Written by Ryan Trinh

As we approach the holiday seasons, it is imperative to begin prepping for whatever may come your way.  Some people like to prepare with extra cans of cranberry sauce, year old stuffing as back-up, old decorations to be strewn about to impress your guests, but I like to prepare by having Chrysanthemum flowers on hand.  

While fresh Chrysanthemum flowers may be beautiful to have on hand for decor, dried Chrysanthemum is a staple in my tea cabinet and my magical apothecary.  Most people only concern themselves with the aesthetics of this flowery friend, but many forms of Eastern medicine use this flower regularly in their traditional recipes.  

Chrysanthemum have been traditionally used for reducing high blood pressure, fevers, colds, swelling, and bloating.  Especially with the holiday feasts with its subject food choices, Chrysanthemum should be at the ready as it is traditionally used to help with bloating, promoting easier digestion, and bolstering the liver’s function.  Looking even in modern Chinese restaurants, during dim-sum, a traditional brunch style meal with tapas size bites, a pot of Chrysanthemum tea or Chrysanthemum Pu-erh tea can usually be substituted for their basic green tea.  This is because with the ingestion of heavy foods, seafood, or as practitioners of Traditional Chinese Medicine would call it “heat generating foods”, the body is subjected to potential intake of high cholesterol sources, salty foods, or oily foods and this beautiful herb is thought to help minimize the amount of fat absorbed by the body and to reduce bloating brought on by excessive salt intake.

Being that you may be surrounded by both feasts and more people than usual, below is a personal blend of herbs I use to help with digestion and traditionally to also ward off colds.  I use:

  • 1 tsp ginger (or 1 slice dried ginger or fresh ginger)
  • ½ tsp honeysuckle
  • 2 tsp chrysanthemum
  • Honey or sweetener of choice to taste
  • 16 oz hot water

Just mix the 3 herbs above to your pot/cup of choice, add hot water, steep for at least 5 minutes, and strain into your choice of drinking vessel.  Sweetener or honey may be added to taste.  

It’s quite a simple recipe that uses the Chrysanthemum’s properties with the warming qualities and digestive properties of the ginger, and the traditional cold warding properties of the honeysuckle.  The honeysuckle does add a bittersweet taste so some sweetener is recommended if you’re not accustomed to this.

Now, if you have guests over for the holidays or having a holiday party with people who may get a little testy, fear not, I have a recipe for that as well.

In a HOI House Blessing Magic Candle, just add:

  • 1 - 3 dried Chrysanthemum buds (individual buds)
  • 1 tiny pinch of Rosemary
  • 1 tiny pinch of Dong Quai
  • 1 tiny pinch of Lemongrass

Set your intention for a peaceful home and pray hard that the guests don’t rub each other the wrong way.  And remember, when adding herbs into your candle, less is always more!  So when I say tiny, I mean maybe enough to cover a third of your pinky nail.  We don’t want the candle to set the drapes on fire!

Good luck this holiday season!  Eat well, and when you’ve had your fill, drink the tea.  Pray hard for peace in the home, we have a candle for that.  Pray hard for our world, because we always need it. Finally, be grateful for the wonderful things you have in your life.

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