Wintersweet, scientific name Chimonanthus praecox, is a plant native to China. The shrub is very resistant to cold and is characterized by yellow, very scented flowers that bloom in the middle of winter until march and appear as a prelude to spring. It is precisely for this reason that the name of wintersweet is chimonantus, from the Greek cheimon winter and anthos flower, the winter flower. However, the wintersweet does not only have a beautiful ornamental role, but it also has interesting healthy benefits, let’s see in detail.
In fact, its flower extract is a source of antioxidants and antibacterial substances (Lv et al, Nat ProdRes, 2012). Moreover, wintersweet flowers contain phenolic compounds able to stimulate and strengthen the immune and cardiovascular system, counteract inflammation and the action of free radicals and show an expectorant action useful in case of cough and phlegm (Li et al, Molecules, Aug 2016).
Herbal teas, salads or infused oil
The wintersweet flowers, once dried, can be used to prepare herbal teas. Bring a cup of water to a boil, then remove from heat and add a tablespoon of dried flowers, leave to infuse for 5 minutes then filter and drink. Alternatively, try to add a few wintersweet flowers to the salads. For what concerns external applications in order to take advantage of the soothing and antioxidant properties of wintersweet to fight redness and skin irritations, you can prepare an infused oil. Get some flowers of fresh wintersweet flowers and pour them into a glass jar, cover them with vegetable oil like sunflower oil. Heat the jar in double boiler for a couple of hours, then remove from the heat and let it rest overnight, then filter with a gauze and the infused oil is ready. You can apply it on irritated or cracked skin. Finally a recommendation, the use of wintersweet as a natural remedy has an ancient origin since it was used by traditional Chinese medicine, in addition to this, recent scientific studies have demonstrated its action. However, be careful not to mix flowers and seeds, the latter in fact, extracted from the fruits of the winterswee, in addition to having an unpleasant taste are also toxic.