Tulips are spring blooming bulbous perennial plants that bear one of the most beautiful flowers of various hues and colors. Scientifically referred to as Tulipa, belonging to the family Lilaceae, or family of Lily, there are over 100 different species of the plant, that are often sought for their aesthetic beauty. Some of the most popular varieties are Darwin, parrot, lily, cottage, Semper Augustus, and Duc van Tol tulips.
The plant stands erect, with strong broad leaves clustered near the base, and a cup shaped, beautiful flower borne on the tip of the stem. Many plants bear single flower, but some do bear 2 or more flowers on the stem. The tulip flowers bloom in almost every color of the rainbow, including black, deep purple, maroon, magenta, violet-blue, pure white, and many more, except for the true blue color.
Some flowers have multi colored petals with different shades and tones. Tulip ranks third on the flower popularity chart in the world, behind rose and chrysanthemum. The flower is regarded as the symbol of true love. Legends narrate that the blood of true lover had colored the red tulips; and hence giving red tulip means declaring true love in many parts of the world.
The beauty of this flowering plant had swept away the Europeans off their feet when it was introduced in the land in the 16th Century. Holland went through the phase known as Tulipomania, were most of its citizens were interested in growing tulips. Even to this day, the landscape created by the gardens of tulips planted in different colors attracts thousands of tourists to Keukenhof in Netherlands, which is the world’s largest display of tulips. It is still a big commercial industry, and export of tulip bulbs forms a major chunk of Netherlands’ economy.
Medicinal Value of Tulips
Due to the high price of the plant, not much research has been conducted into the medicinal value of tulips. In ancient herbal medicinal books, only few references can be found regarding the medicinal uses of the plant, as not many would want to crush the petals of the precious flower. During the WWII, the Dutch overcame the scarcity of food by eating the bulbs of Tulips which is healthy and nutritious food. In Afghanistan, tulip is eaten for gaining strength. In Britain the Tuna, stuffed tulips recipe, is a classic dish of special occasion.
Tulip flowers are known to be an excellent poultice for insect bites, bee stings, burns, and rashes on the skin, as it gave quick relief with a soothing effect.
Warm up 2-4 flowers in hot water. Dip a towel in the hot water and drop the petals of the flowers into the towel. Roll the towel to crush the leaves. Apply the crushed petals to area where there is skin rash, bee sting or insect bite to find quick relief from the irritation. Hold the leaves on the place for 10 minutes using the hot towel.
Remove fresh petals from the red hued tulips and crush them. Rub the crushed petals on the cheeks to get a natural blush. The extract from the petals also helps in removal of spots and blemishes from the skin.
The juice extracted from the crushed petals and base of the tulip flower provides relief from scratches, itches and skin irritation. It is widely used in Netherlands to smoothen the skin on work worn hands.