August 12, 2012


Nasturtiums are one of my favorite garden flowers. I love to see them growing thick in a little world all on their own. A patch of nasturtiums always kind of looks like a beautiful little world all to its own.

I especially adore the leaves, because they look like miniature versions of lily or lotus pads, only floating in the air and not on water. The bright-colored flowers cheer up the landscape and what appears to be little teeth in the center of the flower give it a touch of joyful fierceness.

Nasturtium Leaf with Drops

Nasturtium flowers are edible too! The actual meaning of Nasturtium is ‘nose-twister’ or ‘nose- tweaker.’ Even though the plant is not technically related to the genus Nasturtium (watercress, mustard, wasabi and other spicy plants), it was given the name Nasturtium because of its peppery bite. Have you ever eaten a Nasturtium flower or leaf? It’s amazing to eat a flower that has a spicy kick!

Though it’s a common garden flower, many people do not know that it is edible and can be added to salads and savory dishes for a spicy twist. What’s more, it’s packed with nutrients, containing large amounts of Vitamin C and the highest amount of lutein available in any edible plant. Infused in vinegar, the seeds can even be eaten like capers.

In herbal medicine, Nasturtiums are used as a remedy for chest colds and to enhance new blood cell growth. The spicy kick of the flower warms up the body and gives it a jump-start.

Nasturtiums are native to Central and South America, and their colors match their spiciness – the flowers ranging from fiery orange to crimson and sunny yellow. In most regions of the U.S., Nasturtium makes a beautiful floral ground cover, or plant them in your garden. Nasturtiums are hardy and easy to grow, whether in a pot or in the ground, flourishing in moist climates.


North of San Francisco, where I collected this flower essence from the magical garden of a friend of mine, the leaves were 6-8 inches in diameter, rivaling the size some of the lily pads in his pond.

If you enjoy gardening, Nasturtiums grow well in semi-neglected areas in the full sun and don’t require a lot of fuss. They can also grow in shady areas, but you won’t see as many flowers as in full sun. Plant nasturtiums when you know there won’t be another frost and they will grow and bloom until the next frost. If you live in the desert, you’ll definitely want to plant them in the shade or in pots so you can move them out of the hot summer sun.

You can find Nasturtiums in many colors – red, orange, yellow, white and multicolored. The different varieties have fun and beautiful names like Jewel, Empress of India, Peach Melba and Summer Gown.

yellow nasturtium

If you like to grow Nasturtium flowers, or have any friends or family that have them in their garden, tryout some of these yummy recipes!


Fill a jar 3/4 full with fresh Nasturtium blossoms.

Then top up the jar with a light-colored vinegar like white rice vinegar or white wine vinegar. Store in a dark place for three weeks, after which you can take out your jar of vinegar and delight in its beautiful golden yellow color.

Enhance the savory flavors of the nasturtium infusion by adding a spring of fresh rosemary, a handful of fresh chives or a couple crushed cloves of garlic.

If you can’t wait three weeks, you can certainly try it a few days after you’ve begun the infusion. The flavors will have just begun to develop, but the color will not be as bright orange.


1/2 cup Golden Nasturtium Vinegar (above)
1/2 cup olive oil
3 tablespoons of maple syrup
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
1/2 teaspoon of pink himalayan salt or sea salt
2 large handfuls of nasturtium flowers & leaves

**Optional: 1 large handful of purple Society Garlic flowers
**For garlic-lovers: add the chopped stems of the Society Garlic flowers

Rinse fresh flowers and leaves with water and dry with a paper towel. Put all the ingredients into a jar and shake well. Allow the flavors to marry for a couple minutes & viola! Store in the refrigerator and use within five days.

Nasturtium Salad


1 handful of salad greens
8 nasturtium flowers
8 nasturtium leaves
Dress with the Nasturtium Vinaigrette from above



3 farm fresh eggs
3 Nasturtium leaves
6 Nasturtium flowers – tear off petals
Salt & pepper to taste

Chop Nasturtium leaves and tear off the petals from the flowers. Gently whisk the eggs with a fork and add the flowers, leaves, salt and pepper. *Optional: fold goat cheese into the omelette.

nasturtium close up

As a flower elixir, Nasturtium brings in more joy and spontaneity. If anything in your life has become too routine, Nasturtium will bring in more spiciness and flavor into your daily activities. Whatever in your dad-to-day schedule that has gotten stagnant, it will grant you a sense of exploration and freedom.

Alternatively, if you’ve ever felt plain, ordinary or doubtful of yourself, Nasturtium will enhance a feeling of contentment and happiness. It also helps you see where and how you are unique. It helps you do something unexpected, explore what you’re curious about, embrace what brings you joy and discover a new sense of wonder.

Move closer to what brings you joy and be open to surprises with Nasturtium. Allow yourself to explore new hobbies or things you’ve always wanted to try. Be aware of synchronicity and know you’re in the right place at the right time.

Experience the magic of Nasturtium!

nasturtium flower elixir

{Dissolves} Sorrow, feeling plain, ordinary or unwanted, feeling bored or under-engaged, sense of life as being too routine or bland.

{Magnifies} Joy, contentment, spontaneity, synchronicity, feeling like you’re in the right place and right time, ability to be and celebrate your unique self, dancing to your own beat.

Love + flower petals,




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