The wild chrysanthemum, growing throughout China, is valued for its anti-inflammatory effects. The best flowers for medicinal purposes are yellow and fragrant, with an acrid, bitter taste. In traditional Chinese medicine the herb is characterized as acrid, bitter and slightly cold. It is harvested in the fall, when the flowers bloom.
Taken internally for:
Applied externally as a compress or wash:
Fresh or dried flowers are available in bulk at Chinese pharmacies, Asian food markets and some Western health food stores. They make a cooling drink.
Combinations: A mixture of chrysanthemum flowers with honeysuckle flowers and other herbs is a formula for colds and flu. A combination of the flowers with prunella and white mulberry leaf is prescribed for painful, red, swollen eyes. Chrysanthemum flowers mixed with honeysuckle are taken for toxic sores. Modern practitioners use a blend containing chrysanthemum, honeysuckle, and dandelion (Taraxacum mongolicum) to treat hypertension (high blood pressure). Check with a Chinese medicine practitioner for details of dosages and additional herbal combinations.