The Flower with Hidden Agenda
In response to Lisa's querry on the relevance of Daffodil to the Brain, the information below would not publish in the response box as it exceeded the amount of words allowed, so in lieu of that I have put a small segment of the research here for Lisa. Should the post require more information just let me know and of course I am at your service.
Many cultures view the daffodil as a sign of death. The botanical name for daffodils is Narcissa, which you might remember from studying Greek mythology and stories in school. The ancient Greeks did not give this flower a good name. They considered it mournful and a death omen, and mentioned it in many of their myths.
The myth of the daffodil says that they are the living essence of a young man who fell in love with his own reflection and died pining away for it.
Greek myth also states that Persephone was imprisoned by Hades after he captured her while she was picking daffodils.
The bulbs of a daffodil also have a paralyzing narcotic in them.
Roman soldiers reputedly carried them into battle and if they were badly injured, they would consume them so that they might die painlessly.
In addition they have been known to kill off surrounding plants as well.
Put a single cut daffodil in a vase with other flower and in morning you will wake to a bunch of dead flowers with one live daffodil trying not to look suspicious.
Daffodil compounds may help with depression
Depression Symptoms Treatment
By Deborah Mitchell on June 23, 2012 - 9:00am for eMaxHealth
The site of blooming daffodils may indeed lift your spirits, but scientists at the University of Copenhagen have another reason for associating the flowers with positive
thoughts. They report that South African daffodils have compounds that may reach the brain and make it possible to develop better drugs for depression.
What's difficult about treating depression?
The brain is protected by the blood-brain barrier, an interface between the blood and the brain that is composed of cells that limit the passage of substances from the
bloodstream into the brain. Glucose, necessary for brain function, can pass through the barrier, but many drugs cannot.
In fact, according to Birger Brodin, associate professor at the University of Copenhagen, he and others have long worked at ways to transport drug compounds across the
blood-brain barrier. However, "more than 90 percent of all potential drugs fail the test by not making it through the barrier, or being pumped out as soon as they do get in,
" he noted.
One thing that has inspired them to continue their search is the use of natural therapies, and that's where the daffodils come into the story. University of Copenhagen
that are involved in depression.
Now, additional research has flowered (so to speak) and revealed that several South African daffodils boast components with abilities that allow them to break through the
blood-brain barrier. After examining the daffodil compounds for their effect on transporter proteins, Brodin noted that "Several of our plant compounds can probably be smuggled
past the brain's effective barrier proteins."
However, don't expect a daffodil-based drug for depression to be popping up on pharmaceutical shelves anytime soon. Brodin warned that while the results of their efforts thus
far have been promising, much work lies ahead, including cooperation between him and other biologists at the Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences, and organic chemists from
the Department of Drug Design and Pharmacology and the Natural History Museum of Denmark.
If this partnership sounds a bit unusual when talking about developing a drug that may one day be used for depression, it's important to point out that plants and their
compounds are often used to develop medical drugs. Experts at the latter two mentioned facilities work with medicinal plants that have an impact on the central nervous system.
One example of a plant substance that may help treat depression has been studied by researchers at Imperial College, London. The substance, psilocybin, is obtained from
certain mushrooms. When healthy volunteers were given psilocybin, investigators found that it suppressed the medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC), which is hyperactive in depression
As for daffodils, Brodin noted that "Studies of natural therapies are a valuable source of inspiration, giving us knowledge that can also be used in other contexts." And
utilizing daffodils to help treat depression seems to fall into that category.
Eriksson AH et al. In-vitro evaluation of the P-glycoprotein interactions of a series of potentially CNS-active Amaryllidaceae alkaloids.
Journal of Pharmacy and Pharmacology 2012 Jun 4: doi:10.1111/j.2042-7158.2012.01536, University of Copenhagen
Daffodil blooms have been found to contain the chemical 'Galantamine';
Used successfully to treat Alzheimers
The delibating disease which takes away ones memory, eventually leaving one totally incapacitated.
Millions of Daffodils, grown for the first time in Wales, are now being harvested today. The flower heads ground up, and the liquid is filtered, before being concentrated into the crystal form of Galantamine. It was known nine years ago that daffodil extract benefited other forms of Alzheimers. The purified form of Galantamine is produced under the name of 'Reminyl' and is often used to treat vascular dementia, which is caused by damage to the blood vessels leading to the brain.
The extensive Welsh daffodil fields benefit, not only Welsh bioscience and the pharmaceutical industry, but also to ageing populations worldwide.
Daffodils, the flowers symbolizing friendship, are some of the most popular flowers exclusively due to their unmatched beauty.
Daffodils belong to the genus Narcissus. Daffodil flowers have a trumpet-shaped structure set against a star-shaped background.
Often the trumpet is in a contrasting color from the background. The name Daffodils includes the cluster-flowered yellow Jonquils and the White Narcissi ,
as well as the include as the more common trumpet shaped flowers (right), members of the genus Narcissus.
Daffodils are constantly recurring flowers with at least 50 species and many hybrids. Where climate is moderate, Daffodils flourish among the first spring buds.
Daffodils often bloom in clusters.
Daffodils are native mainly to the Mediterranean region, in particular to the Iberian Peninsula, as well as Northern Africa and the Middle East.
In addition to the species, the Daffodil Data Bank lists over 13,000 hybrids. Generally Daffodils are yellow, and range from yellow-and-white, yellow-and-orange,
white-and-orange, pink, and lime-green.
All Daffodils have a corona in the center that looks like a trumpet and a ring of petals all around.
The natural Daffodil is colored golden yellow all over while the trumpet may often appear in a contrasting color.
The paper-white Daffodils could be planted in gardens that are outdoors. But they could also grow in indoor gardens during Christmas.
Daffodils come in all sizes, from 5-inch blooms on 2-foot stems to half-inch flowers on 2-inch stems. Largely for show purposes or for guidance in gardening,
certain species and named cultivars have been determined by the American Daffodil Society to be miniatures and must compete by themselves in Daffodil shows.
Difference between Daffodils and Narcissus
There is literally no difference between the Daffodils and Narcissus. The two words are synonymous. Narcissus is the Latin or botanical name for those commonly called daffodils
and Daffodil is the common name for all members of the genus Narcissus.