Hyacinth flowers have a rich history that are as colorful as their blooms. They also have numerous health benefits but use them with proper precautions.
Hyacinth flowers belong to the asparagus family with color variations ranging in deep indigo, bright magenta, light pink, purple and white. It traces its roots with Greek mythology but actually originated in the Eastern Mediterranean and only spread throughout Europe in the 18th century.
These spring flowers once became fashionable in Germany with King Friedrich Wilhelm III personally growing the hyacinth flowers in his palace. The French, however, were known to have used them for intoxication and poisoning. It’s the Dutch who developed new varieties of hyacinth with the “Dutch” variety the most popular today.
Also known as the Dutch Hyacinth, Aiolos has bright white spikes and starry blossoms. These plants sport lance-like bright green leaves, bloom for several weeks, and grow to 8-12 inches tall. It is deer- and rabbit-resistant, and its lovely scent is likely its best asset.
With light-pink blossoms and dark centers, they turn salmon pink with age and grow up to ten inches tall. They have won several international flower awards, and look great near a doorway or along a walking path.
The Blue Festival is extremely fragrant and consists of soft purple-blue flowers with edges that are a little lighter. It is easy to grow and has won several international flower awards; it also looks great in rock gardens or as a border.
With dense spikes of deep blue flowers and a dark purple stripe on every petal, Blue Jacket grows up to ten inches tall and will naturalize in the right spot. It is resistant to deer and rabbits and is very easy to grow.
This plant is likely the whitest of all the Hyacinth flowers, with bright white petals and deep green leaves. It fits perfectly in rock gardens, in containers, and as a border, and it blooms for several weeks in the spring.
City of Haarlem
This flower has won several international flower awards and has soft blue flowers that sit atop bright green, lance-shaped stems. It blooms for two to three weeks in mid-spring, and it has a wonderful scent that you’ll want to enjoy by placing it alongside walking paths or near a patio or deck.
These cheerful flowers include petals in soft coral with bright green, lance-shaped leaves. It, too, has a lovely aroma, and is resistant to both deer and rabbits. It will naturalize in the right spot, and grows up to ten inches in height.
The award-winning Hollyhock has double flowers in a reddish-pink color and a sweet, very noticeable and pleasant aroma. It grows best in well-drained spots with medium moisture, and has won several international flower awards.
With starry, dark pink flowers that have edges of delicate purple, this flower blooms for several weeks in mid-spring and has a very pleasing aroma. It grows up to ten inches tall and is both deer- and rabbit-resistant.
The Lady Derby will naturalize if planted in the right spot, and it consists of petals that are pale rose pink in color and stems that are bright green in color and very sturdy. It grows up to ten inches tall and should always be planted in the fall.
The winner of several international flower awards, this type of Hyacinth is highly fragrant and has star-shaped, violet petals and bright green leaves. Miss Saigon does best in full or part shade, and blooms for several weeks in the spring.
This flower creates up to six flower clusters per bulb, instead of the usual one. It consists of soft pink petals that have edges which are lighter pink, and it has won several international flower awards. It blooms in mid-spring and is best when planted along walkways or near patios or decks.
The winner of several international flower awards, this flower has petals that are fuchsia-purple and edged in light pink. It is highly fragrant and therefore does great along pathways and near patios or decks. It blooms for several weeks in mid-spring and should always be planted in the fall.
The Pink Surprise is cheerful, has a great aroma, and consists of soft pink petals and dark green leaves. It grows up to ten inches in height and will naturalize if planted in the right spot. It is perfect for rock gardens, borders, and containers.
This type of Hyacinth has petals that are a rich purple color and contain white highlights. Blooming for several weeks in the spring, Purple Sensation is highly fragrant and does very well alongside walkways and paths, as well as near patios and decks.
With star-like, pale purple petals, this type of Hyacinth has lance-shaped, bright green leaves and an incredible aroma. It blooms in the spring and prefers well-drained soil with medium moisture.
With a sweet and rich fragrance, Top White has bright green leaves and snow-white petals, and prefers full to partial shade. As with other types of Hyacinths, Top White is perfect for planting along walkways or near patios and decks, and it will grow up to ten inches in height.
Instead of just one flower cluster per bulb like many other Hyacinth plants, the White Festival produces up to six, making it unique indeed. It features gleaming, snow-white petals and bright green leaves, and it has won several international flower awards. It does best in moist soil that is well drained.
Blooming for several weeks in mid-spring, this flower has reddish-purple petals and bright green leaves. Their dark plum color makes them truly unique, and because they also are very fragrant, they do well when planted along pathways and near patios and decks.
Things to Remember about Hyacinths:
- They should be planted in the fall, and they bloom for several weeks in mid-Spring.
- They grow 6-10 inches in height.
- They are extremely fragrant and therefore they should always be planted where people can enjoy them most.
- They do best in soil that is well-drained and has medium moisture.
- They are easy to grow, and ideally should be planted in groups of five or more bulbs.
- They are resistant to both deer and rabbits.
- They are very easy to grow.
- They do best in planting zones 4-8.
- If you live in zone 5 or lower, it is best to protect the beds from frost by covering them with straw.
- Although they naturalize if planted in the right spot, this may result in a decrease in flowering.
- They do best if grown in full or partial shade.
- There are certain precautions you should take with these flowers, because they can cause skin irritations for some people and severe discomfort if ingested.
- They are great for forcing.
The Health Benefits of Hyacinth Flowers
Although the Hyacinth is toxic, including its leaves, bulbs, and sap, the Hyacinth bean can be used as a natural remedy for many different ailments. Also known as Indian beans, calavance, or Egyptian beans, they can be used for making curries and flavoring a variety of dishes, including rice dishes. Below are some of their many health benefits that have been discovered through the years:
Mix the Hyacinth leaf extract with rice flour and turmeric, then place it on the problem area.
Hyacinth has anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, and anti-microbial features, and therefore can treat many skin conditions and skin disorders. To take advantage of this asset, simply look for beauty and skin products that list Hyacinth as one of the ingredients.
Although Hyacinth offers no benefits for the hair, it does no harm either. Moreover, if you add Hyacinth leaf extract or dried Hyacinth leaves to your shampoo or conditioner, it results in a heavenly scent for your hair, and it may help get rid of some dryness as well.
Because of their hypocholesterolemic properties, Hyacinth beans are well-known for lowering and controlling cholesterol.
The Hyacinth bean can be stir-fried and used to treat a number of digestive problems. This includes conditions such as extended stomach, diarrhea, intestinal worms, flatulence, and even nausea. In Chinese culture, the Hyacinth bean is used to maintain a healthy spleen.
If you extract the juice from the pods of the plant, it works wonders healing sore throats, and it can be used for painful or inflamed ears as well.
Boiled Hyacinth beans are used in some cultures – for example, in Kenya and surrounding areas – for a variety of female problems. Some cultures believe it increases lactation, and it is also used as a method of improving overall female health. The flowers of the plant are also used to control irregular periods.
Cholera is rare or non-existent in many parts of the world today, but where it is found, it is an extremely painful condition. If you stir-fry Hyacinth beans and consume them, however, it can relieve symptoms such as vomiting and nausea, offering instant relief from conditions such as cholera and more.
To treat snake bites, simply use the extract of the Hyacinth leaves and make a poultice with it, placing it gently on the bite area to heal and draw out the venom.
Sexually transmitted diseases
Hyacinth plant leaves can be used as an infusion that can treat infections such as gonorrhea and other STDs.
The best way to take advantage of this benefit is to make stir-fried Hyacinth beans a part of your daily diet, or consume them as soon as you need something to reduce inflammation. If you choose the herbal extract, it is best not to take more than 5-10 gm per day, and you can consume the extract in pill or powder form. Hyacinth beans and extracts offer advantages such as the following:
- Treating abscesses
- Treating sun stroke
- Fighting obesity
- Reducing fever
- Strengthening low immunity
To treat abscesses and sun stroke, simply mix the juice of the Hyacinth plant with lemon juice and use it topically for best results.
A few words of caution:
Always cook Hyacinth beans before consuming them. Start with the dry beans and either boil them or stir-fry them, making sure they are cooked thoroughly before consuming them. The cooking removes the poison inside the beans and makes them suitable for consumption. If possible, boil them twice using different water, to make certain you have removed everything that could be detrimental to you.
When you have the flu or a cold, make sure you stay away from Hyacinth beans. This is one ailment for which you do not want to use Hyacinth beans.
Be Careful When Using Hyacinth Beans
Naturally, you never want to use Hyacinth beans – or any other natural form of healing, especially when it includes the use of flowers or plants – without consulting your primary doctor beforehand. Like all other forms of healing, these natural methods sometimes carry risks, and especially if you are taking any type of medications, you need to be checked by a doctor first. Don’t assume you can simply go in your kitchen and start boiling or stir-frying Hyacinth beans. Even if you are taking no prescriptions, things such as Hyacinth beans can also react with certain over-the-counter products, or you may have a condition of which you are not aware. Again, checking with a qualified physician is the best way to make sure you are safely able to utilize this treatment plan. There is no such thing as being too careful, which is why a complete examination by a doctor is always best before consuming Hyacinth beans for any reason.
In fact, the drug interactions and side effects of Hyacinth beans haven’t been fully studied yet, so if you have access to a naturopathic physician, you may want to schedule an appointment with them as well. Even if all you take is herbs and vitamins, your doctor still needs to examine you and make sure it is safe for you to consume Hyacinth beans. Furthermore, because there are so many parts of the Hyacinth plant that are toxic, it can also benefit you to do a great deal of research before beginning your program, because the last thing you want to happen is to accidentally cook the beans incorrectly or use the wrong parts of the plant. Use caution and common sense, and you should be fine.