Lily of the valley

Lily of the valley

Lily of the valley>

Specification & Spread

Lily-of-the-valley flowers — flores convallariae
Lily-of-the-valley leaves — folia convallariae
Lily-of-the-valley herb — herba convallariae
May lily-of-the-valley — convallaria majalis
Transcaucasian lily-of-the-valley — convallaria transcaucasica
Keiskei lily-of-the-valley — сonvallaria keiskei
Liliaceae — convallariaceae
Other names: convallia, hare’s ears, molodilnik, forest tongue, silversmith, lapushnik, mint herb, cohosh.

May lily-of-the-valley is a perennial herbaceous long root plant 15-30 cm tall.
From the rhizome there are 2, less 1-3 leaves, about 20 cm long and a thin flower arrow, almost equal in length to the leaves, ending with a single-sided simple flower brush.
The leaves are vaginal, elliptical or narrowly elliptical, entire, bare, with arcuate venation.
The flowers are fragrant, white, hexamerous, actinomorphic, with a simple spineolepalus nimbus-shaped spherical bell-shaped perianth, arranged in the sinuses of membranous bracts. The fruit is a red berry. The whole plant is poisonous.

It blossoms in April – June and fruits in August – September.

Spreading. Forest, forest-steppe and steppe zones of the European part of the country. The main areas of raw material harvesting are the North Caucasus, the central regions of the Russian Federation, Belarus, Ukraine.

Habitat. It prefers medium-humid habitats with relatively rich soils. It grows in coniferous-small-leaved, broad-leaved and broad-leaved-coniferous forests.
Transcaucasian lily-of-the-valley has a wide-campanulate perianth with blades slightly bent outward. It is found in the North Caucasus, in the western and central parts of the Transcaucasus, in the Crimea in deciduous forests.
Keiskei lily-of-the-valley is larger than May lily-of-the-valley with broadly elliptical leaves and campanulate perianth. It grows on Sakhalin, Kuriles, in the Primorsky Territory, in the southern part of the Khabarovsk Territory, in the south-east of the Chita Region. In the Far East of Russia, it is found in deciduous and mixed birch forests, in the floodplains of rivers. In the south of Eastern Siberia it is confined to rare light birch forests and larch forests.

Composition

The chemical composition of the lily-of-the-valley
The aerial parts of the lily of the valley contain about 20 cardiotonic glycosides, derivatives
strophanthidin and strophanthidol: convallotoxin, convallotoxol, convallozide and others.

The main ones are convallotoxin and convallozide.
During hydrolysis, convallotoxin forms aglycone, strophanthidine and L-rhamnose, convallozid forms convallotoxin and glucose.
In addition to cardiotonic glycosides, steroid saponins, flavonoids, coumarins, traces of essential oil and
polysaccharides are selected.

Harvesting and storage of raw materials

Harvesting. Three types of raw materials have been approved for harvesting. Its quality depends on proper harvesting and drying. The leaves are collected in the budding stage, when 2-3 flowers bloom, herb and flowers are collected in the flowering stage. All raw materials are collected in dry, sunny weather, after the dew has dried, not earlier than 11-12 o’clock in the afternoon. The flowers are cut off with the rest of the floral arrow no longer than 20 cm, the leaves and herb are cut off at a height of 3-5 cm from the soil, above the brown scaly leaves, where the renewal buds are located. Plants are cut with a sickle or scissors.

Security measures. It is not allowed to pluck the plants with hands, as this will damage the renewal buds, which are laid for the next year. When harvesting, it is necessary to leave part of the plant for renewal.
In addition, you must comply with the priority areas of harvesting. Repeated harvesting, depending on the area of growth, is carried out in 3-6 years.

Drying. The raw materials are laid loose and quickly delivered to the place of drying. Drying is done immediately after harvesting, preferably in dryers at a temperature of 50-60 °C or in the shade under a canopy in a draft or attics with an iron roof. The raw materials are laid out in a thin layer, no thicker than 1 cm and often raked. With slow drying, the raw material turns yellow, and its quality decreases.
When drying, the flowers do not turn.

The raw materials are stored with caution in a dry, well-ventilated area under the lock at a temperature not higher than 15 ºС and relative humidity of 30-40%. The flowers are stored in boxes, leaves and herb are in bags and bales. The biological activity of leaves and herb is for 2 years, flowers – 1 year. The iological activity of raw materials is monitored annually.

External signs of raw materials

Whole raw materials.
Herb.
A mixture of whole, less often broken leaves, inflorescences with peduncles, single flowers and pieces of peduncles.
The leaves are elliptical or lanceolate with a pointed tip, tapering at the base and gradually turning into long closed sheath, separate or covering each other 2-3. The edge of the leaf is whole, the neuration are arcuate. The leaves are thin, brittle, with a bare and slightly shiny surface. Leaf length up to 20 cm, width up to 8 cm. The inflorescence – one-way loose truss of 3-12 (20) yellowish flowers on a ribbed bare peduncle up to 20 cm long and up to 1.5 mm thick.
The androgynous flowers with a corolla-shaped campanulate perianth, spineolepalous, with 6 short bent cloves, on short pedicels and with membranous bracts. The leaf colour is green, less often brownish-green, flowers are yellowish, and peduncles are light green.
The smell is weak. The taste is not determined (!).

Leaves.
Whole, less often broken, elliptical or lanceolate with a pointed tip, tapering at the base and gradually turning into long closed sheath, separate or covering each other 2-3. The edge of the leaf is whole, the neuration are arcuate. The leaves are thin, brittle, with a bare and slightly shiny surface. Leaf length up to 20 cm, width up to 8 cm.  The leaf colour is green, rarely brownish-green. The smell is weak. The taste is not determined (!).

Flowers
A mixture of inflorescences with remnants of peduncles up to 20 cm long, flowers and sometimes pieces of peduncles. The peduncle are ribbed, glabrous, up to 1.5 mm thick, with one-way loose brush of 3-12 (20) yellowish flowers. The androgynous with a corolla-shaped campanulate perianth, spineolepalous, with 6 short bent cloves, on short pedicels, with membranous bracts. There are 6 stamens, on short filaments attached to the base of the perianth. The ovary is upper, three-cavity. The column is with extended three- lobed stigma.
The colour of flower stem is light green, the flowers are yellowish.
The smell is weak. The taste is not determined (!).

Milled raw materials.

Herb
Pieces of leaves (green, sometimes brownish-green), peduncles (light green) and flowers (yellowish) are passing through a sieve with holes of 7 mm diameter. The smell is weak. The taste is not determined (!).

Leaves.
Pieces of leaves of various shapes are passing through a sieve with holes of 7 mm diameter. The colour is green or brownish green. The smell is weak. The taste is not determined (!).

Flower.
While examining the perianth, on both sides  can be seen slightly elongated along the axis polygonal epidermis cells with thin straight walls and delicate folding of the cuticle. The  stomato is submerged, rounded, oriented along the length of the perianth, surrounded by 4-5 cells of the epidermis. The epidermis cloves are with papillary processes. Thin calcium oxalate raphides are visible in the perianth tissue; large needle-like crystals, styloids, are found. The spherical pollen is with a smooth surface.

Impurities

As an impurity, species of wintergreen and Solomon
‘s seal can be used. In the species of Solomon’s seal (Polygonatum, this. Convallariaceae), the leaves look like lily-of-the-valley leaves, but there are many of them and they are located on the stem in two rows. In species of wintergreens (Pyrola, this. Pyrolaceae), the leaves are round, and the flowers are pentamerous with double perianth.

Properties and application

Pharmacotherapeutic group. Cardiotonic agent (cardiac glycosides).
The pharmacological properties of lily-of-the-valley
From lily-of-the-valley glycosides, convallotoxin is the most studied. By the nature of action, convallotoxin is close to strophanthin.
Glycosides have a beneficial effect on the formation and use of energy in the myocardium, change the intracellular concentration of ions and directly affect contractile proteins.
It has been experimentally shown that lily-of-the-valley preparations have a regulating effect on the energy and lipid metabolism in the myocardium, disturbed in case of circulatory failure, coronary insufficiency.
The peripheral effect of cardiotonic glycosides, their participation in peripheral metabolic processes, oxygen absorption by tissues and normalization of tissue respiration are also assumed.

Lily-of-the-valley has poorly signified cumulative properties and the least toxic compared to other plants containing cardiotonic glycosides.
Lily-of-the-valley glycosides have a diuretic effect not only due to the improved hemodynamic conditions, but also due to the effect on the urinary system.
Convallotoxin also has a calming effect.

Application  of lily-of-the-valley

Lily-of-the-valley preparations are widely used for heart diseases and heart neurosis.
The relatively weak cardiotonic action of galenical forms is explained by the decomposition of lily-of-the-valley glycosides in the gastrointestinal tract.
Compared with strophanthin, it has a more signified effect on the vagus nerve.

In case of overdose, extrasystole, rhythm dissociation, nausea, vomiting are possible.

Contraindications

With organic changes of the heart and blood vessels, with acute myocarditis, endocarditis, with marked cardiosclerosis, acute myocardial infarction. There is an increased sensitivity to cardiotonic glycosides: rhythm and conduction disturbances may occur with relatively low doses.
Pregnancy, lactation, individual intolerance, pediatric use.