Cooking with flowers for health

08:26, April 21, 2010      

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Flowers please our eye and our sense of smell, their oils are used in aromatherapy and many flowers themselves have medicinal benefits as dietary therapy.

Chinese were cooking with flowers thousands of years ago and flowers, such as the special Chinese rose, are important ingredients in the cuisine.

"Drink the dew of magnolia in the morning, and eat the falling petals of chrysanthemum at night," wrote Qu Yuan in his famous poem "Li Sao" ("The Lament") about a nobleman's life in the Warring States Period (476-221 BC). Magnolia and chrysanthemum symbolize nobility and integrity.

Chrysanthemum wine was routiely served in the imperial palace on Chongyang Festival (Double Nine Festival) in the reign of Emperor Wu Di of the Han Dynasty (206 BC-AD 220).

However, flower cuisine didn't become popular until the Tang Dynasty (AD 618-907). It first became popular among the nobility, especially women who used flowers to improve their complexion.

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