Hibiscus–the nutritional flower

The nutritional power of hibiscus and other edible flowers

by Delahna Flagg

The act of giving flowers to someone often means one of two things:

1. Someone genuinely wants to demonstrate an act of endearment.
2. They are trying to make up for some sort of shame or guilt.

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 are a symbol of love, peace, shame, guilt, and they adorn events that revere life, love, and change. And I would rather those positive symbols don’t die quickly.  Flowers are rarely spoken of for anything other than their decorative uses but historically, and more recently, they are adding more color to our edible arts.

hibiscusEdible flowers that have healing powers

Lotus flowers, lilacs, violets, nasturtiums, roses, carnations, and lavender are popular blooms.  They are aesthetically appealing and many are aromatic as well. But what many lovers of these glorious blooms might not realize is that they’re nutrient-rich.

It would be nice to believe that chefs are adding these ingredients to their dishes for nutritional impact. But more likely that they use them ‘just because they’re pretty’.  These flowers adorn salads, cocktails and decorate desserts but their beauty is not just on the outside.  They carry antioxidants, they’re anti-carcinogenic and they offer vitamins that strengthen the immune systems and cellular structure.  The blooms could be deemed untapped ‘superfoods.’ But there is one flower that’s started to reach some nutritional acclaim: hibiscus flower.

Why you need hibiscus flower

Historically, hibiscus have been used as a tea, an oil and a powder for the purposes of dosing the body with its anti-carcinogenic, anti-oxidant, and anti-viral properties. Steeping this flower into a near-boiling pot of 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.



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