Edible Flowers: Using Them As Food & Medicine – Kami McBride










Great Big Ideas & Takeaways:

  • Delicious, easy ways to add edible flowers to your everyday meals.
  • 7 Flower-Based Recipes that you can steal to โ€œwowโ€ family with beautiful, tasty, flower-based appetizers, soups, side dishes, and main dishes.
  • Decorating your food with flowers: using flowers as garnishes for dishes that include root vegetables, soups, potatoes, eggs, cream cheese, salads, and more.
  • When to eat the whole blossom vs. only eat the petals
  • Drinks made beautiful with healthy flower garnishes & ice.
  • Flowers that boost energy, heal skin, regenerate tissue, act as digestive aids, and more.

About The Speaker:

Kami McBride is the creator of Herbal Kitchen Remedy Solutions, an online course that demystifies the world of herbal medicine and empowers people to use their herb garden for herbal self-care in the home to prevent illness and take care of common ailments.

Also author of The Herbal Kitchen, Kami has developed and taught herbal curriculum for the Complementary and Alternative Medicine department at the University of California, as well as for the California Institute of Integral Studies.

She graduated as a Clinical Herbalist from the Southwest School of Botanical Studies. And over the past 25 years, she has helped thousands of families learn to use herbs and natural remedies so they can be more self-reliant in their health care needs.

QUESTION: Do you grow any edible flowers in your garden? After watching this presentation, are there any you might try growing yourself?



  1. Steve

    Very good presentation. Will be planting a few of the flowers. If they will grow in central texas.

    1. Marjory WIldcraft

      Hi Steve, there are lots of flowers here in C Tex that are edible and delicious. Check out Nicole Telkes WIldflower School of Botanical Medicine and take a wild plant walk with her sometime.

      1. Susan

        We have a really big problem with deer here in the hill country of Texas. I want to do double duty and plant these for the bees as well as myself, but how much will I have to protect them from the deer. I have a big garden area that I can plant them in, but I wanted them to be closer to the bees.

        1. Jean

          Susan, I want to know the same thing but my plant predators are the sweet sheep in my pastures.

        2. Kami McBride

          Hey Susan, The deer will eat some of them to the ground, but the deer resistant edible flower plants are: rosemary, chives and garlic chives.
          Some other deer resistant edible flower plants are: lavender, oregano and thyme.

    2. Kami McBride

      Yay! Glad you are inspired Steve!

  2. Julie Beal

    Nasturtium pods are really good! Thank you for all the information here! My husband and I are planning to make a large “flower bed” next spring/summer where everything is edible and this gives me lots of idea what I might like to plant there! ๐Ÿ™‚

    1. Kami McBride

      Julie, That is awesome, the flowers add so much healing to each meal. I know, I love nasturtium pods, they pack a spicy punch!

  3. Elizabeth

    Excellent presentation! Thank you so much for sharing your passion! I can’t wait to add these flowers to my garden and start adding them to our foods. I am super excited to try the recipes too!

    1. Kami McBride

      It is such an easy thing to do. I really love the simplicity of the flower medicine

  4. Susan

    Sadly my borage has been infected by some kind of white mildew this year. Unfortunately I did not catch it in time to do anything about it. I am hoping that it has self seeded so some will come up somewhere next year. I am not sure if I have caught any to plant where I want them. I would not be happy if it didn’t come back next year as it is such a beautiful flower.

    1. Kami McBride

      Susan, I will be that it comes back and in more places than one!!

      1. Kami McBride

        I mean, I bet, it comes back…. sorry, typo

  5. Heidi

    I like to eat Redbud flower buds. They are very light and refreshing in taste, great tossed in a salad or eaten plain. I’ve heard you can pickle them and they taste like capers, but I haven’t tried that yet. I’m definitely going to start growing Calendula. Great presentation, I love your passion for edible flowers!

    1. Kami McBride

      HI Heidi,
      Yep, passionate about edible flowers, that is for sure. Even a plate of rice looks like a celebration with your edible flowers……

  6. Ajja

    I had no idea about edible flowers! Thank you for the information!

    1. Kami McBride

      YOu are welcome, so glad you stopped by!

  7. LK

    Radish flower butter is wonderful on game meat steaks

    1. Kami McBride


    2. Aubrey

      That is a great tip! We eat TONS of venison in our house and love our butter. We’ll have to try this. Thanks!

    3. Marjory WIldcraft

      Ohhh yes, that does sound good.

  8. Inge Leonora-den Ouden

    I love this! Such a pity the season for (edible) flowers here has already finished for this year. Only the nasturtium is still flowering in my garden.

  9. Becky

    I had a hard time streaming this video, had to restart, a lot! Bummer wanted to watch, will reboot and try again..

    1. Jimerson (Post author)

      Hi Becky! That usuallly means a slow internet connection. You might try contacting your internet provider to make sure your connection is stable and you are getting the right speeds! Rebooting your router is another thing to try. If you still can’t get it working shoot me an email at jimerson at thegrownetwork.org and we’ll get it worked out!

  10. Dave

    Can’t wait till next year to try some of these flowers!

    1. Kami McBride

      SO glad you are inspired Dave!

  11. Bonnie Krause-Gams

    What a lovely presentation. I think it is about time that we integrate flowers into our diets and medicine . What a fun class to add to medical training.
    Thank you so much for sharing your knowledge.
    In my training, my favorite classes were herbal walks, because to see the real plant and how it grew was such an addition to picture/ live identification .

    1. Kami McBride

      Glad you were inspired by the edible flowers, your dinner plate will never be the same!!

  12. Chipper

    What schools would be available in the North East for learning to be a naturalist? I prefer live help.

    1. JT

      I also would love to know this information!
      Clinical Herbalist/Naturalist/Homeopath etc. schools. Esp. if any are in NY state!! Thanks!

  13. donna

    As with many permaculture ideas, a lot depends on climate etc. I have most of those flowers growing in my high desert garden at 6000 feet, but they sure don’t grow abundantly enough here to get much harvest. I do enjoy my chive blossoms, but rosemary doesnt survive my cold winters, and have also lost my borage and nasturtiums to the hot dry summers. I also have calendula growing, but the plants are a lot smaller than the ones you showed in your flower walk.

    1. Kami McBride

      Yep, different climates for sure. My walk was at the coast, which rosemary loves. How do garlic chives do where you are at? What about lavender? That would probably be a good edible flower plant for you….

      1. Jackie

        Lavendar, borage, chives, calendula all good in the north east.

  14. Twinkie

    *nasturtium – antibacterial – helps with colds*
    Colds are viral. ๐Ÿ˜€ Btw, just go ahead and blow your nose. Hate listening to someone sniffling. :O

    1. Kami McBride

      Hi Twinkie, Thanks for stopping by. Nasturtium are antibacterial and antiviral, I could have made that more clear, thanks!

  15. Celeste

    Flowers are my specialty also but just like cooking each person brings their own unique gifting to the table! I make a savory cheesecake and decorate it with all my eatable flowers, a cherry and hollyhock clafois that is scrumptious and a cabin fever syrup for waffles and pancakes to cash away the winter blues with…what else..borage. Thank you for your presentation. It was delightful and refreshing!

    1. Kami McBride

      Yum, your recipes sound amazing!

  16. TRISH

    Excellent presentation

    1. Kami McBride

      Thanks Trish, glad you found your way here, stay tuned, the knowledge in this summit is amazing!

  17. Kathy

    I just made a list of edible flowers to add to the bed!
    I have Society Garlic, is it the same?
    Thank you for your time and expertise!

    1. Jenny

      Society garlic and garlic chives are two different plants but both are edible and nutritious. I *believe* (but could be wrong) that the plant Kami is calling garlic chives in this video is actually society garlic.

      1. Jenny

        Garlic chives (allium tuberosum) have tight white clustered flowers. Society garlic (tulbaghia violacea) has the light pink loose flower heads such as the plant in the video. Mr. Googlepants can help you see the difference.

  18. Kay

    Amazing video and recipes. Love the walk and all the info given!
    Thanks for a super presentation

  19. Cindy

    I loved this presentation but wish that Kami talked about which parts of the country these flowers grow (I know for sure that two of them grow in my area). Also helpful for those of us who want to grow our own would be a suggestion where to purchase good clean seeds for. Great summit.

    1. Marjory WIldcraft

      Hi CIndy7, you might want to approach this as inspiration for finding the flowers in your region that are edible.

    2. Kami McBride

      Here is a list of seed companies that I like and trust: http://livingawareness.com/page/2/?s=seeds

      1. Cindy

        Thankyou, Kami!!!

  20. Barb

    That was fun! Thanks for the tips on how to use them.

  21. Jeannette Bartelt

    When I go to view some of the videos they will not play. This is too bad because I have enjoyed the ones I was able to view.

    1. Jimerson (Post author)

      Hi Jeannette! If you haven’t already tried using an alternate browser (like Chrome), please give it a shot. If that doesn’t help, email me at jimerson at thegrownetwork.org and I’ll help you troubleshoot!

  22. yenaleM

    Yea ! What enthusiasm and respect for plants. Much appreciate your knowledge, experience and perkiness Kami McBride ๐Ÿ™‚ Trust that All will find stability, health and contentment.

    1. Kami McBride

      Thanks for joining me on my flower walk! I love inspiring you to find your connection to the healing, edible flowers so that you can enjoy the health and beauty they bring to your kitchen culture!

  23. Birthe

    Very good presentation. Pay attention to Borage. In Denmark the blossoms now are on a list of plants with restriced use. The blossoms have been proven to give a higher risk of cancer and liver damage if eaten more than reccomended.

  24. Mary

    This has been my favourite so far. Really informative for me and my interests at this time. There must be different forms of calandula as I am pretty certain I have it only the petals are not as many as the orange one you showed. My rosemary isn’t able to produce flowers where I live. Is the herb as benefical? I have to propagate it each fall and bring it in the house. Thanks so much!

  25. Kami McBride

    Calendula officinalis can be a very light yellow, dark gold and even varigated yellows. Rosemary has its own healing benefits, here is information on that: http://livingawareness.com/diy-make-rosemary-tea/

  26. Deb E

    I’m also having issues with this particular presentation, and I have listened to several others with no issues at all. I tried this one 3 times and it kept stopping a few minutes into into it, so will have to move on. Looked like a fabulous presentation though.

    1. Deb E

      Tried one more time to view and was successful. Really enjoyed both parts of presentation.

  27. sherri

    How do you wash them. do you soak them or rinse? I’d be afraid of hurting the delicate blooms

    1. Kami McBride

      Hi SHerri,
      I talk about this in the Power Point presentation part of the video.
      I don’t wash my flowers. Make sure you pick them in a clean area. Then I leave them outside or on the counter for at least 1/2 hour to let the bus crawl off and then eat them!

  28. Jenny

    I *think* the plant you called garlic chives is society garlic. I have both. Maybe I’m wrong. But wanted to point that out.

  29. CeAnne @ St. Fiacre's Farm

    Glad to know about using flowers, we have used chives before <3 Its time to look for some more flowers! Calendula is what got our little herbal farm business going. They are beautiful!

    1. Kami McBride

      Glad you inspired to bring this simple healing modality into your home!

  30. Aprille

    Great presentation and I enjoyed your delightful giggles! I never knew that rosemary produced flowers! Up here in zone 4b I have to move my rosemary indoors every winter… I wonder if it will ever grow flowers if kept in a pot? I am definitely going to start some borage next year from seed (both for my family and for the bees!)

    1. Jackie

      I LOVE Borage flowers and the plants and the bees it brings!!

    2. Kami McBride

      April, right, rosemary doesn’t love it EVERYWHERE…. However, the good news is that now you will be looking for the edible flowers in your area!

  31. Debbie

    I knew the leaves of some of those plants were edible, but did not know about the flowers. Thanks for the information. What about dandelions? I think everyone can grow those. The leaves can be bitter, but the flowers are sweet.

    1. Kami McBride

      OH yes! Dandelion flowers are wonderful! You can sprinkle the fresh petals on salads, soups and rice. I love them in eggs…..

  32. Yolanda

    Kami, thank you for a wonderful presentation. Certainly learned a lot and now have a “to do list”.

  33. Deb Lee

    Thank you Kami for this amazing enthusiastic presentation! I learned so many new practical things, I found my self scrambling for a pen and paper to take notes throughout! I am guilty of not having your book yet, I will be ordering it ASAP!!

  34. June Nies

    Kami, Good to see you in the Summit. Wonderful! Question for you: I don’t have the Calendula flower this year; but I do have lots of small and medium of the solid yellow and orange Marigolds. We have been eating the blossoms. Are they okay to eat? I imagine the Calendula is healthier and the Marigold may be a hybrid? Can a person eat too much of that sort of herb?

  35. Kami McBride

    HI June,
    I only eat Calendula officinalis. There are two plants that have the common name of marigold: Calendula officinalis and tagetes. I grow and eat the petals of calendula officinalis. I actually have never eaten the petals from tagetes….

    What I love about the art of garnishing your food with flowers, is that you aren’t eating large quantities of any of it. If you stick to decorating and garnishing then you don’t get into dosage issues.

  36. Marcia

    Fabulous presentation!! Thank you so much for your enthusiasm, knowledge, and recipe ideas. I have had your book foe awhile now and it is great.

  37. Kristi

    I have listen to you before and was very excited to watch your nature walk to learn more. Unfortunately, my connection was bad and I could only hear a word every now and then. The video was skipping too. ๐Ÿ™

    1. Kami McBride

      Kristi, Darn! Sorry you were having trouble!

      1. Kristi

        I refreshed and reloaded but that didn’t work either. Hate I missed it. ๐Ÿ™

  38. Jon

    So much knowledge we have lost and as such we discard so much goodness as a pest.

    Thank you!

  39. Bobbi Runge

    I am loving this idea! I made a raised garden at school for our special needs children, and found they really don’t care much for the standard crops, except for cherry tomatoes, which are a lot of work. This year I planted Purselane, with the many different colors. Unfortunately, the kids are not impressed. The garden is about 3′ x 8′. Do you have any thoughts of what I could grow that would be easy to care for and they would like?

    1. Kami McBride

      Great you are getting the kids into the garden! Calendula is easy to grow. Depending on where you live, rosemary is super easy to take care of as a perennial…..

  40. Mickey

    This might be what it takes to get my children involved in gardening I will plant lots of these flowers and I plan on freezing them in ice. Can u freeze all of themโ„๏ธโ„๏ธIn ice cube form

    1. Kami McBride

      Yes Mickey, you can. You can put a few petals into each cube.

  41. Laura Emerson

    Dear Kami: Great presentation: fast moving, chock full of information, and beautiful to watch.

    Your book of Kitchen Herbal recipes is well dog eared and marked up at my house. A go-to book for me.

    To commenters about locations: I live in Alaska, north of Anchorage and grow the flowers she mentions here. All are annuals (although mint and oregano overwinter sometimes).

    We are beekeepers and I wanted to mention that they love radish and mustard flowers, as well as the borage, which you mention.

    The nasturtium flowers (and calendula and chive flowers) all make beautifully colored vinegars for gift vinaigrettes.

  42. Lori

    Kami, you are such a great inspiration! I always find more things I want to plant when I watch your videos! Thank you for sharing all of this great information. ๐Ÿ™‚

  43. Bruce

    It was a great presentation we are going to plant a separate bed just for the eatable flowers, in the spring.
    Thanks for the info

  44. Rebecca

    Good presentation and encouraged me to grow all these plants again and now for the flowers as food and medicine. Thanks.

  45. Cindy Shepherd

    Loved your presentation!!! I can’t wait to get started with a group in Guatemala. We have three Community Gardens and everybody is so interested in learning about Organics and heirloom seeds, no one had mentioned edible flowers, just talk about helping to preserve natural wild herbs of this region. I can’t wait to start investigating what edible flowers we have here.
    — lahojita.org

  46. Soha


    that was great! may I have the pdf of the presentation?

  47. Takako

    Hey very cool website!! Man .. Excellent .. Amazing .. I will bookmark your web site and take the feeds alsoโ€ฆI’m happy to find a lot of useful information here in the post, we need develop more strategies in this regard, thanks for sharing. . . . . .

  48. Dave

    great put up, very informative. I’m wondering why the opposite experts of this sector don’t realize this. You must continue your writing. I am confident, you have a huge readers’ base already!

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