White lily (Kshirkakoli in Hindi and Sanskrit) is a perennial herb of the lily family. It is found in north west Himalayan regions in the states of Himachal Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir and Uttar Pradesh. The white lily plant can grow up to a height of 3 feet. It has a hollow stem, spiral lanceolate leaves, and fragrant waxy white flowers with purple or pink patches. Flowers are followed by a triangular capsule fruit containing many round and brown seeds. The plant also bears an underground garlic like bulb with scaly and fleshy leaves and long roots. Unfortunately, despite it many health benefits, it is critically endangered plant.
Chemical composition: Sugars, steroidal glycerides.
A powder obtained from dried lily bulb is used for several medicinal purposes.
It is an astringent, and contains antioxidants which improve immunity. It is therefore used as important constituent of Chyawanprash and Dashmularishta. It reduces appetite and hence is helpful in obesity. At the same time, it is rich in energy and improves strength.
The powder mixed with water is used to treat cough, bronchitis and respiratory problems. The powder mixed with milk is galactogogue and hepatoprotective; it slows the ageing process. It also reduces sexual weakness, intermittent fever and is used as a general tonic.
White lily is also a diuretic; it helps reducing urinary problems, burning sensation in urine, difficulty in passing urine and removing toxins from the body.
Contraindications: it is a safe herb if used in prescribed doses.
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