Looking for a more natural way to get relief from common ailments? In addition to offering visual pleasure, many flowers also have powerful medicinal properties and can help get you back in good health without the unpleasant side effects of heavily processed, over-the-counter pharmaceuticals. Some flowers can help to heal cuts and burns while others ease headaches or menstrual cramps. You just have to know what to look for. You may find that you already have a bona fide medicine cabinet growing in your garden. Many flowers can easily be made into a tea, infusion or poultice as needed to relieve ailments. Between your garden and your kitchen you may already have all you need to preserve and sustain your health naturally.
This common garden favorite has a number of medicinal uses. For headache relief, simply steep a few flower heads in hot water for a couple minutes and drink the infusion. Begonia “tea” also has the added benefit of eliminating toxins from the body. Applying crushed begonia leaves and flowers directly to the skin can also help to heal sores and burns and relieve pain.
This cheery orange-yellow bloom has powerful healing properties that can be taken advantage of when used correctly. Calendula is great for healing injured or burned skin. Make your own Calendula-infused curative oil for best results. Simply combine dried Calendula flowers with almond, olive or safflower oil (2 oz. flowers for every 1 cup of oil) in a blender and blend until you get an even (albeit a little lumpy) mixture. Pour the mixture into a jar and let it sit in a warm, sunny location for about 3 weeks, giving the jar a vigorous shake each day. When you reach the end of the third week, pour the infusion into a cloth bag and squeeze out the oil. Let the oil sit for a few days, then strain it through cheesecloth or tough paper towels. Use this topical oil on burns and sores to speed recovery.
Carnation petal tea has been known to not only alleviate stress and anxiety but also reduce swelling and clear the skin. Simply pluck the petals from flower heads (be sure to remove them from the flower base, which is bitter) and steep in hot water for 3-5 minutes.
Commonly known as a weed, this little yellow flower can be found by the roadside, in the meadows, and virtually everywhere throughout the states. Though many folks go to great lengths to keep this hardy plant out of their gardens, it can be very effective in treating anemia and cleansing the bloodstream. Native Americans knew of its healing powers and used it to promote general well being, and as a mild laxative. Eat the leaves raw or make a tea out of the plant parts.
Prized for its intoxicating scent, Gardenia also has tremendous healing powers. It can be used to relieve stress, depression and anxiety, as a blood tonic and coagulant, and to reduce swelling and joint pain. To treat swelling, bruising and tenderness from injury, use it topically (you can make a paste by crushing the petals and steeping in olive or almond oil). Make a tea from the blossoms for relief from headaches, irritability, jaundice, hypertension and ulcers.
Sweet smelling jasmine blooms are popular additions to green tea, and can aid digestion and help to treat ulcers. They have also been known to help with anxiety and insomnia. Pick flowers at the height of their bloom and steep in hot water for 3-5 minutes.
Honeysuckle is useful as a topical treatment for cuts and inflammations (make a paste from the crushed flowers leaves and warm almond or olive oil). This flower also makes a great tonic for sore throats. Steep the blossoms in hot water and gargle with the tea for relief from throat aches and to speed recovery from colds.
Eating raw rose petals has been known to both relieve depression and improve circulation. Roses are quite safe to consume and the blossoms can be eaten raw or made into a tea. The tea will act as a mild laxative and calmative. Make the petals into a paste and apply topically to noticeably improve the condition of the skin.
Make sunflower leaf tea to bring down high fevers and ease inflammation of the lungs. The leaves also have diuretic properties. Make a poultice from sunflower roots to treat rheumatism, snake bites and spider bites.