June 12, 2019
With Summer, the season of Fire upon us, we only need to step out our doors to see the reminder everywhere: Summer is the season of Flowering. We see this in the beauty of our gardens and the bright wildflowers that are still so alive in our local hills. The Nei Jing tells us that the movement of Summer is growth and flowering. Of all the parts of a plant, flowers pertain most to the Fire element. They are light and yang in nature, they lift and brighten our spirits and bring us joy. Flowers in TCM are mostly used to affect the upper parts of the body, where the shen (spirit) resides. Their fragrance is opening and moving.
Many of our local flowers can be eaten as food, and including them in a meal can be a beautiful way of attuning to the Summer season and the Fire element. These include:
Nasturtium– these bright and spicy flowers make a beautiful salad garnish and can also be made into Nasturtium pesto.
Borage– the beautiful blue star-shaped flowers can be sprinkled atop salads, or used in soups and dressings.
Rose (mei gui hua)- Rose has an affinity for the Liver and Pericardium and sweetens any experience. It can be made into Rosewater, Jam, Chutney, Milks, and Butters.
Hibiscus– the petals can be eaten fresh as a cooling treat on a hot day or made into sun tea.
Honeysuckle (jin yin hua)- calms inflammation can be infused in honey and served with a little mint. Or use it to flavor yogurt or sauces.
Lavender– calms the spirit and relaxes the mind, can be included in baked goods, chocolates, and Milks of all kind.