Why Osmanthus is a Hidden Gem
What is Osmanthus
With its floral nuances and creamy apricot and peach undertones, the osmanthus flowr has a distinct lush scent. This sweet, fruity aroma permeates the garden even though the delicate yellow petals are small and unassuming. The flower is native to China and has been cultivated for millenniums for its taste and myriad of health benefits.
Health Benefits of Osmanthus
Osmanthus has been used in traditional Chinese medicine for its myriad of health benefits for thousands of years. Western science has conducted studies that confirm these benefits, and are still exploring the many uses of this powerful plant. Below are some of the ways it can benefit your health:
Is Osmanthus the Fountain of Youth?
Traditionally, osmanthus has been used to hydrate the skin and improve skin color and tone. The oil is added to anti-aging skin care products. With all of its mineral and anti-oxidant properties, no wonder. In addition to all of the anti-oxidant properties, it contains selenium that helps neutralize free radicals and other skin-damaging compounds before they can lead to wrinkles. It is known to protect the quality and elasticity of the skin, probably because it behaves similar to vitamin E in that it safeguards cell membranes, the coating around the cells. It also contains carotene which converts to vitamin A(retinol) and protects the skin from free radicals that break down the collagen in your skin and contribute to fine lines and saggy skin. Also, it protects against the sun and pigmentation.
Helps with Allergies
Osmanthus has antioxidants that have been used to reduce inflation in the airwayscaused by airborne allergens.
Helps Insomnia, Anxiety, and Depression
Osmanthus contains magnesium which is a mineral known to have a calming effect on the brain. Studies show that magnesium regulates the stress response reducing anxiety, depression, etc. In addition, magnesium is a well-known remedy used by equistrians to calm or sedate horses.
Relives menstrual pain
Osmanthus has traditionally been administered to relieve menstrual cramps. It lowers inflammation, which will help with the pain and contains magnesium, which is known to alleviate stress, cramping, and muscle tension.
Traditionally, osmanthus is used as an aid with digestion treating intestinal diseases and reducing the amount of stomach gas.
Rich in a lesser known B vitamin—B3, it helps your body convert carbohydrates into energy, and may help protect insulin-producing cells in people with type-1 diabetes. More studies are being conducted by the University of Maryland Medical Center.
Helps Treat Rheumatoid Arthritis
Inflammation is how the immune system responds to bring healing. The problem begins when the inflammation becomes out of control, causing damage instead of healing. Such is the case with rheumatoid arthritis; the more inflammation, the more joint pain and fatigue. In the Journal of Functional Foods, the study showed that osmanthus can prevent platelet aggregation. This basically means that the hyperactive platelets that are causing inflammation will stop their activity, stopping inflammation and decreasing all of the symptoms and pain
Use as a Detox
It has been used by Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) for cleansing kidney, liver, and the endocrine system. By detoxing these organs, the body feels energized and refreshed.
How to use Osmanthus
Osmanthus is often served as a tea combined with either oolong or green tea. The flavor is a smooth, delicate, and buttery with a hint of fruit, somewhere in between an apricot and a peach, and floral. Many people enjoy it by itself, but here are some alternative ways to enjoy this tea from our very own kitchen:
- Add 1 oz. of honey into 13 oz. of hot tea
- Stir well and serve
- Make the hot tea
- Mix 3 Lollicup scoops of non-dairy creamer, 1 oz. of fructose, and 13 oz. hot tea in a cup.
- Stir well and serve.