Hello, everyone! Let’s dive into the exciting world of dehydrating summer flowers. This is part of an ongoing article about dehydrating various types of plants and herbs.
If you’re interested in exploring more about this, check out this and this and this. As always, in each article, I aim to provide useful tips and insights on the art of dehydrating.
In this article:
Key Points [TL; DR]
- 🌿 Dehydrated red clover has many benefits for the skin, including helping with psoriasis and eczema.
- 🌼 Harvesting flowers as soon as they bloom can increase the plant’s production of flowers, as it signals the need for reproduction and encourages the plant to produce more.
- ☕ Valerian flowers make a delicious and aromatic tea that is both relaxing and beneficial for muscle relaxation.
- 💆 Nasturtium flowers can be used in homemade shampoo and soaps to promote hair growth and improve skin health.
- 🌸 Lavender flowers have antibiotic properties and are beneficial for skin healing and overall skin health.
- 🌹 Harvest rose petals early to encourage more growth. Timing can play a role in maximizing the yield of medicinal flowers.
- 🌸 Dehydrating flowers like pansies and nasturtiums can add a vibrant and beautiful touch to salads.
The Process of Dehydration
How does dehydration work? It’s quite simple. I use my trusty Nesco dehydrator to dry out a variety of items, and I’ve even written an article on how to make cloth liners or covers for dehydrator racks.
These are a cinch to make and can be adjusted to fit any dehydrator. But let’s focus on the new additions to my dehydrating collection: lavender, roses, nasturtium flowers, red clover, honeysuckle flowers, and valerian flowers.
Even though I’ve been drying valerian leaves for some time, adding their flowers is a recent development. I’ve left the flowers on my largest valerian plant, which stands at a staggering 9 feet, alone because I’ll be collecting its seeds.
Why this plant? It’s my healthiest one, and the seeds will be useful for my store for personal use.
Alongside these, I’ve also been dehydrating rhubarb. It’s astonishing how much space you can save by dehydrating. For instance, I can fit 16 stalks of dehydrated rhubarb into one jar. However, if I were to freeze them, only two could fit. But I do still freeze quite a few, as they’re perfect for making creamsicles.
Health Benefits of Dehydrating Medicinal Summer Flowers
The advantages of dehydrating flowers extend beyond their preserved beauty. Many flowers carry medicinal properties that can support our health in numerous ways. Let’s take a look at some of the flowers mentioned earlier and explore their health benefits:
Lavender, renowned for its relaxing fragrance, is more than just a lovely garden addition. It has a range of uses that make it an indispensable part of any natural remedy collection.
- Soothing effects: The natural aroma of lavender has calming properties that can help manage stress and anxiety. It can also promote better sleep quality.
- Antibiotic properties: Lavender can help fight off bacterial infections due to its antibiotic properties.
- Skin health: Lavender can be used topically for skin health. It can help alleviate inflammation and quicken the healing process for minor cuts and bruises.
Roses are not only captivating to the eyes but also provide numerous health benefits.
- Rich in antioxidants: Roses are rich in antioxidants that can boost your immune system and combat free radicals.
- Skin health: Roses can provide natural oil control and hydration balance for your skin. They are a popular ingredient in many skincare products due to their toning and soothing properties.
- Digestive health: Rose petals improve digestion and keep your digestive system healthy.
One of the dehydrated flowers I’ve been focusing on for a few years now is the red clover. Its benefits, especially for the skin, are remarkable.
Red clover is known for its efficacy in treating psoriasis and eczema, and I’ve been adding dehydrated red clover to my soap recipes and my special herbal-infused oil used in my homemade skin cream.
- Skin health: Red clover is beneficial for skin conditions like eczema and psoriasis. Its natural healing properties can soothe irritation and inflammation.
- Detoxification: Red clover can aid in detoxification, helping cleanse the body of toxins and impurities.
- Respiratory health: This flower is often used to alleviate symptoms of respiratory conditions due to its expectorant properties.
Now, the nasturtium flowers are particularly interesting. These beauties not only add color to your garden but also have wonderful uses in skin and hair care products.
For instance, I use them in my homemade shampoo and in some of the soaps I sell in my store. Nasturtiums are also known to promote hair growth, which can be helpful for people dealing with hair loss.
Nasturtiums, while commonly used in salads for their peppery flavor, also have multiple medicinal benefits:
- Hair growth: Nasturtiums are known to promote hair growth. Incorporating nasturtium into your hair care routine could potentially help with hair loss issues.
- Antibiotic properties: Nasturtium leaves have been used to combat infections due to their natural antibiotic properties.
Valerian, primarily known for its sedative effects, is more than just a sleep aid:
- Relaxation: Valerian can promote relaxation, ease nervous tension, and alleviate mild anxiety.
- Pain relief: It can help relieve pain, particularly tension headaches and menstrual cramps.
- Sleep aid: Valerian is well-known for its sleep-enhancing properties, making it a common natural treatment for insomnia.
But let’s not forget about calendula, honeysuckle, nasturtium, and lavender flowers. These are all new additions to my dehydration roster. All of them have beneficial properties for the skin. As I learn more about the various benefits of different herbs, I’ve been adding more to my blend.
Essential Tips for Dehydrating Flowers
When it comes to dehydrating flowers, there are some essential tips to consider to ensure the process is successful and to maintain the medicinal benefits.
- Harvest at the right time: Harvest flowers early in the morning after the dew has evaporated for the best quality. Certain flowers, like lavender, should be harvested before the buds fully bloom for maximum benefits.
- Temperature settings: It’s crucial to adjust your dehydrator’s temperature according to what you’re drying. Herbs and flowers should be dried at lower temperatures (around 105 degrees) to preserve their medicinal properties.
- Consider the dehydrator model: Depending on the design of your dehydrator, you may need to arrange your flowers and herbs strategically. If the heating element is at the top, place more robust items (like fruits and vegetables) at the top and delicate herbs and flowers at the bottom to prevent overheating.
- Monitor closely: Check your dehydrating flowers and herbs regularly to avoid over-drying. The drying time will depend on your dehydrator, heat setting, and local humidity levels.
Storing Your Dehydrated Flowers
Once your flowers are dehydrated, it’s essential to store them correctly to maintain their medicinal benefits:
- Airtight containers: Store dehydrated flowers in airtight jars to protect them from moisture and air exposure. Glass jars are an excellent option.
- Cool, dark, dry place: Keep the jars in a cool, dark, and dry place. Exposure to light or moisture can diminish the quality and potency of your dehydrated flowers.
By incorporating these tips into your dehydrating process, you can enjoy the therapeutic benefits of medicinal summer flowers year-round.
Tips for Harvesting and Using Dehydrated Flowers
To maximize the production of flowers for dehydration, it’s crucial to harvest them right away. Once the flowers (and hence the seeds) are removed, the plant is stimulated to produce more. This leads to an increased yield of flowers.
As for usage, dehydrated valerian flowers make a wonderful tea with a pleasant taste and aroma. They have similar benefits to the root, including being sedative and relaxing. In addition to flowers, the leaves of young valerian plants are also beneficial and can be used immediately.
Lavender flowers have antibiotic properties and are excellent for skin health. The key to harvesting lavender is to do it before the little buds on the flower stalks open up. This ensures maximum benefits.
Then we have the roses. While they are often harvested after they open up, harvesting them early can have its advantages, like a more pungent aroma and potentially more potent benefits.
Wrapping It Up
That’s all for now, folks! Dehydrating is an easy and effective way to preserve and make the most out of your medicinal summer flowers. The benefits are numerous, and the possibilities are limitless.
Don’t forget to check out my other articles about dehydrating plants. It’s a treasure trove of information on different herbs and their various uses. More articles are coming your way, so stay tuned. And remember, stay curious and keep exploring!
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