White Water Lily - Best Herb for Blood Pressure

White & yellow water lily

Nymphaea alba, Nuphar luteum Nymphaeaceae

Both white and yellow water lilies are aquatic with floating leaves, submerged stems and rhizomes that anchor them to the pond floor. They have sweet-smelling flowers and large, long-stalked leaves. The white water-lily flower grows to a diameter 12cm, while the yellow water-lily flower is 4-5cm across.

Parts used

  • Rhizome {both}: flowers {white water lily}
  • The flowers and rhizomes {lifted when dormant} are dried and used for infusions and decoctions.


The rhizomes contain sesquiterpenoid alkaloids {nupharine, nymphaeine, nuphacristine, thiobinupharidine}, astringent tannins, flavonoids and vitamin C.


White water lily is best taken as directed by a medical herbalist as excessively high doses over a long period of time could cause an irreversible loss of libido.

Medicinal uses

The white water lily has sedative properties and relieves diarrhoea and intestinal inflammation. It is also able to reduce blood pressure.

The yellow water lily, traditionally known as the 'destroyer of pleasure and poison of love', has long been used in potions and cordials intended to reduce sexual desire and send the imbiber to sleep. In fact both white and yellow water lily share this ability to calm the libido.

The plants are used to treat inflammation of the skin, mouth and throat, and to treat catarrh. Yellow water lily is also prescribed to treat vaginal discharge and fungal infections. Studies published in The Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences in 1973 verified the antifungal activity of the plants, attributing it to a sesquiterpenoid alkaloid found in the rhizomes.


Submerge in water up to 45cm deep and plant in moist. nutrient-rich soil.


For internal use

White water lily
TO TREAT excessive sexual arousal or libido. diarrhoea INFUSION Put 5g of dried flowers into 250ml of boiling water. Leave to infuse for 20 minutes. Strain. Drink 2-3 cups a day.

DECOCTION Put 5g of dried rhizome into 200ml of boiling water. Boil for 15 minutes. Drink 2-3 cups a day.
Yellow water lily
Use only as prescribed by a medical herbalist

For external use

White and yellow water lily TO TREAT cracked. chapped skin, burns. sunburn, nappy rash
COMPRESS Soak a cloth with the decoction {above}. Apply to affected area three to six times a day.


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