Bellis perennis

Daisy – Pâquerette

Here in Provence the first Daisies have come up.  They stay more or less all through the winter till spring.  The flower is made up of white ray florets and yellow disc flowers.  Each little yellow bit in the centre of the flower is an individual flower, typical for the Compositae family.  The leaves are in rosette form and from this rosette the stalks with the flowers emerge.
Daisies have been used medicinally for many centuries.  daisy flowersThe surgeons in the Roman legions ordered the slaves to pick bags of daisies.  From the daisies they extracted the juice, bandages were soaked in this juice and these in turn were used to treat sword and spear cuts.  The leaves and flowers have an astringent effect, can loosen mucus and be used to treat coughs and catarrh;  externally it can be used for ruptures, varicose veins, freckles and slow healing wounds.  A herbal tea made from the flowers, stalks and leaves treats oral thrush;  added to bath water it gives the skin a boost.  The following is a home-made remedy for a cold:

Daisy syrup

Ingredients:  500 ml herbal daisy tea made with 75 g of  leaves, stalks and flowers; 500 g runny honey or 500 g of cane sugar.
Add the boiled water (just off the boil) to a teapot filled with 75 g of daisy leaves, stalks and flowers.  Let it soak for 10 minutes.  Pass the herbal tea through a sieve into a pan on a low flame, add the sugar or honey,  keep on stirring till sugar or honey has dissolved, continue cooking till the mixture has thickened to a syrup.  Leave to cool.  Pour into sterilised bottles closed with a cork.  This will keep for a maximum of 3 months.   The amount of sugar or honey and the amount of herbal tea should be 1:1
The young green leaves of the daisy make a tasty, slightly sour addition to a salad.
Bibliography:  Encyclopedia of herbs and their uses – Deni Bown;  Bellis perennis – Wikipedia; Kruiden geneesmiddelen zelf maken – Penelope Ody

About seasonalforaging

We are a group of friends who enjoy walking in the countryside in Provence searching for plants and herbs to identify and use.
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