Spring Magnolia Foraging & Creations

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThe cold of this spring has not deterred the blooms from blossoming! On my walks we bumped into a beautiful saucer magnolia tree (whose botanical latin name is Magnolia soulangeana). The flowers are characterized by a pink ombre outside and an absolute white on the inside as shown here to the left and below. I gathered three.

Now that the spring has arrived, it is a wonderful time for nifty herbal floral creations. A few interesting recipes I came across was the Magnolia Flower Vinegar or Pickled Magnolia Flower! According

sg110222to the recipe, the sweeter the flower, the sweeter your vinegar will turn out. The key is a chew or take a whiff of the particular flowers you want to use for your recipe to ensure it comes out super sweet (like you!)

According to Urban Herbology, the flowers are not only edible but can be medicinal. Magnolia bark extracts has been said to help with oral health and also stress reduction. Read about the research here. Below is an excerpt from the article:

“In traditional chinese medicine, Magnolia flowers are known as Xin yi hua and are associated with the lung and stomach meridians. In both Japanese and Chinese medicine the bark and flowers are used. Bark harvesting is not really something for an urban forager but these traditional medicine systems use it to help treat depression and anxiety.”

Forest to Plate reports that the leaves of the grandiflora and virginiana types of Magnolia can be used like bay leaves to add flavor to our soups or stews. But should be used sparingly (cutting up the leaf since the whole leaf would be too much). The bark and flower buds of M. officinalis are used in traditional Chinese herbal medicine. The bark is known to contain antidepressant properties such as the polyphenol, Honokiol (see study here), and is used to relieve anxiety, depression and other mental health issues. The bark is also used to treat menstrual cramps, nausea, and indigestion. See Cosmobotanical’s coverage on these topics and more about the magnolia tree coming soon!

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Recipes:

Magnolia Flower Vinegar

Ingredients

  • 1 jam jar with rust resistant lid
  • 1 bottle of white rice wine vinegar
  • magnolia flowers (any sirt will do, but best to nibble first to find the sweetest most flavoured)

For the complete recipe check out the original page here or above!

Photo credits: Mississippi State University; Geeky Girl EngineerForest to Plate

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