Pansies are probably the most common and popular edible flower around the world because of the array of colors it can come in! They can range from yellow, gold, orange, purple, violet, red, white, and even near-black. Many people have heard of pansies and seen them in their garden, but don't know that the entire flower is completely edible!
HISTORY: Pansies are actually descendants of Violas, which were very popular in anicent Greek times. It was discovered after an explorer found flowers growing similar to violas, but they were growing in open areas with more sunlight. The face of the flower was also a bit rounder and fuller than a traditional Viola. William Thompson of England was the first gardener to cultivate these flowers in European culture and popularized the pansy that we all know and love today!
HEALTH BENEFITS: For years, pansies have been used in folk medicine for a multitude of ailments such as eczema, epilepsy, and respiratory issues like asthma, bronchitis, or cold symptoms. If applied externally to the skin, it can help allieviate pain from any kind of mild seborrhoeic skin condition. Pansy extract is also great to apply to the skin for general functions. Ointments work best for those who are diagnosed with eczema or other similar skin conditions.
- Garnishing: The most popular way to use these flowers is to just put it on top of anything as a garnishment! They look absolutely beautiful sprinkled over a salad.
- Bath: Since Pansies have such great medicinal qualities for the skin, I found a great recipe for a Pansy Bath Soak! This will be both relaxing and soothing for your mental health, but also extremely beneficial for your skin to soak in the healing powers of the flowers!
1. Combine 1/2 cup of epsom salt with some pansy petals into a mini food processor (you can put other flowers in as well!) Blend until flowers are completely mixed in.
2. Spread flower salt mixture on a sheet of wax paper and allow to air dry for one to two days
3. Crumble up the dried floral salt and add in 2 tbsp of extra course sea salt and 1 tbsp of french gray salt (can sub for just more sea salt!)
4. You can stop here, or you can add 4 drops of your favorite essential oil for a scent!
5. Store the bath soak in tightly closed mason jars. They can keep for up to 3 to 4 months!
6. When ready to use, just dump into a bath tub while it is filling up! For a cleaner option, we suggest putting the salt into a muslin bag or clean sock to use almost like a tea bag!