Birth Flower (December)

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Narcissus

Egotism and Conceit.
Symbol of Good Fortune.

Narcissus bulbs have been used medicinally for centuries, even though they are poisonous.

Roman soldiers were said to carry them in their first-aid containers.

European peasants applied Narcissus juice, mixed with honey, to cuts and swollen joints.

A doctor named Galen, who was surgeon at the school of Gladiators in Rome, used the juice from narcissus bulbs as his favorite salve to “glue wounds, cuts and gashes together.”

In subtle reference to the poisonous properties of the plant, the word narcissus originated from the Greek word “narkeo,” meaning “to be stupefied.” Lucorcine, which is contained within the bulbs, numbs the nervous system and paralyzes the heart.

Greek mythology relates the origin of the narcissus. Echo, a mountain nymph, fell deeply in love with Narcissus, who was beautiful young man. Narcissus vainly cared for nothing but own beauty, spending all his time viewing his reflection in a pool of water. Narcissus spurned Echo’s love until she finally center nothing but her voice as she faded away. Echo’s voice ran off into the mountains to mock every other voice it heard. The gods, angry with Narcissus’s vanity, changed him into a flower whose fate was to stand by a pool of water nodding at his own image for time eternal.

Mohammed is known to have said, “Let him who hath two loaves sell one, and buy the flower of narcissus: for bread is but food for the body, whereas, narcissus is food for the soul.”