Many teas on today’s market contain flower petals to add color, and occasionally flavor or aroma. As an herbalist, I add flowers to tea for their many health benefits as well as their gorgeous colors and aroma. Because spring is the season of flowers and new growth, I wanted to share what I’ve learned about 9 of my favorite healing flowers.
Gorgeous hibiscus flowers make a rich, red tea that’s pleasantly tart with a hint of sweetness. It is used in many fruit and berry teas because it adds a lot of flavor and color. Here are some of the health benefits of hibiscus:
- Hibiscus tea can help your body cope with the heat during the summer.
- Hibiscus is reputed to help normalize blood pressure; many of our customers have reported that they manage their blood pressure naturally using hibiscus tea regularly.
- As a natural diuretic, I have used hibiscus tea in blends that address kidney health and bladder issues. One of our customers blended hibiscus with nettles to heal her kidneys; she was scheduled to start kidney dialysis, but after using nettle and hibiscus tea daily (one quart) she avoided dialysis.
- Hibiscus is high in vitamin C and antioxidant bioflavonoids that support connective tissue.
Lavender’s soft, light purple little blossoms pack a big punch of flavor and aroma. Many people find lavender tea to be too perfumey, but a small amount of lavender flowers added as an accent to a tea blend can transform it completely. Lavender has many healing properties:
- Lavender relaxes tension, not just emotionally, but physically as well. A little lavender in tea can ease headaches caused by neck and shoulder tension.
- Similar to chamomile, lavender can soothe indigestion and relieve an upset stomach. It eases bloating after a heavy meal.
- Make a strong tea of lavender flowers to use as a facial rinse for oily and problem skin. The essential oils found in lavender helps to kill bacteria that can cause acne and breakouts.
Fragrant roses are one of the world’s most beloved flowers. They’re beautiful, they smell amazing, and the whole plant has a multitude of culinary and medicinal uses. Here are some of the healing properties of roses:
- In India, rose petals are used as a cooling tonic. When our bodies have too much internal heat, it can lead to inflammation and an agitated emotional state, for which roses are a perfect remedy.
- Rose petals contain antioxidant bioflavonoids that protect the body from damage.
- Roses are great for your skin. A tea made from rose petals helps to tone and tighten loose or mature skin.
- A strong rose tea can ease sore throat and help soothe inflamed sinuses.
Butterfly Blue Pea Flower
Native to Thailand, butterfly blue pea flower makes a dramatic dark blue tea that is used for both its color and healing properties. The blue color is completely natural, and comes from its blue anthocyanin pigments. When an acidic substance like lemon juice is added to a tea of the blue pea flowers, it transforms from blue to purple. The benefits of this blue flower include:
- Lots of antioxidants, which protect the cells from damage. A wide variety of antioxidants are an important part of a healthy diet.
- Butterfly blue pea flower is believed to protect the skin from premature aging, due to the antioxidant content.
- A tea from these blue flowers has been used to counteract premature graying and baldness.
- This flowers was shown in scientific studies to help reduce stress and anxiety.
Chamomile tea is probably the most well-known and popular herbal tea. The name stems from an ancient Greek word that means “apple-like”, due to the fruity aroma of the fresh flowers. Chamomile flowers make a wonderful tea on their own or in combination with other herbs. Chamomile has a broad spectrum of medicinal uses:
- Chamomile is soothing to the stomach. It not only helps ease indigestion, it helps relieve inflammation caused by certain digestive issues including gastritis and IBS.
- A mild pain reliever, chamomile tea is used for muscle spasms, cramps, headache, toothache, and earache.
- Chamomile is best known as a relaxant. Although chamomile tea might not be strong enough to put an adult to sleep, it takes the edge off stress and tension, and can ease jitters and anxiety that come from drinking too much caffeine.
- A strong tea of chamomile is a soothing tonic for the skin. Use this tea as a facial rinse for red and irritated skin.
The benefits of golden calendula flowers have been known for hundreds, if not thousands of years. The bright yellow flower petals add a colorful pop to black tea leaves, or herbal blends that need a color lift. However, the healing properties make calendula a potent addition to many types of healing blends:
- Calendula helps kill fungus, and is helpful for candida and yeast, or externally as a wash for athlete’s foot or ringworm.
- As a tea, calendula is a tonic for the liver and lymphatic system. This makes it a great herb for skin health and natural beauty from the inside out.
- Calendula is naturally anti-inflammatory, and is helpful for many issues that stem from temporary or chronic inflammation.
- Most people associate calendula with natural skin care. Calendula blossoms can be made into a tea or steeped in olive oil and applied as a healing ointment to burns, scars, wounds, fungal infections and rashes.
Blue malva, also known as mallow flowers, are a deep purplish-blue, and, similar to butterfly blue pea flowers, produce a blue or purple tea. The level of blue or purple will depend on the alkalinity of the water that you steep the tea in: the more alkaline the water, the more blue the tea. The medicinal benefits include:
- Blue malva is related to marshmallow (not the campfire melty treat, but the actual plant) and, like marshmallow, it contains something called mucilage. Mucilage is soothing and cooling to irritation ranging from sore throat to digestive upset.
- A tea of this plant has been used for bronchitis, and asthma. The soothing nature of blue malva promotes healing of the airways, and is soothing to the body after a fit of coughing.
- Blue malva can be an addition to a detox and cleansing regimen. This tea supports the kidneys and gallbladder.
- It’s believed that drinking blue malva tea has a gradual and beneficial effect on the skin.
A favorite flower of bees, red clover blossoms make a lovely herbal tea. The flavor is gentle and slightly sweet, and doesn’t become bitter, even after a long steeping. Besides being both tasty and lovely, red clover is also a supreme healing herb:
- Red clover supports estrogen naturally, and is actually more beneficial for women than soy, because it has a broader spectrum of estrogen-like compounds.
- This lovely purple flower is one of the most useful “blood cleansing” herbs, and is often used in conjunction with other detoxifying herbs like dandelion, nettles, burdock, and plantain.
- People use red clover to relieve coughing and bronchial congestion.
- Red clover is rich in minerals like calcium, and is useful for women of all ages.
Chrysanthemum is a popular medicinal tea in China. It is also combined with black and oolong teas for its flavor, aroma, and because it is simply beautiful to look at when the dried flower opens up in hot water. Here are some of chrysanthemum’s health benefits:
- This dramatic flower is used in China to support and normalize blood pressure. It is used singly, or in combination with other herbs.
- Chrysanthemum is considered to be a tonic for the eyes. In Asia, chrysanthemum tea is consumed to strengthen vision, balance the moisture of the eyes, and to reduce redness and irritation.
- During cold and flu season, chrysanthemum is taken as a tea alone or blended with other herbs for cough, cold, sinus congestion, sore throat, and fever
- Because chrysanthemum has a cooling effect on the body, it is considered to be an anti-aging tea in China. Excess heat can lead to inflammation, which is stressful for the body.
Wishing you radiant health,