top of page

A Pharmacy in a Flower!

Glory Lily, Coorg -

Mirror, mirror on the wall, who’s the prettiest pharmacist of them all? Just meander along the bejeweled emerald aisles of Coorg, and the answer will leave you in no doubt. After all, which other apothecary is so cheerful and inviting, bedecked in brilliant shades of yellow and red, reaching out majestically with wispy green tendrils? Messrs Glory Lily & Co of Coorg (with branches around the world) are a dispensary open 24×7, stocking all manners of medicines to deal with ailments as varied as ulcers, piles, abdominal cramps, infertility, bruises, intestinal worms, skin infections, thirst, and leprosy. And, like we mentioned before, they lay an undue emphasis on aesthetics and unabashed use of color to attract an audience. But, you’d do well to remember that within every benevolent Dr. Jekyll could lurk a malevolent Mr. Hyde. The Glory Lily reveals its true colors to those who know their plant lore: it’s not only a repository of healing, but also a ready dispenser of the arcane arts of poison. All parts of this plant contain toxic quantities of colchicines and related alkaloids, with the tuber being especially malignant, and often fatal, if ingested. Even minimal contact with the petals and stems can cause rashes and skin irritation. But, just like how a poisonous snake’s venom is the vital ingredient in creating anti-venom, it is these very same toxins of the Glory Lily that go into making some of the most efficacious remedies in traditional medicine. This unique form of ‘Flower Therapy’ once again goes to prove that one man’s poison is very often another’s salvation.

Photograph: Samyak Kaninde Story: Rajesh Ramaswamy



bottom of page