How to Make a Chrysanthemum Compress
Known as Ju Hua in Chinese, chrysanthemum is one of my favorite herbs. It is a yellow or white flower that is similar to chamomile, in fact they are in the same family. Drinking chrysanthemum tea has several benefits and, as I explain above, the flowers can be used as a compress as well.
Owing to antimicrobial effects of the essential oils in its flowers, chrysanthemum can help resolve colds and flus when consumed and may be used topically for skin infections, especially staph. I’ve found it to work well on eczema, as well.
Components in the flowers called flavones promote circulation and have a particularly beneficial effect on the eyes. As well as carotenoids found in yellow flowers, mainly lutein, a visual pigment. If vision is impaired or the eyes are painful, red, dry, twitching, swollen or otherwise inflamed, they may benefit from the use of chrysanthemum, both internally and topically. Use the compress on the eye while the lid is closed, and if it becomes dry you can rehydrate it with some of the cooled tea, otherwise all the tea should be consumed.
Chrysanthemum is also said to clear and cool the liver in Chinese medicine, and therefore may be beneficial to those who are detoxing, under a high level of stress, or have high blood pressure.
Be advised, there are very few Chinese herbs which are completely appropriate for every person or prolonged use. Because chrysanthemum is cold in nature use cautiously for those prone to feeling cold, stomachaches, low energy, or poor digestion. Even if it cannot be consumed, it is usually still safe to use topically, as with anything we consume or use topically, it is possible to have an allergic reaction. It should not be used internally for prolonged periods of time without the supervision of a licensed herbalist.