Sunday, October 28, 2007

A Daisy Chain

The flower which I found on the October page of my calendar came as a surprise - bellis perennis, or the common daisy. It's not a plant I would really associate with autumn, and even the calendar admits that April to August is the best time for collecting the leaves and flowers of the plant for medicinal uses. I suppose calendar compilers are a bit like bloggers - there ar some months when you just can't find anything current to write about ...

Daisies have been used medicinally since the ancient Assyrians, who used it to combat eye problems. It's most common use, in ointment form, has probably been to treat wounds and bruises - hence its common name Bruisewort. Other uses over the ages have included to cure ulcers, arthritis, rheumatism and liver complaints.

The calendar suggests using it for coughs, dry skin and eczema. For coughs make a tea by adding 250ml hot water one to two teaspoonfuls of leaves and flowers, leave it to stand for 10 minutes and then strain. You should drink it three times a day. For dry skin or eczema you can add it to your bath water. Mix up equal quantities of dried pansies (flowers and leaves, daisies (flowers and leaves) and calendula flowers. Steep 30 grams of the mixture in two litres of boiling water for 20 minutes. You then drain it and add the liquid to your bathwater.

There's a lot on the web about daisies - growing them, their medicinal uses throughout history, legends and sayings. They come up a lot in literature too. So here's my "daisy chain" of links....

Four sites discussing the cultivation of daisies; medicinal and other uses throughout history; sayings, legends and symbolism regarding daisies :

Plants for a future

My Garden

Flower and Garden Tips


Daisies in literature

Chaucer on daisies (scroll down)

Shakespeare on daisies

Wordsworth on daisies

Tennyson on daisies


Anonymous said...

There is a daisy that blooms in October - the Montauk or Nippon daisy (Nipponanthemum nipponicum a.k.a Chrysanthemum nipponicum) - maybe that one doesn't have the medicinal uses they wanted to write about... And is it possible to NOT find blooms to write about in October?! Perish the thought!

Whyite said...

Wow, I never knew that Daisies were so useful. Good Article.

Anonymous said...

Love your post about Daisies. Please would you share the name of the calendar your reading...I'd really like to know how I could read about plants and the medicinal uses of plants on a calendar...what a lovely addition to each day! Thank you, your blog is lovely.

Sue Swift said...

Kris - I guess she might have been issuing the calendar for quite a few years, and all the October plants that are also herbal remedies have been used up ...
Curtis and anon - thanks for your comments. if you like the calendar posts, you'll get to all of them by clicking on My 2007 Calendar in the Categories list in the sidebar. there's one a month. The calendar is by a German woman called Ursel Buhring. Her website is and the 2008 calendar is advertised there. It's only in German though.

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