Daffodil (Narcissus tazetta)

Nargis or Tazette (Narcissus tazetta) is an ornamental plant having white flowers with yellow corona. It belongs to Amaryllidaceae, a plant family well known for the toxicity of bulb due to presence of alkaloids.

"Narcissus-tazetta-0006a"by Zachi Evenor - Flickr: Licensed under CC BY 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons

Common names of Daffodil

Angel's tear, Bunch-flowered narcissus, Chinese sacred lily, Tazetta (ENGLISH), Nargis, Behar, Berengat (ARABIC)

Daffodil Plant Description

Daffodil plant grows through a bulb. It has long flat leaves. The flowers are borne on the tall stalk having length of fifty centimetre. The fragrant flowers are yellow and white in colour.

Daffodil Toxicity

Bulb through which plant grows contains alkaloids lycorine, pseudolycorine, tazettine and many more. At least fifteen alkaloids have been isolated from the bulb as well as from flowers. These alkaloids are poisonous and harmful on ingestion or skin contact.

The bulbs are powerful emetic, diuretic and purgative. Oral ingestion of bulb causes vomiting, salivation, diarrhoea and sometimes shivering.

Skin contact causes rashes and allergic contact dermatitis. Lesion on fingers, hands, face etc. are seen in people working with Daffodil flowers and bulbs. Bulb handling causes dermatitis due presence of needle-shaped clusters of calcium oxalate. Dermatitis is a condition in which the skin becomes red, swollen, and sore, sometimes with small blisters, caused by direct irritation of the skin by an external agent or an allergic reaction to it.

Other allergic reactions exhibited are eyelids swelling, conjunctivitis, stuffy nose, difficult breathing, lesions with itching etc.

Uses of Daffodil

  1. Daffodil plant is a toxic plant but in Unani it is used as solvent (mohallil), absorbent/absorbefacient (jaazib) and jaali (detergent), and also for the treatment of Baalkhora (Alopecia areate).
  2. The bulb paste prepared using milk and jaggery is applied topically on boils.
  3. In China, poultice made of bulb is used for treating swelling and flowers are used for cosmetic purpose.
  4. Commercially plant is grown for essential oil, Narcissus oil which is the most popular fragrance in perfumery.
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