4 Ways to Eat (Yes, Eat!) Flowers

These blooms aren't just beautiful — they pack a serious nutritional punch too.

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Photo by: Flowerphotos

Flowerphotos

From fresh to dried flowers, flower power is big this year — and the trend isn't just pretty. Floral ingredients like lavender and rose have nutritional benefits, too. Here are a few you should know about, plus delicious ways to add them to your plate.

Lavender

This calming flower may help reduce feelings of fatigue and depression. In one study, new moms drank a cup of tea made from dried lavender flowers one hour before bedtime daily. They reported feeling less fatigued and less depressed than new moms not drinking the tea, found researchers in Taiwan. Sip lavender mint water, or brew a lavender-and-chamomile tea.

Try it: Ayala's Herbal Water Lavender Mint, $24 per 12 bottles, herbalwater.com; Pukka Night Time tea, $5.55 per 20 tea bags, iherb.com

Hibiscus

This flower may help your health in more ways than one. Consuming tea or extracts produced from hibiscus daily may significantly lower blood pressure in adults with hypertension and type 2 diabetes, shows a review study by researchers in Arizona. Hibiscus may also help increase beneficial HDL cholesterol levels. Add the dried flower to a smoothie or nice cream recipe, or drizzle hibiscus maple syrup on French toast or pancakes.

Try it: Feel Good Organics Hibiscus Flowers, $10 per 8 ounces, amazon.com; Runamok Maple Hibiscus Flower Infused Maple Syrup, $16.95 per 8.45 ounces, shop.runamokmaple.com

Rose

These flowers are so pretty to look at, and they offer health benefits, too: Chinese roses have high levels of health-helping antioxidants, found research in the Journal of Food Science. Sprinkle a blend of dried rose petals, mauve, hibiscus, marigold petals, and cornflower petals to anything from rice dishes to desserts.

Try it: Just Spices Blossom Mix $6.99 per .39 ounces, justspices.com

Borage

Aka starflower, this pretty blue flower boasts beneficial phenolics. Preliminary research shows that borage may help protect DNA from damage, potentially offering cancer-fighting benefits, per a study in Nutrients. Add borage flowers to anything from panna cotta to granitas and meringues. You should be able to purchase a borage plant from your local gardening shop.

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