By: Jazzmin Hardaway
So you’ve heard your mom tell you time and time again to eat your veggies and fruits but has your life giver ever demanded you to polish off the backyard bush full of lilies? Unless your mom is a bee trying to save the planet, the answer is most likely no. But does your local boba joint and hipster ice cream parlor serving up rose milk tea lattes and lavender ice cream know something mom didn’t know? Does the hype stretch further than a well embraced Instagram post? According to some scientists research, they just might and it actually does. Today, we’ll explore 7 reasons you should spend less time gazing at your luscious bouquet and more time eating it!
1. Anti- inflammatory Effects
Although a natural bodily response to damage within the body, an excess of inflammation can cause stress as well. You can help maintain this balance with the beautiful array of echinacea, chamomile, cornflower, St. John’s Wort, calendula, and hibiscus (Chen, Wei, 2017***). Take as a supplement, garnish, or tea.
2. PMS Relief
Hey ladies, here’s a small bouquet of relief for us too, one that we could benefit from at that time of the month. This one is made of St John’s-wort, chamomile, calendula, and lavender; these can help ease cramps and relax the body for a smoother monthly visit from aunt flo (Chen, Wei, 2017). Enjoy steeped in tea to soothe you from the inside out.
3. Digestion Aid
If you’re having some irregularity issues, take your pick from this bouquet of roses, wild bergamot, begonias, tulips, and lavender (Chen, Wei)***. Spike your tea with one of these beauties for assistance to get you back on track.
4. Antioxidant Benefits
Damaged cells in the body occur due to an imbalance of free radicals that cause oxidative stress. Too much of this stress on the body can lead to disease. Luckily, antioxidants exist to combat these free radicals and adjust the body back to a balanced state. Such relief can come in the form of vitamin C and E and are found in high amounts in flowers such as roses and lavender (Xiong, 2014)***. Other flower sources of these body soldiers include hawthorne, chamomile, jasmine, and cornflowers (Chen, Wei, 2017***). Enjoy them steeped in tea, as a garnish, or in salads. Pictured below is a slice of dark chocolate lavender cake garnished with lavender, rose petals, and corn flowers.
5. Blood Glucose Regulation
According to the CDC, diabetes is another disease of similar prevalence in our country. With over 100 million Americans having diabetes or pre-diabetes, it is definitely one worth our dietary attention as well (CDC. 2017). The next time you choose to swap your ice cream for nice cream, add some jasmine, chicory, or common mallow petals for garnish and enjoy with a hot cup of dandelion tea for additional glucose regulation benefits (Chen, Wei, 2016; Loizzo et al., 2015***).
6. Blood Pressure Regulation
In the United States, 1 in 3 adults have high blood pressure (American Heart Association, 2018). This silent killer can resist showing symptoms until it’s at a life threatening degree. Following guidelines of the DASH diet can help keep this under control as well as flowers! Experts have found that chrysanthemum, jasmine, and lilies can be an excellent garnish for your heart healthy meals (Arya et al., 2014; Roberts et al., 2014***).
7. Additional Daily Nutrients
In addition to providing your body with defense from harm and disease, some flowers
can be a great addition to get your recommended daily allowances of macro and micronutrients such as carbohydrates, protein, fiber, calcium, and iron. Mexican marigolds offer 42.6g of carbohydrates, 4g of protein, and 28g of fiber in 1.8 ounces of their dry weight. Carnations can provide good supplementation to mineral intake with their 213mg of calcium and 4.25mg of iron in 1.8 ounces of their dry weight (Fernandez et al., 2017***).
It’s exciting news to hear that gorgeous things that grow in the ground can help you feel and be better. But there are cautions to be made when adding these natural bits of floral delight into your diet. Before shoving your face with the neighbors bush of nasturtiums, make sure you have properly identified the flower and it’s not an evil cousin look alike that can cause you harm. Also, always consult with your doctor before swapping out or supplementing your meds with flowers, as proper dosage, eating patterns, and effects of other medications must be considered and professionally evaluated. Let me know, in the comments below, how you take your flowers!
Arya, V., Kumar, D., & Gautam, M. (2014). Phytopharmacological review on flowers: Source of inspiration for drug discovery. Biomedicine & Preventive Nutrition, 4(1), 45–51.
Chen, N.-H., & Wei, S. (2017). Factors influencing consumers’ attitudes towards the consumption of edible flowers. Food Quality and Preference, 56, 93–100.
Fernandes, L., Casal, S., Pereira, J. A., Saraiva, J. A., & Ramalhosa, E. (2017). Edible flowers: A review of the nutritional, antioxidant, antimicrobial properties and effects on human health. Journal of Food Composition and Analysis, 60, 38–50.
Loizzo, M. R., Pugliese, A., Bonesi, M., Tenuta, M. C., Menichini, F., Xiao, J., & Tundis, R. (2015). Edible Flowers: A Rich Source of Phytochemicals with Antioxidant and Hypoglycemic Properties. Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, 64(12), 2467–2474.
More than 100 million Americans have high blood pressure, AHA says. (2018). Retrieved from:
Roberts, M. (2014). 100 edible and healing flowers: Cultivating, cooking, restoring health, gardens. CT: Struik Nature.
Xiong, L., Yang, J., Jiang, Y., Lu, B., Hu, Y., Zhou, F., … Shen, C. (2014). Phenolic Compounds and Antioxidant Capacities of 10 Common Edible Flowers from China. Journal of Food Science, 79(4).
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