NEW! Pharmacopeia of Flowers: Foods, Drinks, Health & Beauty
Flower Petal Teas
Tea |tē| noun
1 a hot drink made by infusing the dried, crushed leaves of the tea plant in boiling water.
• the dried leaves used to make such a drink.
• (also iced tea) such a drink served cold with ice cubes.
• [usu. with adj.] a hot drink made from the infused leaves, fruits, or flowers of other plants : herbal tea | fruit teas.
2 (also tea plant) the evergreen shrub or small tree that produces these leaves, native to South and eastern Asia and grown as a major cash crop.
• Camellia sinensis, family Theaceae.
3 chiefly Brit. a light afternoon meal consisting typically of tea to drink, sandwiches, and cakes.
• Brit. a cooked evening meal. See also high tea.
4 informal another term for marijuana.
ORIGIN mid 17th cent.: probably via Malay from Chinese (Min dialect) te; related to Mandarin chá. Compare with char 3.
44 Different Types of Teas
Making Flower Petal Tea:
- 2 cups fresh fragrant rose petals (about 15 large roses)*
- 3 cups distilled rosewater
- Honey or granulated sugar to taste
*All roses that you intend to consume must be free of pesticides. Do not eat flowers from florists, nurseries, or garden centers. In many cases these flowers have been treated with pesticides not labeled for food crops. The tastiest roses are usually the most fragrant.
- Clip and discard bitter white bases from the rose petals; rinse petals thoroughly and Pat dry.
- In a small saucepan over medium-high heat, place the prepared rose petals.
- Cover with water and bring just to a simmer; let simmer for approximately 5 minutes, or until the petals become discolored (darkened).
- Remove from heat and strain the hot rose petal liquid into teacups.
- Add honey or sugar to taste.
- Makes 4 servings.
Rose Petal Iced Tea
Ingredients Serves 4-6
- 3 large roses (petals only, white bases removed)
- 3 cups water
- 1/2 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
- 2 cups water
- 2 teaspoons rose water
- 1 drop pink food coloring (just a TINY DROP)
- 3 green tea bags
- 3 tablespoons granulated sugar
- Bring the 3 cups water to a boil.
- Add the rose petals and lemon juice then turn off the heat and allow it to sit for 8-10 hours.
- Strain the 'rose water' into large jug. Remove petals & discard.
- Bring the 2 cups of water to a boil, remove from heat and add the tea bags.
- Brew for 5 minutes.
- Remove the tea bags, and add the granulated sugar to the tea. Stir.
- Allow the tea to cool then add the 2 tsp rose water, the food colouring and stir.
- Serve well chilled over ice.
Hibiscus Flower Drinks & Beverages
Hibiscus tea made from hibiscus flowers is known by many names in many countries around the world and is served both hot and cold. Hibiscus beverage is well known for its color, tanginess and flavor.
It is known as bissap in West Africa, karkadé in Egypt and Sudan, flor de Jamaica in Mexico, "agua de Jamaica" in Honduras, gudhal (गुड़हल) in India and gongura in Brazil. Some refer to it as roselle, a common name for the hibiscus flower.
Hibiscus tea is a tisane or "herbal tea" consumed both hot and cold by people around the world. The drink is an infusion made from crimson or deep magenta-coloured calyces (sepals) of the Hibiscus sabdariffa flower.
It is also referred to as roselle (another common name for the hibiscus flower) or rosella (Australian), flor de Jamaica in Latin America, karkadé in Jordan, Egypt and Sudan, Chai Kujarat in Iraq, Chai Torsh in Iran, gumamela in the Philippines, bissap, tsoborodo or wonjo in West Africa, sorrel in Jamaica and Trinidad and Tobago, red sorrel in the wider Caribbean, and other names in other regions, including the U.S., where it is sometimes known as simply Jamaica.
Hibiscus tea has a tart, cranberry-like flavor, and sugar is often added to sweeten the beverage. The tea contains vitamin C and minerals and is used traditionally as a mild medicine. In west Sudan a white hibiscus flower is favored for its bitter taste and is not for sale, but for the use of the owners family and their guests.
Hibiscus tea contains 15-30% organic acids, including citric acid, malic acid, and tartaric acid. It also contains acidic polysaccharides and flavonoid glycosides, such as cyanidin and delphinidin, that give it its characteristic deep red colour.
Lavender Flower Drinks & Beverages
Lavender has many uses, among them adding a distinct flavor to chocolates and drinks. Many times, lavender is used as a beautiful detail in champagne. A light floral flavor adds a unique taste to your drinks. Lavender also has calming qualities and is often used in teas with chamomile flowers and honey.
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 cup water
- 1/2 cup mint leaves
- 1 large handful of lavender stems (leaves & flowers)
- 1–2 Tablespoons of dried lavender flowers
- 1 cup fresh lemon juice
- 1/4 cup fresh lime juice
- Create a sugar syrup by bringing water and sugar to a boil. Remove from heat and add in the mint and lavender. When the syrup is cool, add the lemon and lime juice.
- Strain syrup and pour into a pitcher along with 5-8 cups of cold water. Add enough water to suit your tastes. I like a lot of water, so I usually fill up my pitcher with the full amount. Serve over lots of ice and decorate with fresh mint and a few extra springs of lavender.
Chamomile Drinks & Beverages
Long revered as a calming beverage, chamomile has powers extending far beyond simple relaxation.
For tea or liquid-based recipes, steep fresh or dried chamomile at least 10 minutes to bring out all the flavor.
You can also simply mix cooled chamomile tea with fruit juice for a refreshing spritzer or keep a pitcher of chamomile-infused lemonade in the fridge. That way, when you come home after a long, hot day, you can pour yourself a glass, let go of that stress, and just… chill.
The ancient Egyptians, Greeks, and Romans had divergent cultures spanning several millennia, but they had one thing in common: chamomile tea, their go-to potion for frayed nerves. It seems the ancients were spot-on - research indicates that apigenin, an antianxiety agent found in the delicate daisy-like flower, binds to the same receptors in the brain as prescription sedatives.
What's more, sipping the faintly apple-flavored brew isn't the only way to get the benefit: When the calming effects of a full-body massage were tested on cancer patients using either plain or chamomile essential oil, "the chamomile group had significantly improved quality-of-life scores, decreased symptoms, and much less anxiety compared to the patients who were massaged with plain oil," says Jonny Bowden, PhD, CNS, author of The Most Effective Natural Cures on Earth.
Chamomile Ginger Tea
Steep 1 tsp ginger root with 1 tbs Chamomile tea. Strain and sweet with local honey.
If chamomile is not your cup of tea, this refreshing lemonade is a great new way to give the flower a try.
- ¾ cup cane sugar
- 2 Tbs. grated lemon zest
- 5 Tbs. fresh or dried chamomile flowers, or 6 chamomile tea bags
- ¾ cup lemon juice
- Lemon slices, for garnish
- Combine sugar, lemon zest, and 2 cups water in saucepan.
- Bring to a boil, stirring to dissolve sugar.
- Remove from heat, and add chamomile flowers.
- Strain chamomile mixture into 2-qt. pitcher; stir in lemon juice and 3 cups water.
- Serve over ice with lemon slices, or store, covered, in refrigerator up to 5 days.
Safron Crocus Flower Drinks & Beverages
Scientists know that Egyptian physicians were using saffron as a digestive around 1600 BC. Most probably, the origin is Iran or Greece (from "krokos").
Saffron is also one of the more exotic ingredients in several Italian liqueurs. Strega Herbal Liqueur, produced in Benevento, Italy since the mid-1800s, consists of about 70 herbal ingredients, bottled at 80 proof. It has a strong mint or coniferous taste, and is used to flavor torta caprese, a traditional Italian chocolate and almond or walnut cake named for the island of Capri, where it originated. Fernet Branca is a bitter, aromatic spirit made with dozens of herbs, including saffron. It dates to the mid-1800s and is bottled at 86 proof. Its base is grape alcohol. Fernet Branca is commonly added to coffee and espresso drinks, and it is also considered an excellent hangover cure.
Fernet Branca is a bitter, aromatic spirit from Italy invented in Milan in 1845 by the Italian Maria Scala, married Branca, as a stomach medicine. Since then, the Fratelli Branca distillery produces the drink according to a secret family recipe with 27 herbs from five continents. According to the manufacturer Fernet Branca includes aloe from South Africa, rhubarb from China, gentian from France, galangal from India or Sri Lanka, chamomile from Italy and Argentina, saffron, myrrh and elderflower. Fernet Branca is aged at least one year in oak barrels. The alcohol content is 39 or 40%, in Italy and Austria 43%. The same manufacturer offers also a sweeter bitter, Brancamenta.
Made from a formula first developed in Italy in 1845, Fernet-Branca was originally marketed as a medicine to aid digestion, and over the years, it's been claimed to help everything from hangovers to cholera. Part of a larger family of Italian herbal liqueurs called amari (singular amaro, meaning "bitter"), Fernet-Branca is now one of several brands of fernet available on the international market (others include Fernet Stock and Luxardo Fernet Amaro), but remains the most iconically famous. The distiller Branca also makes a powerful mint-flavored liqueur called Branca-Menta. Fernet-Branca is especially popular in Argentina - and San Francisco.
On first sip, Fernet-Branca is just plain bitter. But let it settle on your tongue a moment and the full, dark complexity of its flavors really starts to shine. Made from a secret recipe that is said to include a combination of as many as 40 different botanicals, including roots, bark, herbs, and spices such as saffron and cardamom, Fernet-Branca has a whole lot going on in the taste department. There's something decidedly, well, medicinal about it, but also something surprisingly clean and bracing. It has a thicker, more syrupy texture than Campari, and, at 40% alcohol, packs a much boozier punch. It's a liqueur with a bite - and bark.
Saffron Milk with Basil Seeds
A perfect rejuvenating drink with many health benefits…
A pinch of saffron goes a long way. Saffron is derived from the stigma and styles of the Crocus flower and is the most expensive spice in the world. Gathering the stigmas from the flower is a labour intensive process and several thousands of stigmas are needed to make a few grams of saffron. Besides this, it has many health benefits and is excellent for treating asthma, depression, whooping cough and many other ailments.
Saffron is added in most of the Indian desserts, sweets and for garnishing Biryani's. A pinch of saffron when soaked in warm milk will release its golden color and aroma. It would instantly enhance the aroma and the flavor of any dish especially desserts.
A very common myth about saffron is that when saffron milk is regularly consumed, it would help in skin lightening. It's just saffron helps in improving the circulation of the blood and heals some skin problems, some people misunderstand that it helps to enhance the skin fairness.
My favorite spice is without any doubt saffron, I tend to add it to almost all desserts and sweets. One of my favorite ways of consuming saffron is by adding it to chilled milk. Saffron milk when drank at night would help to relaxe your body and you'll have a sound sleep. The other day when I made saffron milk, I also added basil seeds to it. Basil seeds when soaked in water would plum up and can be added to any drinks. It doesn't have any flavor but it soothes your body and mind and has a lot of medicinal properties.
Saffron and basil seeds when added to milk makes a very healthy and soothing drink.
"When I was a small child and was coming down with a cold or the flu, my mother would serve me warm milk with saffron. The saffron made the milk a bright yellow/orange color, which I thought was neat as a child. Saffron is thought to have medicinal properties and is often given to children who are ill in the Middle East and India. Consult your doctor before giving your child an herb for medicinal purposes."
This is a delicious nighttime beverage and is also terrific over ice for a cooler.
- 8 cups milk
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1-1/2 tablespoon saffron threads
Honey, Saffron & Ginger Champagne Cocktail
- 1 ounce of Honey and Saffron Liquor
- 1 tablespoon of Morris Kitchen Ginger Syrup
(or more if you like a lot of ginger)
- Champagne, chilled
- Flavored sugar (I used this Bourbon Smoked Sugar)
- A spring of thyme
- Dip the top edge of an upright Champagne glass in a bit of water. Whip off any big drops by shaking your wrist while holding the glass. Dip the top edge of that glass into the sugar.
- To the glass, add the liquor and the syrup. Fill the glass with Champagne. Garnish with the thyme.
- Drink. Make again and drink again!
Note: You could leave out the ginger syrup and still have a stellar cocktail. I consider the Honey and Saffron Liquor mixed with Champagne my cook's treat before dinner party guests arrive.
More Crocus Drinks & Beverages
- Organic Mediterranean beverage with Kozani crocus and rosemary: a blend of Aniseed, Fennel, Rosemary and Hibiscus, herbs traditionally used in the Mediterranean region to improve digestion.
- Organic aromatic beverage with Kozani crocus and sage: including Sage, Peppermint, Lemongrass, and Louisa, herbs used to relieve the common cold.
- Organic warming up beverage with Kozani crocus and spices: cinnamon mixture, cloves, hibiscus and orange peel, ideal for low temperatures. The herbs contained are traditionally known for their toning and warming properties.
- Organic black tea with Kozani crocus and lemon: hot or cold, is a blend of mint and lemon peel, rich in antioxidant ingredients, used as a stimulant - spasmolytic.
- Organic traditional beverage with Kozani crocus and honey: mixture of blackberries, orange, lemon and rose flowers, herbs known as natural sources of vitamin C.
Dandelion Flower Drinks & Beverages
- 3 quarts dandelion flowers
- 1 lb golden raisins
- 1 gallon water
- 3 lbs granulated sugar
- 2 lemons
- 1 orange
- yeast and nutrients
Pick fresh flowers, trim of stalk, if extra careful trim off all green. Put flowers in a large bowl. Set aside one pint of water, bring the rest of a gallon to a boil. Pour the boiling water over the dandelion flowers and cover tightly with plastic wrap. Leave for two days, stirring twice daily.
Pour flowers and water in large pot and bring to a low boil. Add sugar and the peeling of the citrus (peel thinly and avoid any white pith.). Low boil for one hour, pour into fermenter. Add the juice and pulp of the citrus. Allow to cool. Add yeast and yeast nutrient, cover, and put in a warm place for three days. Strain and pour into secondary fermenter. Add raisins and fit fermentation lock. Strain and rack after wine clears, adding water to top up. Leave until fermentation stops completely, rack again. Two months later rack and bottle. Age six months to a year.
Dandelion and Burdock Beer
- 1 lb Young Nettles
- 4 oz. Dandelion leaves
- 4 oz. Burdock root, fresh, sliced
- 2 oz. Dried burdock root, sliced
- 1/2 oz. Ginger root, bruised
- 2 each Lemons
- 1 gallon water
- 1 lb + 4 t. soft brown sugar
- 1 oz. Cream of tartar
- Brewing yeast (see label for amount)
Dandelion and burdock beer preparation:
- Put the nettles, dandelion leaves, burdock, ginger and thinly pared rinds of the lemons into a large pan. Add the water.
- Bring to a boil and simmer for 30 mins.
- Put the lemon juice from the lemons, 1 lb. sugar and cream of tartar into a large container and pour in the liquid thru a strainer, pressing down well on the nettles and other ingredients.
- Stir to dissolve the sugar.
- Cool to room temperature.
- Sprinkle in the yeast.
- Cover the beer and leave it to ferment in a warm place for 3 days.
- Pour off the beer and bottle it, adding t. sugar per pint.
- Leave the bottles undisturbed until the beer is clear-about 1 week.
Dandelion Soft Drink
This recipe will make a strong syrup which will then need to be watered down with soda 1:4. Heat 1.5 litres of water in a pan, when boiling add:
- 2 teaspoons fine ground dandelion root
(Might need a mortar & pestle)
- 1.5 teaspoons fine ground burdock root
(Might need a mortar & pestle)
- 5x 50p sized slices of root ginger
- 1-1/2 star anise
- 1 teaspoon of citric acid
- Zest of an orange
Leave that little lot to simmer for 15-20 minutes, it will smell a lot like a health food shop, then strain through a tea towel, muslin isn't really fine enough. Whilst the liquid is still hot you need to dissolve about 750g sugar. If you prefer is sweeter or ‘not-sweeter' adjust the sugar. If you're finding the drink a bit flavourless simply add more sugar, it accentuates the flavours of the roots and anise.
In the summer mix it with plenty of ice and stir through borage flowers for the ultimate English soft drink! Enjoy.
Lady's Slipper Flower Root Tea
The lady's slipper orchid grows native to the northeastern United States and, according to Native Tech, gets its name from the moccasin-shaped flower grown on the end of its stalk. The Native Americans valued this flower for its medicinal uses, as did the early American colonisists. When dried and steeped as a tea, lady's slipper relieves a number of bodily ailments and is still used in holistic and herbal medicine.
The Cypripedium species has been used in native remedies for dermatitis, tooth aches, anxiety, headaches, as an antispasmodic, stimulant and sedative, depression. However the preferred species for use are C.caceolus and C.acaule, used as topical applications or tea.
Lady's slipper is a wildflower in the orchid family (Orchidaceae). Yellow lady's slipper (Cypripedium calceolus), named American valerian after Indian valerian (Valeriana wallichii), which comes from India, shares similar medical properties with pink lady's slipper. Once commonly used to treat various nervous disorders, it is a mild stimulant and is antispasmodic. Lady's slipper has been described in the folklore as a stimulant and a sedative, and no reports are currently available to confirm these opposite proposed actions. It is also often used to treat depression related to female problems. Having been almost wiped out by collectors for such medical use, it is now too rare to be used medically.
Pink lady's slipper (Cypripedium acaule) was considered a substitute for the preferred yellow lady's slipper as a medicinal plant. Used as a sedative and antispasmodic, it was substituted for the European valerian. It has also been used for male and female disorders.
Presently, there are no high quality human clinical trials available evaluating the safety and efficacy of lady's slipper. However, traditional users and some herbal experts suggest that more research may be warranted to investigate the antispasmodic and sedative/stimulant actions of lady's slipper.
Lady's Slipper Roots Tea Consumption
To brew your own lady's slipper infusion, add about 1 tsp. dried roots to 8 oz. boiling water. Let the mixture steep for 10 to 15 minutes and sweeten as you like. The brew can taste very bitter, so you may want to add a few spoonfuls of honey, agave nectar or another favorite sweetener.
Lady's slipper also comes in tincture form, which is a very concentrated distillate of the herbs. Since the tincture is so concentrated, only drip about 3ml of the tincture into hot water.
Lady's Slipper Roots Tea Dosage
According to Herbs 2000, you may take one cup of lady's slipper tea as needed throughout the day. The infusion is non-toxic, though you should always consult your doctor or a licensed herbalist before dosing yourself with herbs.
You can enjoy the tincture 3x a day. Again, consult your doctor before dosing yourself with the tincture.
Adults (18 years and older):
There is no proven safe or effective dose of lady's slipper. Traditionally, 2-4 grams dried rhizome/root or as tea (2-4 grams dried rhizome/root steeped in 150 milliliters of boiling water for 5-10 minutes, and then strained), has been used three times daily. A liquid extract (1:1 in 45% alcohol) of 2-4 milliliters has also been used three times daily. In capsule form, one or two 570-milligram capsules of 100% lady's slipper have been taken up to three times each day with water at mealtimes.
Children (younger than 18 years):
There is no proven safe or effective dose of lady's slipper in children, and use is not recommended.
Aloe Drinks & Beverages
Lots of people are already familiar with the many benefits of using Aloe Vera on the skin - for rashes, cuts, bruises, sunburn and so on. But not so many people know about the health benefits of drinking aloe vera juice.
Aloe vera juice is completely safe and it's very versatile. It's actually called an "adaptogen" because it literally adapts to the body's needs. Many of the benefits of drinking aloe vera juice stem from the fact that it naturally contains so many different nutrients: vitamins, minerals, amino acids and other trace elements.
These are all perfectly balanced in a proportion that is ideally suited for the body to utilize effectively for its own healing and repair. So it's not quite true that aloe vera juice is a miracle cure. It's more that it contains so much nutrition that's vital for the body to heal itself…
Here, in no particular order, is a guide to the top ten health benefits of drinking aloe vera juice:
1. Detox: Aloe vera juice is a great natural aid to detox. With our stressful lives, the pollution around us and the junk foods we eat, we all need to cleanse our systems from time to time. Some people more often than others! Drinking aloe vera juice provides a fantastically rich cocktail of vitamins, minerals and trace elements to help our bodies deal with these stresses and strains everyday.
2. Healthy Digestion: A healthy digestive system makes sure that we absorb as many of the nutrients as possible from the foods we eat. Aloe vera juice has natural detoxifying abilities; and drinking aloe vera juice seems to improve bowel regularity and increases protein absorption. It also helps to decrease the amount of unfriendly bacteria and yeast in our gut. Aloe vera has been shown to help reduce and soothe heartburn and other digestive problems.
3. Natural Immune Support: Aloe vera is full of anti-oxidants – natural immune enhancers which fight free radicals within our body. Free radicals are the unstable compounds produced as a side-effect of our metabolism. They are thought to cause various ailments, as well as contributing to the ageing process. Drinking aloe vera juice regularly gives the body a regular supply of anti-oxidants, which can boost and enhance the immune system.
4. Reduce Inflammation: Aloe vera juice contains 12 substances which can slow down or inhibit inflammation, without any side-effects. Some people say that drinking aloe vera juice helps with their stiff, swollen or painful joints.
5. Collagen and Elastin Repair for Healthy Skin: Drinking aloe vera juice adds a rich supply of raw materials to your diet, which can produce and maintain really healthy skin. The skin replaces itself every 28 days. Using the nutritional building blocks of aloe vera, the skin can use these nutrients daily to help combat the effects of ageing. Aloe vera also helps in soothing minor burns, cuts, scrapes and skin irritations.
6. Regulate Weight & Energy Levels: Drinking aloe vera juice naturally allows the body to cleanse the digestive system. Our diets include many substances which can cause fatigue and exhaustion. Taken regularly, aloe vera juice ensures a greater feeling of well-being, allowing energy levels to increase and helps maintain a healthy body weight.
7. Daily Dose of Vitamins & Minerals: Aloe vera juice contains vitamins A, B1, B2, B6, B12 (the aloe vera plant is one of the few plants in the world to contain vitamin B12), C, E, Folic Acid and Niacin. The human body cannot store some of these vitamins, so we need to supplement them regularly through our diet. The minerals found in aloe vera include Calcium, Sodium, Iron, Potassium, Copper, Zinc, Manganese, Magnesium, Chromium and more… Plenty of good nutrition in aloe vera juice!
8. Amino Acids: The human body requires 20 amino acids to build protein; 8 of these amino acids are ‘essential' which means the body can't make them itself. Aloe vera contains 19 of these amino acids, and 7 of the essential amino acids. So drinking aloe vera juice tops up your body's daily supply.
9. Dental Health: Aloe vera is extremely helpful for your mouth and gums. As well as its natural anti-bacterial and anti-microbial actions, it contains vitamins and minerals which promote cell growth and healing. There are some aloe vera toothgels available which contain a high level of pure aloe vera, which may help with bleeding gums and mouth ulcers.
10. Better than Nutritional Supplements: Recent research has shown that adding good foods to our diets, rich in naturally occurring vitamins and minerals, is far better than adding supplements alone. The good news is that Aloe Vera juice is considered a food, rather than a manufactured supplement. So drinking aloe vera juice is probably better than taking supplements alone, because our bodies can absorb all the nutrients in aloe vera more easily, and utilize them more effectively.
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