Edible Flowers have been enjoyed in ancient cultures for thousands of years ~ lotus and chrysanthemums in China, rose petals in India and Persia, and mallow and violets in Ancient Rome.
They are prized not just for their visual aesthetic, but also for their gentle and exotic scents, unique flavours, and abundance of nutrients.
There are so many Edible Flowers…
- Pretty much all the flowers of edible herbs can be eaten (e.g. chamomile, sage, basil, thyme, rosemary, chives, dill, mint, lemon blam, oregano, parsley)
- The flowers from zucchini, pumpkin and butternut (fried or stuffed) are extremely yummy
- There are so many common flowers that are already in your garden, including roses, hibiscus and pansies, that make a delicious addition to sweet and savoury meals
- And wild flowers such as dandelion, purslane, mallow and red clover, are chock full of nutrients just waiting for you to get creative
Growing your own Edible Flowers is simple and fun. If you have a garden you are probably growing some already; if not, you could start up a garden bed, a collection of pots, or if you lack room, ‘vertical gardens’ are a wonderful option.
Nutrients in Edible Flowers
Red clover(1) flowers are used as a treatment for skin disorders, menopausal symptoms, some forms of cancer (such as prostate), detoxing the blood and respiratory problems.
Nasturtiums supply carotenoids (eye and skin health), lycopene and lutein (cancer fighters), vitamin C (needed for every aspect of good health), small amounts of vitamin D (healthy bones), and natural antibiotics.
Lavender is a good source of vitamin A (also fabulous for eye and skin health), calcium and iron. It is also beneficial for your overall nervous system and is an excellent sleeping aid.
Chrysanthemums are rich in vitamins A, a number of the B group vitamins (needed for healthy nerves, red blood cells and brain function), and C. They are also abundant in minerals(2) such as calcium, potassium, magnesium, iron, and phosphorus, and a number of phytonutrients. Because of their abundance of healing nutrients, chrysanthemums have been an important herb in traditional Chinese and Japanese medicine for centuries; treating health issues as diverse as blood pressure, blood toxicity, muscle function (including the heart) indigestion, hypertension, and respiratory ailments.
Borage contains vitamins A, C, a number of the B-complex vitamins and a host of minerals including iron (helps move oxygen around the body), and calcium, magnesium & potassium (all of which are necessary for healthy bones).
Chive blossoms are an excellent source of the vitamins B and C, and minerals including iron, phosphorus, zinc and sulfur (which helps to maintain healthy blood pressure).
Calendula(3), commonly called marigolds, contain flavonoids (cell protectors) and lutein and zeaxanthin (eye health), aid digestion and build the immune system.
Rose petals provide vitamins A, B3, C, small amounts of D, and a variety of bioflavonoids and antioxidants.
Violets, violas and pansies contain rutin(4) which reduces inflammation, promotes blood vessel health, and is effective for respiratory ailments.
Hibiscus contains antioxidants that help heal liver disorders.
And broccoli and cauliflower flowers have nearly as many vitamins and minerals as the vegetables themselves.
My next blog will be on ways to use Edible Flowers in food, but in the meantime why not sprinkle flowers and petals on salads, rice, desserts, cakes, even drinks… be artistic, weave extra love and magick into your cooking, and enjoy! May your magick serve you well. ~ GreenWitch Tea
A few cautions on Edible Flowers
- Make certain the flowers you eat are safe to do so, if you are unsure, do not eat them.
- Only eat flowers grown organically; if they are sprayed with chemicals the delicate petals will hold all those toxins, and that is what you will be ingesting.
- Do not eat flowers grown by the roadside, as car fumes are toxic.
- And, do not eat flowers if you get asthma, hay fever or have allergies.