Lawn daisies – summer days, daisy chains, and childhood. I’m not sure there’s any flower more associated with the British summertime.
Most people don’t realise that the humble daisy is a herbal medicine too. While the nation spends a fortune on an array of arnica creams, lotions, and homeopathic remedies every year, this little plant will do everything arnica can do – without any of the poisonous potentials!
Daisy is short for ‘day’s eye’ because the flower opens with the sun and closes again when darkness falls. Its Latin name is Bellis perennis and it has long been prized for its ability to reduce swelling and bruising – just like arnica. Daisy flowers can be infused in oil (sunflower oil will do, organic is best if you can get it) and either applied directly to the skin or simply added to a base cream or melted coconut oil to create a salve that can help with everyday bumps and bruises.
I remember meeting lawn daisy when I went to visit the amazing Weleda gardens as a student. We saw beds and beds of incredible herbs – the chamomile one did indeed look like a huge bed and we all wanted to jump into it to rest! Then we came to one bed which was entirely empty and we asked the head gardener what had happened there.
‘Ah!’ he replied, ‘that was supposed to be the lawn daisy bed. We planted them in rows but nothing came up.’ Then his eyes twinkled ‘but look at the grass paths between each bed – those were newly laid turf with only grass in them at the start of the season’. As we looked around, we realised that the grass paths were full of lawn daisy. ‘She doesn’t like growing in bare soil in rows’ he said and went on about his work…