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Chrysanthemum tea From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Chrysanthemum tea (Chinese: 菊花茶, Pinyin: júhuā chá) is a flower-based tisane made from chrysanthemum flowers of the species Chrysanthemum morifolium or Chrysanthemum indicum, which are most popular in East Asia. To prepare the tea, chrysanthemum flowers (usually dried) are steeped in hot water (usually 90 to 95 degrees Celsius after cooling from a boil) in either a teapot, cup, or glass; often rock sugar is also added, and occasionally also wolfberries. The resulting drink is transparent and ranges from pale to bright yellow in color, with a floral aroma. In Chinese tradition, once a pot of chrysanthemum tea has been drunk, hot water is typically added again to the flowers in the pot (producing a tea that is slightly less strong); this process is often repeated several times.


Varieties

Several varieties of chrysanthemum, ranging from white to pale or bright yellow in color, are used for tea. These include:

* Huángshān Gòngjú (黄山贡菊, literally "Yellow Mountain tribute chrysanthemum"); also called simply Gòngjú (贡菊)
* Hángbáijú (杭白菊), originating from Tongxiang, near Hangzhou; also called simply Hángjú, (杭菊)
* Chújú (滁菊), originating from the Chuzhou district of Anhui
* Bójú (亳菊), originating in the Bozhou district of Anhui

The flower is called gek huay in Thai. In Tamil it is called saamandhi.

Of these, the first two are most popular. Some varieties feature a prominent yellow flower head while others do not.

Chrysanthemum tea has many purported medicinal uses, including an aid in recovery from influenza, acne and as a "cooling" herb. According to traditional Chinese medicine the tea can aid in the prevention of sore throat and promote the reduction of fever. In Korea, it is known well for its medicinal use for making people more alert and is often used to waken themselves. In western herbal medicine, Chrysanthemum tea is drunk and used as a compress to treat circulatory disorders such as varicose veins and atherosclerosis.

In traditional Chinese medicine, chrysanthemum tea is also used to treat the eyes, and is said to clear the liver and the eyes. It is believed to be effective in treating eye pain associated with stress or yin/fluid deficiency. It is also used to treat blurring, spots in front of the eyes, diminished vision, and dizziness.[1] The liver is associated with the element Wood which rules the eyes and is associated with anger, stress, and related emotions.
[edit] Commercially available chrysanthemum tea

Although typically prepared at home, chrysanthemum tea is also available as a beverage in many Asian restaurants (particularly Chinese ones), and is also available from various drinks outlets in East Asia as well as Asian grocery stores outside Asia in canned or packed form. Due to its medicinal value, it may also be available at Traditional Chinese medicine outlets, often mixed with other ingredients.

Chrysanthemum
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Chrysanthemum
Chrysanthemum sp
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
(unranked): Angiosperms
(unranked): Eudicots
(unranked): Asterids
Order: Asterales
Family: Asteraceae
Tribe: Anthemideae
Genus: Chrysanthemum
Type species
Chrysanthemum indicum L.
Species

Chrysanthemum aphrodite
Chrysanthemum arcticum
Chrysanthemum argyrophyllum
Chrysanthemum arisanense
Chrysanthemum boreale
Chrysanthemum chalchingolicum
Chrysanthemum chanetii
Chrysanthemum cinerariaefolium
Chrysanthemum coronarium
Chrysanthemum crassum
Chrysanthemum glabriusculum
Chrysanthemum hypargyrum
Chrysanthemum indicum
Chrysanthemum japonense
Chrysanthemum japonicum
Chrysanthemum lavandulifolium
Chrysanthemum mawii
Chrysanthemum maximowiczii
Chrysanthemum mongolicum
Chrysanthemum morifolium
Chrysanthemum morii
Chrysanthemum okiense
Chrysanthemum oreastrum
Chrysanthemum ornatum
Chrysanthemum pacificum
Chrysanthemum potentilloides
Chrysanthemum segetum
Chrysanthemum shiwogiku
Chrysanthemum sinuatum
Chrysanthemum vestitum
Chrysanthemum weyrichii
Chrysanthemum yoshinaganthum
Chrysanthemum zawadskii

Chrysanthemums, often called mums or chrysanths, are of the genus (Chrysanthemum) constituting approximately 30 species of perennial flowering plants in the family Asteraceae which is native to Asia and northeastern Europe.

Etymology

The name Chrysanthemum is derived from the Greek, chrysos (gold) and anthos (flower).[1]
In many countries, Chrysanthemums are a beautiful reminder that Autumn has arrived
Taxonomy

The genus once included a larger number of species, but was split several decades ago into several genera. The naming of the genera has been contentious, but a ruling of the International Code of Botanical Nomenclature in 1999 resulted in the defining species of the genus being changed to Chrysanthemum indicum, thereby restoring the economically important florist's chrysanthemum to the genus Chrysanthemum. During the period between the splitting of the genus and the ICBN ruling, these species have customarily been included under the genus name Dendranthema.

The other species previously included in the narrow view of the genus Chrysanthemum are now transferred to the genus Glebionis. The other genera separate from Chrysanthemum include Argyranthemum, Leucanthemopsis, Leucanthemum, Rhodanthemum, and Tanacetum.

Chrysanthemum are herbaceous perennial plants growing to 50–150 cm tall, with deeply lobed leaves with large flower heads that are generally white, yellow or pink in the wild and are the preferred diet of larvae of certain lepidoptera species — see list of Lepidoptera that feed on chrysanthemums.
History
Historical painting of Chrysanthemums from the New International Encyclopedia 1902.

Chrysanthemums were first cultivated in China as a flowering herb as far back as the 15th century BC.[2] An ancient Chinese city (Xiaolan Town of Zhongshan City) was named Ju-Xian, meaning "chrysanthemum city". The plant is particularly significant during the Double Ninth Festival. It is believed that the flower may have been brought to Japan in the 8th century CE[citation needed], and the Emperor adopted the flower as his official seal. There is a "Festival of Happiness" in Japan that celebrates the flower.

The flower was brought to Europe in the 17th century[citation needed]. Linnaeus named it from the Greek word χρυσός chrysous, "golden" (the colour of the original flowers), and ἄνθεμον -anthemon, meaning flower.
Economic uses
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Ornamental uses

Modern chrysanthemums are much more showy than their wild relatives. The flowers occur in various forms, and can be daisy-like, decorative, pompons or buttons. This genus contains many hybrids and thousands of cultivars developed for horticultural purposes. In addition to the traditional yellow, other colors are available, such as white, purple, and red. The most important hybrid is Chrysanthemum × morifolium (syn. C. × grandiflorum), derived primarily from C. indicum but also involving other species.

Chrysanthemums are broken into two basic groups, Garden Hardy and Exhibition. Garden hardy mums are new perennials capable of being wintered over in the ground in most northern latitudes. Exhibition varieties are not usually as sturdy. Garden hardies are defined by their ability to produce an abundance of small blooms with little if any mechanical assistance (i.e., staking) and withstanding wind and rain. Exhibition varieties on the other hand require staking, over-wintering in a relatively dry cool environment, sometimes with the addition of night lights.

The Exhibition varieties can be used to create many amazing plant forms; Large disbudded blooms, spray forms, as well as many artistically trained forms, such as: Thousand Bloom, Standard (trees), Fans, Hanging Baskets, Topiary, Bonsai, and Cascades.

Chrysanthemum blooms are divided into 13 different bloom forms by the US National Chrysanthemum Society, Inc., which is in keeping with the international classification system. The bloom forms are defined by the way in which the ray and disk florets are arranged.

Chrysanthemum blooms are composed of many individual flowers (florets), each one capable of producing a seed. The disk florets are in the center of the bloom head, and the ray florets are on the perimeter. The ray florets are considered imperfect flowers, as they only possess the female productive organs, while the disk florets are considered perfect flowers as they possess both male and female reproductive organs.

Irregular Incurve: These are the giants of the chrysanthemum world. Quite often disbudded to create a single giant bloom (ogiku), the disk florets are completely concealed, while the ray florets curve inwardly to conceal the disk and also hang down to create a 'skirt'.

Reflex: The disk florets are concealed and the ray florets reflex outwards to create a mop like appearance.

Regular Incurve: Similar to the irregular incurves, only usually smaller blooms, with nearly perfect globular form. Disk florets are completely concealed. They used to be called 'Chinese'.

Decorative: Similar to reflex blooms without the mop like appearance. Disk florets are completely concealed, ray florets usually don't radiate at more than a 90 degree angle to the stem.

Intermediate Incurve: These blooms are in-between the Irregular and Regular incurves in both size and form. They usually have broader florets and a more loosely composed bloom. Again, the disk florets are completely concealed.

Pompon: *Note the spelling, it is not pompom. The blooms are fully double, of small size, and almost completely globular in form.

Single/Semi-Double: These blooms have completely exposed disk florets, with between 1 and 7 rows of ray florets, usually radiating at not more than a 90 degree angle to the stem.

Anemone: The disk florets are prominently featured, quite often raised and overshadowing the ray florets.

Spoon: The disk florets are visible and the long tubular ray florets are spatulate.

Quill: The disk florets are completely concealed, and the ray florets are tube like.

Spider: The disk florets are completely concealed, and the ray florets are tube like with hooked or barbed ends, hanging loosely around the stem.

Brush & Thistle: The disk florets may be visible. The ray florets are often tube like, and project all around the flower head, or project parallel to the stem.

Exotic: These blooms defy classification as they possess the attributes of more than one of the other twelve bloom types.

Chrysanthemum leaves resemble its close cousin, the mugwort weed — so much so that mugwort is sometimes called wild chrysanthemum — making them not always the first choice for professional gardeners.
Culinary uses

Yellow or white chrysanthemum flowers of the species C. morifolium are boiled to make a sweet drink in some parts of Asia. The resulting beverage is known simply as "chrysanthemum tea" (菊花茶, pinyin: júhuā chá, in Chinese). Chrysanthemum tea has many medicinal uses, including an aid in recovery from influenza. In Korea, a rice wine flavored with chrysanthemum flowers is called gukhwaju (국화주).photo 1photo 2

Chrysanthemum leaves are steamed or boiled and used as greens, especially in Chinese cuisine. Other uses include using the petals of chrysanthemum to mix with a thick snake meat soup (蛇羹) in order to enhance the aroma.
Insecticidal uses

Pyrethrum (Chrysanthemum [or Tanacetum] cinerariaefolium) is economically important as a natural source of insecticide. The flowers are pulverized, and the active components called pyrethrins, contained in the seed cases, are extracted and sold in the form of an oleoresin. This is applied as a suspension in water or oil, or as a powder. Pyrethrins attack the nervous systems of all insects, and inhibit female mosquitoes from biting. When not present in amounts fatal to insects, they still appear to have an insect repellent effect. They are harmful to fish, but are far less toxic to mammals and birds than many synthetic insecticides, except in consumer airborne backyard applications. They are non-persistent, being biodegradable and also breaking down easily on exposure to light. They are considered to be amongst the safest insecticides for use around food. (Pyrethroids are synthetic insecticides based on natural pyrethrum, e.g., permethrin.
Environmental uses

Chrysanthemum plants have been shown to reduce indoor air pollution by the NASA Clean Air Study.[3]
Medicinal uses

Extracts of Chrysanthemum plants (stem and flower) have been shown to have a wide variety of potential medicinal properties, including anti-HIV-1,[4][5] antibacterial[6] and antimycotic.[7]

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