Flower Power: Remedies from Your Flower Bed
When others look at flowers, they see beauty or enjoy the scents. When I look at them, I see remedies, as well. There are many of these delicate petals that have properties that can be beneficial. Here are a few that might be in your flower bed come Spring.
The flower of this plant is often used to help heal bruises, sprains and other injuries.
It should never be taken internally, but prepared properly it can be useful as a topical treatment. I do recommend you use caution should you decide to try it on your own. If the preparation is too strong or it’s left on for a long time, it can cause irritation and blisters on the skin.
Externally, the flowers can be good for skin irritations and may have mild antiseptic properties. Internally, it is often suggested for breathing difficulties and digestive problems. It is considered safe for most people, though few studies have been done on it.
If you like beer or live near a brewery, you have probably smelled hops. It is a key ingredient in the beverage. The flowers have been used for centuries to help those suffering from insomnia get a good night’s rest. It can be taken internally, or a small hop pillow can be used. There are some side effects and herb/drug interactions, so check with you doctor and pharmacist before using this herb.
Next to roses, this has to be my favorite flower. The scent is subtle and the taste mild. It is used both in aromatherapy and herbal remedies to help relax and de-stress. It is milder than hops, but it still has some interactions. It may be a bad idea to give this herb to growing boys, as studies indicate that it may cause breast growth.
The flowers of this tree have a rich, sweet taste that can mask some of the more bitter herbs used for herbal remedies. It may also relieve breathing problems, coughing and acts as a mild sedative. There may be diuretic properties, increasing urine production. There are a few interactions, including so-called “water pills.”
Another name for the variety of marigold used in home remedies is calendula. It is an excellent antiseptic, used to clean wounds and prevent infection. While some recommend it be taken internally for other purposes, this may not be a good idea.
As with any herbal remedy, you should speak to your doctor and pharmacist before using these flowers. This will help you avoid any side effects, interactions and/or intolerance. You may wish to consult a qualified herbal practitioner, as well. We can help explain preparation and dosing instructions.