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This Month’s Edible Flowers Can Help Boost Mood
Summertime, and the livin’ is easy . . . and dotted with flowers. The sun is out, summer is kick-starting, and the blooms are in full force. Not only is this a delicious feast for the eyes, but some of the flowers blooming right now are actually safe to eat!
The edible flowers blooming in June include borage, daylily, lavender, broccoli, cauliflower, calendula, dianthus, oregano, marjoram, red clover, dill, coriander, and English chamomile.
These flowers can be a gorgeous appetizer or lovely addition to salads, smoothies, and meals.1 They have nutritional and antioxidant benefits and can also support emotional balance.2-5
Flowers, in fact, have been scientifically found to support emotions in myriad ways. Giving and receiving flowers, seeing and smelling them, and generally just being around them elicits emotional responses: for instance, you feel joyful and delighted when you receive flowers from someone you love. Not to mention that when you give or receive flowers, they are usually symbolic of an emotion such as celebration, sympathy, love, or romance, to name a few. In fact, just looking at a rose was shown to enhance relaxation and calm as measured by an increase in parasympathetic activation.6
Plant and flower aromas have been shown to have significant effects on behavior, mood, and cognitive function. For instance, smelling ylang-ylang can significantly increase calm, while smelling peppermint significantly increases alertness and memory.7 Similarly, smelling fresh roses has proven to activate our rest-and-digest (parasympathetic) nervous system as well as increase “comfortable” and “natural” feelings.8
Because science suggests that the smell, appearance, and general presence of a flower can affect our mood and psychology, eating them may also offer such a benefit. (Note: not all flowers are safe to eat. Find a list of safe, edible, seasonal flowers below.)
While we know that flowers can change our emotions, how each flower specifically affects emotions hasn’t yet been mapped through science. That said, flower essences have been clinically tested and used for decades, based mostly on the work of Edward Bach, who developed a prominent system of flower essence remedies in the 1930s.9
While eating and smelling flowers is not quite the same as a flower essence, I will list the emotional correlate for each flower according to Bach below. All flowers listed are seasonal, edible June-blooming flowers!
As an experiment, much the way Bach discovered his flower essences, take some time to smell, taste, and fully experience the flower. Notice its subtle emotional and physical impact. Science tells us flowers have an effect,6-8 so let’s have some fun and experience the flower fully, with awareness!
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Borage can promote boldness and courage, ward off feelings of fear, rawness, and vulnerability, and encourage using your voice to speak your truth.10
Daylily can support your healthy zest for life and balanced life activity.11
The flower essence of lavender can help soothe you and bring you peace. It can promote centering, calm, and relaxation when you are stressed and exhausted.12
Broccoli and Cauliflower
The essence of broccoli flower helps you find balance when you feel unprotected or unsafe, and helps maintain a healthy equilibrium of power.13
Cauliflower flower essence, which comes from the same plant family as broccoli, can help us to filter through our emotions to sift out blocks, as well as keep our body tissues healthy and well-hydrated.14
Calendula (also known as Pot Marigold)
The flower essence of calendula can support you in being dependable, responsible, solid, productive, and there for others when they need you. Calendula is helpful in enhancing your ability to actively contribute in life.15
There are a variety of types of dianthus. One variety is Dianthus Lace, which has a fuchsia-colored flower. This flower essence can be supportive for the lungs, allowing you to metaphorically breathe in the wonder of the world and sift out what does not support you. Dianthus Lace flower essence can help overcome physical blocks and clarify your life path.16
Another variety of dianthus is Dianthus Tiny Rubies, which bloom a medium pink color. The flower essence of Dianthus Tiny Rubies can enhance a harmonious environment in social settings and community. This can support you in groups and gatherings by helping maintain your individuality while finding a synergistic place within the whole. This flower essence can also help take you out of survival mode into a space where you can attract and manifest what you want.17
Marjoram flower essence can support you during loneliness or separation anxiety.18
The flower essence of oregano can help to identify, target, and facilitate healing and harmony in areas of the body that need attention.19
Red clover flower essence supports you in feeling the strength of your individuality and independence. This can be especially useful when you feel you are being overly caught up in the energy of those around you.20
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Dill flower essence can help relieve stress and tension and calm nerves from exhaustion and overwhelm. It can support brain function, and can soothe being frazzled by overstimulation.21
The flower essence of coriander can support you in being able to bloom and develop in your own time, and can be particularly helpful for transitional times in life such as puberty.
Interestingly, coriander flower essence also helps to naturally balance your hormones and sync you up with nature’s cycles, counteracting hormonal imbalances from food additives and violent media portrayals.22
English chamomile flower essence can be soothing when you’re upset and helps you regain a calm, upbeat mood. This flower essence can also be calming for the stomach and helps you to “digest“ your life experiences.23
Note: Unfortunately, there has been little research on edible flowers and the safe limit of daily consumption for edible flowers is not yet known. So before you make flowers your next meal, start with small amounts, such as sprinkling some on your salad, adding them as a colorful garnish to your favorite dish or dessert, or tossing a few petals into your smoothie.
On that note, do not eat flowers from florists, nurseries, garden centers, or flowers found on the side of the road. Consume only flowers that you or someone else has grown specifically for food.
Support your summer with the flower essences of June’s blooms! What effects have you noticed June flowers have on you?