Known by its other name as Lily of the Valley or May Lily, muget des bois is an English plant used commonly as a perfume. Since the discovery of its virtues in aromatherapy, the use of muget des bois for healing has been increasingly widespread.
According to a Sussex legend, St Leonard battled against a great dragon in the woods near Horsham and drove the beast away at the cost of being mortally wounded, but wherever his blood fell, lilies of the valley
sprung up to commemorate his valiant struggle. The 16th century herbalist John Gerard, recommended muget des bois for those who had dumb palsie and those who had fallen into apoplexy.
Muget des bois is one of the British-grown plants included in the Pharmacopoeia, and its medicinal values have been tested through time.
A native of Europe, muget des bois may also be found throughout the woodlands over North America and Northern Asia. In England, it grows wild in abundance. Muget des bois is a perennial plant that grows to 9 inches high, has a pair of elliptical leaves and clusters of white, bell-shaped flowers with sweet-smelling aroma.
The specific name for Lily of the Valley is majalis, or maialis, meaning that which belongs to May. Old astrological books place the plant under the planet Mercury, since Maia was the mother of Mercury.
This herb contains cardiac glycosides, which regulates and strengthens the heart while slowing and regulating the heart beat without exerting its coronary blood supply. With its strong diuretic properties, muget des bois reduces blood volume and lowers blood pressure to ease the irritable heart.
It without doubt strengthens the brain and renovates a weak memory. The spirit of the flowers, distilled in wine, restoreth lost speech, helps the palsy, and is exceedingly good in apoplexy, comforteth the heart and vital spirits.