Chinese Plum Flower
The Chinese Plum Flower is the blossom of the Prunus Mume, which is normally referred to as the Chinese Plum or the Japanese Apricot. The tree comes from South China but was later exported to Korea, Vietnam and Japan.
The plum tree usually flowers in late winter, when there is still snow on the ground, just before the leaves are due to appear. The flowers each have 5 petals and the blossoms usually come in colours of white, pink and deep red.
Chinese Plum Flowers have a special significance in Asia, where they are highly prized for their delicacy and beauty. They are often used to depict the coming of spring.
Chinese Plum Flower Benefits
The Chinese Plum Flower can be used as a classic herbal tea and has been used for centuries in the practise of Chinese Medicine. There are several different varieties available, all used to treat differing ailments.
‘Shen’ tea as it is called is reported to have calming properties for those of anxious or nervous persuasions. This could possibly be due to its inclusion of the hallucinogenic plant salvia. The inclusion of salvia can stimulate and affect areas of the brain where human perceptions occur.
'Yin Chiao Chieh Tu' tea can be useful in the treatment of colds and flu due to its antiviral properties and immune system boosting properties. Along with plum flower, the inclusion of honeysuckle, liquorice and forsythia fruit combine to help reduce swelling in the sinuses, relieve throat pain and help clear a blocked nose.
The 'Yin Yang' tea blend has been used for more than 2,000 years in China. Mixed with reishi, ginseng and cistanche, it is said to boost the immune system and increase mental agility. It is also believed to remove toxins from the digestive system.
Often the Chinese Plum Flower blossoms will be made into what is called a ‘tea pill’ which is a concentrated form of the special tea. This may be easier for some to stomach, if they do not like the rather strange taste of the tea and is certainly more convenient to take. It will be prescribed by Chinese Herbalists for treating symptoms of flu and blocked sinuses.
The tablets are purported to help reduce fevers, clear toxins and reduce inflammation in the throat and sinuses. While tea pills can differ somewhat from supplier to supplier, they often contain a number of different herbs which will be used to treat your ailment. The tea pills are all processed at low temperatures, to make sure the herbs aren’t damaged in any way and are highly concentrated compared to their ‘drinking tea’ counterparts.
Chinese medicine itself it becoming more and more respected in the Western world as we consider the benefits of acupuncture, reflexology and natural herbs. Whilst there have been no clinical trials in conjunction with the Chinese Plum Blossom as yet, we can take a measure of assurance from the fact it has been treating millions upon millions of Chinese patients for 1,000’s of years. Next time you come down with the dreaded sniffle or flu blue’s, it may well be worth a try.
Always consult a trained physician first before taking any herbal supplement.
Sources: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prunus_mume, http://www.livestrong.com/article/307940-what-are-the-benefits-of-plum-flower-classic-tea/