Water Lily (Nymphaea alba) is an aquatic plant water lily that has many medical benefits ranging from lung conditions, gastrointestinal conditions and skin conditions.
But first a little bit about identifying the plant. The water lily aka white water lily is a perennial plant that as the name implys grows in water enviroments. The leaves (pads) grow on flexible stalks from large root rhizomes that allow the leaf to float on the surface. The leaves are round not heart shaped a are 7 to 12 inches in diameter with a slit that gives the leaf a pac man look. The large white flowers with yellow centers always arise from their own seperate stalks and have 25 or more petals. The flowers open only during daylight hours and have a strong fragrance.
The rhizome (root) of this plant is antiseptic as well as astringent. To use the rhizome for this purpose you will need a small non-aluminium pot. Fill it with about a pint of water. Add an small handful of very well crushed up rhizome to the water. It is important to not crush up the rhizome until you are ready to place it in the water. Slowly heat the water. Do not add so much heat that the water boils. Let the water simmer like this until about 1/4 of it has evaporated.
Strain the water of the solid matter and you have your decocotion. The decocotion is effective in curing dysentery or diarrhea caused by irritable bowel syndrome.
Water lily can also be used to treat kidney pain, congestion and can be gargled to help treat a sore throat.
The rhizome of water lily also help alleviates pain and has sedative properties.
It is important to collect the rhizome in the fall. The rhizome can be dried and stored for later use.
Interestingly has been reported that a decoction prepared from the flower of the water lily flower and administered as a uterine injection can cure uterine cancer completely and also the flower has the affect of reducing sexual desire when its chemicals are extracted with drinking alcohol.