May lily of the valley

Name: May lily of the valley

Other names: Konvaliya, Gladysh, Voronets, Lily of the field, Molodilnik, Forest tongue, Meadow cheremka, Landushnik, Maevka.

Diseases and effects: acute and chronic heart failure stage I and II, cardiosclerosis, myocardial dystrophy, paroxysmal tachycardia, malformations and neuroses.

Active substances: cardiac glycosides, convallatoxin, convalloside, flavonoids, steroidal saponins, malic and citric acids, essential oil, sugars, starch, cardenolides, saponin, convallarin, convalloside, coniallatoxoloside, convallyamarin, lokundizide.

Collection time:  May – June

Botanical description


May lily of the valley is a perennial herbaceous plant of the lily family with a creeping branched rhizome and thin roots at the nodes. From the tops and lateral branches of the rhizome shoots depart, consisting of 3-6 vaginal leaves. The leaves of the lily of the valley are basal, long-petiolate with an oblong-elliptical pointed leaf blade, thin, entire, bright green, gray on the upper side, and shiny on the lower side.\r

The flower arrow is smooth, trihedral in the upper part, 15-20 cm high. The perianth is snow-white with six teeth slightly recurved. Inside the flower, the pistil is surrounded by six stamens on short filaments attached at the base within the flower bed.\r

The fruit is a juicy three-celled spherical orange-red berry. Blossoms in May, fruits ripen in August-September. The plant is poisonous.\r



In the south of Ukraine, lily of the valley grows in small quantities, along river valleys among shrubs in Odessa, Nikolaev, Kherson and Zaporozhye regions, it is not advisable to harvest lily of the valley. In Crimea, it grows in foothill and mountain forests, in clearings, edges, in thick forests, among shrubs. The reserves of raw materials here are up to 1 ton, but the lily of the valley needs protection. To preserve wild plants, it is successfully propagated in household plots and gardens.\r

Procurement rules


For medicinal purposes, the herb, dried flowers and leaves are used. Flowers and grass are harvested at the beginning of flowering, since after flowering their activity decreases sharply. The grass will need to be cut at a height of 3-5 cm from the soil plane. Leaves begin to be harvested during the period when they are most active, 1-2 weeks before flowering, and finish when the plants have faded.\r

Every year, the inflorescence of the lily of the valley can be harvested in small quantities, if it is rational to observe and carry out the necessary measures. To ensure the restoration of thickets, repeated harvesting of lily of the valley in the same area should be carried out no earlier than after 2 years. When harvesting, you will need to follow the collection rules. It is forbidden to pull out plants with a rhizome, as this leads to its death, flower brushes are cut off about 3 cm below the base of the lower flower – at a height of 3-5 cm from the soil plane. Raw materials are best dried in dryers with forced ventilation at a temperature of 50-60 ° C or in heated rooms with open windows. In dry weather, May lily of the valley can be dried in well-ventilated attics, stirring frequently. Packed in bags or bales weighing up to 50 kg or in plywood boxes,

Storage period up to one year.\r

Lily of the valley raw materials are stored in a group of potent raw materials, in a dry, well-ventilated area.\r

medical significance


All parts of the plant contain cardiac glycosides, the main ones being convallatoxin and convalloside; flavonoids, steroidal saponins, malic and citric acids, essential oils, sugars, starch. In addition, lily of the valley leaves contain little-studied cardenolides, saponin, convallarin.\r

The seeds contained glycosides convalloside and coniallatoxoloside. The glycoside convallamarin was isolated from the roots.\r

In recent years, a new glycoside lokundizid was found in the leaves, flowers and seeds of lily of the valley, which is used for the synthesis of corticotropic products. Lily of the valley preparations increase the strength of heart contractions and minute volume, slow down atrioventricular conduction, lower venous pressure, and have a calming effect on the central nervous system.\r

Lily of the valley glycosides have an effect similar in nature to strophanthin, but unlike it, they have a calming effect. Grass, leaves and flowers, as well as May lily of the valley products, are widely used for acute and chronic heart failure of stages I and II, cardiosclerosis, myocardial dystrophy, paroxysmal tachycardia, malformations and neuroses.\r

Of the glucosides of lily of the valley, the product convallatoxin, which has a high biological activity, is used in medical practice. In addition to pure glycoside, a tincture is used, 15-20 drops 2-3 times every day, lily of the valley concentrate and a new galenic product corglicon containing the amount of glycosides purified from ballast substances. The drugs are part of a number of complex cardiac drugs.\r

Lily of the valley inflorescences are included in the collection according to M.N. Zdrenko. Lily of the valley essential oil is highly valued in the perfume industry.\r

Brief recommendations for growing in home gardens


Lily of the valley reproduces by rhizomes, cuttings, worse – by seeds. It is better to choose a plot for a lily of the valley in a shaded place, protected from dry winds. Can be planted in late October or early spring (late March) in pre-watered furrows with row spacings of 60 cm, every 8-12 cm in a row at a embedment depth of 77 cm.\r

The survival rate of lily of the valley is good (up to 95%). The regrowth of autumn planting plants is noted in April, and spring – two weeks later. It should be noted that the plant in the first year of vegetation develops extremely slowly and requires good care. Under culture conditions, lily of the valley exhibits sufficient resistance to adverse development conditions. During the regrowth period, it needs moisture, although mature plants are very resistant to soil drought and tolerate low winter temperatures well. It spreads rapidly by underground parts of rhizomes with well-developed renewal buds, producing many shoots every year. The coefficient of increase in the number of plants increases every year, and the yield of raw materials also increases. At the end of the fourth year of vegetation, it is 100 g per m 2. \r

With a full cut of a perennial lily of the valley, the plant is restored in one year.

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