Myosotis sp. / Vergeet-me-nietje

Het vergeet-mij-nietje is een overblijvend plantje met zachte, lancetvormige, ruw behaarde bladeren. Het plantje kan ca. 60 centimeter hoog worden. De stengels zijn vertakt en vanaf mei tot oktober verschijnen er kleine, prachtig bleekblauwe bloempjes, in trosjes bovenaan de stengel. Per plant ontstaan tussen de 500 en 1500 zaden.

Het geslacht Vergeet-mij-nietje telt enkele dozijnen soorten, waaronder de in Nederland en België voorkomende soorten: Akkervergeet-mij-nietje (Myosotis arvensis), Veelkleurig vergeet-mij-nietje (Myosotis discolor), Zompvergeet-mij-nietje (Myosotis laxa subsp. cespitosa), Ruw vergeet-mij-nietje (Myosotis ramosissima), Moerasvergeet-mij-nietje (Myosotis scorpioides subsp. scorpioides), Weide vergeet-mij-nietje (Myosotis scorpioides subsp. nemorosa), Stijf vergeet-mij-nietje (Myosotis stricta) en het Bosvergeet-mij-nietje (Myosotis sylvatica).

Vindplaats
Vergeet-mij-nietjes komen voor in Europa, Azië, Afrika en Australië langs oevers en in natte graslanden.

Naamgeving
Vergeet-mij-nietje, akkervergeet-mij-nietje, middelste vergeet-mij-nietje.

De naam Myosotis komt van het Grieks en betekent muis-oortje (mus - otis). Dit duidt op de vorm en beharing van het blad. De Latijnse naam "Arvensis geeft aan dat het op de akker groeit.

Middeleeuwen
In de Middeleeuwen waren eens een ridder en zijn geliefde langs een rivier aan het wandelen. Bij het plukken van een bosje bloemen viel hij door de zwaarte van zijn harnas in het water. Terwijl hij verdronk, gooide hij het bosje bloemen naar zijn geliefde en riep: "Vergeet mij niet". Deze bloem is verbonden met romantiek en tragiek en werd vaak door vrouwen gedragen als teken van trouw en oneindige liefde.

Vergeet-mij-nietjesblauw
De mooie lieflijke kleur van de bloemen, heeft zelfs een eigen naam: "vergeet-mij-nietjesblauw". De schilders verkrijgen deze tint door hun blauw met wit te mengen en het dan op een witte ondergrond aan te brengen.

De taal der bloemen
Gedachtenis "Denk veel aan me"

Een Perzische legende
Een engel was uit het paradijs verdreven omdat hij verliefd was geworden op een sterfelijk meisje. Hij moest voor straf Vergeet-mij-nietjes uitzaaien in de vier hoeken van de wereld. Nadat hij zijn taak had volbracht, keerde hij getooid met vergeet-mij-nietjes weer terug bij zijn geliefde. Zij was ook onsterfelijk geworden.

Geneeskundig gebruik
Het akkervergeet-mij-nietje wordt al sinds de Middeleeuwen gebruikt als geneeskruid. De medicinale werking tegen tuberculose werd wetenschappelijk bewezen. TBC komt bijna niet meer voor en het kruid is in de vergetelheid geraakt. Het werd vooral ingezet tegen tuberculose.
Moerasvergeet-mij-nietje wordt gebruikt bij oorpijn. Kook de bloeiende toppen en bladeren van een moerasvergeet-mij-nietje even in wat water. Leg de gekookte plant in een gaasje op het pijnlijke oor.
Door de versterkende werking van het moerasvergeet-mij-nietje wordt de thee ervan gedronken bij zwakte en herstelperiodes na ziekte. Overgiet 20 gram gedroogde bloeiende toppen met een liter kokend water. Laat dit 15 minuten trekken. Drink 3 kopjes per dag.
Wassing voor geïrriteerde en vermoeide ogen: Overgiet 15 gram gedroogde bloeiende toppen met 1 liter kokend water. Laat dit 10 min laten trekken. Zeef het en spoel hiermee de ogen.


Genus Myosotis belongs to the Boraginaceae family and includes about 100 species occurring mainly in western Eurasia and New Zealand.

Both species differ in morphology and occupy various habitats. M. palustris is covered with straight hairs, decumbent to upright angular stem, rhizome and crown diameter of 5–8 mm. M. arvensis is also covered with hairs, crown with a diameter of 4–5 mm and petioles which are 2–3 times longer than calyx during fruiting. Hairs on the floral cup are hook shaped (Rutkowski 1998).
M. palustris prefers places with moderate light (light indicator according to Ellenberg––L7) and soil with high humidity (moisture indicator––F8). It occurs in wet meadows, at the edge of waters, wetlands. M. arvensis prefers a slightly smaller amount of light than M. palustris. It occurs in wet meadows, at the edge of waters, wetlands (light indicator––L6) on fresh and dry soils (moisture indicator––F5) like fields, fallows, roadsides, grasslands and forest edges (Jäger 2011).

According to the literature, the species of genus Myosotis contain alkaloids, saponins and higher fatty acids (Shinkarenko 2008). However, detailed reports on the chemical constituents of M. arvensis and M. palustris are scarce so far.

Folk medicine recommends M. arvensis in the treatment of malignant tumor of the oral cavity and sex organs and in tuberculosis (Shinkarenko and Vasil’ev 2008). Study conducted in mice showed that aqueous extracts of the aerial part of the M. arvensis exert anxiolytic and antidepressant activity (Polomeyeva et al. 2011). It was also proved that oil extracts of both herbs inhibit the development of bacteria microorganisms, e. g., Shigella sonnei and Candida albicans. Moreover, the extracts of M. arvensis inhibit viability of Staphylococcus aureus and Streptococcus faecalis and the M. palustris extracts inhibit the growth of Pseudomonas aeruginosa (Shinkarenko 2008).

It has already been shown that essential oils may, despite their small amounts, contribute to the therapeutic activities of the plants (Radulović et al. 2006). Among the major biological activities of essential oils antibacterial, antifungal and anti-inflammatory properties are mentioned. The aim of this study was phytochemical investigation and comparison of the components of the M. arvensis and M. palustris volatile oils. To the best of our knowledge, there are no previous reports on the essential oil profile of species belonging to genus Myosotis (Boraginaceae).

Materials and methods
Plant material
M. arvensis and M. palustris herbs were collected from the natural habitats in Central Poland (May and June 2012). Voucher specimens have been deposited in the Department of Pharmacognosy, Poznan University of Medical Sciences, Poznan.

Oil extraction
A 30 g samples of dried M. arvensis and M. palustris herbs were hydrodistillated in a Clevenger-type apparatus with 500 ml of distilled water for 3 h.

Identification of essential oils composition (GC–MS analysis)
The analysis of chemical composition of essential oils was performed using Varian 4000 GC–MS, electron energy of 70 eV and ion source temperature of 200 °C. The instrument was equipped with VF-5 ms silica column (30 m × 0.25 mm × 0.39), d f = 25 µm. Helium was the carrier gas at the flow rate of 1 mL/min and the split ratio 1:10. The oven temperature was programmed at 40 °C (held for 2 min) then gradually increased to 280 °C at the rate of 15 °C/min. The detector temperatures were: 180 °C for ion trap, 50° for manifold and 220 °C for the transfer line. Identification of components was based on comparison of their retention time, as well as mass spectra with standards from the NIST mass spectra library and literature data (Adams 2007). Semi-quantitative data were obtained from relative peak area percentages.

Results and discussion
Hydrodistillation of the herbs of M. arvensis and M. palustris yielded 0.51 and 0.54 % v/w of yellowish essential oils, respectively. The GC–MS analysis of M. arvensis volatile oil revealed the presence of at least 15 components representing 89.63 % of the total oil, while in M. palustris essential oil 21 chemical structures were identified and accounted for 93.19 % of the ingredients of the essential oil fraction. For most of the chemical structures, a good match factor of 800–900 was obtained and some of the compounds were even identified with a very good match factor of >900, while for several constituents match factor was >700 (Table 1). The constituents found in M. arvensis and M. palustris essential oils belong to various chemical groups representing primarily alcohols, aldehydes, ketones, esters, terpenes and saturated fatty acids. The 3-methyl-benzaldehyde was found to be the major constituent of both tested oils (42.76 % in M. arvensis and 45.80 % in M. palustris). Other compounds common for both species are: hexadecanoic acid, 2-hexyl-1-octanol, octanal, 2-methylcyclopentanol, 4-methyl-benzenemethanol, 3-decen-1-ol, 4-nitrophenyl ester o-toluic acid and hexahydroxyfarnesylacetone. Although the compositional data of the essential oils showed some similarities, the components present in minor amounts are quite different for the two tested species, e. g., M. palustris oil is richer in unsaturated aliphatic alcohols.

A Myosotis arvensis, B Myosotis palustris

Some of the identified constituents have already been described in many plant species and were demonstrated to possess medicinal properties, e. g., α-bisabolol oxide B characteristic for M. palustris and methyl salicylate characteristic for M. arvensis. α-Bisabolol is (α,4-dimethyl-α-(4-methyl-3-pentenyl)-3-cyclohexene-1-methanol) monocyclic sesquiterpene alcohol. Its oxidation products are mainly bisabolol-oxide A and B (Kamatou 2010). The compound is also present in some species belonging to Boraginaceae, e.g., Auxemma glazioviana Taub. (Costa et al. 2007). In tested M. palustris essential oil α-bisabolol is present in an oxidized form as α-bisabolol oxide (B). A particularly important medicinal activity of α-bisabolol includes anti-inflammatory, antibacterial and anti-irritant properties. Due to the non-allergenic activity it is widely used in dermatology and cosmetology as an ingredient of different kinds of cosmetics including deodorants, hand, body and after-shave creams, lipsticks, after-sun products, as well as baby care cosmetics (Kamatou 2010; Anonymous 2008).

Methyl salicylate present in M. arvensis oil is a well-known organic ester which exerts anti-inflammatory, analgesic and rubefaction activity. It commonly occurs in many plants, especially belonging to families: Betulaceae (genus Betula) and Rosaceae (genus Spiraea) (Zhang et al. 2011).

A lot of fatty acids exhibit antibacterial and antifungal activity (Dilika et al. 2000) among other hexadecanoic acid (palmitic acid) (McGraw et al. 2002) present in large quantities in the M. arvensis and M. palustris essential oil. The compound is widely distributed in plants including Boraginaceae family, e.g., M. ramosissima, M. sicula, (Özcan 2008) and other like Asteraceae, i. a., Taraxacum officinale F. H. Wigg. (Bylka et al. 2010), Ranunculaceae, e. g., Trollius europaeus L. (Witkowska-Banaszczak 2013), Lamiaceae (Salvia species, Stachys species) (Azcan et al. 2004; Skaltsa et al. 2003). One of the most interesting properties of palmitic acid is the supposed inhibition of HIV-1 infection (Paskaleva et al. 2010). In addition, the constituent exerts antitumor activity against human leukemic cells (Harada et al. 2002). Other compound with anticancer potential is β-ionone, unsaturated cyclic ketone present in M. palustris oil. Its ability of mammary cancer suppression was proved in the study conducted in rats (Liu et al. 2008).

Some of the chemical structures common for both species tested in this study present antibacterial activity. Octanal widely used in perfumery exhibits antimicrobial activity against E. coli, S. cerevisiae, S. aureus and A. niger. It is also a strong antioxidant agent (Liu et al. 2012).

Hexahydroxyfarnesylacetone (6,10,14-trimethyl-2-pentadecanone) may repel insects, while according to some studies aliphatic methyl ketones with long chains exert such activity (Innocent et al. 2008). Also, identified aliphatic alcohols including 2-nonen-1-ol, 2-tetradecen-1-ol, 7-tetradecen-1-ol, and 2-hexyl-1-decanol are common components of essential oils extracted from different plants and for which antimicrobial activity was demonstrated (Manilal et al. 2009; Üçüncü et al. 2010; Ogunlesi et al. 2010; Rahmat et al. 2006).

In conclusion, the identification of M. arvensis and M. palustris components of essential oils may contribute to extending the knowledge of the chemical composition of these two species at the same time revealing species differences. The presence of components possessing proven biological properties may partly justify the use of plant from genus Myosotis in folk medicine.



The Salve by Jeanne Rose:
(general Salve formulas are listed in depth in the Herbal Studies Course and flower salves in the AROMAtherapy Studies Course)

A March event. Using only what I had available and choosing the smallest pan I had, a 1-cup stainless steel pot, I packed it with Forget-Me-Not flowers, as well as a few Meyer Lemon flowers and four Comfrey flowers. Then I added Camellia oil (any oil would do) to just cover the flowers. I put this on the stove at the lowest heat and heated until small bubbles were coming up. Then it was cooled, reheated, cooled, reheated and cooled. I put a strainer over 1-cup size glass jar, lined the strainer with tightly woven muslin (silk or tight mosquito cloth), and poured the pot contents into the strainer. The clear golden, fragrant oil came through. Then I grated flower wax from a bar of Mimosa flower wax (any floral wax will do or beeswax). I used about 4 cup floral wax, placed that in the small pot, added half of the strained oil, and heated it gently until the floral wax was melted. Finally, I added the two together, stirred it and let it sit.

This is just as easy as it can be. I now have a cup of softly fragrant, flower salve. I can use this as an application to dry hands or for magic such as in August, I can use it as an eye salve on August 27 after a walk through the garden to see if I can have any visions.

We make and talk about Salves and Bruise Juice and Calendula oil in the Herbal Classes of June.

Salve #2 
On Midsummer’s Eve day at 10 am on 6/20/05 [Solstice is at 11:45 pm tonight); I gathered flowers of Forget-me-Not and flowers of Mugwort (Artemisia vulgaris) and one juicy leaf of Comfrey as well as a Blue Malva flower. These were all put into the one-cup size stainless steel pot and 3/4 cup Camellia oil added to soak. IT was heated, cooled, heated, cooled, until all the liquid of the plants was gone. The herbs were strained out and 1/4 cup grated Blue Lotus wax added. Then the salve was heated gently, cooled slightly, added 8 drops of old Frankincense, stirred and poured into 16 1/2 ounce tins. Cool. This pale blue salve can be used on August 27 or any holy day for awareness and to expand consciousness. 

Many Salve recipes are listed in Jeanne Rose Books and the products including Special Salves on the product page of the website.

Visions & Mystery. August 27 is St. Monica’s Day. It is also a day of visions using the Forget-Me-Not. In Kull’s book, The Secret of Flowers, he says “…If one takes a sojourn in Egypt near the 27th day of their month Thoth (which is near to our month of august), and he anoints his eyes with the flower Forget-Me-Not, he will be made to see visions…” This is interesting because the Forget-Me-Not is not native to Egypt. However, in the hopes that I would see visions, on May 28, 2005 just at the end of the Forget-Me-Not season here in San Francisco, I made a salve of the flowers.

Magic is just science not yet known and magic can be studied in the Ritual is a Magical Experience and the Ritual class on June 21

Research on the Forget-Me-Not

Background and Botany: 
True Forget-me-not is Myosotis scorpioides (Myosotis palustris). The Family is Borage, the Boraginaceae. The habitat is wet places and along streamsides. 
• Height: 6-24 inches • Flower size: 1/4 inch across 
• Flower color: blue with a yellow center 
• Flowering time: March to October. The origin of this wonderful flower is Europe and Asia.

The forget-me-not, Myosotis sylvatica, bears tiny, delicate blossoms on thin stalks. It grows abundantly along shady streams and is cultivated as a border plant and under trees in gardens. This flower is also Alaska’s state flower. Forget Me Not Myosotis alpestris is the alpine forget-me-not. It was chosen in 1949. The alpine forget-me-not is a perennial that grows 5 to 12 inches high in alpine meadows. The flowers have five connected salviform petals, colored sky blue, that is a quarter to a third of an inch wide. They have a white inner ring and a yellow center. The best time to see the alpine forget-me-not in Alaska is midsummer, from late June to late July. In addition to finding the Myosotis alpestris, botanists in Denali National Park might also come across the mountain forget-me-not (Eritrichium aretiodes) and the splendid forget-me-not (Eritrichium splendens). http://www.50states.com/flower/alaska.htm

General Characteristics: The Forget-me-not flower has five, bright blue, regular petals that surround a yellow center. The flower is 1/2" wide. The flowers grow near the end of the stem, each having its own short stalk off the main stem. When the plant first emerges, the stem is curled at the end; when the flowers begin to bloom the stem uncurls. The stem grows 6"-12" high. The simple leaves grow in an alternate pattern along the stem. Leaves are lance-shaped and are 1-2" long. Both the leaves and stem are covered in fine hair. Forget-me-nots grow in mats with a widespread root system.

Plant Lore and Old Uses: There are four species of Forget-me-nots. There are native and non-native species, but the Myosotis scorpioides is from Europe. It escaped from gardens and found suitable habitat. The plant's scientific name and common name have several interesting theories on their origin. The scientific name, Myosotis, means mouse ear, which describes the size and shape of the petal. Its species name, scorpioides, and the common name "Scorpion Weed", are from the coiled plant stem that resembles a scorpion tail. This appearance led people to believe this flower was a remedy for scorpion stings; however, this claim has never been validated. The common name may have originated from an unpleasant edible experience that was hard to forget (these plants taste bad), or may have a more heartfelt meaning.

It is said that whomever wore this flower would not be forgotten by his or her lover. There are two stories that illustrate the flower's significance among lovers and explain the common name, although both have tragic endings. In the first story, a suitor was picking this flower for his love and saw the perfect specimen. It was close to the cliff's edge but he reached for it anyway. Losing his balance, the man plummeted over the cliff, shouting, "Forget me not!" as he fell. The second story originates in Germany. A knight and his lovely lady were walking along a riverbank. He was picking this flower for her when he tripped and fell into the river. Before he went under he threw the small bouquet to her and shouted "vergiss mein nicht", the German name of the flower.

Modern Uses of this Plant: The Forget-me-not is used today in gardens and along walkways… http://www.laurentiancenter.com/plantkey/plants/forgetmenot.html. I love the flower and plant it extensively in my garden, everywhere. It blooms and blooms throughout March, April and May. Then it reseeds itself for another blooming and for the next year. I harvest the flower in March for the Equinox and to make a salve for visions in August. I have never had visions but the salve is very soothing and nice on the skin.

History & Freemasonry…In early 1934, soon after Hitler's rise to power, Freemasonry was in danger. In that same year, the "Grand Lodge of the Sun" (one of the pre-war German Grand Lodges, located in Bayreuth) realizing the grave dangers involved, adopted the little blue Forget-Me-Not flower as a substitute for the traditional square and compasses. It was felt the flower would provide brethren with an outward means of identification while lessening the risk of possible recognition in public by the Nazis, who were engaged in wholesale confiscation of all Masonic Lodge properties. Freemasonry went undercover, and this delicate flower assumed its role as a symbol of Masonry surviving throughout the reign of darkness. During the ensuing decade of Nazi power a little blue Forget-Me-Not flower worn in a Brother's lapel served as one method whereby brethren could identify each other in public, and in cities and concentration camps throughout Europe. The Forget-Me-Not distinguished the lapels of countless brethren who staunchly refused to allow the symbolic Light of Masonry to be completely extinguished.

When Past Grand Master Beyer reopened the ‘Grand Lodge of the Sun’ in Bayreuth in 1947, a little pin in the shape of a Forget-Me-Not was officially adopted as the emblem of that first annual convention of the brethren who had survived the bitter years of semi-darkness to rekindle the Masonic Light. It meant do not forget the poor and the destitute… 
http://www.bessel.org/forgnot.htm

Thus did a simple flower blossom forth into a symbol of the fraternity, and become perhaps the most widely worn emblem among Freemasons in Germany; http://www.bessel.org/forgnot.htm



Myosotis arvensis - Forget-Me-Not
Field Forget-me-not 
Mysotis arvensis
Lus míonla goirt 
Family: Boraginaceae
Flowering time: April-September. Annual. Native.

Flowers and Fruit
The blue flowers are in leafless racemes. The calyx is fused and leaf-like with 5 tips. The corolla is shaped like a stemmed plate, has 5 tips, and is glabrous with yellow scales in the tube. The tube is enclosed in the calyx. There are 5 stamens and a 4-valvular ovary. The fruit stems  are twice as long as the caylx and stand out. The calyx is closed when the fruit ripens. The fruit is composed of 4 nutlets.

Leaves, Stem and Root
The plant is leafy and grows from 15 to 40 cm high. The stem is erect or ascendent and pubescent. The leaves are alternate. The lower leaves are petiolate and oblong-obovate, the upper ones sessile and lanceolate to lanceolate-oblong.

Maud Grieve notes: This plant has a strong affinity for the respiratory organs, especially the left lower lung. On the Continent it is sometimes made into a syrup and given for pulmonary affections. There is a tradition that a decoction or juice of the plant hardens steel. (Grieve, 1931)

The herb contains Pyrrolizidine alkaloids so should only be used under the guidance of a professional herbalist. Pyrrolizidine alkaloids are considered to be hepatotoxic in high doses.

Henriette Kress suggests uses of Mysotis include:  Chronic bronchitis and phthisis. Night-sweats. Respiratory.--Cough with profuse muco-purulent expectoration, gagging and vomiting during cough; worse while or after eating. Bronchorrhoea. Pain in left lung (lower); painful while coughing and sensitive to percussion. 

This herb is not commonly used in modern herbal medicine but is a wonderful little flower that is attractive to ladybirds and provide summer and autumn nectar for butterflies and bees, so makes a great addition to any wildflower garden.

Legend has it that  a medieval German knight is said to have been picnicking on the bank of the Danube with his lady love. He descended the bank to the water’s edge to gather some of the lovely blue flowers he saw there, but while he was near the water, tragedy struck. A “freshet” (flash flood) suddenly appeared and pulled the young man into the churning river. As he was literally swept away, he tossed the bouquet to his lady on the bank with the three now-famous words: “Forget me not!” 
The plant is abundant in the garden this year and has reminded me to do a little more research and bring this herb back into use. Forget me not indeed...



Anxiolytic and antidepressant effects of aqueous tincture of the aerial part of Myosotis arvensis. Polomeyeva NY, et al. Bull Exp Biol Med. 2011.
Experiments on outbred albino mice showed a significant anxiolytic effect of aqueous tincture of the aerial part of Myosotis arvensis (L.) (Boraginaceae) in a single daily dose of 0.5 ml/kg. In a dose of 2 ml/kg, the tincture of M. arvensis aerial part exhibited an anxiolytic and antidepressant effect. In contrast to phenazepam, aqueous tincture of M. arvensis did not inhibit exploratory and motor activities.

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