Ju Hua is also known as Flos Chrysanthemi and is the flower head of Chrysanthemum, which is a perennial herb belonging to Asteraceae. It can be used as medicine and food.
Asteraceae is a big category. There are about 20,000 species of chrysanthemum around the world, of which more than 7,000 are in China.
Around the 15th century BC, the Chinese started planting chrysanthemums. Many Chinese poems had recorded chrysanthemum. It is defined by the Chinese as four gentlemen in flowers, and the other three are plum blossom, orchid, and bamboo. Ju Hua has a meaning of auspiciousness and longevity and is especially important for the Chinese Chongyang Festival.
Around the 8th century, the chrysanthemum was introduced to Japan. Since then, it has symbolized the Japanese royal family. In Japan, it means purity and honesty.
Later, chrysanthemums were introduced in Europe and the Americas and spread throughout the world. It is an ornamental plant cultivated through long-term artificial selection and has many uses. Growing it can reduce air pollution.
Every year after the autumn chrysanthemums bloom, people gather their flower heads, remove their impurities, dry them in the shade, and make them into Chinese herbs.
Ju Hua contains volatile oils, alkaloids, choline, amino acids, and flavonoids. The best Ju Hua is white or yellow with a pleasant fragrance.
According to <Shennong Ben Cao Jing>, the medicinal property of Ju Hua is slightly cold, with a pungent, sweet, and bitter taste. It has a certain therapeutic effect on the pathological changes of the lung and liver meridians.
In Chinese medicine, Ju Hua is often used for clear heat and remove toxin, treat wind-heat, furuncle, conjunctivitis, mastitis, and hypertension.
There are about 150 kinds of traditional Chinese medicine prescriptions containing Ju Hua, such as Bi Yan Pian, Huang Lian Shang Qing Pian, Ming Mu Di Huang Wan.
Health benefits of Ju Hua
- Anti-inflammation, anti-pathogen, and anti-cancer.
- Relieving eye fatigue, eliminating eye puffiness, and improving vision.
- Relieving fever and cough caused by wind-heat or febrile disease.
- Anti-oxidation, reducing the content of peroxide esters and delaying aging.
- Dilating the coronary arteries, regulating myocardial function, and lowering blood pressure.
- Clearing heat and removing toxin, alleviating skin itching, sores caused by heat toxins, and preventing heat rashes.
- Supplementing liver yin, treating dizziness, headache, and irritability caused by hyperactivity of liver Yang.
- Treating conjunctivitis, neuritis, mastitis, and coronary heart disease.
- Inhibiting Staphylococcus aureus, Shigella, Typhoid, and Influenza virus.
Ju Hua is used with other Chinese herbs
- It with Sang Ye (Mulberry Leaf), Xing Ren (Semen Armeniacae), Lian Qiao (Fructus Forsythiae), Bo He (Mentha), and Jie Geng (Radix Platycodi) can alleviate fever and cough caused by febrile disease or wind-heat.
- It with Chan Tui (Periostracum Cicadae) and Jue Ming Zi (Cassia Seed) can relieve the eyes redness and swelling and blurred vision caused by liver heat.
- It with Lian Qiao (Fructus Forsythiae), Gan Cao (Licorice Root), Huang Lian (Rhizoma Coptidis), Zhi Zi (Fructus Gardeniae), Jin Yin Hua (Flos Lonicerae), and Jing Jie (Schizonepeta tenuifolia) can treat jaundice.
- It with Cang Er Zi (Fructus Xanthii), Xin Yi Hua (Flos Magnoliae), Jin Yin Hua (Flos Lonicerae), and Qian Cao (Radix Rubiae) can alleviate headaches, brow bone pain, nasal congestion, and runny nose.
- It with Jue Ming Zi (Cassia Seed), Dang Shen (Radix Codonopsis), Gou Qi Zi (Fructus Lycii), Chuan Xiong (Rhizoma Chuanxiong), and Shu Di Huang (Processed Rehmannia Root) can nourish the liver and kidneys, treat eye diseases and improve vision.
Side effects of Ju Hua
Ju Hua has almost no side effects and can be drunk for a long time.
A small number of people taking it may cause systemic itching, red rash, and contact dermatitis.
Precautions of Ju Hua
- The dosage of Ju Hua should be controlled at 10-15g. It can be made into decoction, tea, or pill.
- It should not be used to relieve headaches caused by wind-cold.
- It should not be used to treat hypertension caused by phlegm-dampness or blood stasis.
- People with weak spleen and stomach should not take it.
- People with stomach cold should not take it.