Ask The Pharmacist: Give your Valentine a healing bouquet of flowers
For Valentine’s Day, I know most of us ladies want some chocolate. I love chocolate myself, the darker the better. You don’t need me to tell you about the health benefits of dark chocolate, there are probably 100 posts about it being uploaded as I write this. So this year, I am thinking outside the “Moonstruck” box!
Let’s consider another traditional standby, flowers. Not just any flowers, flowers with medicinal power. You see, many of these beautiful and sweet-smelling plants are also powerful healers that deserve a place on your natural medicine cabinet. You can put together a healing ‘bouquet’ of remedies made out of flowers. It’s creative and sure to win a special space in your Valentine’s heart, especially if he or she is into health and wellness. Here are some ideas to build your bouquet:
This is a sweet little white flower with a big yellow center that, when dried and steeped as tea, is also a widely-hailed sedative. Add a box of chamomile tea, to help you and your Valentine unwind and fall asleep together.
This popular garden plant is hardy and has great antiviral properties. It is known to help you reduce symptoms and shorten the duration of colds and flu. A 2015 study by researchers in the Czech Republic found that a hot drink made of Echinacea extracts was as effective as Tamiflu at reducing flu symptoms, with far fewer side effects.
It’s everyone’s Valentine favorite! Consider rosewater, which is created when rose petals are steam distilled. The end result is a beautiful smelling rose toner that I use to spritz my face … like all the time! Rose hips have anti-inflammatory properties, so in addition to smelling divine, it’s good for reducing facial redness, whether from acne, rosacea, cold weather or dry skin.
Rose hips are the fruit of rose bushes and these little scarlet, globe-shaped beauties are packed with vitamin C! I keep them right beside the stove, and steep 2 teaspoons to the water which I use for green tea. It adds a strong antioxidant boost and makes my skin more youthful. You can buy dried rose hips at most health food stores and online.
Lavender is a tiny purple flower that packs a healing punch. Put a half cup in the middle of a pretty handkerchief and tie up the ends to make your Valentine a sachet. At night, take a shower and sprinkle some of the essential oil onto your shower floor. A 2015 study found that dialysis patients reported a significant reduction in needle insertion pain over patients who had no intervention or who received a placebo.
So go make your lover a beautiful bouquet, and choose your flowers wisely based upon their medicinal purpose. From now on, Valentine’s or not, you will always think of flowers with a new healing perspective. Unlike chocolate, they don’t go straight to your thighs.
Suzy Cohen is a registered pharmacist. The information presented here is not intended to treat, cure or diagnose any condition. Visit SuzyCohen.com.