The chrysanthemum, of which there are many varieties, has been known by a host of common names throughout history. Some of the chrysanthemum's common names include pellitory, feverfew, ox-eye daisy, and sunflower among others. It is a flower that has grown in gardens all around the world as far back as any records can tell, and seems to have been employed everywhere at some time or another as a cure for a host of complaints.
Chinese chrysanthemum flower
The Latin name for Chinese chrysanthemum flower is Chrysanthemum indicum, and it is known in China as Ju
Jua. The plant grows profusely throughout China and is both an emblem to the Chinese and greatly prized for its medicinal properties, particularly as an anti-inflammatory.
The best flowers for medicinal purposes are considered to be the yellow fragrant ones. They are classified as being acrid, bitter, and slightly cold in the Chinese pharmacopoeia. Traditionally, they are harvested in the fall, when they are in full bloom.
The herb is taken internally for headaches, dizziness, and hearing disorders. It is also useful as a treatment for high blood pressure (hypertension). It is used as a compress or eye wash for inflammation of the eyes and for other eye problems such as dry-eye, blurred vision, and spots before the eyes. The herb can also be taken internally as an infusion and is combined with honeysuckle for the treatment of colds, the flu, and infected sores. It has a calming effect and can also be good for stress. Chrysanthemum is known to be a powerful antiseptic and antibiotic. However, people suffering from diarrhea should take it with caution.
PARTS USED: FLOWERS. The chief use for Dalmatian pellitory is as an insecticide, or as an ointment to ward off insects. It is mainly dried and ground to a powder to this end.
PARTS USED: BARK, FLOWERS, AND LEAVES. For coughs it is generally made up into a syrup (decoction) with sugar or honey. The herb, when bruised and added to a little oil, can be used as an external application for flatulence and colic. For swellings and bites, it can be made up into a tincture, two teaspoonfuls of which should be mixed with half a pint of cold water and applied. As an infusion, made with boiling water and allowed to cool, feverfew will soothe pain of any kind, (muscular, nerve-related, rheumatic or intestinal). Chewing the leaves (one to four per day) can be effective in the case of migraine. It has also been used in this way to treat cases of worms.
PARTS USED: FLOWERS, ROOTS, AND LEAVES. This plant is mainly employed as an infusion. But in the case of tuberculosis, 15–60 drops of the fluid-extract should be taken in water. The flowers boiled with the leaves and stalks and sweetened with a little honey are a treatment for chest complaints.
PARTS USED: SEEDS AND LEAVES. Chest complaints: boil two ounces of the seeds in one quart of water until the water is reduced to 12 oz. Strain and add six ounces of Holland gin and six ounces of sugar. The dose is one to two teaspoonfuls of the mixture three times a day. Roasting the seeds and making an infusion is recommended for whooping cough.
The Flower Essence Society (FES) of California has a chrysanthemum essence that they recommend for those seeking spiritual growth.
According to many herbalists, species of chrysanthemum have many medicinal uses.
As with any herbal preparations, all of the above should be used with care and preferably under the super-vision of an herbal practitioner.
Feverfew should not be used for migraine that is a result of some kind of deficiency in the body (whether nutritional or otherwise). It is possible that feverfew may cause dermatitis, allergic reactions, or sores in the mouth in susceptible individuals. It should not be taken by pregnant women due to its ability to stimulate the uterus.
Buchman, Dian Dincin. Herbal Medicine. London: Tiger Books International, 1993.
Culpeper, Nicholas. Culpeper's Complete Herbal. London: Bloomsbury Books, 1992.
Grieve, Mrs. M. A Modern Herbal. London: Tiger Books International, 1992.
Flower Essence Society. P.O. Box 459, Nevada City, CA 95959. (800) 736-9222. email@example.com. http://www.flowersociety.org.