Water Lily

white water lily
white water lily
Blue water lily Nymphaea alba
Red water lily
Red water lily Nymphaea rubra

Scientific Name ¦–  Nymphaea rubra Roxb.

Nymphaea alba Linn.

Nymphaea stellata

Family ¦–  Nymphaeaceae

Vernacular Names ¦– 

 English ¦–  Water lily

 Malayalam ¦–  Aambal

 Hindi ¦–  Chhota kamal

 Sanskrit ¦–  Kumuda, Utpala

 Tamil ¦–  Allitamarai

 Telungu ¦–  Allitamara


Distribution and Habitat ¦–  Common throughout India in the warmer parts

Parts Used ¦–  Root stalk, flower

Properties ¦–  Stomachic, antidiarrhoeal 

Uses ¦–  Flower is used in removing impurities from the blood, thirst, and cough and vomiting. Powdered rootstock is used in dyspepsia, diarrhoea, piles


Botany ¦–  Aquatic herbs. Root stock tuberous, short, erect, and roundish. Leaves peltate, 15-25 cm diameter, sharply toothed, downy but not spotted beneath. Lobes diverging; connectivum not prolonged. Petioles very long, cylindric, submerged, glabrous or puberulous, inserted 12-18 mm within very near the margin of the leaf. Flowers, solitary,7.5-20 cm across, deep red, pale rose or white, open in the mornings only; peduncles very long, usually pubescent; torus bottle shaped. Sepals 4, oblong, obtuse, 5-10 ribbed. Petals numerous, about 12, oblong, obtuse, about thrice as long as broad. Stamens about 40; anthers without appendages; filaments much dilated at the base; pollen smooth. Stigma 10-20, rayed, with clavate appendages. Fruits 3 cm diam, fleshy, globose, green, ripening beneath the water. Seeds ovoid, rough, aril white, transparent.

Flowers and rhizomes—astringent, demulcent, mild sedative, spasmolytic, antiseptic, antimicrobial.

Used in the form of an infusion internally for chronic diarrhoea, as a douche for leucorrhoea and vaginitis, as a gargle for sore throat. Also given internally in prostatis.

Seeds—used in diabetes, also in cutaneous diseases.

Filaments— astringent and cooling; prescribed for bleeding piles and menorrhagia.

Plant—toxic on the nervous system.

The flowers contain flavonoids including quercetin, kaempferol, apigenin. Cardiac glucoside, nymphalin, showed sedative action in small doses.

The petroleum ether extract of the plant of Nymphaea species, given at a dose of 300 mg/kg i.p. prevented necrosis of the liver tissue and promoted, to some extent, liver regeneration

in CC14-induced toxicity.

Dosage [1] Dried flowers—3- 6 g (API,Vol. III);

seed—3-6 g. powder (CCRAS.).

Red Water lilly

Flower—astringent, cardiac
tonic; used in palpitation of heart.
Rhizomes—used for dysentery and


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