LILY OF THE VALLEY SYMBOLIZES THE RETURN OF HAPPINESS
Latin Name: Convallaria majalis
Family: Asparagaceae (formerly Lily of the Valley Family – Convallariaceae)
Common Names: May bells, Our Lady's tears, Mary's tears
Origin: native throughout the cool temperate Northern Hemisphere in Asia, and Europe
Habitat: dry and young forest heaths, ridges, forest margins, rocky ridges, banks, broad-leaved forests, coppices.
Plant Parts Used: flowers, leaves and root. The fresh leaves have the most potency
A perennial plant with stem of 15-30 cm tall, having usually 2 glossy leaves 10-25 cm long and white bell-shaped flowers. Blooms from May to June, and then bright red or orange berries ripen. Lilies of the valley grow on bright glades of coniferous and deciduous forests.
By the way, lily of the valley contains starch, which is an easily digestible carbohydrate. Being converted into glucose, it helps the body producing the energy, which is necessary for the normal activity of all human systems and organs.
Lily of the valley contains a lot of macro- and microelements, which have beneficial effects on the body.
PROPERTIES OF THE LILY OF THE VALLEY
INDICATIONS FOR LILY OF THE VALLEY USE
The lily of the valley is internally and externally indicated in the treatment of such diseases:
- dropsy of cardiac origin
- thyroid gland diseases
- infectious diseases
- acute and chronic heart failure of stages I and II
- myocardial dystrophy
- heart defects
- eye diseases
- paroxysmal tachycardia
- throat diseases
- bronchial asthma
- Graves’ disease
LILY OF THE VALLEY INTERACTIONS
Interaction with calcium supplements:
Lily of the valley acts as a strong stimulant for the heart as well as calcium has an effect on this organ. Simultaneous taking of this herb and calcium can cause heart hyperstimulation. Do not use them together.
Interaction with Digoxin(Lanoxin):
Digoxin slows and strengthens heart contractions, enabling the heart to pump more blood with each beat. Lily of the valley has also a cardiotonic effect. Therefore, it is forbidden to take them together without consulting a doctor.
Interaction with medications for inflammation (Corticosteroids):
Lily of the valley has an anti-inflammatory effect as well as medications for inflammation (such as dexamethasone (Decadron), hydrocortisone (Cortef), methylprednisolone (Medrol), prednisone (Deltasone), and others). Both the herb and medications can provoke the reducing of a potassium rate of the organism. It can evoke a critical situation for the heart and enlarge the chance of side effects. The concurrent consumption is forbidden.
Interaction with Quinine:
Quinine can cause abnormal heart rhythms and life-threatening blood and cardiovascular reactions. That is why it is prohibited to consume quinine and lily of the valley concomitantly as the latest one has an impact on heart activity either.
Interaction with Antibiotics (Macrolide antibiotics):
Macrolide antibiotics involve erythromycin, azithromycin, and clarithromycin. Parallel taking lily of the valley and these medications can strengthen its effectiveness as well as side effects as a result of a greater absorption of lily of the valley’s substances in the body.
Interaction with Antibiotics (Tetracycline antibiotics):
Tetracycline antibiotics include demeclocycline (Declomycin), minocycline (Minocin), and tetracycline (Achromycin). Lily of the valley consumption together with these antibiotics can make the side effects stronger.
Interaction with Lithium:
Lily of the valley consumption has an impact on the process of getting rid of the lithium from the body. The lithium quantity can become greater and leads to high-priority side effects. Consult a doctor, perhaps you will need to change a dosage of lithium.
Interaction with Stimulant laxatives:
Stimulant laxatives include bisacodyl (Correctol, Dulcolax), cascara, castor oil (Purge), senna (Senokot), and others. Laxatives lessen the potassium rate in the body, while the heart consumes potassium. Lily of the valley interaction with stimulant laxatives might enlarge the chance of life-threatening side effects of the plant.
Interaction with Water pills (Diuretic drugs):
Water pills remove potassium from your body. One of the symptoms of low potassium rates includes heart rhythm problems. Lily of the valley also affects the heart. Simultaneous taking can augment possible side effects of lily of the valley. Water pills that can reduce potassium include chlorothiazide (Diuril), chlorthalidone (Thalitone), furosemide (Lasix), hydrochlorothiazide (HCTZ, HydroDiuril, Microzide), and others.
CONTRAINDICATIONS AND TOXICITY OF THE PLANT
Toxicity is the plant's defense against animals eating its seeds. All parts of the plant (the stems, the leaves, the flowers and the berries) are extremely poisonous and close to 40 different cardiac glycosides have been found in the plant so far.
It is important to remember that due to the high activity of the substances in its composition the lily of the valley is a poisonous plant! That is why the use of all drugs and collections must be agreed with the attending physician. It is dangerous to use lily of the valley for those who suffer from cardiosclerosis, endocarditis, myocarditis, as well as in cases of impaired liver and kidney function.
LILY OF THE VALLEY FACTS
- Lily of the valley was often used for the preparation of wedding bouquets during the Middle Ages because it symbolizes modesty, chastity and purity. Lily of the valley also signifies "return of happiness".
- Leaves of lily of the valley were used in the past as a source of green pigment.
- Lily of the valley plant is used in the cosmetic industry for the manufacture of perfumes.
- It's said to bring luck in love.
- Lily of the valley can live for decades in cool climates, but doesn't survive for long in hot weather.
- Lilies of the valley appear in several Christian Bible stories. It is said that lilies of the valley grew from the spot where Mary's tears hit the ground at the foot of the cross.
LILY OF THE VALLEY TINCTURE
To make a tincture for heart and nervous ailments, fill a 2-cup (500ml), narrow-necked bottle three-quarters full with fresh herb. Pour 90-proof alcohol into the bottle until it is full. Close and allow to stand for 2 weeks at room temperature. After 2 weeks, filter the liquid, which should be clear and light yellow in color. Add 10 to 15 drops to 1 cup of water and drink once a day after eating. Take for no longer than 3 to 5 days under a doctor’s supervision.
“I would far rather have two or three lilies of the valley gathered for me by a person I like, than the most expensive bouquet that could be bought!”
*This article is for informational purposes only. We suggest consulting with a physician before using these or any other herbal supplements.