Materia Medica

Remedies from the Garden – The Tiger Lily

Written by Stephanie Nile

The homeopathic picture of Lilium Tigrinum (Tiger Lily) that has evolved from many careful trials, is of a haughty, domineering woman, her sense of self-importance is such that her very presence makes lesser mortals cower.

There’s a rough patch at the bottom of my garden where nothing grows but weeds.  This is not quite true, however, because I have seen a yearly succession of tiger lilywonderful colonists find a home in this little niche.

In early summer small clump of  Tiger Lilies unfold their beautiful flowers, and I can be proud of the fact that they have made her home in my modest little plot.

The Tiger Lily is a refined, precious, delicate, feminine and glamorous flower, and gazing upon her can evoke feelings of excitement and passion.  It is little wonder that the Tiger Lily has become an important Homeopathic remedy for female problems.  The homeopathic picture that has evolved from many careful trials, is of a haughty, domineering woman, her sense of self-importance is such that her very presence makes lesser mortals cower. An example from popular culture would be Corrie’s Sylvia Cropper, the outspoken mother of café owner Roy, who can only be seen to associate with a ‘better class’ of gentleman.

Homeopathy has suffered much in the press, but despite this many dedicated individuals pursue this discipline.  I emphasise dedication because the homeopathic properties of any remedy are found by testing its effects on healthy subjects – usually students!  To accomplish this a sample is ground up with mortar and pestle and then subject to a series of dilutions, which are vigorously agitated at each stage. These dilutions determine the potency of the final product.

The properties of the original sample are of course, the same as those reported by chemists, herbalists, and sometimes from reported cases of poisoning.  Poisonings show the full impact of the substance upon our health in the most dramatic way possible.  In case you were wondering, the Tiger Lily is non toxic for humans, in fact the bulbs are edible – but some species will give your cat acute kidney failure. In Herbal medicine its affinity for the female reproductive system is acknowledged – a tincture from the plants is used to relieve uterine neuralgia and irriation. It is also said to reduce sickness in pregnancy.

The Flower Essence remedy, which is made by letting the flowers stand in a bowl of water in the sun, is said to promote feminine values in our arguably over-masculinised culture gently and without aggression.  We might well have a modicum of skepticism for this gentle method of preparation, but in general the themes reported by Flower Essence enthusiasts do have some degree of correspondence with those found in the Homeopathic literature.   It is at least worth noting that this theme of gently allowing the penetration of female values is quite similar to Homeopathic interpretation of the remedy as ‘the overbearing female’ who subsequently becomes a much gentler and friendlier person.

The information from all these sources is invaluable as it gives a broad impression of the potential impact of a remedy on our body.  As you would intuitively expect Homeopathic dilution reduces the most harmful effects of the original substance.  In a serial dilution of 6c there is very little of the original substance left. This is, by and large, depending on the toxicity of the substance, considered to be the lowest potency that is safe to prescribe without poisoning the subject.  The effects of this potency are quite physical.  The higher potencies tend to effect the emotional and mental spheres.

Quite a remarkable picture has emerged from the trials of Tiger Lily (these are known as provings)
Participants in past provings reported a feeling of disconnection and aloofness.  It is quite an irritable and humourless state and offence is easily taken because there is a feeling that her ‘beautific’ state  must never be besmirched by anything remotely vulgar.  It is as if this sense of poise is really quite fragile and can easily be overwhelmed by ordinary feelings.

There is conflict between that which is fine and respectable and that which is deemed unworthy.  Sexual feelings do arise and they play havoc with this sense of poise.

Some characteristic physical symptoms (extracted from T.F. Allen) show how her mood is quite dependent on her physical complaints …

– Tormented about her salvation (Lyc., Sulph., Ver.), with ovarian or uterine complaints.
– Disposed to curse, strike, to think obscene things (Anac., Lac. c.); alternates with uterine irritation.
– Listless, yet cannot sit still; restless; must keep busy to repress sexual desire.
– Desire to do something, hurried manner, yet has no ambition; aimless (Arg. n.).
– Headaches and mental ailments depending on uterine irritation or displacements.
– Menstrual irregularities and irritable heart.

No wonder Tiger Lily has a reputation as a wonderful remedy during the menopause, helping the natural expression of sexual feelings and easing many of the concomitant  physical symptoms.

Ref: [1] T.F. Allen, Encyclopedia of Materia Medica.

About the author

Stephanie Nile

Homeopath and Author of Structuralism and the Plant Kingdom vol. 1: Monocots.
Graduate from The North West College of Homoeopathy.

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