While English Breakfast and Earl Grey are the most popular types of tea among many of us, there are in fact a wide range of different leaves and herbs that can be used to brew a good cupa’. And when you get a little more adventurous and look into some of these alternative beverages, you will often find that they offer some rather impressive and varied health benefits. Even just taking a look in your own back garden might yield some interesting infusions with surprising positive health effects!
One example is chrysanthemum tea…
What Is Chrysanthemum Tea?
Chrysanthemums, also known as ‘mums’, are a type of flower that can be found in gardens around the world. These plants aren’t just pretty though, they also happen to make a great cup of tea with a golden hue and flowery taste that’s very similar to chamomile tea.
And as with so many plants and herbs, chrysanthemum has been used for centuries for its medicinal properties. The Chinese use it to treat respiratory problems, hyperthyroidism and blood pressure among other things. Today, we know that it may actually be useful in treating inflammation and osteoporosis (1, 2). As is always the case though, don’t expect to drink some chrysanthemum tea and suddenly fully recover from osteoporosis. The studies show that the benefits are relatively mild and slow – so it should simply be part of a healthy diet.
For the Brain
Interestingly, chrysanthemum tea may also have other benefits. It has long been enjoyed by poets and artists and some say that it may be able to reduce anxiety and even lower body temperature. It is full of vitamin C, which may lead to an increase in serotonin and it has all the soothing benefits of a hot mug of tea without the jitteriness that comes from caffeine.
How to Make It
To try your own chrysanthemum tea, pluck a couple of flowers and leave them out to dry in the sun (alternatively you could use a food dehydrator, or buy the blooms ready dried). Boil your water and let it cool to roughly 100 degrees Fahrenheit (38ºC). Now use 3-6 flowers per mug. Let it steep and there you go – you have your tea!
Make sure to avoid using plants that have been sprayed with artificial pesticides. People with allergies to daises and ragweed should proceed with caution as these contain some of the same active components.