When other plants drop their leaves, like autumn’s jewels, chrysanthemums bloom proudly. Ancients used Chrysanthemum to express their spiritual pursuits of transcendence, elegance, and integrity.
Compendium of Materia Medica has detailed records on the medicinal effects of the chrysanthemum. Sweet in nature and cold in property, it can be used for tea, cooking, or medicine. It dispels wind and heat, calming the liver and improving eyesight. It also has a conditioning effect on chronic diseases such as hyperlipidemia and hypertension.
Below is a recipe for Golden Rice as it was recorded in Mountain Home Light Diet during the Song Dynasty. Pick chrysanthemum petals and boil them with rice. It’s simple and makes the rice fragrant and delicious. Regular consumption is said to improve eyesight and longevity.
Chrysanthemum Golden Rice (serves two):
2 cups round rice
½ cup fresh chrysanthemum petals
½ teaspoon salt
5 slices dried licorice root
Infuse chrysanthemum water: add 2½ cups water to the chrysanthemum, licorice, and salt. Boil for 3 minutes until the water turns yellow, then remove from heat. Filter out 2 cups of chrysanthemum water.
Make chrysanthemum rice: rinse round rice and soak for 30 minutes. Put it into a clay or earthen pot, and then add the 2 cups of chrysanthemum water. Heat until steam comes out of the air hole. Turn to low heat and simmer for 10 minutes, then increase to high very briefly, about 10 seconds. Quickly turn off and let stand 15 minutes. Serve the cooked rice with fresh chrysanthemum petals.
When cooking rice, the normal ratio of rice to water is 1:1. If you like a softer texture, you can mix it with a rice-to-water ratio of 1:1.2