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It’s hard to ignore the sight of the first spring flowers in April. After a long, barren winter, the appearance of colorful flowers dotting the landscape can bring a smile and a sense of relief that winter is over. Historically, spring flowers were a sign to celebrate the coming of the new growing season.
Interestingly, there is a wealth of clinical evidence that edible flowers bring more than vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants to our palate—they may change, lift, and support our emotions.1-4 Perhaps in the same way the sight of spring flowers brought joy to our ancestors, they can support our emotions in modern times as well.
Choose from the list of edible flowers from the April list below and stay tuned for a comprehensive edible flower list to be posted soon. To get the subtle benefits of flowers, they can be eaten or made into flower essences.
A flower essence remedy is a solution of water and a preserving substance, containing an extreme dilution of a flower, leading to the term “flower essence.” Flower essences were formally developed by Dr. Edward Bach, a homeopath from England, in the 1930s.5The thought behind flower essences is that they are diluted to such a degree that only the essence of the flower is left, and then the flower essence can then interact with our essence on a subtle level.
Flower Essences: Placebo?
While many studies have been performed on flower essence remedies for mood-related conditions, most show that they did not out-perform placebo. For example, in one study, all 61 participants who ingested flower remedies saw significant improvements in mood, but the placebo group saw the same results. As a result, many scientists dismiss the benefits of flower remedies as nothing more than a placebo. However, placebos can be powerful medicines. In many studies, placebos out-perform many new pharmaceutical drugs for mood control, and yet the drugs are still released. This is because the placebo effect is so high: it generally ranges up to 82% effectiveness.2-4
So, trying a flower essence this spring and summer might be just what the doctor ordered!
The following is a list of edible April flowers and the emotional lift their essences may offer as a result of years of clinical evidence. See what attracts you!
April Flower Benefits
Redbud can enhance positive qualities, such as acceptance of the natural cycles involved with aging and maturation, as well as regeneration based on a positive relationship with the cycles of birth and death.6
Patterns of imbalance that redbud can assist with include an overly materialistic approach associated with the body, including tendencies toward unnatural body modifications such as plastic surgery, extreme medical interventions, and drugs that override natural life-death cycles.6
According to Dr. Bach, the flower essence of mustard is a helpful remedy for “those who are liable to times of gloom or even despair, as though a cold dark cloud overshadowed them and hid the light and joy of life. It may not be possible to give any reason or explanation for such attacks. Under these conditions, it is almost impossible to appear happy or cheerful.” Mustard flower essence is indicated for when you feel depressed for no apparent reason.7
Grape Hyacinth, Muscari armeniacum(purple)
The flower essence of grape hyacinth is associated with collective consciousness. It can be helpful for deep spiritual processes. The essence of grape hyacinth is helpful for any type of group or gathering when there is a focus on the collective and not the individual.8
Plum flower essence can be useful for encouraging abundance in your life if you experience a feeling of lack or not enough. It is indicated for creating a life full of love and attracting abundant opportunities.9
The essence of lilac encourages rejuvenation through memories: memories that connect the spirit with meaning and joy.6
Lilac flower essence can be helpful in supporting us if we are lacking the ability to be nourished by past experiences, particularly in cases of early childhood sadness, depression, or a sense of burden due to being abandoned, isolated, or alienated.6
Violet flower essence is helpful in balancing your highly sensitive perception and heightened spiritual perspective. It helps you maintain a balance between being socially engaged but self-contained.6
The flower essence of violet can help reduce extreme shyness, aloofness, and fear/aversion to being in groups.6
Oxeye daisy flower essence promotes the ability to see people (including yourself) for who they really are. It can be a helpful essence for those who are not expressing who they really are and, in the case of an identity crisis, it encourages clarity.10
The flower essence of society garlic helps us maintain a vibrant and vital response to life and healthy resistance to adverse influences. It is great for helping regain vitality.6
Daisy flower essence can be useful for helping us stay centered, grounded, and in command through circumstances that are out of our control. This essence helps us remain cool, calm, and composed through the ups and downs of life.11
Celebrate the spring with flower essences and let us know how it goes!
Find the full month-to-month edible flower guide by signing up for the free 3-Season Diet Challenge here.
APRIL FLOWER CHART
|Plant Name||Type1||Flower Color||Bloom||Taste||Fragrance|
|Cercis Canadensis – Redbud||P||Pink||April||Beanlike to tart apple||—|
|Comments & Hints: Native tree to the U.S; may be marginal in Colorado. Full sun to part shade; sandy loam; difficult to transplant.|
|Brassica spp. – Mustard||A||Yellow||April to May||Mustard, hot||—|
|Comments & Hints: Salad garnish. Watch for allergies.|
|Muscari atlanticum, M. botryoides– Grape hyacinth||P||Pink, blue||April to May||Grapey, slightly sour with a bitter aftertaste.||Grapey|
|Comments & Hints: Bulb.|
|Prunus spp. – Plum||P||Pink to white||April to May||Mild, like flower nectar||Sweet|
|Comments & Hints: Petals candy well. Pits of mature fruit are poisonous.|
|Syringa vulgaris– Lilac||P||White, pink, purple, lilac||April to May||Perfume, slightly bitter||Lilac|
|Comments & Hints: Candies well. Prefers well-drained, alkaline soil; sun to part shade.|
|Viola odorata – Violet||P||Violet, pink, white||April to May||Sweet||Sweet|
|Comments & Hints: Ornamental. Candies well. Sun to part shade; moist, well-drained soil.|
|Chrysanthemum leucanthemum – Oxeye daisy||P||White/yellow center||April to August||Mild||—|
|Comments & Hints: Use as a garnish or in a salad. Full sun; rich, moist, well-drained soil, invasive.|
|Tulbaghia ciolacea – Society Garlic||A or TP||Lilac||Spring||Onion flavor||—|
|Comments & Hints: Best in full sun; tolerates part shade; prefers rich, moist, well-drained soil.|
|Bellis perennis – English daisy||P||White to purple petals||April to Sept||Mild to bitter||—|
|Comments & Hints: Use as a garnish or in salads. Thrives in cold weather; prefers full sun, moist soil.|
1) A = annual; B = biennial; P = periennial; TP = tender periennial