Chrysanthemum


FUN FACTS

Botanical name: Chrysanthemum morifolium, AKA 菊花 (júhuā), mums, In Chinese art, four plants stood for the noble ones or the Four Gentlemen, and represents the four seasons.  They are chrysanthemum ( autumn), plum blossom (梅花 méihuā , winter), orchid (兰花 lánhuā, spring) and bamboo (竹 Zhú, summer).  Chrysanthemum is the official flower of Chicago, Illinois since 1966.

CONSTITUENTS/ NUTRITION

Volatile oils(borneol, bornyl acetate, chrysanthemon, and camphor), flavones, sesquiterpenes and triterpenes.  It also contains adenine, choline, amino acids, vitamins and minerals.¹  Beta-carotene, potassium, calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, Vitamin B &C, folic acid, niacin, and riboflavin.

USES/ BENEFITS

TCM usually refers to Ju Hua (Flos Chrysanthemi), Cold and flu, headache, fever, blurred vision, red eyes, dizziness, and skin sores. ¹Chrysanthemum tea is has been shown to benefit type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, insomnia, and chest pain.  Anti-HIV (study1, study2), antibacterial antioxidant.

CAUTION

Chrysanthemum cinerariaefolium or Chrysanthemum coccineum are insecticides.  Do not eat these types or grow them with plants that you eat.  Allergies: If you are allergic to ragweed, daisies, or marigolds, you may be allergic to chrysanthemum since they are from the same plant family.

TYPES

There are over 300 species of Chrysanthemum.  Most are designed for a variety of ornamental purposes.  Below are 3 that seem most popular and functional:

Flos Chrysanthemi, AKA Ju Hua, is most commonly used as tea.  The flavor is mild and soothing.  Plants.   Seeds.

 

 

 

Garland chrysanthemum, AKA  Shingiku (Japanese), Tong Hao (Chinese) Crown Daisy (English).   is most popular plant for stir frys and salads.  Both the flowers and leaves are edible.   Use the pedals on the flowers, the base is bitter.   Seeds.  Recipes:  Korean Recipe , stir fry with Garlic, Shungiku and Maitake Stir Fry 

 

Cinerariaefolium Chrysanthemum is a natural insecticide and an insect repellent.  Its active ingredient is pyrethrin and is derived from pulverized flowers.   Pyrethrins attack the nervous systems of all insects.  Do not plant this with your edible garden, especially your edible chrysanthemum.  Seeds.

Rainbow Chrysanthemum I chose this variety as an example of the multitude of colors, designs and shapes for ornamental chrysanthemums available online.  Easiest is to order seeds.

GROWING

Pruning and growing Chrysanthemums from cuttings

How to harvest Chrysanthemum seeds from the flowers.

PRODUCTS

Below are samples of chrysanthemum products.  Chrysanthemum is extremely popular and each category has plenty of options available online.  Google "chrysanthemum" and the product category.

EDITOR EXPERIENCE

In most Chinese restaurants that serve primarily Chinese clientele, we often order chrysanthemum tea.  I had always thought it was better tasting than the typical black tea, but never gave much thought to its medicinal use.  I also thought that the tea was soothing and often drink it before bed.  Had no idea it's a sedative and a treatment for insomnia.  I've never had chrysanthemum other than steeping the dried flowers in tea and often eating the flowers from my tea cup.  I'm really looking forward to growing garland chrysanthemum so I can stir fry it.  Sounds yummy.

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