There is an ancient Japanese legend that tells of a completely bare tree, a cherry tree, which stood in a wood. All around him the war of men raged and this saddened the tree very much, which was unable to cover itself with flowers and leaves. One day, a fairy decided to help the tree and transformed it into a man giving it 20 years to find happiness and be able to bloom. The tree man thus lived the years granted by the fairy knowing the feelings of human beings, including hatred, sadness and revenge. He had already resigned himself to returning to an always bare tree when, one day, almost at the end of his 20 years, he met a girl, Sakura, with whom he fell in love, reciprocated. But the spell did not last long because the little time left passed very quickly and the spell ended, causing the man to be transformed back into a tree. Sakura, in order not to abandon him, asked the fairy to be able to reach him and it was in this way that she merged into the tree, which from that day, in spring, was covered with wonderful pink flowers. After all, Sakura means cherry blossoms. And so every year in Japan the cherry blossom is eagerly awaited and accompanied by fascinating rituals. One such ritual is the tea made from sakura, the cherry blossom tea, a tea for dreaming. This is the tea of ceremonies, the drink that is served at weddings or to celebrate any new beginning. Today we see the properties of this special tea and how to make it even at home, to close our eyes and live in the magic of a dream.
Sakura tea with cherry blossoms, properties
Studies have shown that cherry blossom extracts are an incredible source of antioxidant substances, capable of counteracting aging processes and free radical damage to DNA. Among the anti-aging substances present we find caffeic acid and anthocyanins (Matsuura et al, J Agric Food Chem, 2008). Not only that, cherry blossom extracts have been shown to be anti-inflammatory and able to protect the skin from UV damage and aging processes (Wang et al, Cytotechnology, 2019 - Shimoda et al, Phytother Res, 2011).
Infusion with cherry blossoms
But how to make this anti-aging drink? The combination of cherry blossoms and green tea is widely used in Japan, thus maximizing the antioxidant power of the individual ingredients. In fact, green tea leaves are rich in catechins, which are antioxidant substances with an anticancer action, capable of protecting the liver and heart and keeping blood sugar under control (Chacko et al, Chin Med, 2010). Heat a liter of water to 70° C. Remove from the heat and add 6 teaspoons of Japanese green tea and a handful of cherry blossoms. Let it rest for ten minutes, then filter and drink. You can also store cherry blossoms, here's how. In a glass jar, pour a layer of cherry blossoms, then add brown sugar, other flowers, more sugar, and so on, shaking the jar to fill all the spaces. You can use these flowers to prepare tea according to the above recipe.