The Golden Elixir

Relationship: Child of im/migrant

For as long as I can remember, “gook fa cha” (Chrysanthemum Tea) has been in my life. My first introduction was when I was a baby. I suffered from extreme nosebleeds and even had to be taken to the hospital once. My hands and feet were bound to the crib by “Nurse Ratchet.” Outraged, my mother took me home.  She placed lettuce leaves up my nose to stop the bleeding and gave me gook fa cha to drink. I never understood it’s medicinal or healing properties. I just knew that if I didn’t feel well, from high fever to sluggishness, gook fa cha was the Golden Elixir...the cure all for whatever was ailing me. My mother would boil up gallons in huge pots while lecturing me about “nget hee” and “liang hee” which translates to something about me being full of hot air! And I had to cool it somehow. Six decades later, I researched chrysanthemum tea and nearly fell off my chair. The benefits to good health were extensive. To this day my mom continues to boil up kettles of this miracle tea for my husband and me. It’s no wonder the Chinese used it as a royal symbol and the flower appears in so many paintings. It will always be a meaningful, healing connection from my Chinese roots to my America life.

– Evelyn Moy, Moy Family Association

Relationship:  Child of im/migrant Child of im/migrant