With all of the mixed weather and spring blooms making us stuffy, March can be a bit of an awkward month. It’s a great time to start waking our bodies up after winter, and welcome in Spring! (The equinox is upon us!) At The Herb Shoppe, we are focusing on allergy and vitamin support this month to help us ease seasonal allergies. While I would love to talk about one of my favorite allies (Nettles!) for this month, I would like to shine the spotlight on another herb that deserves some recognition. Come with me, and let’s explore Chrysanthemum!
Chrysanthemum, Chrysanthemum morifolium, is a part of the sunflower family. Originating in China, with reverence for the plant dating to the 15th century BCE, appreciation for this plant spread to other regions in East Asia. The Japanese emperor is symbolized by a chrysanthemum flower, and its dated use in Japan is recorded as far back as the 8th century when it was introduced from China. In Asia, Chrysanthemums represent life and rebirth, happiness, and health. Chrysanthemum blooms beautiful flowers in a diverse array of colors. These “mums” bloom in shades of yellow, pink, purple, red and orange. These flowers have the ability to bloom through autumn and early winter, and their vibrant colors brighten gardens long after other flowers have faded. Chrysanthemum is truly a path-weaver for other herbs and plant medicines to follow. It is cultivated for its medicinal properties, beauty, and delicate flavor that is perfect for a cup of tea.
Although these mums come in many different colors, it is just the golden yellow Chrysanthemums that we use medicinally. Chrysanthemum flowers contain a volatile oil made of amino acids, trace amounts of vitamin B1, and more. It is both astringent and moistening, which is very rare to find in a plant. Chrysanthemum flowers are used for soothing itchiness or infection of the eyes, skin irritations, colds, flus, and other minor viral infections. Truly a great friend during allergy season! Chrysanthemum can also help to soothe the throat as well as reduce fever. It is a good ally for digestion upsets as well, such as cramping or bloating. It helps to release heat from the body, support the liver, and refresh the mind. Chrysanthemum has a light and delicate flavor when brewed into tea, and feels so soft and nourishing for the body.
Pour yourself a cup of Chrysanthemum tea and gently nourish your body into radiance. You can also find Chrysanthemum in our Achoo Away tea blend or our See Clear Eye Soak, both of which are formulated for fighting seasonal allergies.
Or, follow the facial steam recipe below for a refreshing self-care ritual!
Chrysanthemum Facial Steam
And one of the following choices depending on skin type or preference:
- ⅛ cup Chamomile and ⅛ cup Lavender flowers (for sensitive skin)
- ⅛ cup Sage leaf and ⅛ Rosemary leaf (for oily skin)
- ⅛ cup Marshmallow and ⅛ cup Rose petals (for normal skin)
Measure and combine dried herbs into a small pot. Pour water over herbs and gently bring to a simmer. Let the herbs simmer for 5-10 minutes until fragrant. While it simmers, prepare your cozy zone and grab everything you might need while you relax, to avoid getting up again. When the herbs are done simmering, set the pot on your lap (with a heat pad or blanket so you don’t burn yourself) and drape the towel over your head and the pot. This helps to keep the steam from escaping. Sometimes I like to have a warm washcloth nearby as well so I can dunk it in the water and place it over my face for a few moments. Freedom of choice here! Slowly breathe in the steam and relax for as long as you would like!