Water lily (Nymphaea alba L.)

White water lily is a perennial herbaceous plant belonging to the water lily family (Nymphaeaceae). Other names: water lily, nymphaeum


A perennial aquatic plant with a large rounded rhizome, surrounded by numerous roots, with leaves floating on the plane of the water. The latter are round or or round-oval, obtuse, with a deep heart-shaped notch and unequal lobes. The flowers are large, white, with numerous petals, of which the outer ones are much larger than the inner ones, gradually turning into stamens; the calyx is rounded at the base, its leaves are oblong, green below, greenish-white above with 5 veins; the stigma is almost flat, sulfur-yellow. The fruit is round, green, multi-celled, ripening under water. It blooms from June to September. The white water lily forms thickets in stagnant and slowly flowing waters – in lakes, rivers, oxbow lakes, ponds at a depth of up to 2 m. In similar habitats, along with the white water lily, another species is found – pure white water lily (Nymphaea candida Presl. ). The latter differs from the white water lily in the following features: the leaves are mostly sharp with almost equal-sided lobes. Stigma purple, strongly depressed base of calyx prominent, quadrangular.

Contains active substances:

The rhizome of the water lily contains the unstudied alkaloid nymphein, a lot of tannins, and starch. The crystalline glycoside nymphalin, which has a cardiac effect, was found in the flowers. The alkaloid nympheine acts on the central nervous system.

Medicinal use:

For medicinal purposes, water lily rhizomes are used, which are part of the mixture (according to the prescription of M.N. Zdirenko), which is used as a symptomatic remedy in the treatment of bladder papillomatosis and anacid gastritis. In folk medicine, water lily rhizomes are used as an astringent, a decoction of flowers is drunk whites.

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