The Perseverance of Daffodils

The daffodils have had their share of challenges this spring. I was so excited to see them break ground and see their lovely greenness several weeks ago. I encouraged them on, celebrating their emergence for spring… until they ended up under 2 feet of snow. I thought for sure I should have told them to wait! But miraculously, as the weather has begun to warm again, these cheerful flowers are making a comeback. Their spritely yellow faces are an uplifting sign of perseverance despite the setbacks.

So in honor of the courageous and enthusiastic daffodil I wanted to do some research on whether the daffodil had any medicinal or traditional spiritual uses.

The daffodil is a good example that although some plants aren’t that useful for the body, as all parts of this plant are poisonous, they can still do wonders for the spirit.

The bulb, leaves and flowers are powerfully emetic (makes you throw up), and the bulb of the daffodil contains toxic alkaloids that can cause paralysis of the central nervous system, leading to death. Yikes! So although daffodils do have a history of very careful medicinal use as an antispasmodic in the treatment of epilepsy and hysteria, the lovely daffodil is not a plant that I would choose medicinally, especially when there are so many other herbs that can be effective without the toxicity.

Ahh, but to see daffodils pushing forth in the spring brings joy to the heart. They are one of the first signs of spring, and although they may have many a setback of cold temperatures and snow, they have great perseverance and a will to live.  Albertus Magnus suggests that their presence in your garden can be used to keep evil spirits from entering one’s home, and daffodils have a history of being used to decorate temples in order to repel negative energies from outside forces.

So, welcome lovely daffodil to my garden and my life. I am ecstatic to see you pushing forth!