Ye Ju Hua
Botanical name: Chrysanthemum indicum
Common name: Wild chrysanthemum flower
Family: Asteraceae, aster family
Part used in Chinese medicine: flower bud
Major Chinese medicine actions:
Resolves toxicity, drains fire
Chrysanthemum indicum, or wild Chrysanthemum, is indigenous to eastern China and central and southern Japan. It can be found growing wild from roadsides to mountain slopes, in grasslands, thickets, fields and wet areas along rivers. The plant is closely related to the cultivated chrysanthemum, Chrysantehmum grandiflorum, and some reports claim that it is the parent of the cultivated plant.
Growing and Propagation
Wild chrysanthemums are perennial, growing to 3 feet high, blooming from August to October. The plants prefer moist but well drained soil that is sandy and loamy. They are hardy in USDA zones 6 to 9, and requiring full sun, will not grow in shade.
Propagation is by seed, which may be sown in spring to early summer in pots or a cold frame. The seeds can be difficult to germinate and it often helps to put them in the refrigerator for 3 weeks prior to planting.
Harvesting and Preparation
Flowers should be harvested when they are buds, just before opening. For medicinal use, good quality Ye Ju Hua consists of whole dried buds that are fragrant, yellow in color, and without stalks or stems. Fully opened flowers are not considered good quality. Ye Ju Hua is generally used in unprepared form, but it may be charred (Ye Ju Hua Tan) to resolve toxicity and stop bleeding.