Helichrysum tea is particularly noted for its chloretic and diuretic properties. Helichrysum tea is also accepted as having anti-inflammatory and anti-viral properties.
Helichrysum is a genus of plants that consist of about 600 species. It belongs to the sunflower family called Asteraceae. Helichrysum is native to Africa, Madagascar, Australasia and Eurasia. Helichrysum is considered as one of the oldest healing substances in Europe.
The plants may either be annuals, herbaceous perennials or shrubs. They often reach a height of about 60 to 90 centimeters. The leaves of the helichrysum plant range from being oblong-shaped to lance-shaped. The base of the flower is often smooth. They come in many colors but mostly are in their distinctive golden yellow hue. The flowers have numerous capitula and often flat-topped corymbs or panicles.
The beneficial elements of helichrysum can be derived from its flowers. Among the active constituents of the flowers are flavonoids, kaempferol glucosides, apigenin, luetolin, quercetin, scopoletin, umbelliferone, and essential oil.
A tea made from helichrysum flowers is said to have a light fruity flavor. It is made by infusing a handful of dried flowers in a mug of boiled water. Let the mix stand for about 5 to 7 minutes, then drink. Alternatively, helichrysum flowers can also be used as a flavoring for different herbal teas. Simply soak the flowers as the herbal tea steeps so that the benefits blend can be derived in the blend.
In Syria, the helichrysum flower is a component of the widely-consumed zahraa tea that is often used as a medicinal drink.
The following are the health benefits attributed to this tea:
- May help alleviate gastrointestinal and gallbladder spasms.
- May aid in improving digestion.
- May help prevent atherosclerotic plaques.
- May help in the treatment of rheumatism.
- May help in fighting cystitis.
- Said to help in maintaining energy levels in people suffering from pre-menstrual syndrome and jet lag.