May lily of the valley

Liliaceae – Liliaceae.

Popular names: eye grass, May lily, Mary’s bells, snow drops.

Parts Used: Leaves.

Pharmacy name: lily of the valley herb – Convallariae herba (formerly: Herba Convallariae), lily of the valley tincture – Convallariae tinctura (formerly: Tinctura Convallariae).

Botanical description. In places where lily of the valley grows, large dark green oval (to lanceolate) leaves are primarily striking, more than 10 cm long and almost 5 cm wide. They arise from a light brown (to whitish gray) creeping rhizome. The leaves are characterized by arcuate venation with a strong main vein. Two basal leaves surround a leafless peduncle, on which are fragrant drooping white flowers in the form of bells with six teeth bent along the edge. The flowers are collected in a one-sided brush, after ripening, shiny, spherical red berries are formed from them. Blooms in May-June. It grows mainly in deciduous (beech) forests, less often in hollows. It is found in Central, Southern and Eastern Europe, in North America.

Active ingredients: cardiac glycosides (up to 30 different ones, among them the main ones are convallatoxin and convallatoxol, which are very close to the group of strophanthus glycosides).

Healing action and application. The raw material itself is currently not used at all in medicine, however, galenic products are among the important medicines used in the treatment of chronic heart disease, heart weakness as a result of infectious diseases, disorders in the conduction system of the heart and other cardiovascular diseases, as well as calming the nerves. means.

Use in homeopathy. The homeopathic product Convallaria is prepared from the whole fresh flowering plant. It is used mainly for diseases of the cardiovascular system of the nervous nature in dilution D 1 and is given regularly at a dosage of 5-10 drops 2-3 times every day. In case of heart weakness, especially with slow heartbeat, or with the so-called dropsy of the heart, the original tincture is used.

Application in folk medicine. Lily of the valley is a poisonous plant and should never be used on its own! For information, it should be said that in folk medicine they use tea from the leaves of lily of the valley as a diuretic for edema and, to a lesser extent, to purify the blood. At one time there was an opinion that lily of the valley can treat all diseases. In folk medicine, this opinion is still preserved. Especially often they try to treat people suffering from paralysis and epilepsy with lily of the valley. It should also be mentioned that dried lily of the valley flowers are an integral part of Schneeberger snuff.

Side effects. With the use of products from this plant prescribed by a doctor and the correct dosage, there are no side effects. But the active ingredients of lily of the valley, contained in all parts of the plant, are poisonous. And yet it must be said that the poisonousness of the lily of the valley is greatly exaggerated. The tales that a child allegedly died after drinking water from a vase where lilies of the valley stood are not confirmed. Serious lily of the valley poisoning is hardly possible, even when eating berries. However, caution must be exercised.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *