Daisy flower Bellis perennis is a common European species of daisy, of the Asteraceae family, often considered the archetypal species of that name. Many related plants also share the name "daisy", so to distinguish this species from other daisies it is sometimes qualified as common daisy, lawn daisy or English daisy. Historically, it has also been commonly known as bruisewort and occasionally woundwort. Bellis perennis is native to western, central and northern Europe, but widely naturalised in most temperate regions including the Americas and Australasia.
This daisy may be used as a potherb. Young leaves can be eaten raw in salads or cooked, noting that the leaves become increasingly astringent with age. Flower buds and petals can be eaten raw in sandwiches, soups and salads. It is also used as a tea and as a vitamin supplement
Bellis perennis has astringent properties and has been used in herbal medicine. In ancient Rome, the surgeons who accompanied Roman legions into battle would order their slaves to pick sacks full of daisies in order to extract their juice; bellum, Latin for "war", may be the origin of this plant's scientific name. Bandages were soaked in this juice and would then be used to bind sword and spear cuts.
The medicinal properties of Bellis perennis have been recorded in herbals as far back as the 16th century. John Gerard, the 16th century herbalist, recommended English daisy as a catarrh (inflammation of mucous membrane) cure, as a remedy for heavy menstruation, migraine, and to promote healing of bruises and swellings.
Bellis perennis flowers have been used in the traditional Austrian medicine internally as tea (or the leaves as a salad) for treatment of disorders of the gastrointestinal and respiratory tract.
Constituents of the Bellis perennis are triterpenoic saponins, including the ester triterpenoic bellissaponins 1 and 2. The overground parts of the plant contain 2.7% triterpenoic saponins, the content in the roots is reported to be higher. Additionally flavonoids have been identified, namely two flavone glycosides of apigenin and three flavonoid aglycones (apigenin, kaempferol, and quercetin) showing strong anti oxidative and anti inflammatory properties.
Further constituents of Bellis perennis are malic acid, acetic acid, oxalic acid, resins, wax, inulin, mucilaginous substances, essential oils and tannins. Among the sugars have been identified glucose, rhamnose and arabninose.
The whole plants or flowers and leaves are traditionally used. The plant is used topically as an extract, in teas and in poultices of pressed leaves for the skin treatment. A decoction can be used for poultices. An infusion is prepared by adding 2 teaspoonfuls of plant to 2 cups of water, then allowing it to draw for 20 minutes. The daily dose of the infusion is 2 to 4 cups per day. A decoction is made from the green leaves.
Drinking infusion from daisy flowers and leaves is recommended by traditional medicine to maintains good health and fast recovery.
Contraindications and adverse effects: no health hazards or side effects are known in conjunction with the proper administration and commonly acknowledged dosages. The only known contraindication is sensitivity or allergy to daisy plant. Based on historical and homeopathic use, Bellis perennis may affect coagulation, however this has not been scientifically confirmed. Pregnant and breastfeeding women should consult their doctor before taking daisy leaf products.
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