In the last 10 years, interest in botanicals has boomed when it comes to consumers. Many consumers have gravitated toward functional food and beverages infused with herbs and floral flavors because they associate botanicals with better health and wellness.
Since 2014, there’s been a 40% increase in launches of foods, beverages, and wellness products that contain floral flavors, as dietary trends that include eating sustainable, clean food used more herbs and botanicals for flavor. The flowers that hold consumers’ interest are hibiscus, jasmine, rose, lavender, and elderflower, among others.
“Unsurprisingly, the pandemic accelerated this trend – globally, six in ten consumers now seek added functional benefits from everyday foods and beverages. Furthermore, they want to meet their nutrition needs as naturally as possible,” says John Quilter, VP of global portfolio of proactive health at Kerry. “Another pandemic effect was a renewed desire to return to traditional ingredients, with many consumers turning to botanicals as trusted ancient remedies.”
So how do you capitalize on consumer interest in botanicals?
Consumers are mainly looking to embrace flavorful, functional botanicals in novel ways, opening up an opportunity for wellness-focused practitioners to encourage this exploration. Offering simple recipes that include interesting herbs, spices, roots, and bark gives consumers easy ways to enhance their meals and experience the health benefits of botanicals.
Supporting consumers in their exploratory endeavors while suggesting botanicals available at your clinic may also ensure products are moving off the shelves.
As we keep this trend in mind heading into summer, we can’t help but notice four delicious florals that have been at the forefront of countless traditional recipes (like jasmine rice and chrysanthemum tea) and can easily be added to your clients or patients’ wellness routines: rose, hibiscus, jasmine, and chrysanthemum.
Rose (Rosa spp.)
A quick search on Google brings up endless inspiration for ways that health-focused consumers can experiment with rose at home - in the kitchen and in the bath. At the start of the month, we noticed a significant spike in people searching for rose-related recipes online - specifically rose water.
Additionally, a thorough look into keywords brought back a host of popular monthly search phrases, like rose milk tea and rose matcha. In the first quarter of 2023, there was a 900% increase in online searches related to rose petal oil, Rosa rugosa (a rose species), and tea and roses. As the seasons shift, there’s also been a large increase in consumers interested in finding more information about planting roses in the spring.
With rose's light, floral taste and beautiful blossoms, it’s an easy choice for both culinary and gardening experiences.
Use in TCM
Mei Gui Hua (Rosa rugosa, “young flower of Chinese rose”, 玫瑰花). The entire rose plant is used and appreciated in both TCM and Western Herbalism. In TCM, rose petals are classified as a botanical that regulates qi, entering through the Spleen and Liver channels and containing bitter, sweet, and warming energy. Due to rose’s potential to calm warm irritation in the body, Western Herbalism views rose differently, suggesting that the blossoms have a cooling energy. Most recently, there was a study that explored how rose may soothe occasional menstrual discomfort.
Hibiscus (Hibiscus sabdariffa)
Hibiscus is ideal for warmer weather with its sour, cooling flavor that works so well in lemonades, syrups, desserts, and other summer treats. A variety of hibiscus beverages and dishes are trending for summer, including raspberry hibiscus tea, Jamaica drink (which features hibiscus), and hibiscus simple syrup. One of the more interesting searches was a hibiscus panna cotta recipe. Now that sounds like an experience!
Use in TCM
Luoshen Hua (Hibiscus sabdariffa, “hibiscus calyx,” 洛神花). The hibiscus calyx is sour and cool in nature and enters through the Kidney channel. It’s known for its high levels of vitamin C, and clinical studies suggest it may support balanced blood pressure. In TCM, hibiscus is used to potentially regulate summer heat and may promote healthy cholesterol levels.
Jasmine (Jasmimum spp.)
Jasmine rice is a well-known pairing, and it continues to be a popular at-home dish for consumers who want to infuse their cooking with a unique flavor and subtle health benefits. This recipe continues to trend upward, and we've also seen rising interest in recipes that use jasmine flower, specifically various types of jasmine flower tea. Some other unique searches that are currently trending include jasmine flower vinaigrette and jasmine-infused water.
Use in TCM
Mo Li Hua (Jasminum sambac, “jasmine flowers,” 茉莉花). Jasmine flowers enter through the Stomach and Liver channels and are admired for their calming aroma. The botanical has a warming energy, solidifying its nature to regulate the flow of qi. Traditional Chinese medicine states that jasmine flowers may clear out “foulness” and support mental complications, while recent studies suggest that Jasminum sambac may have an affinity for supporting the heart.
Chrysanthemum (Chrysanthemum spp.)
This blossom has a rich history in TCM, and popularity is gaining momentum. Like jasmine, and due to its many years of reliable use, chrysanthemum tea receives the most recognition from health-conscious consumers. Some other interesting recipes that consumers are currently searching for include chrysanthemum goji berry tea, chrysanthemum salad, and honey chrysanthemum iced tea.
Use in TCM
Ju Hua (Chrysanthemum morifolium, “chrysanthemum flowers,” 菊花). Cooling chrysanthemum blossoms are great for summer heat and have a desirable flavor. Chrysanthemum enters through the Lung and Liver channels and is sweet, acrid, bitter, and cool in nature. It is often used to dispel wind-heat while clearing heat and toxins from the body (Chen & Chen, 2012). Various studies show that chrysanthemum flowers contain beneficial antioxidants.
Exploring Botanical Trends
In the spirit of consumer trends, we’ve designed a few unique recipes that explore botanical flavors while offering supportive health benefits. These recipes are a great fit for experience-focused, health and wellness consumers who are looking for new ways to add botanicals to their day.
Rose Oat Milk Latte
This soothing latte is the perfect way to start the morning or wind down for the evening. The oat milk complements rose’s uplifting yet calming properties for a delicious, creamy treat that leaves you feeling balanced.
Vegan | Gluten-free | Nut-free
Yield: 1 serving
Time: 15 minutes
1 ½ cups oat milk
1 ½ teaspoon rose (Rosa spp.) petal powder
¼ teaspoon vanilla extract
1-2 teaspoons maple syrup or honey (or to taste)
- If your rose is not already powdered, then add the dry petals to a spice or coffee grinder reserved for herbs and pulse until powdered.
- In a saucepan, heat oat milk over medium heat. When it’s warm, slowly whisk in rose powder. *Important: Avoid bringing oat milk to a boil so it doesn’t reduce or burn.
- Once powder is thoroughly blended, remove from heat, and stir in vanilla extract and sweetener of choice.
- Cover and let steep for 5 minutes.
- Reheat slightly if necessary, pour through a strainer into a mug (to remove any undissolved powder), and enjoy!
Sparkling Hibiscus, Chrysanthemum & Jasmine Lemonade
An aesthetically pleasing, effervescent beverage perfect for cooling the body during peak summer heat. The tartness of hibiscus and lemon intertwines with the delicate flavors of the chrysanthemum and jasmine to create the perfect floral fusion.
Vegan | Gluten-free | Nut-free
Yield: 5 servings
Time: 20 minutes
3 ¼ cups distilled water
½ teaspoon dried hibiscus (Hibiscus sabdariffa) calyxes
1 teaspoon dried chrysanthemum (Chrysanthemum morifolium) flowers
1 teaspoon dried jasmine (Jasminum sambac) flowers
½ cup fresh-squeezed lemon juice (approx. 2-3 large lemons)
¼ cup sweetener of your choice (honey, maple syrup, etc.)
Sparkling water, to fill
- In a pot, bring 1 cup water to a boil, then add hibiscus, chrysanthemum, and jasmine. Turn off the heat and let stand, covered, for 10 - 15 minutes.
- While tea is steeping, add sweetener and ¼ cup water to another pot. Heat on medium heat until the sweetener is dissolved, then turn off heat. Set simple syrup aside. *Important: Avoid bringing to a boil so the sweetener doesn’t burn.
- Juice lemons.
- Strain botanicals from tea. In a pitcher or large canning jar, combine tea, simple syrup, lemon juice, and 2 cups of water.
- Pour floral lemonade into a glass with ice until ¾ full - top with sparkling water and garnish with a lemon wheel. Refrigerate the leftover concentrate to enjoy lemonade throughout the week.
This concentrate will store in the fridge for up to four days.
Recommending These Recipes or Using Them In Your Marketing
The growing consumer desire for functional foods and beverages opens up an incredible opportunity for practitioners to provide manageable guidance in the form of recipes. Botanically-enhanced experiences allow consumers to embrace new yet ancient flavors and enjoy their health benefits while supporting the experts that offer these recommendations.
Feel free to suggest these recipes to your clients, use them in your marketing, or share them in social media posts. Tag us if you do, we’ll reshare them.
If you have any inquiries about the botanicals, recipes, or trending information listed above, you are welcome to contact us at email@example.com. We’d be happy to help!
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Tursun X, Zhao Y, Alat Z, Xin X, Tursun A, Abdulla R, AkberAisa H. Anti-Inflammatory Effect of Rosa rugosa Flower Extract in Lipopolysaccharide-Stimulated RAW264.7 Macrophages. Biomol Ther (Seoul). 2016 Mar 1;24(2):184-90. doi: 10.4062/biomolther.2015.090. PMID: 26797110; PMCID: PMC4774500.
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- The science to support consumer perceptions is still catching up for many botanicals, which can make claims challenging for manufacturers, brands, or practitioners.
- These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. Our product and website content are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.