decides for itself
which blue to be
reaching through pinks
By Anne Selden
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This native of Korea and Japan is a deciduous shrub that is pH sensitive. It produces purple or blue flowers in acidic soil, white or green flowers in neutral soil, and pink flowers in alkaline soil.
These fragrant flowers have been used in the orient for tea and as medicine to treat malarial type diseases (periodic fevers), as an antitussive (stopping cough) and as a diuretic. It is reported the hydrangea was used by the Cherokee Indians and later the settlers to treat diseases that cause stones. It does not cure the cause, but does reduce the pain and help in passing the stones or gravel.
Ama-cha is a tea like beverage used in Japan that is brewed from tea leaves and hydrangea petals. The young leaves are dried, rubbed between the hands and used to make a sweet tea called “Tea of Heaven,” which is used in Buddhist ceremonies.
Due to Hydrangin (a Cyanogenic glycoside) found in the bark, leaves, and flower buds are moderately toxic if eaten. The toxicity causes nausea, stomach pain, vomiting, and sweating. It is reported that the levels of hydrangin are reduced as the leaves and bark ages!