Drugs A - Z

White water lily (Nymphaea odorata)

Generic Name: Nymphaea alba


Herbs & Supplements


Afzelin, alkaloids, American white pond lily, American white water lily, Castalia odorata (Dryander), cow cabbage, fragrant water lily, gallic acid, icariside, large white water lily, lignans, lily pad, myricitrin, Nuphar advena, Nuphar luteum, Nymphaea alba, Nymphaea ampla DC., Nymphaea caerulea Sav., Nymphaea lotus, Nymphaea odorata (Dryander) Aiton, Nymphaea odorata Ait. ssp. tuberosa (Paine) Wiersma and Hellquist, Nymphaea rubra, Nymphaea stellata Willd., Nymphaea tuberosa, Nymphaeaceae (family), nymphaeoside A, sweet water lily, sweet-scented water lily, tannins, tartaric acid, water cabbage, water lily, water nymph, white pond lily.


The use of white water lily (Nymphaea odorata) for medicinal purposes originates from Native American traditional medicine.

Several other species from the Nymphaea and Nuphar (another water lily genus) genera have been used in traditional Chinese medicine, Ayurveda, and homeopathic practices.

The dried root and rhizome of the white water lily have been taken by mouth to treat gastrointestinal, genital, and bronchial conditions. The leaves and roots have also been used externally, as infusions to treat lesions and inflammation associated with mucous membranes, and as poultices to treat a variety of dermatological conditions.

Some of the medicinal properties of white water lily may be attributed to its reported antibiotic and astringent properties, which may be the result of tannic and gallic acids found in the plant tissue.


DISCLAIMER: These uses have been tested in humans or animals. Safety and effectiveness have not always been proven. Some of these conditions are potentially serious, and should be evaluated by a qualified healthcare provider.


WARNING: DISCLAIMER: The below uses are based on tradition, scientific theories, or limited research. They often have not been thoroughly tested in humans, and safety and effectiveness have not always been proven. Some of these conditions are potentially serious, and should be evaluated by a qualified healthcare provider. There may be other proposed uses that are not listed below.
Anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, antiseptic, bladder disturbances, bleeding, boils, bronchial irritation, burns, canker sores, chemopreventive, congestion, dermatitis, diarrhea, edema (swelling), exhaustion, eye inflammation, gastrointestinal inflammation, gonorrhea, hallucinogen, hepatoprotection (liver protection), kidney problems, leukorrhea (vaginal discharge), menstrual problems, narcotic, nocturnal enuresis (bedwetting), periodontal disease, pharyngitis (sore throat), prostate problems, thrush, tonsillitis, tuberculosis, tumors, ulcers (mouth and throat), uterine cancer, uterine inflammation, uterine prolapse, vaginal disorders, venereal diseases.


Adults (18 years and older):

There is no proven safe or effective dose for white water lily. White water lily has been given as an infusion, fluid extract, powder or tincture. An infusion has been made with 30 grams of the powdered root, macerated, and boiled in 300 milliliters of water for 30 minutes. About 30-60 milliliters of this infusion has been taken 3-4 times daily, between meals. Also, 1-2 grams of the dried root steeped in 150 milliliters boiling water for 5-10 minutes and strained has been used.

As a fluid extract, 1-5 milliliters of a 1:1 extract in 25% ethanol has been used. As a powder, 1-2 grams given in milk or sweetened water has been used. As a tincture, 1-10 drops of tincture made from 240 grams of the root in 76% ethanol has been used.

Children (younger than 18 years):

There is no proven safe or effective dose for white water lily, and use in children is not recommended.

Licensed from
The Healthline Site, its content, such as text, graphics, images, search results, and other material contained on the Healthline Site ("Content"), its services, and any information or material posted on the Healthline Site by third parties are provided for informational purposes only. None of the foregoing is a substitute for professional medical advice, examination, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of a physician or other qualified healthcare provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on the Healthline Site. If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your doctor or 911 immediately. Please read the Terms of Service for more information regarding use of the Healthline Site.