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(archangelica Officinalis Hoffm)
And There Is Pansies That's For Thoughts
Bluebell (wild Hyacinth)
Anemone (wood)
House Leek (crassulaceoe)

Least Viewed Herbs

(archangelica Officinalis Hoffm)
And There Is Pansies That's For Thoughts
Bluebell (wild Hyacinth)
Anemone (wood)
House Leek (crassulaceoe)


The yellow Daffodil, which is such a favourite flower of our early
Spring because of its large size, and showy yellow color, grows
commonly in English woods, fields, and orchards. Its popular
names, Daffodowndilly, Daffodily, and Affodily, bear reference to
the Asphodel, with which blossom of the ancient Greeks this is
identical. It further owns the botanical name of Narcissus
(pseudo-narcissus)--not after the classical youth who met with his
death through vainly trying to embrace his image reflected in a clear
stream because of its exquisite beauty, and who is fabled to have
been therefore changed into flower--but by reason of the narcotic
properties which the plant possesses, as signified by the Greek
word, Narkao, to benumb. Pliny described it as a Narce
narcisswm dictum, non a fabuloso puero. An extract of the bulbs
when applied to open wounds has produced staggering, numbness
of the whole nervous system, and paralysis of the heart. Socrates
called this plant the Chaplet of the Infernal Gods, because of its
[142] narcotic effects. Nevertheless, the roots of the asphodel were
thought by the ancient Greeks to be edible, and they were
therefore laid in tombs as food for the dead. Lucian tells us that
Charon, the ferryman who rowed the souls of the departed over the
river Styx, said: I know why Mercury keeps us waiting here so
long. Down in these regions there is nothing to be had but,
asphodel, and oblations, in the midst of mist and darkness;
whereas up in heaven he finds it all bright and clear, with
ambrosia there, and nectar in plenty.

In the Middle Ages the roots of the Daffodil were called Cibi
regis, food for a king,; but his Majesty must have had a
disturbed night after partaking thereof, as they are highly
stimulating to the kidneys: indeed, there is strong reason for
supposing that these roots have a prior claim to those of the
dandelion for lectimingous fame, (lectus, the bed; mingo, to

The brilliant yellow blossom of the Daffodil possesses, as is well
known, a bell-shaped crown in the midst of its petals, which is
strikingly characteristic. The flower-stalk is hollow, bearing on its
summit a membranous sheath, which envelops a single flower of
an unpleasant odour. But the Jonquil, which is a cultivated variety
of the Daffodil, having white petals with a yellow crown, yields a
delicious perfume, which modern chemistry can closely imitate by
a hydrocarbon compound. If naphthalin, a product of coal tar oil,
has but the smallest particle of its scent diffused in a room, the
special aroma of jonquil and narcissus is at once perceived.

When the flowers of the Daffodil are dried in the sun, if a
decoction of them is made, from fifteen to thirty grains will prove
emetic like that of Ipecacuanha. From five to six ounces of boiling
water should be poured on this quantity of the dried [143] flowers,
and should stand for twenty minutes. It will then serve most
usefully for relieving the congestive bronchial catarrh of children,
being sweetened, and given one third at a time every ten or fifteen
minutes until it provokes vomiting. It is also beneficial in this way,
but when given less often, for epidemic dysentery.

The chemical principles of the Daffodil have not been investigated;
but a yellow volatile oil of disagreeable odour, and a brown
colouring matter, have been got from the flowers.

Arabians commended this oil to be applied for curing baldness,
and for stimulating the sexual organs.

Herrick alludes in his Hesperides to the Daffodil as death:--

When a Daffodil I see
Hanging down its head towards me,
Guess I may what I must be--
First I shall decline my head;
Secondly I shall be dead;
Lastly, safely buried.

Daffodils, popularly known in this country as Lent Lilies, are
called by the French Pauvres filles de Sainte Clare. The name
Junquillo is the Spanish diminutive of Junco, the rush, and
is given to the jonquil because of its slender rush-like stem. From
its fragrant flowers a sweet-smelling yellow oil is obtained.

The medicinal influence of the daffodil on the nervous System has
led to giving its flowers and its bulb for Hysterical affections, and
even epilepsy, with benefit.

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