has been used in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) for centuries, and it’s been valued for its health-promoting properties. It’s a folk remedy to treat headaches, bone disorders and insomnia.
Today, mum flower is used to make therapeutic tea that fights inflammation and promotes relaxation. It has a slightly sweet, floral taste, which has been likened to chamomile tea. There are several varieties of the plant, but yellow chrysanthemum is the most popular for making tea. Other varieties include red chrysanthemum, purple chrysanthemum and white chrysanthemum.
Tea made from chrysanthemum flowers have proven to possess powerful antioxidants with strong free radical scavenging effects. Studies also demonstrate that the plant contains various types of flavonoids, phenolic acids and lignans.
History in TCM
In traditional Chinese medicine, chrysanthemum tea is known for its cooling and calming properties. It’s used to reduce a fever and improve cold or respiratory symptoms. It’s also reported to possess anti-inflammatory, sedative, anti-hypertensive and anti-arthritis effects.
“Ju hua,” as it’s known in Chinese, has an impressive nutrient content that’s known to support liver, skin and eye health, with the presence of vitamin A and beta carotene. It also contains B vitamins, vitamin C and bone-strengthening minerals including calcium, magnesium, iron and potassium.
In traditional Chinese medicine, mum tea is used to promote liver and kidney health. It serves as a natural diuretic and helps to cleanse the body of toxins. It also provides antioxidants that promote healthy aging. For these reasons, it’s a well-known tea in this ancient form of medicine.
Although there is limited scientific evidence on the benefits of chrysanthemum, researchers have found that it possesses health-promoting properties in animal and lab studies. Chrysanthemum leaves benefits are known from anecdotal reports in Chinese medicine, as it’s been used therapeutically for centuries.
Chrysanthemum tea contains a high content of anthocyanins, which are known as powerful antioxidants. A 2019 study published in Food Research International found that chrysanthemum flower has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory mechanisms.