Flower Power…

Ever notice how some restaurants decorate some of their dishes with edible flowers. Is it purely decorative or do flowers actually have nutritional value? Do some provide flavor to a dish? Most flowers are rich in vitamin C, A, and E while others are rich in beta-carotene. Hibiscus can have a positive effect on cholesterol levels as well as liver health. The deep purple color of violets can support blood vessel health. Roses not only have a pleasant flavor but have been used by the Chinese for centuries to treat digestive issues. Marigolds can cure wounds and because of their rich orange color provide a phytonutrient for eye health. Chamomile and lavender are known for easing stress.  If these flowers are not available and you are not into raiding your neighbor’s garden, there are teas available. Word of caution, do not just eat any flower. Consult with someone who is extremely knowledgeable about plants before you make a flower antipasto.