Chrysanthemum, Ju Hua, 菊花, Chrysanthemum morifolium

Disclaimer    For educational purposes only.  Do not use as medical advice

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Constituents:  Volatile oils • Borneol • Chrysanthemin, Bornyl acetate • Camphor • Acacetin • Sesquiterpenes • Stachydrine • Triterpenes • Adenine • Choline • Amino acids • Beta-carotene • Potassium • Calcium • Iron • Magnesium • Phosphorus • Vitamin B &C • Folic acid • Niacin • Riboflavin.

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Other Names: Garden Mums • Kekwa (Malay) • Crisantemo (Spanish) • Hrizantema (Croatian)
Plant Family: Asteraceae
In Chinese art, four plants stood for the noble ones or the Four Gentlemen, and represents the four seasons.  They are chrysanthemum ( autumn), plum blossom (梅花 méihuā , winter), orchid (兰花 lánhuā, spring) and bamboo (竹 Zhú, summer).  Chrysanthemum is the official flower of Chicago, Illinois since 1966.  

In Japan, the monarchy is call the Chrysanthemum throne.  The flower is on the imperial crest and is a seal on Japanese passports.

There are over 300 species of Chrysanthemum.  Most are designed for a variety of ornamental purposes.  Below are 3 that seem most popular and functional:

Chrysanthemum Morifolium, AKA Ju Hua, is most commonly used as tea.  The flavor is mild and soothing.  Plants.   Seeds.

Garland chrysanthemum, AKA  Shingiku (Japanese), Tong Hao (Chinese) Crown Daisy (English).   is most popular plant for stir frys and salads.  Both the flowers and leaves are edible.   Use the pedals on the flowers, the base is bitter.   Seeds.  Recipes:  Korean Recipe , stir fry with Garlic, Shungiku and Maitake Stir Fry 

Rainbow ChrysanthemumThis is just one an example of the multitude of colors, designs and shapes for ornamental chrysanthemums available online.  Easiest is to order seeds.

Cinerariaefolium Chrysanthemum is a natural insecticide and an insect repellent.  Its active ingredient is pyrethrin and is derived from pulverized flowers.   Pyrethrins attack the nervous systems of all insects.  Do not plant this with your edible garden, especially your edible chrysanthemum.  Seeds.  Permethrin is the synthetic version of pyrethrin and is used as an insect repellent.  ie. Repel Permethrin Clothing and Gear Insect Repellent

Chrysanthemum Indici Flos (Ye Ju Hua), wild Chrisanthemum: Are primarily used topically for boils, abscesses, and hives

Chrysanthemum morifolium is in the USDA Plant Database.  Drill down via USDA Interactive Map:

USA: Chrysanthemum morifolium is not native, but has been introduced to multiple states.     

USDA Zones: 5-9

World: Japan, China, Northeastern Europe

Habitats: Moist humus-like soil,  

Most Chinese restaurants that serve primarily Chinese clientele will typically offer chrysanthemum tea.  I had always thought it was better tasting than the typical black tea, but never gave much thought to its medicinal use.  I often drank a cup of the tea before bed because it felt soothing.  Had no idea it's a sedative and a treatment for insomnia.  I've only had chrysanthemum by steeping the dried flowers in tea and sometimes eating the flowers from my tea cup.  I'm really looking forward to growing garland chrysanthemum so I can stir fry it.  Sounds yummy.

Properties, Actions, Indications, etc.              Category: Release Exterior Wind Heat 
English: Chrysanthemum    Pinyin:  Ju Hua      Pharmaceutical: Flos Chrysanthemum Morifolium  
Organs: Liver • Lung  Temperature: Cool  
Taste: Sweet • Bitter  Toxicity: None noted  
Patterns: Wind heat • Cold/flu • Kidney deficiency • Liver deficiency 
Actions:  Clear heat • Circulate blood • Disperse wind • Release exterior • Tonify liver • Brighten eyes
Indications: Cold/flu • Fever • Headaches • Extreme eye sensitivity to light • Liver yang rising • Wind heat
Contraindications: Yang deficiency • Diarrhea • Poor appetite • Daisy/Ragweed allergies • Qi deficiency • Stomach cold • Bai Zi Ren • Huang Lian
Typical Dosage: 5g to 15g          Guidelines
Parts Used: Flowers • Leaves  
Combine With Purpose
Bo He Release exterior.  Common cold. Cool heat, sooth throat, reduce headaches.  Liver qi blockage.  [3],[21]
Fang Feng Release exterior wind heat.  Slight chill, irriatability, itchy eyes, headache [3], [21]
Feng Feng + Qiang Huo + Bai Zhi + Xi Xin Headaches from wind heat or wind cold. [18]
Guo Qi Zi Liver and kidney deficiency, enhance visual acuity [3],[5],[21]
Chuan Xiong Wind heat headaches. Liver yang ascending. [5]
Chuan Xiong + Shi Gao Wind heat or liver yang rising headaches.  [3],[18]
Jin Yin Hua Soft tissue inflammation and swelling [5]
Sang Ye Fever. Wind heat. Clear heat and dispel wind.  Clear lungs and stop cough [15],[18][21]
Bai Shao + Shi Jue Ming + Tian Ma + Gou Teng Liver yang ascending headaches and vertigo[5]
Chan Tui Liver wind heat with red, irritated, watery eyes and blurry vision.  [21]
Gou Teng + Sheng Di Huang + Bai Shao Headache from yin deficiency heat and liver wind [18]
Ban Lan Gen + Shan Dou Gen Sore throat from wind heat [18]
San Ye + Xia Ku Cao + Chan Tui + Mu Zei + Bai Ji Li Red, swelling, painful eyes [18]
Gou Qi Zi + Shu Di Huang + Shan Zhu Yu + Shan Yao +Mu Dan Pi Dizziness with blurred vision from kidney and liver yin deficiency  [3],[18]
Sheng Di Huang + Tian Men Dong + Zhi Ke Myopia[3],[18]
Shi Jue Ming + Bai Shao + Gou teng Liver yang rising [3],[18]
Gou Qi Zi + Nu Zhen Zi Dizziness, blurred vision from liver and kidney yin deficiency [3]
Dui Yao Pairs Purpose
Ju Hua + Sang Ye Clear heat and dispel wind.  Clear lungs and stop cough [15]
Formulas with Ju Hua
Li Yan Cha • Ling Jiao Gou Teng Tang • Long Dan Bi Yuan Fang • Qi Ju di Huang Wan • Sang Ju Yin
Variations for Ju Hua
Be cautious of the chrysanthemum species and check for the botanical names. One specie can be used as vegetables while another is an insecticide and can be poisonous.  See the "Types" section for several popular ones.  Within the morifolium variety, below are the variations and usages in Chinese medicine.

Bai Ju Hua (Ju Hua), white chrysanthemum morifolium, Gan Ju Hua, Gan Ju: When a formula calls for only Ju Hua, it is referring to the white flowers.  It is sweeter than the yeallow variety and is better for clearing eyes and soothing the liver.  

Huang Ju Hua , yellow chrysanthemum morifolium: more bitter and cooler than the white variety.  It is often used to moderate toxicity. 

Chao Ju Hua, fried chrysanthemum morifolium: Use for eyes ad liver problems when both the spleen and the stomach are weak.  

Ju Hua Tan, charred chrysanthemum morifolium: Used for painful and irritated eyes, ringing in the ear and dizziness from blood deficiency

  • Allergies: Do not use if allergic to ragweed, daisies, or marigolds, Chrysanthemum is from the same family.
Potential Drug Interactions

Herbal medicine may interact negatively with pharma drugs and other herbs.  Examples below:

Herbs: ♦Ju Hua is antagonized by Bai Zi Ren and Huang Lian ♦ Antidiabetic: Mei Gui Hua, Du Zhong, Dang Shen, HuoLong Guo, rougui, Celery, Chamomile, Moringa Tree, Basil, Ku Gua, Hibiscus, Gou Qi Zi, Ju Hua, Xia Ku Cao, Dang Gui, Zhi Mu, Shi gao, Xuan Shen, Cang Zhu, Shan yao, Huang Qi, Artichoke, Gan Cao, Nu Zhen Zi

Pharma Drugs:♦ Antidiabetic: Acarbose (Precose ) , Albiglutide (Tanzeum) , Alogliptin (Nesina) , Bromocriptine mesylate (Cycloset , Canaglifozin (Invokana) , Chlorpropamide (Diabinese) , Dapagliflozin (Farxiga) , Dulaglutide (Trulicity) , Empagliflozin (Jardiance) , Glimepiride (Amaryl) , glipizide (Glucotrol) , Glyburide (DiaBeta , Glynase) , Insulin , Linagliptin (Tradjenta) , Metformin , Miglitol (Glyset) , Nateglinide (Starlix) , Parlodel) , Pioglitazone (Actos) , Pramlintide , Repaglinide (Prandin) , Rosiglitazone (Avandia) , Saxagliptin (Onglyza) , Sitagliptin (Januvia) , Tol-Tab) , Tolazamide (Tolinase) , Tolbutamide (Orinase)

[3],[5], [8],[17],[18]

Information in this post came from many sources, including class notes, practitioners, websites, webinars, books, magazines, and editor's personal experience.  While the original source often came from historical Chinese texts,  variations may result from the numerous English translations.   Always consult a doctor prior to using these drugs.  The information here is strictly for educational purposes. 

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