The Medicinal Herb Info site was created to help educate visitors about the often forgotten wisdom of the old ways of treating illnesses. Many of today's drugs and medicines were originally derived from natural ingredients, combinations of plants and other items found in nature.

We are not suggesting that you ignore the help of trained medical professionals, simply that you have additional options available for treating illnesses. Often the most effective treatment involves a responsible blend of both modern and traditional treatments.

We wish you peace and health!


Scientific Names


  • Pyrola elliptica L.
  • Heath family

Common Names

  • Wild Lily-of-the-Valley

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Parts Usually Used

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Description of Plant(s) and Culture

Shinleaf is a perennial, evergreen herb, 5-10 inches high; a slender, branching rootstock produces a set of basal, dark green, ovate to elliptical leaves with margined petioles and shallow-toothed edges. The naked flower stalk bears from 7-15 white, waxy, drooping, greenish-white flowers, which smell like lily-of-the-valley and bloom from June to August.
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Where Found

Grows in dry to rich woods in Canada and in the northern and Rocky Mountain states of the United States. Maryland, West Virginia; Nebraska and across Canada to Alaska.
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Medicinal Properties

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Legends, Myths and Stories

Webster’s Dictionary claims this herb belongs to the Heath family; some references claim it for the Wintergreen family, who knows.
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Has a mild astringent property and can be used as a mouthwash, gargle, and vaginal douche. The leaves make a good poultice for insect bites, bruises, and other skin problems. Native Americans used the tea of the whole plant to treat epileptic seizures in babies; leaf tea gargled for sore throat, canker sores; poulticed leaves for tumors, sores, wounds, ulcers, and cuts; root tea as a tonic.
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Buy It! American Folk Medicine, by Clarence Meyer, Meyerbooks, publisher, PO Box 427, Glenwood, Illinois 60425, 1973

Buy It! Eastern/Central Medicinal Plants, by Steven Foster and James A. Duke., Houghton Mifflin Company, 215 Park Avenue South, New York, NY 10000

Buy It! The Herb Book, by John Lust, Bantam Books, 666 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY. copyright 1974.

Buy It! Indian Herbalogy of North America, by Alma R. Hutchens, Shambala Publications, Inc., Horticultural Hall, 300 Massachusetts Avenue, Boston, Massachusetts 02115, 1973

Buy It! Planetary Herbology, by Michael Tierra, C.A., N.D., O.M.D., Lotus Press, PO Box 325, Twin Lakes. WI 53181., Copyright 1988, published 1992

Buy It! Webster’s New World Dictionary, Third College Edition, Victoria Neufeldt, Editor in Chief, New World Dictionaries: A Division of Simon & Schuster, Inc., 15 Columbus Circle, New York, NY 10023

Buy It! The Rodale Herb Book: How to Use, Grow, and Buy Nature’s Miracle Plants (An Organic gardening and farming book), edited by William H. Hylton, Rodale Press, Inc. Emmaus, PA, 18049., 1974

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