daisy_close_upHave you ever wondered at all the beauty of the simple daisy?  Our Creator has laced this little lovely with so much grace.  I have found, in my time as a gardener, that there is so much more then what lays upon the surface of creation.

Before I share the gems I have un-earthed, let me share a bit of my life in the garden.  You see, I have always thought of myself as an organized, efficient person.  My life has been one of “you have to get this done”, with very little room for much else.  Let me tell you right now how inefficient this attitude is for the garden.

I’ve had an ‘organized’ lay out of food, herbs, flowers, orchards style of, everyone in their place, gardens for years – and for years I have struggled!  I have herbs that double over from culinary to medicine to just plain ole yummy tea.  I have ‘herbs’ that are more beautiful then the most prized flowers.  I have herbs that refuse to accept my most logical home in the garden.  Instead, they run out to the rocky soil of the pathway to the chicken co-op where I will have to step on or over them multiple times a day.  They do this, it seems, as if to laugh at me and my ‘management’ style of gardening. We cannot take the time here to discuss the ‘food’ gardens and the cross over they play out with medicine or how they feed so many more then just the humans here. Then there are those ‘flowers’ which most of us think of as nothing more then beauty but really, they grace my life with untold benefits!  This is the place that the simple, graceful daisy fills.

Daisy, Bellis perennis to be exact.  Childhood memories are filled with sunny afternoons spent playing with the daisies, making doll dresses from them, daisy chains for our heads.  Playing out the age old saying of “he loves me, he loves me not” while removing one petal at a time and watching them fall to the ground with grace and dignity.  All the while, dreaming of the young man of our imaginations that may soon come into our lives to fulfill the ‘he loves me’ hope.

There is a Christian legend that says as Mary, the mother of our Lord, was escaping Egypt with the young child, everywhere a tear from her eyes landing on the ground, a daisy was sure to appear.

While many of us in the United States have been quietly overlooking the lovely little Daisy, Europe has for ages seen beyond the little flower in the cottage garden to the potential of real medicine it holds.  Best used as a tea, but also tincture of the blossom and leaves, it serves both young and old.

It’s very name means ‘everlasting beauty’ and the beauty it holds, it is happy to share.  Loaded with nutrition, it boasts a hefty profile of essential vitamins and minerals, the highest of these are Vit. K, Calcium, Carotene and Chlorophyll.  These nutrients are complimented with many others and serve to stimulate metabolism.  Being anti-inflammatory, expectorant and having a slight laxative and blood cleansing effect, it becomes potent but gentle at clearing all sorts of problems and diseases.  From eczema and psoriasis (which are almost always from congestive issues) to herpes and neurodermatitis. Having been used on young children as a pain reliever against growing pains it follows to a great ally for young women dealing with painful menstruation.  Into childbearing where it serves as a wonderful, safe herb for  post-delivery care to tighten the conjunctive tissue after birth, returning a woman’s body to the form and tightness of pre-pregnancy with gentle nourishment.  It can, of course serve the same function in us elder folks as we need the toning and nourishing benefits to our aging bodies.

While most think in terms of tea or perhaps tinctures (which I personally prefer to save for acute issues), daisy is a wonderful compliment to our tables at meal time.  They are beautiful additions to our salads and pestos and are very graceful to hug up to the other ingredients of our soups and stews.  I have included it in an infused oil which I use to coat my skin after my baths, especially in the drying days of winter.

So, here we are, at the end of our story and I leave you with some ideas of how life is changing me.

I am going to stop thinking in terms of ‘sections’ in my gardening efforts.  I am going to allow my ‘flowers’ to flow into my ‘herbs’ to flow into my ‘food’ to flow into the wild places of my life as well as the organized, neat rows of my best efforts.  I am going to embrace all the beauty that grows at my feet and count my blessings that so many lovely plants have been given for my healing (both of mind and body).  I will continue to grow, expand and enjoy to the fullest these wonders and stop attempting to place nice, neat little labels on everyone.  I hope you can join me in this great adventure!