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Discovering Balloon Flower Tea

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Written by   31
2 months ago

Whenever I see my parents, they often send me home with a bag of food and goodies. It's very loving and they really don't have to do it. I've tried to refuse but get tired of arguing with their stubbornness and insistence I take it.

Box of Balloon Flower Tea from my parents

On one of my trips to see them, they gave me a box of balloon flower tea. I am a huge tea drinker and have spent a lot of time reading, studying and exploring various teas. Surprisingly, I had never heard of this one so I had to find out more about it and how it would fit into my tea lifestyle.

When I drink tea, there's several factors included in what kind I choose. What time of day is it, am I eating, am I going to sleep soon, do I feel under the weather or am I just trying to chase the blues from the day away. Dependent on most of these scenarios, I choose my tea.

I decided to do some research and share what I have found about this tea.

Platycodon grandiflorus

*https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Platycodon

This tea's scientific name is platycodon grandiflorus. The tea is taken from the root of this flower plant - commonly called balloon flower. It is found in Japan, China, Korean and far eastern Russia. The flowers consist of white or purple blooms and open into five different petals and appear as a bell shape. The name balloon flower comes from the balloon shape buds that appear upon blossoming.

Photo by Kurt Stüber [1], CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/), via Wikimedia Commons

Medicinal & Culinary Uses

Like many Korean traditional foods, balloon flower has several medicinal uses and culinary traits. I was surprised to find out that this flower is sometimes used in bibimbap, a dish I often eat. It's very versatile and is also used in desserts, rice dishes, made into liquor and soju. It seems like Koreans are very resourceful when they find a good plant.

Outside of eating and drinking, the balloon flower root also addresses issues pertaining to:

  • Neuroprotective uses

  • Antimicrobial

  • Anti-inflammatory

  • Anti-cancer

  • Anti-allergy

  • Improved insulin resistance

  • Cholesterol-lowering properties

    (*as noted in its wiki.)

Healthy Benefits

I took at a look around at different health benefits that this tea could offer and see a few more added to the list above. It's amazing that something I have never heard of could be a panacea of all these ailments, namely ones that I am concerned with in my daily life. Here are a few more that I found :

  • Respiratory relief

  • Gastrointestinal issues

  • Immune System boosting

  • Rid liver of parasites

Looking at all the benefits, I also wonder if my parents had covid-19 in mind. It seems to tackle all the issues and warning signs of contracting the virus. If so - they know their balloon tea and that it would be a good supplement to help ensure my protection.

Review - Taste Test

My first cup of balloon flower tea!

As I let the steamy cup cool off, I took a slight sniff. Usually my other favorite teas will have a scent that it gives off, especially when piping hot. Earl grey teas, any teas with lemon verbena or spicy herbal teas. There was nothing remarkable about this cup. The smell reminded me of Korean herbal remedies (they all smell alike to me!) A little like ginseng and some earthy tones to it.

Upon my first sips of it, it has a roasted rice taste that is very soothing. It's no surprise since toasted brown rice is one of the ingredients. It also has a very earthy aroma and taste.

It's a very neutral tasting tea and there aren't any hints of a unique favor to the main ingredient of balloon flower. It's almost like a placebo, although you can't taste it, it's there.

Conclusion

My overall thoughts on this balloon tea is similar to that of vitamins and supplements we take or are suggested to take for our health. It may be good for us but any proof of it is yet to be known. I am a fan of a roasted tea flavor, which are especially soothing in the colder months. I will be drinking this through the rest of the fall and winter seasons. Can't hurt and if I get the list of all the amazing benefits listed above, that's just a nice bonus.

*Disclaimer: This article is not written by a medical professional and should not be taken or substituted as medical advisement. Please seek the advice of a medical professional for any health issue you are having.

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Written by   31
2 months ago
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