The nutritional power of hibiscus and other edible flowers
The act of giving flowers to someone often means one of two things. One, someone genuinely wants to demonstrate an act of endearment. Or two, they are trying to make up for some sort of shame or guilt. But personally, I am not a fan of receiving cut flowers. I’d much rather the flowers live longer than a week, surviving happily in soil. You see, flowers symbolize many things including love, friendship, joy and peace and they adorn events that revere life, love, and change. And I would rather those positive symbols don’t die quickly. Today, flowers like hibiscus are rarely spoken of for anything other than their decorative uses. But historically, they brought meaning and nutrition to the table.
Edible flowers that have healing powers
Lotus flowers, lilacs, violets, nasturtiums, roses, carnations, and lavender are popular blooms. They are aesthetically appealing. And many are also known for appealing aromatics. But what many lovers of these glorious blooms might not realize is that all of these flowers are nutrient-rich.
It would be nice to believe that the recent trend of sprinkling farm-to-table cuisine with edible flowers had something to do with nutritional impact. But it’s more likely that chefs use edible blossoms for the color. And while I think most chefs don’t know it, the flowers adorning their salads, cocktails and decorate desserts are beautiful on the inside as well as the outside. Within each silky petal, they carry antioxidants. This means that all those prized blooms aren’t just pretty. They’re anti-carcinogenic and they offer vitamins that strengthen the immune systems and cellular structure. In fact, many edible blooms are essentially untapped ‘superfoods.’ And while most of the flowers remain nothing more than decoration as far as the food community is concerned, the hibiscus is starting to get some well-deserved recognition.
Why you need hibiscus flower
Historically, hibiscus was popular as a tea. It was also used as an oil and a powder for dosing the body with its anti-carcinogenic, anti-oxidant and anti-viral properties. Steeping this flower in near-boiling water pulls these nutrients out of the hibiscus. These sweet flowers fight free-radicals, clear skin, strengthen immunity, fight fever, and stabilize hormonal body temperature. As an oil they are said to strengthen hair roots and darken the pigment to prevent breakage and greying–just more ways to keep ourselves young.
Want to start incorporating hibiscus and other edible flowers into your life? Learn how to plant an edible flower garden.
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