Unfolding the petal-perfect virtues of edible flowers


A current evaluation article revealed within the journal Foods describes the well being advantages and different helpful traits of various flowering vegetation.

Study: Exploring Plants with Flowers: From Therapeutic Nutritional Benefits to Innovative Sustainable Uses. Image Credit: Shan 16899 / Shutterstock.com


The use of edible flowers has elevated considerably in recent times, primarily due to their dietary and medicinal properties. Flowers are wealthy sources of many bioactive compounds, together with carotenoids, phenolic compounds, nutritional vitamins C and E, saponins, and phytosterols.

As an alternate meals supply, flowers considerably contribute to meals safety and environmental sustainability. Nevertheless, some flowers may additionally include poisonous substances, thus making them not appropriate for consumption.

Many post-harvest therapies, together with refrigeration, crystallization, lyophilization or freeze-drying, sugar canning, and preservation in distillates, have been developed to extend the shelf-life and high quality of flowers. Despite these developments, edible flowers are primarily bought contemporary and chilled with out another post-harvest therapies.

Nutrients and bioactive compounds in edible flowers

The recognition of edible flowers is growing due to their dietary and well being advantages. Evidence signifies that the consumption of some edible flowers can present every day really helpful quantities of sure minerals, together with magnesium, phosphorous, and potassium. However, boiling some flowers might cut back their mineral content material.

Different components of flowers include completely different quantities of vitamins. Pollen, for instance, has excessive quantities of proteins, amino acids, carbohydrates, and lipids.

Nectar has balanced quantities of sugars, amino acids, proteins, inorganic ions, lipids, natural acids, and alkaloids. Petals and different components of flowers function potential sources of nutritional vitamins, minerals, and bioactive compounds.

Phenolic compounds and carotenoids are the main bioactive compounds present in flowers. Recent proof signifies that about 60% and 54% of recognized edible flowers include carotenoids and phenolic compounds, respectively. However, it has been noticed that flowers containing excessive quantities of carotenoids don’t usually include excessive quantities of phenolic compounds and vice versa.

Flavonols, corresponding to quercetin, kaempferol, isorhamnetin, myricetin, and their derivatives, are the primary class of flavonoids present in flowers. Flavones corresponding to luteolin, apigenin, acacetin, and chrysoeriol are the second main class of flavonoids. Among phenolic acids, chlorogenic acid, caffeic acid, caffeoylquinic acid, protocatechuic acid, and gallic acid are present in edible flowers.

Hydroxy xanthophylls and xanthophylls containing hydroxyl and epoxide teams are the commonest varieties of carotenoids present in edible flowers. Provitamin A carotenes and colorless carotene phytoene can be present in flowers. In Renealmia alpinia (Rottb.) Maas, a medicinal plant usually present in rainforests in Mexico, extraordinarily excessive quantities of provitamin A carotenes have been reported.

Health advantages of edible flowers

Bioactive compounds current in edible flowers are related to many well being advantages, together with antioxidants, anti-inflammatory, anticancer, anti-obesity, hepatoprotective, neuroprotective, gastroprotective, antidiarrheal, anti-microbial, antispasmodic, analgesic, and astringent properties.

About 97% of recognized edible flowers are related to therapeutic properties. Specifically, about 32%, 26%, and 14% of flowers have been recognized to have immunomodulatory, anti-microbial, and gastro-protective properties, respectively.

Previous in vitro research have noticed excessive antioxidant exercise in begonias, roses, backyard nasturtiums, daylily, calendula, Japanese rose, Daurian rose, daylily, and chrysanthemum. Furthermore, many edible flowers, together with hibiscus, rose, chrysanthemum, tagetes, cosmos, coral vine, lesser bougainvillea, jasmine, honeysuckle rose, cassia fistula, chives, calendula, and pomegranate flowers exhibit anticancer results in opposition to a variety of cancers together with these affecting the liver, colon, mind, pores and skin, bladder, prostate, and breast.

Chrysanthemums. Image Credit: Old Man Stocker / Shutterstock

Chrysanthemums. Image Credit: Old Man Stocker / Shutterstock

Anti-inflammatory properties have been recognized in Roselle, Hangzhou white chrysanthemum, wild chrysanthemum, honeysuckle, and daylily flowers. Furthermore, anti-obesity results have been attributed to Roselle, magnolia, and waterlily flowers.

High ranges of lutein and zeaxanthin, each carotenoids, have been detected within the petals of tagete flowers. These carotenoids are recognized to have protecting results in opposition to ocular pathologies, corresponding to age-related ocular degeneration.  

Other advantages of flowers

Food manufacturing accounts for about 40% of land use and 70% of freshwater use, that are important obstacles to attaining a sustainable ecosystem. Contamination of soil and water attributable to human actions is one other main drawback within the context of meals manufacturing and safety.

Phytoremediation is a means of utilizing vegetation to take away contaminants and pollution from the atmosphere. Plant roots can take in and immobilize heavy metals present in soil, which might then be transformed into unstable types and launched into the environment via stomata, a course of in any other case referred to as phyto-volatilization.      

Plants may also degrade soil pollution via phyto-degradation or rhizodegadation via using enzymes or soil contaminants utilizing microorganisms within the rhizosphere, respectively. Phyto-extraction is one other essential strategy usually used for business purposes.   

In the textile business, flower-derived dyes are gaining recognition due to the potential environmental and well being hazards related to artificial dyes. Recent proof signifies that flowers like jasmine and saffron purple petals can be utilized to provide bioethanol and an environmentally pleasant additive for bentonite-based drilling fluids, respectively.

Porous carbon nanosheets could be produced by carbonizing paper flowers. These supplies can be utilized in power storage and dye elimination.

Journal reference:

  • Coyago-Cruz, E., Moya, M., Mendez, G., et al. (2023). Exploring Plants with Flowers: From Therapeutic Nutritional Benefits to Innovative Sustainable Uses. Foods. doi:10.3390/foods12224066 


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here