Edible flowers: good and bad ones

Have you ever read or saw, live rather than in a virtual way, recipes that contains flowers in their ingredients? I do, many times. It's in spring that the whole worl wide web and restaurants are unleashed with colorful and delicious recipes, where fresh flowers are the masters.

But you have to be very careful about them and inform yourself very well rather than eating flowers "randomly" because not all flowers are edible in fact some of them are highly toxic or even lethal. Flowers, as you can probably imagine, are very poor in fat but rich in vitamins, for example carnations are very rich in potassium.

The most common flowers that we can eat calmly are not treated, so make sure when you buy them that flowers have not been treated with any toxic product. The alternative to the common florist is the web, in fact in internet you can find many specialized websites in edible flowers that can ship worldwide. You can also buy some kind of dried flowers in very provided herbal or spice shops,  to be sure and safe. The best choice anyway, when is possible, is to grow some flowers yourself, so you will be sure that they will not contain any harmful substances for health and also save a lot of money.
The most common flowers that we can find and use in our dishes to make them more colorful, but also tastier, are: carnations, geraniums, lilacs, roses, violets, all the flowers of the allium family, especially garlic, leeks and grass onion, basil flowers, chamomile, flowers the family of citrus (eg: lemon and orange), the sunflower, mint flowers and many others.
But not all flowers are edible, as we said earlier. Some are highly toxic, such as castor, famous for the oil obtained from it. Castor seeds are highly toxic and if they are chewed they release a poison which is considered one of the most powerful naturally occurring.

It can even cause death. Another plant that is dangerously poisonous is hemlock plant that can also cause death. Inside, it contains at least five very toxic alkaloids substances and its fruits contain a high concentration of poison present also in all other parts of the plant, including flowers.
A spice that we commonly use for cooking, and therefore we never expected it could be so dangerous is saffron: if you exceed the dose of 20 grams per day it could be fatal.

In pregnant women, it takes only 10 grams for cause, an abortion. In general, therefore, is not recommended to eat more than 1.5 grams per day.

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