We are pleased to have Sukri Kadola from Bloem as our guest writer giving us his expertise on all about flowers in a 3-part series.
Flower of Maryam
Practised over centuries, the midwife would place a dry rosette of the flower of Maryam into a glass bowl of warm water and place it near the mother who is in labour. As the twiggy rosette is submerged in water, its dried petals uncurl and expand. As if it had a psychosomatic effect, the mother perspires gently as her cervix softens and dilates. She watches the flower ball of twigs stretching out into a woody flower. Breathing deeply, the mother then takes a sip of this yellow medicinal water and watches the ball continue to blossom. Only then, it is time for her to push the baby out.
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Whether it is used to encourage dilation, or a powerful visualisation tool for mothers, the Flower of Maryam has a place in history and suggests a religious significance. Referred to as the “Leaf of Maryam”, the “Hand of Fatima” (daughter of the Prophet ?), medical practitioners have acknowledged the therapeutic properties of flowers for centuries. The Flower of Maryam is one of many enchanting examples of flowers that have a strange kind of power.
Spanning beyond time and across cultures the world over, other flowers too hold the key to a variety of ailments without causing any harmful side effects which other modern pills sometimes do. Besides, remedies made from flowers are more affordable than the drugs that are off the shelf.
I for one do not have the habit to pop in pills where possible. I prefer eating a whole guava (without any of that sweet salty plum powder) for my supply of Vitamin C. When I am anxious and have trouble falling asleep – a little spray of lavender scent on my pillow would drift me into a deep slumber more effectively than ingesting any insomnia medication. The sensual pleasure of lavender helped calm geriatric patients in nursing homes when diffused in the air at bedtime. Its leaves and dried stems can hold some fragrance for several months.
Bunga Kantan (Torch Ginger)
The flowers of the torch ginger are produced in an interesting way. The ‘inflorescence’ or complete flower-head of the plant rises from beneath the ground like a spear. From the striking resemblance to a flaming torch, it is not difficult to see how this common ginger got its name. Here, the torch ginger is more popularly known beyond its ornamental value. The young flowering shoot (bud) of the torch ginger is an important ingredient for the rojak and laksa, which are quintessential dishes of Malaysia and Singapore. The bud is finely chopped, mixed and used as a dressing and its aroma gives that rojak or Asian salad a distinctive flavour, masking the smell of the dark pasty prawn base.
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Dianthus or Carnations
Carnations are not just loved by Mothers. When separated from the base of the flower (which is bitter), Carnation petals can be brewed to make an excellent tea to reduce anxiety, agitation, stress and fatigue. It has a healing effect on the skin and can bring down any inflammation.
Lotus flowers are popular in both Eastern and Western cultures for their effectiveness against fever, diarrhea and also more serious illnesses such as cholera and bronchitis. A syrup made from the flower provides much relief for bad coughs.
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Consuming a brew made from sunflowers helps greatly with ulcers and menstrual cramps. It can also be used as a wash for gargling in cases of sore throats. Its seeds are packed with health benefits that can help you from head to toe. Just a handful of them can mean dramatic improvement in the way you feel. Here is what they can do for you:
Selenium found in sunflowers controls cell damage, thus playing a role in preventing cancer.
Besides calcium, your bones need magnesium and copper and Sunflower seeds are packed with them. As a bonus, they also contain Vitamin E, which helps ease arthritic pain.
Soothes the nerves, thus easing away stress, migraines and helping you relax.
Bring a glow to your skin. The star in this role: Vitamin E again, which combats UV rays and keeps skin youthful.
Eases inflammations, such as joint pain, gastric ulcers, skin eruptions, asthma and such. That’s because sunflower seeds are loaded with antioxidants.
To uncover more of the flower power secrets, join us at Bloem’s flower workshop on ‘Zen and the Art of Petal Maintenance on 22nd November in Kota Damansara, Malaysia as well as on these Sundays during the school holidays, on the 6th and 13th December at Bishan Park.
Bloem is a bespoke design house which specialises in decorating spaces and designing interiors. It’s focus has been in applying fresh flowers to illuminate the beauty of interior spaces. Bloem delivers bespoke or highly customised services that are relevant, applying functional design that is inspiring, sophisticated and up to date, using high quality materials that always sets higher standards for itself.
Bringing the most relevant and functional design applications to its clients using the most efficient and sustainable use of resources, setting standards in best practices in the design and floral industry.