Additional notes (click to expand)

Medicinal

Galanthus nivalis and spp. and Narcissus pseudonarcissus contain galantamine. Galantamine is used for early Alzheimers as it is an acetylcholinesterase inhibitor. The brain cells concerned with memory communicate by a chemical called acetylcholine. There is less acetylcholine in the brains of Alzheimer’s patients. Acetylcholine is broken down and recycled by the enzyme acetylcholinesterase. Acetylchoinesterase inhibitors stop its breakdown so acetylcholine levels in the brain increase. It does not really make much difference as dead brain cells cannot be made to work.
Oakeley, Dr. H.F. (2013). Real Medicinal Plants.

POM Acetylcholinesterase inhibitors

Toxicity

Notes: All parts of the plant are poisonous, especially the bulbs, so Culpeper was right to omit it. The on-line herbal medicine site http://www.holisticonline.com/ does not include it, although it is listed as both poisonous and having medicinal use in http://www.pfaf.org, where (dangerously) they advise it for bronchitis in children.
Plants for a Future (2014) (http://www.pfaf.org/)

Geographical distribution

  • Africa, Macaronesia, Canary Is.
  • Europe, Eastern Europe, Central European Russia
  • Europe, Middle Europe, Germany
  • Europe, Middle Europe, Netherlands
  • Europe, Middle Europe, Switzerland
  • Europe, Northern Europe, Great Britain
  • Europe, Southeastern Europe, Italy
  • Europe, Southwestern Europe, France
  • Europe, Southwestern Europe, Portugal
  • Europe, Southwestern Europe, Spain

Narcissus pseudonarcissus L. 'Lobularis'

Family: AMARYLLIDACEAE
Genus: Narcissus
Species: pseudonarcissus L.
Cultivar: 'Lobularis'
Habit: Perennial
Hardiness: H5 - Hardy; cold winter
Garden status: Currently grown
Garden location: Poisons garden (PETO)
Flowering months: March
Reason for growing: Medicinal, toxic, prescription only medicine


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