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The Queen We Never Knew We Needed - Queen Anne's Lace


AKA: Daucus carota, Family: Apiaceae; wild carrot, European wild carrot, bird's nest, bishop's lace, and Queen Anne's lace.

 



Propagation/Description: Queen Anne's Lace is a wildflower that is a biennial and spreads through seeds. To propagate it, sow the seeds directly in well-drained, deep soil with full sun between February and July. Seeds can sprout from depths of 1/4–4 inches at any time during the growing season, forming a small rosette of fern-like green leaves. The leaves are intricately divided into segments that are linear to lance-shaped, with the lower leaves notably larger than the upper ones. As the flowering stalks shoot upwards, they can grow up to 4 feet tall. The white, umbrella-like flower heads typically bear a single purple flower with uneven petals at their centers, while the white florets each have five tiny petals. From mid-summer to mid-winter, the dried flower head curves outward, releasing seeds that are carried by wind or animals due to their hooked spines, aiding in long-distance dispersal. A single plant can yield as many as 40,000 seeds. While similar plants like yarrow, angelica, and wild parsley/parsnip can be mistaken for this species, it is crucial to differentiate it from toxic look-alikes such as poison hemlock and water hemlock. Therefore, always ensure you correctly identify this plant before handling or consuming it.


Folklore/History: There has been a longstanding belief that the red pigment symbolizes a droplet of blood shed by Queen Anne of Denmark, the wife of King James I, who is famous for overseeing the translation of the Bible into English in 1611. Legend has it that some of the queen's friends challenged her to create lace as exquisite as a flower, and while doing so, she pricked her finger and a drop of blood fell onto the lace. The flowers were also thought to symbolize sanctuary, possibly due to their resemblance to umbrellas and bird's nests, and it was believed that finding a forked root brought good luck. A derivative from the root was historically used to color butter yellow, and oil from the seeds was utilized in perfumes. Originally native to Eurasia, this plant is believed to have been cultivated in Central Asia around 1000 CE. Prehistoric seeds found in archaeological excavations suggest that the plant had medicinal uses before its edible root was domesticated.


Medicinal: For centuries, traditional medicine has utilized the wild carrot plant due to its numerous medicinal properties. This plant is rich in phytochemicals such as phenolic compounds, carotenoids, polyacetylenes, and vitamin C, all of which offer potential health benefits. These properties encompass antilithic, anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, antioxidant, carminative, diuretic, antiseptic, and lithontripic effects. The root of the plant aids in digestion, relieves gas, and reduces bloating. Infusions or teas made from the root can serve as diuretics, assisting in urination and detoxification. The wild carrot has been historically used to address a wide range of health issues, including urinary tract problems, kidney stones, stomach ailments, indigestion, constipation, diarrhea, jaundice, liver infections, fever, allergies, asthma, skin conditions, rheumatic arthritis, bleeding, and diabetes. It has also been employed in the treatment of menopause, menstrual disorders, and dysmenorrhea. Nonetheless, caution should be exercised as wild carrot may interact with certain medications and substances like estrogens, lithium, and antihypertensive drugs. Excessive consumption of wild carrot may mimic estrogen effects and elevate blood pressure levels.

 

Spiritual: Queen Anne’s Lace is an incredible plant of manifestation! Take her along with you whenever you crave her uplifting magic. Infuse her in a tea to unlock visions during meditation and harness the power to manifest your desires into reality. This magnificent plant bestows fertility, protection, awareness, strength, and transformation – so be prepared! She is absolutely POWERFUL! 🌿✨


Summary: Queen Anne or more correctly Anna of Denmark was a political force in her own right, intelligent, quick-witted, and utterly determined. She helped bridge the gap between the Catholic and Protestant factions and provided protections through various times in her reign between Scottland and her home country and was able to manifest international relations and most desires of her husband, King James I. She was truly a formidably strong woman of her time and the comparison of this plant to her is well warranted and deserved.

 

Bibliography: 

The Lost Book of Herbal Remedies; The Healing Power of Plant Medicine by Dr. Nicole Apelian, Ph.D & Claude Davis, Pgs. 129-130.

Encyclopedia of Herbal Medicine, 550 Herbs and Remedies for Common Ailments by Andrew Chevallier, FNIMH, Pg. 201.

Plant Witchery by Juliet Diaz, Pgs. 272-274.

Floriography, An Illustrated Guide to the Victorian Language of Flowers by Jessica Roux, Pgs. 148-149.

Flowerpaedia, 1000 flowers and their meanings by Cheralyn Darcey, Pgs. 20, 54, 113, 126, 153, 196.

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