Please note that you should never self-prescribe TCM ingredients. A TCM ingredient is almost never eaten on its own but as part of a formula containing several ingredients that act together. Please consult a professional TCM practitioner, they will be best able to guide you.
Preparation: Keep only the capitulum and dry under the shade
Dosage: 5 - 15 grams
Main actions according to TCM*: Relieves the Exterior and clears Heat. Relieves Wind-Heat from the Liver channel and clears the eyes. Cools Heat of the Liver and Kidney due to Yin Deficiency. Relieves patterns of Liver Yang rising.
Contraindications*: Not for those with Qi Deficiency with diarrhea and/or no appetite.
Source date: 1798 AD
Number of ingredients: 8 herbs
Formula key actions: Disperses Wind. Stops coughing by invigorating Lung Qi. Clears Heat.
Ju Hua is a king ingredient in Sang Ju Yin. Like the name indicates, it means it has more power than other ingredients in the formula.
Source date: 1742 AD
Number of ingredients: 5 herbs
Formula key actions: Clears Heat. Resolves Toxicity. Cools the Blood. Reduces swelling.
Ju Hua is a deputy ingredient in Wu Wei Xiao Du Yin. This means it helps the king ingredient(s) treat the main pattern or it serves to treat a coexisting pattern.
In Wu Wei Xiao Du Yin, Ju Hua resolves Toxicity, cools the Blood, reduces swellings and disperses clumps.
Source date: Qing dynasty
Number of ingredients: 10 herbs
Formula key actions: Cools the Liver. Extinguishes Wind. Increases Fluids. Relaxes the sinews.
Ju Hua is a deputy ingredient in Ling Jiao Gou Teng Tang. This means it helps the king ingredient(s) treat the main pattern or it serves to treat a coexisting pattern.
In Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), chrysanthemum flowers are plants that belong to the 'Cool/Acrid herbs that release the Exterior' category. Herbs that release the Exterior aim to to treat the early stages of diseases that affect the upper respiratory tract, the eyes, the ears, the nose, the throat or the skin. TCM believes that External diseases such as colds or allergies can only invade the body if the External environment overwhelms our Wei Qi (the TCM version of the immune system). In order to counteract this invasion Cool/Acrid herbs aim to induce sweating by dilating our capillary pores so that they release more sweat. The belief is that this will expel the disease from the body and stop it from invading further.
As suggested by its category chrysanthemum flowers are plants that are Cool in nature. This means that chrysanthemum flowers tend to help people who have too much 'Heat' in their body, although with less effect than a plant that would be Cold in nature. Balance between Yin and Yang is a key health concept in TCM. Those who have too much Heat in their body are said to either have a Yang Excess (because Yang is Hot in nature) or a Yin deficiency (Yin is Cold in Nature). Depending on your condition chrysanthemum flowers can help restore a harmonious balance between Yin and Yang.
Chrysanthemum flowers also taste Bitter and Sweet. The so-called 'Five Phases' theory in Chinese Medicine states that the taste of TCM ingredients is a key determinant of their action in the body. Bitter ingredients like chrysanthemum flowers tend to have a cleansing action on the body by clearing Heat, drying Dampness and promoting elimination via urination or bowel movements. On the other hand Sweet ingredients tend to slow down acute reactions and detoxify the body. They also have a tonic effect because they replenish Qi and Blood.
The tastes of ingredients in TCM also determine what Organs and Meridians they target. As such chrysanthemum flowers are thought to target the Liver and the Lung. In TCM the Liver is often referred as the body's "general" because it is in charge of regulating the movements of Qi and the Body Fluids. It also takes a leading role in balancing our emotions. In addition to performing respiration, the Lungs are thought in TCM to be a key part of the production chain for Qi and the Body Fluids that nourish the body.
The water extracts of of Harng Jyur (Chrysanthemum morifolium Ramat) from four varieties showed strong antioxidant activity.1
Chrysanthemum morifolium extract (CME) helps protect against cardiovascular diseases.2
1. PD Duh, YY Tu, GC Yen (1999) "Antioxidant Activity of Water Extract of Harng Jyur (Chrysanthemum morifolium Ramat)". LWT - Food Science and Technology, Volume 32, Issue 5, Pages 269-277.
2. T Chen, LP Li, XY Lu, HD Jiang, Su Zeng (2007) "Absorption and Excretion of Luteolin and Apigenin in Rats after Oral Administration of Chrysanthemum morifolium Extract". J. Agric. Food Chem., 55 (2), pp 273–277
Chrysanthemum flowers are also eaten as food.