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Summertime, and the livin’ is easy… and dotted with flowers. The sun is out, summer is kick-starting, and the blooms are out 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 currently blooming in June include borage, daylily, lavender, broccoli and cauliflower, calendula, dianthus, oregano, marjoram, red clover, dill, coriander, and English chamomile. These flowers can be a gorgeous appetizer or a lovely addition to your salads, smoothies, and meals. (1) They have nutritional and antioxidant benefits and they also possess qualities that can support emotional balance. (2-5)
Flowers, in fact, have been scientifically found to support your 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, or love and romance, to name a few. (6) Plant and flower aromas have been shown to have significant effects on our behavior, mood and cognitive function as well – for instance, smelling ylang-ylang can significantly increase our calmness, while smelling peppermint significantly increases our alertness and memory. (7) Similarly, smelling fresh rose flowers has been 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 the list of safe, edible, seasonal flowers below.)
While we know that flowers can change our emotions, how each flower specifically affects emotions has not yet been mapped out 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 am listing the emotional correlate for each flower according to Bach below. All of the flowers listed are seasonal, edible June-blooming flowers to boot!
As an experiment, much the way Bach discovered his flower essences, take some time to smell, taste, and fully experience the flower, and notice its subtle emotional and physical impact on your body and mood. The science tells us flowers have an effect on us, (6-8) so let’s have some fun and experience the flower fully, with awareness!
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 to soothe you and bring you peace. It can promote centering, calm, and relaxation when you are stressed out and exhausted. (12)
Broccoli and Cauliflower
The essence of broccoli flower helps you to find balance when you are feeling 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 be actively contributing in life. (15)
There are a variety of types of dianthus, one such variety is Dianthus “Lace,” which has a fuchsia-colored flower. This flower essence can be supportive for the lungs and their functions, allowing you to metaphorically breathe in the wonder of the world and to sift out that which does not support you. Dianthus “Lace” flower essence can also be helpful in overcoming physical blockages and in clarifying your life path. (16)
Another variety of dianthus is Dianthus “Tiny Rubies,” which blooms 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 you to maintain your individuality while finding a synergistic component 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 in your life. (17)
Marjoram flower essence can support you when you are experiencing loneliness or separation anxiety. (18)
The flower essence of oregano can be helpful in specifically identifying, targeting, and facilitating healing and harmonization in the areas of the body that need attention. (19)
Red clover flower essence supports you in feeling the strength of your own 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)
Dill flower essence can help relieve your stress and tension, and to calm your nerves from exhaustion and overwhelm. It can also support your brain function, and can be soothing from 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 are 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 that purpose.
Support your summer with the flower essences of June’s blooms! What effects have you noticed June flowers have on you?