2016/03/21

Little-known ancient recipes: flowers in food, beauty in hand

Chrysanthemum tea is good for the eyesight.




Overflowing praise of the plant claims that in the the long term, women drinking peach blossom tea would be rewarded with pink-colored skin.

Flowers are making a cuisine comeback, after many years of silence since modern cosmetic products took them over for toiletries. In addition to the herb teas that yoga enthusiasts would recommend, flower foods are experiencing renewed popularity in the country's kitchens. After all, the history of flowers being considered the magic key to silky smooth skin for women dates back about 2,300 years to ancient China.

1) Chrysanthemum and red dates congee

Topping the recommended list is chrysanthemum. They bloom in the harvest season and therefore have been attached with great cultural significance. The ancient Chinese believed at their gut level that the chrysanthemum could help strengthen the body and delay the aging process. The flower planted in Hangzhou, the capital city of East China's Zhejiang - "paradise" in Chinese's eyes – is believed to have healing powers when boiled in water and injested, according to Sheng Nong's Herbal Classic.

Modern medical studies have backed the theory. Hanzhou White chrysanthemums contains glycosides, purine, amino acids, vitamins and some other micro elements.
They are good for the for liver and kidney, the eyesight, and healthy skin. However, chrysanthemum porridge is considered superior to chrysanthemum tea.

Chrysanthemum and red dates congee for instance, is the most commonly mentioned beauty food in many ancient medical books. Prepare 39g red dates, 10g short
grain rice and 10g Hanzhou White chrysanthemums, then simmer them on low heat for about 1 hour.

2) Peach blossom liqueur

The second earned its entry into classic medical masterpieces such as the Handbook of Prescriptions for Emergencies (also known as Zhouhou Beiji Fang in Chinese) and Sheng Nong's Herbal Classic. Overflowing praise of the plant claims that in the the long term, women drinking peach blossom tea would be rewarded with pink-colored skin. It helps speed up blood circulation especially during the menstrual period, thus blessing women with natural and unhindered body detoxification.

Keep this in mind: boiling peach blossoms in water doesn't make the healing tea mentioned in ancient medicine. Make sure you have bought 20 fresh buds (this can only be done during spring), prepare 150g longan fruits, then put them both into 500g of first-class white wine. Seal the bottle and wait for three days to drink the flower liqueur once a day for about 15ml.




The rose is an astonishingly beautiful flower which is why it's the subject of poetry in ancient Chinese medical handbooks.


3) Rose congee

The rose is an astonishingly beautiful flower which is why it's the subject of poetry in ancient Chinese medical handbooks. Traditionally, rose water was used to treat upset nerves. Doctors would also treat patients suffering from lungs diseases with rose incense and gave extracts of rose petals to people with heart and kidney complaints. In addition, powder of dried rose petals mixed with honey is an effective medicine against mouth inflammations and stomatitis.

Besides, it is a must-mention tonic whenever it comes to maintain beauty and keep young.

Rose petals contain vitamin C, carotene, B group vitamins and vitamin K that is essential for blood production, which, according to Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) is vital for healthier looking skin. Moreover, rose petals contain calcium that influences the metabolism and assimilation of foodstuffs. It also contains potassium which is important for normal heart activity. Copper needed for haemopoesis also improves the activity of endocrine glands, and the iodine they carry is good for the thyroid gland..

The ingredients to make anti-aging rose congee are easy to prepare. Put in a pot 80g of short grain rice, 15g of wolfberry fruit, 10 red dates and 15g of sesame seeds. Simmer them on low heat until the mixture reaches a boil, then drop in 10g of dried rose petals. There you go.

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