Japanese Camellia – Camellia japonica

Japanese Camellia
Japanese Camellia

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

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