Pretty, Fragile, and Potent: Flowers of Chinese Medicine


Since A.D. 500, flowers have been used extensively in traditional Chinese medicine to treat various ailments. (Image: jonathansautter via Pixabay)

Flowers are one of the most beautiful natural sights. Coming in all sorts of shapes, sizes, and colors, they convey their fragile messages to passersby, including humans and insects. Insects are drawn to flowers and rewarded with nectar. They carry the pollen that ensures the continuity of the species. Since A.D. 500, flowers have been used extensively in traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) to treat various ailments.

Some of the flowers used in Chinese medicine

Honeysuckle or lonicera (Jin Yin Hua)

Lonicera is good for use during treatments involving excessive heat in the body, including fevers and hot boils. It is also used for treating the common cold, painful urination, sore throats, dysentery, and diarrhea. It was one of the four herbs used in combination against the swine flu.

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Lotus flower plumule (Lian Zi Xin)

A flower that’s been used for ages is the lotus flower. Its many parts carry medicinal values for various ailments. The lotus plumule is used for calming the spirit. So if you know someone suffering from restlessness who is easily irritated, they may benefit from some lotus plumules. Lotus plumules also help those suffering from insomnia and excessive bleeding.

Chrysanthemum (Ju Hua)

A common flower, the chrysanthemum promotes vision and is used to soothe dry, irritated eyes. It also gives relief to headaches and high blood pressure. The chrysanthemum is good for the lungs and kidneys, and it is claimed to promote longevity.

Chrysanthemum flowers promote vision and are used to soothe dry, irritated eyes.
Chrysanthemum flowers promote vision and are used to soothe dry, irritated eyes. (Image: via Pixabay)

Dandelion (Pu Gong Ying)

Dandelion is a herb used to detoxify the body. It is sad that dandelions are considered by many to just be weeds. If you suffer from deep-rooted sores that have become hard, these flowers are a good solution. They also facilitate normal urination and are used for breast abscesses. Dandelions can also be stir-fried and eaten.

Safflower (Hong Hua)

Safflower is used for improving the blood flow in areas where there are impediments. If your skin has purple patches where blood is not flowing harmoniously or there is a pooling of blood, then safflower could be used to bring back proper circulation. It is taken by patients with heart disease and it is also used for soothing joint pains.

Rosebuds (Mei Gua Hua)

Carrying an exquisite natural fragrance, rosebuds are used in TCM for reducing premenstrual pains. They are employed by TCM practitioners to reinvigorate the flow of blood, especially after a traumatic incident.

Rosebuds are used in TCM for reducing premenstrual pains.
Rosebuds are used in TCM for reducing premenstrual pain. (Image: via Pixabay)

Like the flowers detailed above, there are many varieties used extensively in medical preparations around the world, especially in TCM. Flowers are not just beautiful to look at, but they can serve as herbal remedies for many ailments, and they may be able to provide effective and quick relief compared to modern medicines, which have many adverse side effects. So next time you plant seeds in your garden, try including a couple of these flowers. Buy a book to get suggestions for flowers that can easily be grown in your garden and get in touch with a local TCM doctor to seek their advice on how to properly use them.

The writer of this story is not a medical professional, and the information that is in this story has been collected from reliable sources — every precaution has been taken to ensure its accuracy. The information provided is for general information purposes only, and should not be substituted for professional health care.

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