Is Lily Of The Valley Flowers Poisonous?
Lily of the valley is often written as Lilly-of-the-valley. It is a must to keep in mind that besides being sweetly scented, bell-shaped, glorious white flowers, these are highly poisonous. It is the native woodland flowering plant of the Northern hemisphere throughout the cool temperature.
It is an herbaceous perennial plant that forms large colonies by spreading its underground stems which appear above the ground with upright stems that are known as ‘pips’. In the area of the UK, the plant typically flowers in the month of May-June and the other parts of Europe, it blossoms in the same month. Indeed, its scientific name ‘majalis’ means ‘of or belonging to May’.
Why Do People Try To Eat Lily Of The Valley?
Even after being a poisonous plant, there must be a reason why people try or even think to consume the lily of the valley. Flower, being a natural product of mother nature, is less likely to be considered as poisonous or harmful for human life. Researching through various facts, it is founded that Convallaria majalis, or the Lily of the valley, resembles Allium ursinum, a familiar and commonly found food plant also known as Ramsons or Wild Garlic. The look-like resemblance of Lilly of the valley to the Ramsons or Wild Garlic could be a reason to consume this poisonous plant.
However, there are certain founded cases on record that the leaves of lily-of-the-valley got mistaken with the leaves of Ramsons and hance, added to soups or got fried with some other ingredients. Even the red berries that the plant produces later in the year got the attention of children and resulted in the consumption by those children.
Apart from other reasons, these reasons are considered as more common that lead people to ingest the plant into their system. It is important to differentiate between the leaves of Lilly of the valley and ramsons. Ramsons, being an edible food plant is safe to consume while Lilly of the valley is poisonous. To differentiate between the two, there must be certain techniques. One is the occurrence month of these two flowers differs from each other. It is also important to demolish the growth of this plant around children or pets.
Benefits Of The Lilly Of The Valley
Even after being a poisonous plant, Lilly of the valley has some major benefits. But it is to be noted that the flower is strictly not edible. The health benefits are enjoyed by using the flower through some medicines or when used on the skin.
The benefits of this flowering plant include a reduction in the scars, lightening skin tone, treating chronic lung diseases, relieves mental problems, and is even beneficial in treating heart diseases.
It is for the reason that the elements present in the plant are medically used for the purpose of treating the heart, lungs, and mental diseases. However, it is to be mentioned again that being a poisonous plant, it is not suggested to eat or ingest the Lilly of the valley into the body.
How Toxic Is The Lily Of The Valley?
The answer to the question that are those lilies of the valley flowers really poisonous is ‘yes’. The toxicity or the poisoning of the plant is its defense against the animals eating its seeds. Not just its flower or berries but all its parts namely the stem, the leaves, the berries, and the flowers, are poisonous.
The toxicity of the flower is mainly caused due to the presence of 40 different cardiac glycosides. The seriousness of the toxicity of this flowering plant is defined by the diseases it can cause. From rashes and itchiness to death, this flowering plant is injurious as well as poisonous to human life if consumed directly from the mouth.
Besides, hallucinations and changes in the heart rate are again some of the most common symptoms of eating the Lilly of the valley.
What Makes Lilly Of The Valley Non-Edible?
As mentioned, the presence of the toxic cardiac glycosides is the major reason behind the toxicity of the plant. To be more specific, convallatoxin and convallamarin are the two main toxic glycosides in the plant. However, there are numerous others such as saponins that causes the adversities. Lilly of the valley is classified as number one on the poison scale. This denotes that it definitely has some major toxicity that could even lead to death.
Effects Of Eating Lily Of The Valley
It is believed that flower products are useful and beneficial to human skin. It is true to some extent but some of the flowery plants can also lead to severe injuries if used or consumed in otherwise ways.
Surveys have found that children and pets are most commonly affected, but even a large community of young people have been felled by the toxins of the flower. Lilly of the valley can also be as extreme as fatal if ingested. The presence of cardiac glycosides creates an effect much like the exposure to that of Digitalis that is found in foxglove.
The major effects of ingesting the plant into your system could be blurry vision, vomiting and nausea, headaches, red skin and rashes, disorientation, drowsiness, rapid alterations in cardiac rhythm, excessive salivation, and possibly death.
All these symptoms don’t sound like fun or even doesn’t suggest you to try consuming that white-colored eye-catching plant. If consumed, it is advised to contact the poison control center or the ambulance as soon as possible. Until there are no children or pets around the farming of Lilly of the valley, it is probably safe. But when there are children, adults, or pets around, it is safer to avoid cultivating this plant.
Apart from being poisonous, Lilly of the valley is a sweet-scented and one of the most famous fragrant flowers plant that symbolizes happiness and the vision of the better world. As much as this plant is dangerous to human or animal life, it is quite beneficial too, only when it is not consumed directly and used through some other sources and that too in restrictive quantity.