Can Eating Flowers Ward Off Disease?

Sounds a little too new-agey for me.  But a new study has found that eating certain kinds of flowers could ward off chronic disease.

Newswise.com reports that some edible flowers, which have been used in the culinary arts in China for centuries, contain phenolics that have been correlated with anti-inflammatory activity and a reduced risk of cardiovascular disease and certain cancers.

"The findings of this study show that common edible flowers have the potential to be used as an additive in food to prevent chronic disease, help health promotion and prevent food oxidization," the Web site notes
However, the antioxidant mechanisms, the anti-tumor, anti-inflammation and anti-aging activity of the edible flower extracts still need to be further studied to develop more applications as natural antioxidants.
Here are some of the flowers, and diseases they might prevent, according to The Times of India:
Apple and Orange Blossoms: They're clearly the most popular among edible flowers, even though the benefits are unknown. However, they should be had in small quantities.

Chamomile: Known for its calming effects, chamomile is often used in tea. It is believed to have anti-inflammatory, anti-carcinogenic and wound-healing properties.

Hibiscus: Often used as garnish in salads, hibiscus or shoe flower can also be brewed as tea. Known to contain anthocyanins and antioxidants, they are also said to lower blood pressure and cholesterol levels.

Lavender: This fragrant flower is used as a flavor in ice-creams and yogurts. However, it also acts as an antiseptic and can also be used to get rid of dandruff.

Peony: The peony can also alleviate depression.

Jasmine: A fragrant flower, it's usually blended with green tea and added to salads. It is said to have anti-carcinogenic and anti-viral properties.

Marigolds
Popularly known as genda phool in India, the Chinese are known to use marigolds in tea. The flower is also used topically to heal wounds. The flower is also said to be high on the pigment lutein, also known as eye vitamin, which is necessary to keep eye diseases at bay.



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