Traditional Chinese Medicine health and spirit in autumn....
Although the blossoming is over in most places in China, when you have been walking in the countryside or parks in China last month, you might have wandered into an air of wonderful lush scent from small yellowish flowers (especially in middle and southern China).
It was the blossom and harvest season of the Sweet Osmanthus (桂花 guìhuā, Osmanthus fragrans). Not only a feast for the senses, the flower is a great herb with a variety of health benefits used since ancient times in Traditional Chinese Medicine.
Osmanthus flowers help among others with anxiety, digestion, diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, high blood pressure or menstrual pains. It hydrates the skin, improving skin color and tone.
Sweet Osmanthus is deeply integrated in Chinese culture, history and cuisine, especially associated with the Mid-Autumn Festival. Sweet Osmanthus teas, wine, cakes, jams and soups are popular around this time of the flower harvest.
Did you know the popular tourist city of Guilin (桂林) in southern Guanxi literally means ‘Sweet Osmanthus Forest’ ?