Adding edible flowers to your culinary creations is not only an aesthetic achievement but one that is fact good for you!
Flowers have been used for many years, in various forms from fresh, dried and even crystallized to use as decorative pieces, or to make teas, jams, herbal remedies, and traditional medicines.
It is well known that the richer the colour intensity of the bloom, the higher phenolic compounds which are seen in the blue colour in blueberries.
This compound is called anthocyanin and is shown to help neutralize the effects of free radicals damaging your skin, provide anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial and anti-cancer effects.
Edible flowers have been found to have vitamins A & C as well as calcium, phosphorus, potassium, and iron.
Nasturtiums are reported to contain 10 times more vitamin C than lettuce,
Marigolds & Nasturtiums contain more lutein and zeaxanthin than kale or spinach (Lutein and zeaxanthin are compounds that help protect your eyes from age-related disorders)
Here is a list of common edible flowers and their benefits:
- Violets & Viola’s – are a source of rutin, which have anti-inflammatory properties and in turn are good for respiratory ailments and healthy blood vessels
- Pansy’s – high presence of powerful polyphenols which provide great antioxidant support
- Chamomile & Californian poppies – have properties which help to relieve stress and act as a gentle sleep aid
- Calendula & Lavender – have skin healing properties with Calendula having antiseptic, antimicrobial and antifungal properties, commonly used in ointments to reduce redness of the skin. Lavender has similar properties to Calendula’s, because of it’s strong scent its used in lots of skin care products
- Elderflower – for centuries has been used to treat stomach aches, diarrhea, sore throats, particularly colds & flu, fungal and bacterial infections, basically immune-boosting powerhouse. It shouldn’t be used by those with autoimmune diseases
- Fuschia’s – high in Vitamin C & antioxidants
- Rose petals – provide a small amount of Vitamin E and often used in skin care recipes
- Basil blooms – are highly medicinal and used as a digestive aid with pain relieving and anti-inflammatory properties
- Yarrow flowers – have powerful wound healing properties with antiseptic and anti-inflammatory compounds
Remember to eat your colours!
To learn more about what natural compounds and goodness are found in edible flowers, below are a few interesting links and informative resources: