It’s no secret that flowers are incredibly versatile plants. They’re beautiful, can be used as ingredients in lotions and perfumes, work well in art, can be used for colors and pigments, and so much more.
However, did you know that plenty of flowers are edible as well?
That’s right—edible flowers and some weeds are a great way to get an extra kick of Vitamins A and C in your diet and can be grown in your own backyard.
The petals and greens of some flowers and weeds can have wonderful effects on your health, and generations of people have been eating these edible treats for years. It is important to note that not all flowers are edible; in fact, some can be poisonous if consumed, so knowing which flowers you can eat, and which you should not can definitely come in handy.
The following is a list of edible flowers, their benefits, and some reasons why you should add them to your diet.
Edible Flowers List
Different flowers, weeds, and greens have different health benefits. Some groups are rich in vitamins and minerals while others aid specific bodily systems such as the digestive tract, cardiovascular systems, and others. The following are edible flowers grouped by their health benefits:
Edible Flowers High In Vitamins and Minerals:
• Marigolds, Portulacas, Purslanes, Roses, and Chives are all highly rich in vitamin C.
• Edible weeds such as dandelion flowers are also high in Vitamins A and C and the greens are chocked full of healthy minerals phosphorous, calcium, and iron. These help build strong bones, reduce cholesterol and inflammation, and regulating weight and metabolism.
• Elderberry blooms and calendula blooms are the leading flowers that help with digestion. Common stomach problems such as bloating, cramping, constipation, and irregularity can be aided by adding these blooms to your diet.
• Goldenrod blooms also help with digestion in addition to their work to sooth urinary tract infections and even relieve allergies. They can be added in salads, with baked goods, or used as garnish for full courses. If used to make teas, they can be excellent for reducing fevers and stimulating the immune system.
Stress and Sleep Aids:
Vibrant California poppies, soft chamomile blooms, and lavender flowers are well-known sleep and stress aids. They come in oils, teas, lotions, drops, medications, and even bath soaps. They are a delicious and natural way to unwind at the end of the long day and promise a restful night’s sleep.
• The Hibiscus flower contains a number of antioxidants that can prevent cholesterol deposits and even helps liver problems and disorders. Antioxidants are effective anti-aging nutrients that also reduce the risk of cancer and inflammation because they cleanse the body of toxins that build up every day from the foods we eat, stress, dirty air, and some everyday household products. When the body is cleansed of these, you feel better, more alert, lighter, and even happier.
• Honeysuckle and hyssop flowers are excellent edible flowers for relieving respiratory problems as well as soothing pain in the stomach and colon. Mullein flowers help with these problems as well as headaches and other common body aches.
Antibiotic and Anti-inflammatory Aids:
• Nasurtiums are useful little flowers that contain natural antibiotic properties and are great when fighting an infection or bacterial illness.
• Red clover blooms are even more useful as they are an effective blood purifier and can be consumed through a great tasting tea.
• Violets and violas contain anti-inflammatory properties as well, which helps with relaxation and soothes the worst symptoms of fevers and colds.
Look for Recipes
Once your garden is in bloom, you can begin exploring natural recipes for your edible flowers, weeds, and greens.
Salads, teas, baked goods, jellies and jams, breads, stir-fry, roasts and a number of other dishes can include these delicious and natural additions, and your family will enjoy the health benefits that come along with them.
These blooms and more are a wonderful way to get to nature and brighten up your diet. There are some flowers such as apple, pea, lemon, orange, begonias, tulips, and more that are perfect just for flavoring, so begin your garden and see what you can really do!
The best place to buy edible flowers is at your local farmers’ market. They will have a large selection and you can make sure they are organic and not sprayed with pesticides or other chemicals.
You can also check your grocery store’s produce section, not the floral section or order them online with websites that ship overnight for optimal freshness. You can even grow your own, just be sure to learn the proper method of food safety.
While turning to nature is a smart and effective way to get into your best health, you should keep in mind that many of these natural remedies are not always backed by doctors or even approved by the FDA.
Alternative health shops and websites may offer glowing reviews of these edible flowers and the natural remedies they offer but it is up to you to do thorough research before adding these to your diet.
Once you’ve ensured that the flowers, greens and weeds you want to consume are indeed safe, you can begin to use them to enhance the flavor of your food and your health.