Flower power for health

Flower power for health
PHOTO: Pixabay

In traditional Chinese medicine (TCM), cooling foods help to clear heat and toxins, while warming foods improve circulation and qi (vital energy) in the organs.

Ms Chan Wei Loo, 38, a TCM physician at Pulse, introduces five flower teas - just steep a small amount of petals or buds in 85 deg C water - the optimum temperature to extract the goodness from the flowers.

ROSE

Photo: Pixabay

Ever wondered why roses are such a common ingredient in skincare products?

That is because they have a high vitamin C content, which gives you radiant skin, said Ms Chan.

Their calming effect also makes them a popular choice among women to relieve stress.

In TCM, the slightly warm nature of roses means they work on the liver system and improve circulation - much like peonies, but with a more pronounced effect.

For that reason, pregnant women and those who get heavy periods are advised against drinking rose tea.

PEONY

Photo: Pixabay

Named after Paean, the physician to the gods in Greek mythology, peonies improve blood circulation.

This is due to the peony's nourishing effect on the liver system, said Ms Chan.It is believed to help alleviate menstrual problems as well as pain.

Pain is caused by the stagnation of qi and improving circulation helps to resolve that, she explained.

Pregnant women are advised against taking peony tea.

CHRYSANTHEMUM

Photo: The Straits Times

Arguably the most common flower used in TCM, chrysanthemums have a cooling nature.

There are three types: yellow, white and wild.

Yellow chrysanthemums fight infections and viruses; white chrysanthemums deal with internal heatiness that can be caused by a lack of sleep; wild chrysanthemums help rid the body of its toxins.

Those who have a qi-deficient body constitution can add wolfberries to balance out the cooling properties of the chrysanthemum.

LAVENDER

Photo: Pixabay

The purple flower is well known for its ability to relieve anxiety and reduce stress.

By toning down headaches, fatigue and tension, lavender helps to regulate sleep. This leads to radiant skin and improved complexion, as well as a lower blood pressure.

As the taste of lavender may be too strong for some people, Ms Chan suggested adding mint to make it more palatable.

OSMANTHUS

Photo: Pixabay

A sweet-smelling flower, osmanthus is warming and nourishes the lungs.

In TCM, nourished lungs lead to good skin.

"When the lungs are nourished, it means more oxygen is circulated around the body. This helps to improve your complexion," said Ms Chan.
Osmanthus also helps one to detox and is recommended for those who feel cold or get giddy easily.


This article was first published on Feb 13 , 2017.
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