What is a tea flower?

This tea product is unique, in that artisans in China sew edible dried flowers into a compact sphere of hand picked green tea leaves, that frankly resemble a rather ugly smaller-than-a-golf-ball sized pod. Each pod is packaged individually, and what you see is not what you get. The advertising shows a clear glass bowl or teapot, which contains the pod after it has bloomed by the addition of boiled water. What it lacks in real life is the color, which I will discuss later. With names such as Floral Passion, Oriental Beauty, London Fog, Camelia Joy, Wild Flowers, Guilded Lotus, Fairy Lily, Butterfly Floret, Juliet's Kiss, Noble Madam, Lover's Blossom, and Summer Bouquet, I was curious. So I purchased the tea in a lovely tan cylindrical container with a green cord, as well as the teapot.

There is a simple formula, in English accompanied by photos, on a slip of paper that is inside the box: dry tea + HOT H20 = tea flower, then a photo of what looks like a beer mug and the word Enjoy. The blooming tea flower shown looks like some exotic deep sea life, whose secret elixir is now yours to partake. Unlike other tea products, you can re-use these blooms up to 3 times. Sounds like tea sacrilege, right? I tried it and indeed that claim is true. Other claims, such as the health benefits of green tea as well as the flowers are all listed and if they all worked I would give up coffee and just drink these blooming teas forever. However, I'm skeptical and perhaps so is the company, who puts a disclaimer in teeny type, the first sentence enough to discourage anyone: Health benefits are not intended to provide instructions in the event of an emergency.

From what is a tea flower to in the event of an emergency, I will attempt to salvage this blooming tea by listing the edible flowers, in alphabetical order, as well as the purported health benefits. Aristolochia debilis Si. Carnation, or Dianthus caryophyllus. Big Marigold, or Tagetes erecta L. Chrysanthemum, or Chrysanthemum morifolium Ramartu. Globe amamaranth. Jasmine, or Jasminum Sambac. Lily, or Lilium lancifolium THUNBERG. Pot Marigold, or Calendula officinalis. Roses, or Rosa rugosa Thunberg. Tropaeolum, or Tropaeolum majus.

Alleged health benefits, condensed:
Brightens eyes
Nourishes and moistens skin
Improves skin tone
Improves sleep
Soothes stomach
Moistens lung and calms cough
Soothes nerves and promotes a calming sense
Neutralizes toxins
Slowing aging process
Relieves body heat
Cleansing the liver
Enhances liver function and stomach
Reduces inflammation
Reduces eye strain
Improves blood circulation
Helps regulate menstruation
Believed to slow aging process
Soothes liver and stomach
Soothes asthma and reduces phlegm
Believed to help reduce blood pressure
Contains vitamins C, E
May help with weight loss
Improves immunity
Slows cell aging
Help cure respiratory infections
Reduces inflammations of mouth and throat infections
Helps to relieve headache and toothache

(for more information, you can go to www.primulatea.com)

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