Ox-eye Daisy (Leucanthemum vulgare, or Chrysanthemum leucanthemum)
Other common names: Marguerite daisy, white daisy, moon daisy, horse gowan, greater ox-eye, butter daisy, dun daisy, maudlin daisy, etc.
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Diagram courtesy of Mary E. Eaton / Wikimedia Commons
Actions: Mild sedative/nervine, mild antimicrobial, bitter, mild cholagogue, diuretic, anti-inflammatory, stomachic, anti-spasmodic, female reproductive tonic, respiratory tonic, anti-tussive, anti-catarrhal, vulnerary, emollient, emmenagogue, diaphoretic, anti-pruritic, rubefacient.
You can harvest flowers around mid-May to early June. For making tea, you want the flowers when they are freshly opened. For any other use you want to pick them when they are formed yet still firm and new, and NOT yet opened. Leaves should be (ideally) harvested while still rolled up, before the flowery stem emerges. Each time you cut them back, they tend to grow back bigger and stronger, so harvest away. Roots would be best taken in fall when aerial part dries up.
Part used: Whole herb (aerial parts, and root).
Volatile oils, tannins, saponins, mucilage, bitter principle and flavones
Used to treat digestive upset, urinary disorders, fever, mildly calm the nerves, increase the flow of urine, reduce PMS symptoms and increase menstrual flow, improve hormone balance (mild), treat dry skin or irritated internal tissues, reduce inflammation, swelling, gout, night sweats, excess phlegm, whooping cough, bronchitis, coughs and colds, asthma and muscle spasms. Can be applied directly to skin to mildly irritate and increase blood flow to the area (rubefacient effect).
Photo courtesy of Flickr Creative Commons/Björn S…
Ox-eye daisy can be used in tincture form or in a tea (standard methods apply). It could be used in capsules as well. Tea form is the most popular, as it has a pleasant taste when mixed with other herbs (a bit bitter, but that’s a medicinal aspect of its own), and it can calm the nervous system and reduce coughing and spasming in the chest cavity.
Unopened flowers can be marinated or pickled and used like capers, and young leaves can be used in salads.
Use in a poultice to reduce swelling or inflammation, bruises, cuts, sprains, strains, etc. Or, apply to the chest as a hot compress for bronchial/respiratory conditions and coughs. Use in a steam inhalation for similar purposes. It can be used in a salve or cream for skin complaints and itching. Test for allergies first, as some allergic individuals will get contact dermatitis from this plant and any in its family.
Do not use if pregnant or nursing. People with allergies to pollen may be especially sensitive to this plant and others in the asteraceae family. Do not use in patients with severe kidney disease/infection or bladder control problems. Do not use in patients with kidney stones, obstructed bile duct or gallstones.
I suggest consulting a pharmacist or physician before starting any herbal supplement if you are taking a prescription medication or have serious underlying health concerns.
Has both masculine and feminine connotations. Can also be associated with love and luck, and even innocence depending on the context. Used for protecting babies from evil influences and spirit presences, and worn or carried to attract love.
This daisy has been used in celebrations of Artemis, and feminine festivals. In a more masculine sense it has been associated with the god of thunder. It was traditionally used in ale as a cure for jaundice. The flower mutilating game “he loves me, he loves me not” was based on this particular kind of daisy.
Disclaimer: The information on this website is intended as general education on herbs and is not intended to take the place of medical care. Please consult a health care professional before embarking on any health regime.