A flower bouquet can brighten your mood and make you feel loved. A cup of flower tea, on the other hand, can invigorate your health. In addition to being delicious and refreshing to sip on, flower tea is one of the best and oldest forms of natural medicine available.
The flower tea packets you see in artisan tea shops are handcrafted and considered luxury goods. But you can drink it daily without breaking the bank. Flower tea is easy to make at home and can be enjoyed in different ways. Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) Physician Lim Sock Ling – a featured expert at All Things Health, shares a simple guide to using flower tea for its health benefits.
What is Flower Tea?
The word “tea” in the name actually refers to the preparation method. The flower buds are steeped in hot water, just like tea leaves. However, flower tea doesn’t contain any parts of tea plants. Instead, it is made from blends or infusions of dried flowers, fruits, spices, or herbs in water. In TCM, it’s also referred to as herbal tea or tisane.
“Flowers are added to boost the sensory delights of the tea and enhance its therapeutic effect. However, the medicinal concentration is usually low. When flowers are added in larger concentrations, they will exhibit their therapeutic effects,” says Physician Lim.
How to Make Flower Tea at Home
TCM practitioners often prescribe flower tea with different ingredients, depending on the patient’s patterns of disharmony. Physician Lim explains how tisanes are customisable to every need. For example, chamomile tea promotes better sleep, reduces anxiety, and aids with colic. Meanwhile, chrysanthemum tea clears Wind-Heat Syndrome, commonly associated with a sore throat and colds.
You can bind the flowers together to make your own flower tea at home. You can also add tea leaves if you prefer your drink to be caffeinated. Physician Lim recommends globe amaranth (qian ri hong, 千日红), chrysanthemum (ju hua, 菊花), jasmine (mo li hua, 茉莉花), lily (bai he, 百合), hibiscus (zhu jin, 朱槿), and osmanthus (gui hua, 桂花) flowers. Set the bulbs aside and let them dry. As you steep the flowers in hot water, they will expand and unfurl to emulate blooming flowers.
Physician Lim advises consulting with a TCM practitioner if you wish to use flower tea as a natural remedy. They would assess a patient’s body constitution and handpick ingredients for the best results.
Health Benefits of Flower Tea
You can brew, boil, or crush it. Whichever way you prefer to use flower tea, there are various health benefits to adding this ancient concoction into your daily routine.
1. Improves sleep quality
Flower tisanes are naturally caffeine free, making them relaxing to drink before bed. Flower teas possess stress-relieving properties that can help calm your nervous system. Regular consumption of flower tea before bed encourages a healthy REM cycle, too. Try brewing lavender, lemon balm, chamomile, or rose with a little bit of honey for your pre-bedtime drink.
- Promotes clearer and younger skin
Flower tea contains antioxidants and vitamins that support cell recovery. Instead of drinking it as tea, boil some flowers and let the steam envelope your face. This will open the pores and loosen any build-up of dirt. You can also create a homemade facial mask by adding crushed flowers or herbs to rosewater. This mixture balances the skin’s pH, soothes inflammation, and plumps the skin.
- Maintains healthy scalp
A herbal hair rinse is a great way to finish off a shower as it helps cleans the scalp. The same antioxidants found in flowers work as a hair tonic, helping soften hair and giving it a healthy shine. Flower teas such as butterfly pea can promote hair growth, reduce the growth of grey hairs and darken hair colour naturally.
- Helps soothe skin flare-ups
In TCM, herbs and flowers are key ingredients in herbal bath therapy. It’s a great way to reduce itchiness due to eczema, nourish the skin externally, and even help cure several skin conditions. For instance, yin zhi huang herbal bath made with virgate wormwood, jasmine fruit, Chinese skullcap flower, and honeysuckle flower activates a liver receptor that enhances the clearance of bilirubin. Thus, it’s deemed effective by researchers in treating jaundice in babies.
- Keeps the mouth healthy
Regularly drinking flower tea promotes good oral health, helping prevent tooth decay, gum disease, and cavities. Researchers find that consuming flower tea can help people who struggle with bad breath, too. Flower tea encourages a healthy gut by removing unwanted bacteria from the organs. Healthy gut flora means fresher breath!
Flower tea is an easy and picturesque herbal solution for anyone to maintain their health. If you want to incorporate more natural remedies into your everyday life, visit All Things Health Malaysia. Learn more about TCM wisdom as well as health and wellness tips from the experts.
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**The facts and views expressed are solely that of the author/authors and do not necessarily reflect that of the editorial board