Bellis perennis is the Latin name for the English Daisy also called Garden Daisy and Hens and Chickens. Its natural habitat is Europe, but especially England.
Dr. Edward Anshutz in his work, New, Old and Forgotten Remedies, gives a history of the use of the plant as a remedy and reports a proving of it made in 1915 at the College of Homoeopathic Medicine in the Ohio state University.
Dr. Henry Thomas is credited with first mentioning Bellis in homoeopathic literature in 1858 in the British Journal of Homoeopathy, Vol.XVI.
Dr. Burnett of London used Bellis perennis a good deal and Clark’s Dictionary of Materia Medica quotes him in giving its symptomatology and therapeutic applications. The remedy is also noticed in Dewey’s Essentials of Homoeopathic Materia Medica and William Boericke describes its usage in his Pocket Manual of Materia Medica.
Dr. Thomas tells of using Bellis first externally as a compress in a badly sprained ankle with very prompt relief. The patient was able to walk four miles to his work on the second day of treatment. The doctor afterward used the tincture externally for a number of cases of sprained ankles or wrists with results that were much better than he had formerly had with Arnica. Later he tried to make a proving of the plant on himself by
taking doses of 10 or 20 drops of the tincture for two weeks. When he developed no symptoms he stopped, but two weeks later developed a large boil on the back of his neck. This was followed by other boils and pimples, the first he had ever had. Sometime afterward he took doses of the 3rd centesimal preparation and this produced a pimple.
The proving by the Ohio College students was conducted in 1915 under the supervision of Dr. Albert Hinsdale. There were six provers, four men and two women. The tincture only was used, a dose thrice daily and no symptoms were noted till half a dram was taken at a dose on the seventh day. The amount was gradually increased to one dram. The proving lasted 23 days. The skin was affected in most of the provers. Itching on the back and along the flexor surfaces of the thighs, worse from a warm bath and the warmth of the bed, with relief from cold. No eruption.
One prover had itching of the hairy margin of the scalp, worse from a hot bath and in bed, and better from cold. Two provers had four or five boils on the face on the twelfth day and those lasted through the proving.
Five provers developed intestinal symptoms, diarrhoea with painless yellow stools of foul odor with little or no urging and aggravation at night.
One of the two women provers had had a hysterectomy several years before so she developed no symptoms of the sexual organs. The other took the drugs through two menstrual periods and had some definite symptoms-especially a soreness of the uterus as ;if squeezed, lasting through the period, with pain down the anterior surface of the thighs. This was accompanied by vertigo worse on rising, better lying down.
Two provers had no symptoms in the extremities. The other four had a variety of aches and pains in joints and muscles with a good deal of soreness; sometimes there was aggravation at night.
Dr. Anshutz sums up the indications for the drug as follows:- “In general the therapeutic range of BELLIS in rheumatic conditions is as follows: soreness of joints, strained, bruised feeling characterized by no special modality; generalized muscular soreness …. In so-called rheumatic cases lacking the modalities of Bryonia and Rhus tox., Bellis is indicated….. For bruised conditions, muscular soreness resulting from exposure or too vigorous physical exercise, the herb is very useful and in the opinion of this writer, who has given the remedy many trials in these conditions, it far surpasses Arnica”.
Dr.J.C.Burnett says that BELLIS is a remedy for all ills that may be traced to a sudden wetting when over heated. He adds “It is a princely remedy for old laborers, especially gardeners”.
Dr.William Boericke gives some general indications that are useful. “Bellis acts on the muscular fibres of the blood vessels… it is useful in venous congestion due to mechanical causes. The first remedy in injuries to the deeper tissues after major surgical work. Exudations, stasis, and swelling come within the range of this remedy. Complaints due to cold food or drink when the body is heated and in affections due to cold
winds.” This tallies with Dr. Burnett’s dictum. “Varicose veins with sore bruised feeling. Results of injuries to nerves with intense soreness and intolerance of cold bathing”.
The modalities with reference to heat and cold are interesting. With some conditions, especially of the skin, there is marked aggravation from a warm bath or warmth of the bed, with relief from cold applications. Other conditions, especially rheumatic, are worse from cold wind. Dr.Boericke gives the modality, “worse the left side”.
Several years ago Dr.Royal E.S. Hayes read an intensely interesting paper on Bellis and I take the liberty of quoting a few sentences from it. “Acute obstruction, intense pain, throbbing, soreness, spells of unbearable shooting, the patient frantic and sometimes dancing about and screaming, aggravated by heat and relief by cold-this complex in various localities has been instantly relieved. The same is recalled in the ear, tooth, gall bladder, ureter, gangrene, felon and uterus.” Dr.Hayes reported a case of acute sinusitis due to running out into the winter wind when thinly clad and warm with exercise. The pain was sharp throbbing, relieved by cold and made unendurable by heat. This was cured by a single dose of Bellis 200.
I regret that I have nothing very spectacular in the way of cases, but the remedy has relieved pain in an ankle sprained several years ago. It has relieved the hand of a workman who had over used it in putting up a ceiling where the hammer pressed on his hand. The lower part of the hand and wrist were badly swollen and very painful. Better from hot compresses. It has brought relief to an arthritic knee and varicose veins in the legs. The knee was better from heat. A foot and ankle badly fractured some years ago in a fall when skating had a very sensitive nerve, worse from cold. This sensitiveness has been relieved.
On the whole, Bellis Perennis deserves study and careful use.