This early blooming beauty comes to North America by way of East Asia…specifically Japan, Korea, and China. In years long past they were symbolic of a short life lived in a blaze of glory. Today in Japan the flower is said to represent business success, virtue, happiness, fidelity, luxury, tastefulness, & a life concluding in the ease of retirement. The Japanese emperor possessed a staff made of camellia wood because of its power to ward off evil spirits.
The flowers have been used in Herbal medicine having astringent, anti-hemorrhagic and hemostatic properties. It has been used as a salve as well as a tonic. When mixed with sesame oil the flowers are used in the treatment of burns and scalds.
Tea oil is a sweet seasoning and cooking oil made by pressing the seeds of the Oil-seed Camellia (C. oleifera), and the Japanese Camellia (C. japonica). Relatively little-known outside East Asia, it is the most important cooking oil for hundreds of millions of people, particularly in southern China. The leaves are used as a tea substitute, while the dried flowers are used as a vegetable.
A green dye is obtained from the pink or red petals