Lilium longiflorum is bulbous herb about 90 centimeters high. Stems are erect, unbranched and green. Leaves are alternate, simple, sessile, linear-lanceolate, up to 15 centimeters long. Flowers are trumpet-shaped, fragrant and showy. Corolla is white with a light purple streak on the outside; pollen is yellow.
- On open grassy slopes.
- Cultivated in Batangas, Baguio and the Mountain Province and other highly elevated areas.
- Bulbs contain steroidal glycosides and polyphenols.
- Studies have isolated steroidal saponins and alkaloids.
- Lipid peroxidation and cyclooxygenase enzyme inhibitory assays found kaempferol (1), kaempferol glycosides (2, 3, 4, 8, 9 and 10), quercetin glycosides (5, 6, and 7), a regaloside (11), a chalcone (12) and a fatty acid fraction (13.) (see study below) (7)
- Bulb is considered antiasthmatic, antitussive, expectorant, sedative and tonic.
- Studies have shown hepatoprotective, antioxidant, anticancer, hypoglycemic, hypolipidemic properties.
Edibility / Culinary
Flowers, leaves, roots are reportedly edible.
- No known folkloric medicinal use in the Philippines.
- Elsewhere, the bulb reported to be used for coughs, hemoptysis, insomnia.
- Perfumery: Essential oil from the flowers used in perfumery.
• Phenolic Glycosides: Three bitter principles were isolated from the bulb scales of Lilium longiflorum. (2)
• Anti-Cancer / Cytotoxic: Preliminary studies have shown the extracts from bulbs to be significantly cytotoxic to MCF-7 breast cancer cells and HL-60 leukemia cells. Study yielded steroidal glycosides, two of which are steroidal glycoalkaloids, three are furostanols.
• Hypoglycemic / Hypolipidemic: Study isolated steroidal glycosides from an extract from the bulbs of Lilium longiflorum that reduced blood glucose and body weight in lab mice on a high fat diet. Study is on-going to confirm or identify the active ingredients with hypoglycemic and hypolipidemic effects in the mouse model. (5)
• COX-1 Inhibition / Lipid Peroxidation Inhibition: Lipid peroxidation and cyclooxygenase enzyme inhibitory assays found kaempferol (1), kaempferol glycosides (2, 3, 4, 8, 9 and 10), quercetin glycosides (5, 6, and 7), a regaloside (11), a chalcone (12) and a fatty acid fraction (13.) Compound 1 showed the highest COX-1 inhibition (94.1%) followed by 3, 8, and 12. Results suggest kaempferol and quercetin flavonoids contribute to the medicinal properties of Easter lily flowers. (7)
• Hepatoprotective / Bulbs: Study evaluated a hydroalcoholic crude bulb extract (CB) and a steroidal glycoside-rich 1-butanol extract prepared from bulbs of Easter lily for hepatoprotective activities in a type 2 diabetic mouse model. Results suggest steroidal glycosides 1-5 may play a role in the hepatoprotective activity of the BuOH extracts, while TC measurements and OGTT results suggest that other constituents in the CB extract are responsible for hypocholesterolemic and hypoglycemic activity. (8)
• Ginseng Essence / Hepatoprotective: Lilium longiflorum is one of four medicinal and edible herbs (Panax ginseng, Panax quinquefolius, Nelumbo nucifera) in formulation called Ginseng Essence (GE). Study evaluating the hepatoprotective effect of GE in CCl4-induced liver inflammation and fibrosis Wistar rats showed amelioration of AST and ALT elevations and albumin decline through attenuation of oxidative stress. (9)