Edible Chrysanthemum is an annual plant that bears white-yellow disc flowers. It is also known as Garland Chrysanthemum as ancient Romans twined the flowers into garland and wore them around head and neck. Edible Chrysanthemum is native to Mediterranean region. Expect its ornamental use, this plant is used from time immemorial in cooking and for medicinal purpose. It is extensively used in East Asian countries. The plants which are young and less than twelve inch in height are used as vegetable. The leaves are used in stir-fry, flavouring of soups and as an ingredient in many dishes. In China, the leaves and flowers are used for making teas. The tea has diuretic property (stimulates urine production) and thus helps in condition of fluid retention in body and proper functioning of kidney and bladder. This plant is edible and possess many medicinal properties. The plant leaves are expectorant. The flowers and leaves are useful in toning the stomach and improving its function and appetite.
By Mahieddine Boumendjel (Own work)[CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons
Latin name: Chrysanthemum coronarium
Family: Asteraceae or Compositae
Common names: Garland Chrysanthemum, Edible Chrysanthemum, Chop suey greens (English);Tong ho, Tung ho choi (CHINESE);Phak tango (Thai);Shingiku (Japan)
Herbaceous annual plant with aromatic flavour distributed in Mediterranean region, Japan, China and Philippines;stems reaches up to 100 cm;plant is branched, oblong;leaves mostly 2-pinnatisect;flowers are disc type with white-yellow florets.
In many Eastern countries, Edible Chrysanthemum is used as vegetable. It is eaten raw as salad or cooked. Chrysanthemum is moderately nutritious vegetable containing useful amounts of potassium, calcium, iron, and vitamins B1, B2, B6 and beta-carotene. It is rich in folate and vitamin C. Edible Chrysanthemum has many medicinal uses as well. It is diuretic, cold, nutritive, tonic, blood purifying, anti-inflammatory in action and found useful in blood purification, urinary stones, fluid retention, swelling of feet, cosmetic purpose etc.
The tea prepared from leaves and flowers is helpful in elimination of excess fluid in body. It also gives relief in inflammation of urinary bladder. This tea is prepared using flowers and leaves (1/4 cup). One cup boiling water is added to leaves and flower and allowed to stand for 5-10 minutes. Then it is filtered and taken. You many drink 1 cup of this tea.
For painful urination, the leaves (5) paste is taken internally.
For pain in abdomen, the flowers are boiled in water for few minutes and then filtered for oral intake.
Since the plant has diuretic action, it is found useful in urinary stone. The remedy is to boil twenty grams flower in three cup water till volume reduces to one fourth. This should be strained and taken twice a day.
The flower petals are useful in spots and pimples. The petals are crushed and applied topically.
In case of oily skin, just boil few leaves and flowers in water and use this as rinse after face wash.