Water lily is white – water lily is white

(Nymphaea alba); white water lily; the Latatt family (Nymphaeaceae); water lily is white


Only in clean lakes, ponds, old lakes and river bays can you see a plant of a truly royal appearance. White water lily is a herbaceous aquatic rhizomatous perennial, a cousin of yellow pitcher plants. Water lily rhizomes are long, thick, with a diameter of 4-5 cm. The leaves of the plant are long-petioled, floating, entire, heart-shaped-oval, 12-30 cm long. Flowers are bisexual, regular, with a green cup and a multi-petaled white corolla, large, up to 16 cm in diameter, with a delicate aroma. They bloom from June to September. The fruit is green, multi-seeded, similar to a jug (hence the Russian name), ripens in September or the following year. It occurs mainly in the middle and northern part of Russia, in the Urals, in Western and Eastern (rarely!) Siberia. It also grows in Western European countries,

The rhizomes, leaves and flowers of the plant have long been used in traditional medicine. Leaves and flowers are collected at the same time during flowering, they are often used fresh, but sometimes the flowers are dried under cover, in the shade, outdoors. The rhizomes are harvested from the beginning of flowering until the cold weather with the help of crimson, cutting them crosswise with a sharp knife. After cleaning the remains of leaf petioles, roots and rotten parts of the rhizome, they are cut into thin plates 3-5 mm thick, which, in turn, are chopped into pieces 1-1.5 cm long. Then the raw materials are placed in a thin layer on paper or burlap, they are dried in the sun, after which they are dried in attics or in special dryers at a temperature of approximately 60 °C. Ready raw materials are kept for no more than two years.

Water lily rhizomes are rich in starch (up to 20%) and sugars (about 20%), contain protein (8%), tannins (10%), alkaloid nymphaeine, glycoside nymphalide, resinous and bitter substances, as well as essential oil. The seeds of the plant contain up to 47% starch, tannins, fatty acids and fatty oil.

In scientific medicine, water-lily rhizomes are included in the complex mixture of Zdrenka, which is used for papillomatosis of the bladder, gastric ulcer and anacid gastritis.

In folk medicine, a decoction of rhizomes is used for diseases of the kidneys and bladder as a hemostatic, astringent, hypotensive (lowers blood pressure) agent. Ground dry rhizomes replace mustard seeds in neuralgia and myalgia. Purulent wounds are sprinkled with the same powder, and it is prescribed internally for diarrhea. Solutions, decoctions and oil extracts from the rhizomes of the plant were previously used to treat various tumors. An infusion of plant petals is taken for fever, uterine bleeding, insomnia, increased nervous and sexual excitability. Tincture of petals is used for nervous and heart diseases, as well as for anemia, externally it is used for rubbing in sciatica and rheumatism. Neuralgic and myalgic pains are relieved with poultices from plant petals.

Fresh water lily rhizomes have insecticidal properties, they are effectively used to fight cockroaches.

In raw form, the rhizomes of the plant are poisonous. After drying, the toxic properties decrease sharply, and disappear during heat treatment. Therefore, the powder of ground rhizomes (approximately in a ratio of 1:1) is added to wheat or rye flour and used for baking various products. Water-lily rhizomes collected in autumn are boiled and fried in oil. They are served as an independent dish or side dish to meat and fish. Dried and roasted water lily seeds are used as a substitute for coffee.

In addition to the white water lily, the snow-white water lily (N. sandida), which has the same properties, is common in approximately the same places. These two types of plants hybridize with each other, so it is quite difficult to clearly distinguish them.

Infusion of petals. White water lily petals and blood-red hawthorn flowers, taken equally (4 tablespoons of the mixture), pour 200 ml of boiling water, infuse for 15 minutes, filter. Take 1 dessert spoon after 2 goals. with heart failure.

Infusion of petals (external). 2 tablespoons of white water lily petals per 0.5 l of boiling water. Boil in a water bath for 15 minutes, infuse for 8 hours, filter. For washing the face with acne and blackheads.

Poultices of petals. A tablespoon of dry petals is wrapped in gauze or a clean cloth, dipped in boiling water, taken out, cooled so that there are no burns, applied to the sore spot as an analgesic for neuralgia and myalgia.

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