Flower Power ( 2 Min Read )
Here are different flowers that influenced world history & medical world.
Sunflower: was used by the Incas as an image of their Sun god. Temples were adorned with golden images of sunflowers and Incan priestesses wore sunflower headdresses. The first European contact with the plants was when the Spanish explorer Francisco Pizarro found the Incan people wearing them to honor their god. Sunflowers reached Europe only in the 17th century.
Tulip: While some people associate the Tulip with the Netherlands, the flower is actually indigenous to Central Asia. Tulip mania reached Netherlands around 1620, immediately the demand was so high that a single specimen could cost more than 6 times the average Dutchman’s annual wages. Fortunes were made and lost on this flower. The bubble burst in 1637, leaving many merchants ruined, and causing an economic depression throughout the country.
Lavender: Many medieval individuals thought this flower would protect them from the death. Glovemakers would scent the stock with Lavender oil, thieves washed loot stolen from victim’s graves with Lavender as well. People would tie bunches around their wrists, hoping it would protect them from contracting plague. This may have actually helped, since plague was spread by fleas, and Lavender is well known to repel fleas.
Chrysanthemum: The monarch of Japan sits on the “ Chrysanthemum Throne”. It is an English term for what the Japanese call ‘The Imperial Throne’. This flower is the official seal of the Emperor’s family, shown on the imperial flags and on Japanese passports.
Edelweiss: This flower is the insignia some Austrian and German alpine troops. It also serves as the rank insignia for Swiss Generals. Interestingly it was also the emblem of the ‘Edelweiss Pirates’, an anti-Nazi group during the WWII.
Corporal Violet: was the nickname of Napoleon Bonaparte. When Napoleon was exiled to Elba in 1814, he told his friends that he would ‘return with the violets’. Thus this flower became the emblem of those who wished to return. ‘Corporal Violet’ was a popular toast among his friends.
Red Poppies: In much of British Commonwealth, these flowers are worn on Remembrance Day to honor the victims of WWI. It was chosen because these flowers could bloom in battlefields of Flanders Fields. The red color also well symbolizes the bloodshed in that war. Some chose to wear White Poppies instead, symbolizing a desire for peaceful alternatives to warfare.
Snapdragons: This blooming weed played a big role in Bacon’s Rebellion, 1676. British soldiers were sent to quell and uprising, however the troops made a mistake of eating this flower which caused hallucinations, delirium, high fever, hypertensions and in extremely cases caused seizures, respiratory arrest leading to death. The British Troops were incapacitated for 11 days.
Scarlet Carnation: is the state flower of Ohio, in honor of the assassinated American President- William McKinley. Dr Levi Lamborn a personal friend of McKinley has purchased six Red Carnation seedlings from France. McKinley expressed admiration for the beauty of these flowers, so Dr Lamborn plucked one of them and gave it to him to put in his buttonhole. From that point President McKinley always wore a red carnation in his lapel for good luck. Later while attending Pan American Expo in New York, he gave his lucky flower to a little girl who asked for it. Seconds later, he was shot dead and in 1904 Ohio adopted the Scarlet Carnation as it’s official state flower in his honor.
Delphiniums: as a protection from scorpion stings.
Roses: used in ancient times to ease stomach pain.
Snowdrops & Daffodils: are used today to produce ‘ Galantamine’ is used for the treatment of Alzheimer.
Amaranthus: could even be a miracle plant for tomorrow. The ancient Chinese used this flower for curing migraines.
Acacia: was used extensively in the treatment of Rabies
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