Friday, March 1, 2013

Tasty Tea #6: Chrysanthimum

I spent last weekend in Seattle and made a trip to the herb store.  Our pantry has been thinning out in terms of our medicinal herbs and I couldn't help but stock up while I had the chance!  See all the wonderful goodies I managed to get my hands on?  Yum!  Amongst them are comfrey root powder, nettles, lemon balm, foti, elderberries, damiana, oatstraw and a few others.  Mmmmmm.  I was in some serious heaven and probably went a little overboard!

As I perused the shelves I caught a glimpse of a jar of Chrysanthemums.  I instantly went into my past and couldn't resist buying a small bag full.  I haven't had this tea since I was a young girl.  My parents used to take my brother and I to a Burmese Restaurant in downtown Oakland and along with my noodle soup, I would gulp down several glasses of Chrysanthemum tea.  Not only do I remember it being a delicious, but also a very pretty to look at--the white flowers expand in the water and stay floating on the top.  I could see making this tea for a small group of people and putting it in a glass kettle/tea strainer for all to admire.  It really is pretty.

Of course, after being out and about, the first thing I did when I got home was put the kettle on.  I was eager drink some tea! I quickly realized that it doesn't take much to flavor the water and you only need a 3-4 flowers per cup--not a dozen, or so, like I did, see below.  I think I just got over excited (and greedy)!  While the cup looked pretty, it did taste a bit on the bitter side.

In terms of medicinal properties, Chrysanthemums are anti-inflammitory and cooling.  The tea is great to drink during the summer and particularly if you suffer from heat stroke.  You can also use it to bring down a fever or reduce symptoms of cold and flu.  It's bitter qualities make it great for helping with digestion too.  The flowers themselves are rich in vitamin B and also have tons of calcium and phosphorus.  You can even soak some cloth in the tea to chill it to make a refreshing eye compress for the end of the day!

Drink Up!

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