There are two plants that have been monopolising my attention in the nearby fields this last week – buttercups and elderflowers. I will be posting on elderflowers in the next few days so today’s post will be in honour of the humble but winningly beautiful buttercup.
I suspect I say this a lot, as memory never quite does justice to experience, but I don’t remember ever seeing so many large and beautiful buttercups as there have been this year, carpeting the field edges with joyful splashes of colour.
The sap from buttercups causes blistering so it is not used in modern herbal medicine, though like celandine and other plants with caustic sap, it has been employed in the treatment of warts by traditional herbalists.
Last weekend these charmingly cheerful little blooms were aglow in the morning sunshine so I took the opportunity to get out early and make a flower remedy. If you are interested but new to flower remedy making you can read my detailed instructions here, as I won’t go into the process again in this post.
Meadow buttercup (Ranunculus acris) is truly a flower of childhood associations, so many of us remember holding the bright yellow blooms beneath our chins to admire the reflected glow, an incontrovertible sign that you liked butter!
Along with daisies they are possibly the two flowers I associate most strongly with childhood so perhaps I already had a preconceived idea that the buttercup essence would be a remedy for bringing us a sense of childlike joy and innocence to heal the cynicism that age invariably brings.
When sitting with the plants making my remedy however, the message that was most emphasised was that of trust. Trust and open hearted courage are also aspects of childhood. Before we learn to be suspicious and fearful of the motives and reactions of others and shut down accordingly, trust is our natural state of being.
Buttercup is small, common and often considered a weed as it reduces the productivity of pastureland. Yet it shines with such radiance that it appears to be lit from within rather than without.
Perhaps, with a little trust and courage, or rather with a little less suspicion and fear, we too could be like buttercups, moving beyond those things that hold us back, not believing so strongly in the cares and cautions of the mind and letting our inner radiance shine out.
Whether others consider them weeds or most radiant of wild flowers, the buttercup bestows its gifts regardless.