16 August 2013

Eat a Flower, Heal Your Acne

Did you know that flowers are not only beautiful but also beneficial for your health? When properly applied they can even treat your acne. You can eat them fresh or dried, the easiest way to incorporate them in your diet being as a decoration for desserts or cocktails.

Here are a few ideas to get you started on healing your acne, inflammations and respiratory tract infections. 

Edible flowers treat acne via @kanelstrand

The rose flower has an active anti-inflammatory ingredient and boosts the immune system. You can use the flowers of the white rose as a laxative. Or you can treat hard-to-heal wounds with them and stimulate the healing process.

The petals of the red rose contain high amounts of tannin, which is known for its anti-inflammatory properties. You can treat gum inflammation by preparing a rose gargle following this quick gargle recipe: Pour 1 teacup of boiling water over 2 tablespoons of rose petals. Leave for 20 minutes and gargle after it has cooled.

Everything about this flower can be used for healing purposes. The root is an effective expectorant and diuretic. The leaves calm the nervous system, and the flowers treat headache.

The wild Viola flower is a powerful antioxidant, it also contains cyclotides which have a diverse range of in vitro biological activities, including uterotonic, anti-HIV, antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory and insecticidal activities. Drink herbal viola tea for coughing.

For treatment of acne and skin irritations, pour 2 teacups of boiling water over 2 tablespoons of dry violas. Strain after 2 hours and apply on the affected areas.

Nasturtium (Tropaeolum)
Nasturtium is rich in vitamin C, and is known as an herbal antibiotic. It has been used in herbal medicine for its antiseptic and expectorant qualities. It is effective in fighting chest colds and in promoting the formation of new blood cells, as well as in treating respiratory and urinary tract infections. It is best if you eat the fresh flowers in a salad, vegetable meals, or in soups but don't overdo it because it is spicy.

English daisy (Bellis perennis)
This flower has been used in herbal medicine since ancient Rome when bandages were soaked in English daisy juice to bind sword and spear cuts. Bellis perennis is rich in vitamins and minerals and stimulates the metabolism. It is an anti-inflammatory and expectorant agent and is known to purify the blood.

To treat respiratory infections, pour 2 teacups of boiling water over 2-3 teaspoons of chopped flowers. Strain after 1 hour and drink 75 ml (0,16 pt) three times a day before meals.

Please note that eating flowers might be dangerous as well. As MNN suggests, to avoid unpleasant surprises always consult a reference book on edible flowers and plants.
Eat flowers you have grown yourself, or know to be safe for consumption. Flowers from the florist or nursery have probably been treated with pesticides or other chemicals.

Do not eat roadside flowers or those picked in public parks. Both may have been treated with pesticide or herbicide, and roadside flowers may be polluted by car exhaust.

Eat only the petals, and remove pistils and stamens before eating.

If you suffer from allergies, introduce edible flowers gradually, as they may exacerbate allergies.

To keep flowers fresh, place them on moist paper towels and refrigerate in an airtight container. Some will last up to 10 days this way. Ice water can revitalize limp flowers.

Now is your turn, have you tasted the flowers in your garden?

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