Lily-of-the-valley – lily of the valley

(Convallaria majalis); Lily family (Liliaceae); lily of the valley


It is rare to meet a person who has never seen this fragile plant. Everything is perfect in it: delicate green leaves, subtle aroma of exquisite flowers and, finally, medicinal properties. Nature generously gifted lily of the valley.

It is a perennial rhizomatous plant 20-30 cm tall. Its flowering stem is bare, erect, slightly drooping at the top. Leaves (2-3 of them) basal, lanceolate-elliptic. The flowers are like porcelain bells, white, gathered in 6-10 clusters. The plant blooms in April-May, the fruits ripen at the end of August – September, they are bright, orange-red, clearly visible from afar in the autumn

the forest Lily of the valley grows in light deciduous and mixed forests, in forest glades, among shrubs throughout the territory of Ukraine.

Flowers and grass (leaves) or the entire aerial part of the plant are collected. Flowers are cut with whole inflorescences, carefully making sure that there are no limp ones among them – such raw materials are not suitable. The leaves are cut a day or two before the plants bloom. Dry the raw materials immediately after harvesting, in a shaded, well-ventilated place, spreading them in a thin layer and stirring them from time to time. Dried flowers are stored in glass jars with polished or tight lids, and leaves and grass (whole plants) are stored in paper or cloth bags. It should be said about the careful attitude to collecting lily of the valley. You cannot cut all the plants in a row, otherwise after one or two years you may not see the lily of the valley at all in the previous place. For normal recovery, only every fourth or fifth plant is cut. It is inadmissible to tear lilies of the valley – in doing so, the rhizome is damaged. Known cases when lovers of bouquets almost completely destroyed the thickets, and the consequences were sad – for 8-10 years, and sometimes even longer, not a single flowering plant was found in these places. If there are few lilies of the valley, it is better not to touch them at all, so that people will continue to admire their beauty in the future.

The aerial part of the lily of the valley contains glycosides, the saponin konvalarin, flavonoids, malic and citric acids, and the flowers contain essential oil.

Lily of the valley drugs have a cardiotonic effect (regulate and tone heart activity), have a calming (sedative) effect on the central nervous system, and this property is most pronounced when they are used internally. Infusions of grass and plant flowers increase urination. Note that lily of the valley products have almost no cumulative properties and are completely excreted from the body by the end of 30% of the day after ingestion. Infusions and tinctures of the plant help well with tachycardia (rapid heartbeat).

In folk medicine since ancient times, infusions and tincture of lily of the valley have been extremely widely used as means that increase urination, for diseases of the genitourinary organs, edema and intestinal colic. Eyes are washed with alcohol tincture (on 70% alcohol), diluted in a ratio of 1:10

with conjunctivitis. The infusion of plant flowers is used as a cardiac and hypnotic agent. In combination with other medicinal plants, including dog nettle, valerian, hawthorn and lemon balm, lily of the valley is used to treat thyroid diseases, atherosclerosis, hypertension, nervous disorders, as well as epilepsy and insomnia. Raw lily of the valley is included in many tinctures sold in pharmacies.

In the Far East, in the Primorsky Krai and on Sakhalin, a close relative of our lily of the valley — Keiskei’s lily of the valley (S. keiskei) grows, with larger, wide bell-shaped white, sometimes pink, flowers. This plant is used in the same way as common lily of the valley, but its number is insignificant.

All lily of the valley products are contraindicated in organic changes in the heart and blood vessels, catarrh of the gastrointestinal tract, and acute liver and kidney diseases.

Infusion of lily of the valley grass. 1 teaspoon of raw material per 200 ml of boiling water. Insist for 30-60 minutes, filter. Take 1 tablespoon 3-4 times a day as a cardiac and sleeping aid.

Lily of the valley is a poisonous plant, so an overdose of its products is unacceptable.

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