The Daffodil or the Lent Lilly Essay

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The Daffodil or Lent Lilly (Narcissus pseudonarcissus L. of the Liliaceous family) is a flowering plant that originates from “southern Europe, Asia, and North Africa” (Enna and Norton). By tradition the Daffodil was used for inducing vomiting, topically for joint pain, and for hysteria and epilepsy (Enna and Norton). As medical and plant sciences have progressed, Galantamine an alkaloid produced by the Daffodil has been researched for its interactions with the nervous system in reliving the symptoms of Alzheimer’s (New Drugs). While Daffodil’s medical benefits are just starting to be realized, for its neurological effects and other possible uses it is poisonous to humans. The toxic substances produced by the Daffodil can cause nausea,…show more content…
(Enna and Norton) Today the main use of the Daffodil in medicine is for galantamine. In a USDA double blind study Galantamine was show to be statistically significant in reducing the symptoms of Alzheimer’s patients. (New Drugs) “Acetylcholine (ACh) degenerates in the brains of patients with the disease. Thus cholinergic defects represent an important neurochemical disturbance contributing to cognitive deterioration. Recent gains in research include the Development of drugs that inhibit acetylcholine, the enzyme that breaks down ACh. Cholinesterase inhibitors, as they’re called, increase the availability of ACh in central synapses and the response of nicotinic receptors to ACh.” (New Drugs) Though not a cure it does provide some relief from this terrible disease. Galantamine is also used as a sleep aid, achieving vivid dreams, or improving memory solidification while sleeping. (Enna and Norton) There are other beneficial or possibly beneficial alkaloids produce by the Daffodil are lycorine, galanthine, and haemanthamine of more than 20 that are produced by the Daffodil. (Enna and Norton) “While research suggests that two of the daffodil alkaloids, lycorine and haemanthamine, halt the proliferation of certain types of cancer cells, further work is needed to define the clinical significance of this finding.” (Enna and Norton) While Lycorine and haemanthamine could further the fight cancer it maybe a moot

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