Lily Of The Valley (Convallaria majalis)

Lily Of The Valley Identification:
Lily Of The Valley is a perennial plant native to Europe but commonly grown in gardens in the U.S. and Canada from where it sometimes escapes into the neighboring countryside.
A slender, creeping rootstock produces two oblong-elleptic, pointed, basal leaves up to 1 foot long. Their
bases sheathe the bottom of the flower stalk, which bears at the top a one-sided raceme of white, bell-shaped flowers.
Family: Liliaceae (Lily family)
Other Names: May Lily, May Bells
Flowers: May – June
Parts Used: Leaves & roots
Habitat: Europe, but widely cultivated in the U.S. and Canada.
Constituents: Cardiac glycosides (including convallatoxin, convalloside, and gluconvalloside), saponins, flavonoids, asparagin.
Medicinal Properties:
Properties: Antispasmodic, Cardiac, Diuretic, Laxative.
Main Uses: This herb, like the Foxglove (Digitalis) contains cardiac glycosides which increase the strength of the heart beat while slowing and regulating its rate without putting extra demand on the coronary blood supply. But with Lily Of The Valley, the active cardiac glycosides are released sequentially rather than all at once and are readily excreted by the kidneys, so avoiding the kind of toxic build up that can happen when taking Foxglove or its isolated glycoside, digoxin.

The flavonoids in the plant encourage the arteries to dilate while the asparagin acts as a diuretic, helping the body to void excess fluid. Thus the herb can be used safely if there is high blood pressure.

Preparation And Dosages:
Infusion: 1/2 oz of herb to 1 pint of boiling water is taken in tablespoonful doses.
Root Tincture: Fresh – (1:2), recently dried – (1:5), 65% alcohol, 5 to 20 drops.

Warning RESTRICTED: This plant is poisonous. Improper administration could result in TOXIC effects.

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