Lilium polyphyllum is a herbaceous perennial bulbiferous plant producing a leafy stem around 100cm tall
Used in the Ayurvedic system of medicine, this is one of the most important medicinal plants of India. The bulbs are harvested from the wild on a large scale for use as a medicine and are traded at local, national and international markets[
]. The plant is also an ingredient in commercial cosmetic products[
], and is grown as an ornamental.
Lilium polyphyllum bulbs are collected from the wild on a large scale and in an indiscriminate way. This has a severe impact on the plant's natural regeneration. Thus, the population of this species is declining very fast in the natural habitat. The plant is classified as 'Critically Endangered' in the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species(2015)[
Asia - Himalayan regions of Afghanistan, Pakistan and northwestern India (Himachal Pradesh, Jammu-Kashmir, Uttaranchal)
Found mainly in areas with a north-east aspect, usually with communities of Cedrus deodara; at elevations from 2,200 - 3,200 metres.
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Found in the wild mainly in acidic soils with a sandy-silt texture with a forest floor that is rich in humus[
Lilium polyphyllum is one of a group of eight plants, known collectively as 'Astavarga' in India, whose underground parts are seen in Ayurveda as general tonics that can strengthen the vital force in the body, improve cell regeneration capacity and boost the immune system. They can each be used on their own, and they are also used in the preparation of different types of rejuvenating tonics in traditional Ayurvedic medicine. One of the most important of these is 'Chyavanprash', a polyherbal formulation comprising more than 50 different plant ingredients, which is widely used in India as a general tonic, energy booster, immune system strengthener and aphrodisiac[
The bulbs are expectorant, astringent, aphrodisiac and, antipyretic, and are also used to treat general debility[
Research has shown the role of this species in a traditional system of medicine to treat kidney problems and impotency, improve virility, promote strength and disease resistance, and in the treatment of fever, pain and redness of eyes[
] (Dhyani et al. 2010). The bulb is used in the Ayurveda system of medicine. This species is traded at local, regional and national levels. The bulbs are traded in
the name of "Ksirakakoli".
An extract of the flowers is used as an ingredient in commercial cosmetic preparations as a skin conditioner[