UNCOMMON USES FOR THE COMMON DAISY

Who was to know that the Common Daisy, Bellis perennis is such an over-looked medicinal gem growing prolifically all around us. Who doesn’t love daisies?? When my children see the lawnmower coming out in summer, they throw themselves on the grass wailing “Noooo….. leave the daisies alone!!!” From the mouth of babes. 
 
Although it is not part of the material medica of the modern medical herbalist, Daisy has had a long history of medical use and has been the subject of recent interesting research, affirming its folk uses. Many of the chemical constituents present in the daisy have been the subject of research that indicates the source of many of the medical actions of plant. However, I recommend using herbs in their whole form because a natural synergy occurs and we reap the benefits of this, even if we can’t fully understand it. 
 
Having read from old herbal texts, recent research and folk stories I will attempt to sum up the range of medicinal uses for this plant, a brief overview in layman terms as to why they are useful and some simple ways to get you started.  This is intended to inspire and amaze you, by shedding light on how something as simple as a daisy can affect the whole physiology of the body! It is not on the other hand a medicinal checklist for the symptoms outlined below. Plants like this are best used in combined formulas for specific health issues, however, what a wonderful Herbal Maintenance addition the daisy is considering the possible benefits.
 
 
Medicinal Uses and Herbal Actions 
 
Condition: It was used traditionally as a spring tonic to ‘cleanse the blood’, strengthen digestion and support the liver.
Action: Nutritive Tonic 
 
Condition: gout, arthritis and skin problems, kidney problems
Action: Diuretic
 
Condition: Allergies, hay fever
Action: antiallergenic
 
Condition: Viral and upper respiratory infections
Action: Antimicrobial, Anti-fungal, Anti- Viral 
 
Condition: Strengthens blood vessel walls, helps reduce cardiovascular problems
Action: Vasotonic
 
Condition:  Bruises, wounds, pain, migraine. In homeopathy today, Bellis perennis is known as “Poor Man’s Arnica” and used with Arnica to treat bruising and trauma. 
Action: Analgesic 
 
Condition: heavy menstrual bleeding, excess mucus excretions and diarrhea
Action: Astringent
 
Condition:  Fevers, coughs and pleurisy
Action: Expectorant
 
There are no side effects known, however to err on the side of caution I would recommend avoidance during pregnancy and if you have a history of hay fever or related conditions be mindful of any adverse response, beginning with low usage and working your way up. 
 
Recipe
From early summer, the fresh green leaves and flowers of the daisy can be eaten in salads. The flowers can also be eaten in soups and make great pretty garnishes for any plate. Traditional a plate of daisy was prepared as a vegetable side to be served with meat. Below is a recipe I have come a across that look delicious!!! 
 
Daisy Capers
 
 
Ingredients
•    1 cup unopened daisy flower buds 
•    1/2 teaspoon of black peppercorns
•    4 allspice berries
•    few sprigs of rosemary or lavender 
•    1 teaspoon of sea salt 
•    1/2 teaspoon mustard grains 
•    1 garlic clove, finely sliced
•    1/2 tablespoon local wildflower honey
•    1 cup white wine vinegar
 
Directions
•    Wash the daisy flower buds and trim the stems. Allow to dry thoroughly. 
•    In the bottom of a two cup mason jar (500 mL) (or two one cup jars) place the black peppercorns, allspice berries, salt, mustard grains and garlic. Then pack in the daisy flower buds. 
•    Bring the white wine vinegar to almost boiling. Take off the heat, then pour over the contents of daisies, filling the jar to the rim. Secure with vinegar-proof lids, label then store in a cool, dark, cupboard for four to six weeks to mature.
 
 
Reference; Gather - Wild Food | Magical Cookery:  Danielle Prohom Olson
 
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