Lily, White Pond

Medical Herbs Catalogue


Lily, White Pond

Botanical Name: Nymphaea odorata (SOLAND)
Family: N.O. Nymphaeaceae

Synonyms: Sweet Water Lily. Sweet-scented Water Lily. Water Nymph. Large White Water Lily.
Part Used: The fresh root.
Habitat: Sluggish streams, ponds and marshes, in most parts of the United States, near the coast.

Description: Perennial aquatic herb, grows to the surface of the water from a thick horizontal root-stock, stem absent, flowers growing on long peduncles and the leaves on separate petioles. Stipules deltoid or nearly reniform, emarginate; leaves always floating orbicular, smooth, and shining, dark green above, wine-colour beneath. Flowers large white, showy and fragrant, often 6 inches in diameter; sepals four elliptical scaphoid, nearly free; petals numerous; stamens indefinite; ovary large globular, depressed, eighteen to twenty-four-celled. Fruit a depressed globular, fleshy body; seeds oblong, stipulate. The flowers open as the sun rises, after a few hours gradually closing, being entirely closed during the midday heat and at night.

Constituents: The roots contain tannin, gallic acid and mucilage, starch, gum, resin, sugar, ammonia, tartaric acid, fecula, etc.

Medicinal Action and Uses: The root is astringent, demulcent, anodyne, and antiscrofulous, used in dysentery, diarrhoea,gonorrhoea, and leucorrhoea externally. The leaves and roots have been used in form of poultice to boils, tumours, scrofulous ulcers and inflamed skin; the infusion is used as a gargle for ulcers in the mouth and throat.

Dosage: The powdered root, 1/2 drachm. Infusion up to 2 fluid ounces.

The virtues of the root are quickly imparted to water.

A poultice of leaves and roots relieves boils, tumours, ulcers, and inflamed skin. A complete cure of uterine cancer by a decoction and a vaginal injection is recorded.

The dose of the powdered root is 1/2 drachm in milk or sweetened water; but the best form is an infusion of 1 OZ. in a pint of boiling water, macerated for thirty minutes, of which 2 to 4 fluid ounces may be given three or four times a day.

The EUROPEAN YELLOW POND-LILY (Nuphar Advena or Nuphar luteum - Spatterdock or Frog-lily) may be used as a substitute. It contains much nuphar-tannic acid.