Lily of the Valley Convallaria majalis
This beautiful and fragrant member of the Liliaceae starts in Spring by poking out of the ground and producing thin, flat and broad leaves clasping a central stem, no more than 6” tall. This is the time for harvest, when leaves and a little stem are collected and processed into extract. Shortly thereafter, little white bell-shaped and incredibly fragrant flowers appear, filling the whole garden space with their perfume.
Elemental associations: Water
Phytochemistry: Cardioactive glycosides, steroidal saponins, flavonoids
Actions: Non-cumulative cardiotonic, diuretic
Specific systems: Circulatory This is an invaluable remedy for edema, especially in the legs, resulting from a decrease in the heart’s contractility and strength. This can be from aging, damage, or disease. It is the safest of the cardioactive herbs, as its glycosides are quickly eliminated through the urine and thus, at recommended doses, do not cumulate in the system.
Its clearest application is in the elderly who are experiencing cardiovascular-related edema and swelling in their legs, ankles and feet. Indications: Edema, decreased cardiac function, heart failure
Contraindications: Do not use during pregnancy or in combination with prescription heart or diuretic medication.
Preparation/Dosage: A tincture is prepared in 40% alcohol, 1:5 to 1:10, and administered (depending on strength) at a dose of 5-10 drops twice daily. This can be increased to 20 drops or until symptoms of edema are improved, but should not be increased further. The client’s physician should be aware that it is being taken.