Botanical Name: Bellis perennis
Family Name: Asteraceae
Other Common Names: Common daisy, garden daisy, English daisy, meadow daisy, bruisewort, tusindfryd (Danish), chiribita (Spanish), paquerette vivace (French), Gänseblümchen (German). Bellum in Latin means war and may be from Daisy’s use in wound healing.
Other species: Similar to Oxeye Daisy (Leucanthemum vulgare). It also has similar properties to Arnica (Arnica montana) but is more abundant and available locally, with fewer toxicity risks. There are ten species in the Bellis genus
Habitat: Daisy is native to Europe and western Asia, but has now been naturalised in many parts of the globe. Daisy prefers moist and nutritious soil. It can be found growing in lawns, parks, and pastures, as well as in meadows, roadsides, and cemeteries. Daisy is often regarded as invasive as well as a problematic weed.
Plant Description: Daisy is a perennial plant that belongs to the aster family. It can grow up to 20 cm in height and forms new shoots from the creeping root. The leaves are basal, short-haired and sit in a dense rosette that is pressed against the ground. The stems are straight and produce radiate white flower heads. The flowers have both male and female organs and are pollinated by bees, flies, and beetles. The plant is self-fertile. Daisy can bloom from May to November, but the peak blooming is in the spring.
Ecological role Daisy is found mainly on moist, neutral to basic soils, in unimproved or improved grasslands kept short by grazing, mowing or trampling. Also in disturbed habitats such as roadsides and waste ground. The flowers can be harvested from April to October, however, with our changing climate, daisies are becoming even earlier.
Plant Parts Used: It is primarily the fresh or dried flower heads that are used as a medicine, but the leaves can also be used.
Constituents: Saponins, essential oil, resin, mucilage, bitters, vitamin C.
Temperature: Cooling/ Drying
Tissue State: heat/excitation
Taste: Bitter, Sour
Systems & Organs Affected: Sinuses, Blood, Bladder, Uterus, Skin
Combines Well With. Eldeflower, Horse Chestnut, Yarrow
Actions & Medical Uses: Vulnerary, astringent, expectorant, anti-inflammatory, cicatriscant
Daisies contain essential oil, tannins, mucous substances, flavonoids, bitter substances, organic acids, resins, and inulin. The active ingredients are found in all parts of the plant. But Like myself, most people know the daisy from making daisy chains as kids, or from its use in divination “he loves me, he loves me not” picking off the petals one by one. However, from doing research I have totally underestimated this little flower. It has a long history of use. Contemporary research has documented the antimicrobial activity of daisy’s essential oils, as well as anti-tumour activity in the digestive tract. The Daisy has anti-inflammatory and mild astringent properties and has been used internally, in tea form, as an herbal remedy for the common cold, bronchitis and other inflammation of the upper respiratory tract. The herb may be used for loss of appetite as it has a stimulating effect on the digestion system and it has been used as a treatment for many ailments of the digestive tract, such as gastritis, diarrhoea, liver and gallbladder complaints and mild constipation.
Daisies have also been used traditionally for painful menstruation, cystitis and other inflammations of the urinary tract. Additionally, it may have its uses as a natural treatment for atopic dermatitis, gout, and chronic rheumatic conditions. In Roman times, army surgeons organised the collection of daisies by slaves to extract the juice. Bandages soaked in this juice treated sword and spear wounds. Daisies are also known for relieving irritation from haemorrhoids and is often combined with horse chestnut when treating the condition. Daisy flowerheads can be made into an infusion and used as a compress or used as an enema.
In addition, it has been used externally for dermatitis, rash, eczema, bruises, and boils. Daisies can be applied topically for bruises using either fresh poultices of the herb, or through salves and ointments made from the infused oil. To make a fresh poultice you just need to pulverise slightly and apply. daisies can be used in a wash for weeping skin problems such as varicose eczema, particularly in combination with yarrow. Daisies can also be added to a hot bath to soothe skin complaints.
A tincture made from the herb can be used for acne, and as a mouthwash or a gargle, it may be used as a remedy for mouth inflammation and sore throat. Also, chewing on the fresh leaves might be helpful as a relief for mouth ulcers.
In folk medicine, it was often recommended to eat the fresh leaves to stimulate nutrition uptake, due to the bitter substances found in the herb. The fresh leaves, flowers, buds, and petals have a pleasant taste and can be used in salads or added to soups. Furthermore, the flower heads can be used in vinegar and as a substitute for capers.
Tea: pour one cup of boiling water over one or two spoonful of Daisy. Wait for five up to ten minutes, than filter the tea and drink it slowly. You can drink one up to three cups of Daisy tea each day.
Tincture To prepare a Daisy tincture, fill some Daisy in a glass. Pour some grain alcohol in the glass, enough to cover the herbs. Close the glass and let it stand at a warm place for two up to six weeks. After the waiting time filter the tincture and pour it into a dark bottle. Use 10 up to 50 drops of the tincture up to three times daily. You can use the tincture pure or diluted with water.
Poultice: This can help against bad healing wounds, rashes and skin inflammations.
Oil: to prepare an oil, fill a glass jar with some daisies. cover with Olive oil and Infuse for 2 weeks, strain and apply straight to bruises & bumps.
Safety: People with known allergic reactions to plants belonging to the Asteraceae family should handle daisies with care.