||Flavor & Energetics
|America elderberry (Sambucus canadenis)
||Very strong immune stimulant to fight against “infirmities.” Elderberry has been used for centuries as a food, tonic and medicine. Check out my blog on the use of its berries for colds and flu.
||Classically made into wine, vinegars and syrups for the winter months. Blossoms can be pickled in salt or dried.
|Anise hyssop (Agastache foeniculum)
||Licorice like. Opens the Lungs, Heart and chest. Use for asthma, heart problems and immunity. Avoid if you have high blood pressure.
||Desserts and teas.
|Apple blossom (Malus)
||Sweet and floral. Apple itself enters Stomach, Spleen and Heart, so I imagine apple blossom has similar properties.
||Add to tea, berry desserts, honey and summer wines.
|Arugula (Eruca satvia)
||Spicy, slightly sweet and warming. Has a peppery, nut like flavor.
||Add to salads or grain salad dishes.
|Basil (Ocimum basilicum)
||Spicy, sweet and bitter. Astringes and restores. Useful in Lung and Qi deficiencies.
||Add to cucumber and tomato salads or serve with the leaves in pesto and sauces.
|Bergamot (Monarda didyma)
||Bold orange flavor, however, this is not the plant that is used to flavor Earl Grey – that’s Bergamot orange. Strong tea and citrus flavor.
||Use in jams, jellies, over summer fruits.
|Borage (Borago officinalis)
||Cucumber like flavor. Borage has been used throughout history to increase courage and boldness.
||Salad and dressings, pickles, iced beverages, blends with mint and dill well. Add to herbed dips.
|Calendula & Marigold (Calendula officinalis)
||Bitter, salty, sweet and spicy. Stimulates, tonifies Heart Qi, clears toxins, reduces inflammation, promotes bile flow, moves blood, regulates menses, removes infection.
||Add to salads or try it in marigold muffins, or on a saute of summer vegetables.
|Caraway (Carum Carvi)
||The famous flavoring for rye bread. Pungent, warming and aids digestion.
||Add to soups, salads and stews. Pairs well with beef, cheese and savory flavors.
|Chamomile (Chamemelum nobile)
||Light apple and fruity flavor. Calming, antispasmodic, anti-inflammatory. Eases cramps, spasm and indigestion. Chamomile’s gentle nature works well with young and old.
||Lovely in teas.
|Chervil (Anthriscus cerfolium)
||Warming, increases yang and Qi. Subtle and delicate mix of parsley and anise.
||Add to steamed or scrambled eggs, serve on fish.
|Chicory (Cichorium intybus)
||Warm, spicy and pungent. Chicory root often appears roasted in coffee substitutes that are beautiful for Liver nourishing and cleansing.
||Gorgeous delicate blue flowers that close at mid-day. Add to salads.
|Chive (Allium schoenoprasum)
||Warm, pungent, astringing and draining. It has a light garlicky flavor and can be used as gentler substitute for garlic for those who can’t handle garlic’s intense nature.
||Add to salads, garnish grilled meats and vegetables and pea soup!
|Chrysanthemum (Chrysanthemum coranarium)
||Bitter, pungent, clears the orifices of head – that means it clears the sinuses, the eyes, ears and throat. Have a headache? Consider chrysanthemum.
||Use as a garnish on sweet and light dishes. It’s flavor isn’t the greatest.
|Citrus blossoms (Citrus lemon or orange)
||Light, citrus flavor. Sweet and sour. Moves qi, drains dampness, stimulates the Liver and lifts spirits.
||Use in teas, wines , sauces , jams and jellies. Pairs well with vegetables, chicken and fish.
|Cornflower (Centauria cyanus)
||Bachelor’s buttons. Sweet and spicy, they actually taste a little of cloves
|Coriander (Coriander sativum)
||Spicy, warming, moves qi, blood and builds yang.
||Add to salsa and use in Middle Eastern and Mexican dishes.
|Dandelion (Taraxacum officinalis)
||Sweet, spicy and earthy. Have a faint mushroom like flavor. Drains excess fluids and heat from Bladder and Kidney. Strong Liver stimulant.
||Use in wine, teas, or make into fritters.
|Daylily (Hemerocallis spp.)
||Sweet, light and crisp. Reminiscent of lettuce to floral. They vary greatly depending on the soil.
||Dried blossoms are added to Asian soups, rice, and stir fry. Add fresh blossoms to pasta , or serve as fritters or tempura.
|Dianthus (Dianthus spp.)
||Strong floral flavor.
||Add to salads, or garnish cakes and desserts.
|Dill (Anthum graveolens)
||Sour, spicy, salty and slightly sweet. Stimulates digestion and settles the stomach. Useful for colicky babies.
||Wonderful in savory foods. Eggs, potatoes, dips, roots and squash, fish, soups, stews
|English Daisy (Bellis perennis)
||Spicy, peppery and tangy. Reminds me of arugula.
||Salads, garnish for grilled foods or add to grain dishes.
|Fennel (Foeniculum vulgare)
||Sweet and spicy. Tastes like licorice, nourishes Kidney yang, warming. Aids in digestion, relaxes and relieves spasms.
||Middle Eastern dishes, stew, lentils, and grains. Also great in desserts. Gorgeous in potato salad with artichokes.
|Forsythia (Forsythia Japanica)
||There are a dozen or so species of forsythia and their berries are used in many herbal formulas to help relieve lung congestion and bronchial conditions. Sweet, spicy and slightly bitter, they taste a little like bright bright lettuce leaves.
||Use in salads or toss on teas.
|Gardenia (Gardenia jasminoides)
||Light, sweet and very strong floral scent and flavor.
||Teas, sweet wines and desserts.
|Gladiolus (Gladdiolus sppl)
||Light, like leaf lettuce. Use quickly as they will wilt quickly after they are removed from their stock.
||Very delicate texture, use in fresh vegetable dishes.
|Grape Hyacinth (Muscari)
||Sweet and light. Make cute little fritters for Easter.
||Garnish for desserts.
|Hibiscus (Hibiscus rosa-sinensis)
||Fruity; nourishes Yin and fluids, treats excess heat conditions. I use it regularly in the warmer months to fight off heat exhaustion and agitation caused by heat in the Heart.
||Gorgeous in teas and light desserts like berries.
|Hollyhock (Alcea rosea)
||Bland. Pretty boring really.
|Honeysuckle (Lonicera japonica)
||Honeysuckle berries are poisonous. The flowers have a sweet, floral flavor and open the sinuses and help relieve infection in the eyes and nose.
||Salads, grain dishes or light pastas.
|Jasmine (Jasminum sambac)
||Very sweet, delicate and floral.
||Wines, waters, syrups and desserts.
|Lavender (Lavendula spp.)
||Floral, sweet, slightly spicy. Lavender is a nervine an relaxes smooth muscles. Use to treat anxiety, and relieve pain. It’s a regulatory herb and can be used with excess or deficiency patterns.
||Wines, teas, syrups and dessert. Check out the Berries in Lavender.
|Lemon Verbena (Aloysia triphylla)
||Sweet and sour. Stimulates and soothes the Liver, aids digestion. Calms the nerves. The English use it as a mild sedative similar to a weak form of of valium.
||Tea and sweet desserts.
|Lilac (Syringa vulgaris)
||Sweet, very floral and lightly lemony flavor
||Gorgeous crystalized and on cake or added to teas and wines.
|Lovage (Levisticum officinale)
||Used for Stomach and headaches and to improve Kidney functioning.
||Lovage loves roots, chicken and stuffings and creamy soups.
|Marjoram (Origanum marjora)
||Warming, savory and spicy. Moves Qi and blood, stimulates Yang and builds strength.
||Salads, roasts, stews, marinades and dressings. use with all meats, vegetables and savory foods.
|Mint (Mentha species)
Catnip, peppermint, spearmint, etc.
|All mints aid the Liver. Sweet, spicy and usually in the cool category, the move Qi and blood, aid digestion and lift the spirit.
||Use in teas, jams, jellies, desserts and to accompany strong savory flavors like lamb.
|Mustard (Brassica spp)
||Very spicy and warm. Waring and stimulating. Use with caution as some people may break out with rashes.
||Garnish savory dishes and meats.
|Nasturtium (Tropaeolum majus)
||Peppery, bright and spicy flavor.
||Try filling blossoms with guacamole and serving on slices of jicama
|Pea blossoms (Pisum ssp)
||These are from the edible pea varieties. Flowering peas are poisonous. Taste pretty much just like peas. Sweet and very yin nourishing.
||Add to salads and grain pilafs.
|Plum blossoms (Prunus mume)
||Sour and sweet. Stimulates digestion.
||Use in vinegars, wines and teas.
|Radish (Raphanus sativus)
||Spicy, clearing and decongesting. Useful for aiding in digestion and clearing out phlegm.
||Use in salads, with roots, squash and soups.
|Red clover (Trifolium paratense)
||Tastes like clover. Maybe useful in asthma and hot flashes. Blood thinner and cleanser. Used in cancer treatments.
||Made into teas, infusions and tinctures.
|Rose (Rosa rugosa)
||Sweet and very floral. Clears congestion around the Heart and in the chest. Helps regulate the heart rate . The stronger the fragrance the stronger the flavor. Remove the white tip of the petals that are bitter.
||Teas, wines, syrups, and sweet meals. Make into sweet, savory marinades and sauces.
|Rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis)
||Spicy, sweet and savory. Has a pine-like flavor. Aids digestion, clears phlegm and mucus.
||Mediterranean dishes, wines, marinades, vinegars, oils. What isn’t lovely with rosemary?
|Runner beans (Phaseolus coccineous)
||Sweet, bean and nectar flavor.
||Great on salads.
|Sage (Salvia officinalis)
||Earthy and musty flavor. Taste like the variety of sage that it comes from. Eat only in small amounts.
||Garnish for savory or Mediterranean style dishes.
|Scented geranium (Pelargonium spp)
||Avoid citronella variety. Variety flavors vary from mint to lemon.
||Garnish desserts and teas.
|Squash blossoms (Cucurbita pepo–zuccini blossoms)
||Sweet like nectar.
||Add to light soups just before serving. Fritter or add to grains and pastas
|Sweet woodruff (Galium odoratum)
||Sweet and very delicate
||Delish on fresh berries and cream.
|Thyme (Thymus vulgaris)
||Sweet, lemony and slightly pine-like. Warming, stimulating and relaxing. Read more about thyme here.
||Mediterranean dishes, savory foods, meats, fishes, marinades, oils.
||Light, sweet and nectar like. Enters the Heart and regulates blood. Read more here.
||Desserts and wines., oiles and waters.
||Petals only edible. Bright, fresh flavor.
||Try them braised with vegetables.