Flowers. They bring so much cheer into our lives. They delight our eyes with their beautiful colours, and they lift our moods with their light and fragrant scents. They’re so versatile that they’re used in so many ways: as ingredients in lotions and perfumes, as natural adornments in our homes or even make into colour pigments to be used in our art.
However, did you know that many flowers are edible as well?
Yes, they can be eaten! In fact, edible flowers and some weeds are a good way to get more phytonutrients into our diet. Best of all, they can be grown in our own backyard, bringing in so much more colour than just the regular green from vegetables. In fact, the more colours, the more variety of phytonutrients there are from the flowers!
Generations of people have been eating the petals and greens of some flowers and weeds for many years. However, it is critical to note that not all flowers are edible. Some flowers could be poisonous if consumed, so having an in-depth knowledge of edible flowers is extremely handy.
In our following section, is a list of edible flowers and what are the benefits they bring to your dinner table:
Best Edible Flowers Rich in Vitamins and Minerals
- Good amounts of vitamin C can be found in Marigolds, Portulacas, Purslanes, Roses, and Chives
- An edible weed like Dandelion flowers contain vitamins A and C, while its greens are stuff full of essential minerals such as phosphorous, calcium and iron. These minerals are important in building strong bones, reducing cholesterol and inflammation, as well as regulating our metabolism
Best Edible Flowers that Help in our Digestion
- Elderberry and calendula blooms are the top choice flowers which help in our digestive system. When we encounter common digestive issues such as bloating, cramping, constipation, and bowel irregularity, we can make use of these blooms in our diet.
- Another good choice would be Goldenrod blooms which also helps in alleviating urinary tract infections, and even relieving allergies. You can add them to salads, garnishes in full meals or even used in cupcakes. When used to make tea, these blooms are useful for bringing down fevers, and stimulating the immune system.
Best Edible Flowers that Soothes Our Stress and Encourages Sleep
- When you think of relaxation and sleep which flowers come to mind? Indeed, the vibrant California poppies, soft chamomile blooms and lavender flowers are all commonly known choice flowers to achieve this. They have been incorporated in oils, teas, lotions, drops, medications, and even bath bombs and soaps, providing us a delicious and natural way to unwind from the stressors of our day.
Best Edible Flowers that Aids our Body’s Detoxification
- The Red Hibiscus flower contains a variety of antioxidants that can prevent cholesterol deposits in our blood system and even aids in liver problems. Antioxidants are the class of nutrients which helps to combat aging. It also reduces the risk of cancer and inflammation by cleaning our body of toxins that is built up daily from our intake from the external environment. Toxins could come from the food we eat, water we drink, air we breathe and even household chemicals we use for cleaning our clothes and home. When our body is cleansed, we can feel that it operates much better, feeling more alert, lighter and even happier.
Best Edible Flowers that Relieves Pain
- Honeysuckle and Hyssop flowers are good choices for helping with respiratory issues and for relieving pain in our stomach and colon.
- Mullein flowers covers the above problems, but also adds on the ability to relieve headaches and other common body aches.
Best Edible Flowers with Antibiotic and Anti-inflammatory Functions
- Nasturtiums has natural antibiotic properties and are especially useful when fighting a bacteria infection.
- Red clover blooms help as an effect blood purifier and can be easily consumed in the form of a fragrant tea.
- Violets and violas has anti-inflammatory properties, and can be used as a symptomatic relief for bad fevers and colds.
So, How Do We Use These Flowers?
When the season arrives and you see the colourful flowers popping up in your garden in full bloom, it is now time to explore for natural recipes for your edible flowers, weeds and greens.
There are many ways you could incorporate them into your diet to enjoy their benefits. Salads, teas, jellies, jams, cupcakes, breads, stir-fry, roasts… these are just some of the many many ways. Explore a different method each bloom season, you’ll never know what new ways you’ll discover.
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!
Finally, it’s Important to Consume Responsibly
The best place to get these edible flowers will be at your local farmers’ market. That’s because you can ensure that they are organic and not coated with pesticides or other chemicals. Also, the large variety available will allow you to take your pick.
Alternatively, you can check your supermarket’s fruits and vegetables sections, not the floral section as the floral section would typically be ornamental flowers and likely have been sprayed with pesticides.
Of course, our most recommended source would be to grow your own in your own backyard. You just need to be mindful how to grow it safely and equip yourself with the proper way to ensure food safety.
Do know that many natural remedies are not always backed by doctors or approved by the FDA. Even though alternative health shops may offer up glowing reviews of edible flowers and natural remedies, you owe it to yourself to do the relevant due diligence and research before adding them to your diet.
Once you have established that the flowers, greens and weeds that you want to consume are certainly safe, you can start to use them to enhance the flavour of your food and to enjoy their health benefits.