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Nymphaea alba

Botanical Name: Nymphaea alba
Family: Nymphaeaceae
Genus: Nymphaea
Species: N. alba
Kingdom: Plantae
Order:Nymphaeales

Synonyms : N. occidentalis. Castalia alba. C. speciosa.
Common Names: White Water Lily, European white waterlily, White water rose or White nenuphar

Habitat: Nymphaea alba is native to most of Europe, including Britain. It grows in marshes, ponds, slow moving streams, lakes and canals up to 1.2m deep.

Description:
Nymphaea alba is a perennial water plant. It grows in water that is 30–150 cm (12–59 in) deep and likes large ponds and lakes. The leaves can be up to 30 cm (12 in) in diameter and they take up a spread of 150 cm (59 in) per plant. It is in flower from Jul to August, and the seeds ripen from Aug to October. The flowers are white and they have many small stamens inside. It is found all over Europe and in parts of North Africa and the Middle East in freshwater.

The red variety (Nymphaea alba f. rosea) which is in cultivation came from lake Fagertärn (“Fair tarn”) in the forest of Tiveden, Sweden, where they were discovered in the early 19th century. The discovery led to a large scale exploitation which nearly made it extinct in the wild before it was protected.

CLICK & SEE THE PICTURES:

The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Flies, beetles, self.The plant is self-fertile.

Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It cannot grow in the shade. It can grow in water.

Cultivation:
A water plant requiring a rich soil and a sunny position in still or slowly moving water. Best grown in 2 – 2.5 metres of water[200]. Prefers a pH between 6 and 7. Dislikes acid conditions according to another report. This species is hardy to about -20°c. There are two basic types of plant in this genus:- ‘crawlers’ are species with horizontal roots that often spread freely, with new plants being formed at intervals along the root. These species are useful for naturalising, but they do not flower very freely in the cool summers of Britain. ‘clumpers’ have vertical roots and form slowly spreading clumps and produce offsets around the crown. These forms flower much more freely in Britain. A very ornamental plant. The flowers, which only open in bright sunshine, have a soft delicate scent.

Propagation:
Seed – sow as soon as it is ripe in a greenhouse in pots submerged under 25mm of water. Prick out into individual pots as soon as the first true leaf appears and grow them on in water in a greenhouse for at least two years before planting them out in late spring. The seed is collected by wrapping the developing seed head in a muslin bag to avoid the seed being lost. Harvest it 10 days after it sinks below the soil surface or as soon as it reappears. Division in May. Each portion must have at least one eye. Submerge in pots in shallow water until established

Edible Uses: Root – cooked. Eaten when several years old. It contains up to 40% starch, 6% protein. Some caution is advised, see the notes above on toxicity. The roasted seed is a coffee substitute. Seed – cooked. It contains about 47% starch.
Medicinal Uses:
The rhizome is anodyne, antiscrofulatic, astringent, cardiotonic, demulcent and sedative. A decoction of the root is used in the treatment of dysentery or diarrhoea caused by irritable bowel syndrome. It has also been used to treat bronchial catarrh and kidney pain and can be taken as a gargle for sore throats. Externally it can be used to make a douche to treat vaginal soreness or discharges. In combination with slippery elm (Ulmus rubra) or flax (Linum usitatissimum) it is used as a poultice to treat boils and abscesses. The rhizome is harvested in the autumn and can be dried for later use. The flowers are anaphrodisiac and sedative. They have a generally calming and sedative effect upon the nervous system, reputedly reducing the sex drive and making them useful in the treatment of insomnia, anxiety and similar disorders. A complete cure of uterine cancer by a decoction and uterine injection has been recorded. According to one report the plant is not used in modern herbal practice, though it has been quoted as a remedy for dysentery.

The rhizome may be used to make a douche for vaginal soreness and discharge, or to make a poultice, often in combination with slippery elm or linseed, for boils and abscesses. The plant has been found to lower blood pressure in animals. The flowers are anaphrodisiac and sedative. They have a generally calming and sedative effect upon the nervous system, reputedly reducing the sex drive and making them useful in the treatment of insomnia, anxiety and similar disorders. A complete cure of uterine cancer by a decoction and uterine injection has been recorded.

Known Hazards: One report suggests that the plant is poisonous but gives no further details. The plant contains the toxic alkaloids nupharine and nymphaeine, these substances have an effect on the nervous system.
Disclaimer : The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplement, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.
Resources:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nymphaea_alba
http://www.herbnet.com/Herb%20Uses_UZ.htm
http://www.pfaf.org/user/plant.aspx?latinname=Nymphaea+alba

Some Health Quaries & Answers

Paranoid uncle:

Q: My uncle has started to suspect that everyone is against him. It started with his job where he felt he was being victimised. He then decided that the rest of his family (wife and children) is poisoning him. He has also become involved with a woman in his office, who encourages his beliefs and wants to cut all of us out of his life.

………………....CLICK & SEE

A: It sounds like your uncle is slowly becoming paranoid, suffering from delusions and maybe becoming schizophrenic as well. This is very difficult to treat as he will suspect that the medication is poison as well.

The “other woman” may be mildly schizophrenic herself. People with these illnesses tend to gravitate together. She may have an ulterior motive for encouraging your uncle’s beliefs. You could try to speak to him and try to encourage him to see a psychiatrist.

Preventing pimples
Q: I have pimples on the back below the neck. It looks ugly when I wear low-necked outfits. I have tried prickly heat powder to no avail.
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A: Pimples or acne on the back of the neck can be itchy and leave disfiguring dark scars. It is aggravated by dandruff. Anti dandruff shampoos will help. Also, do not use powder. Talc blocks the pores and makes the pimples worse. Try to use soap with the correct TFC (total fat content) and TCC (tricholorohexidine) like Neko. If applied using a loofah, it kills the skin bacteria that aggravate acne.

Relief from arthritis
Q: I have arthritis and I have been prescribed capsules containing chondroitin sulphate. Will it help?

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A: Chondroitin sulphate is a natural ingredient found in joint cartilage. The question of whether it actually reaches damaged cartilage and repairs it is not proven. Many people who take it feel that it does reduce the symptoms of arthritis. It has to be taken for 3-6 months before its effects are seen. It needs to be taken 2-3 times a day or as recommended. It is relatively expensive. It is often combined with NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) and physiotherapy. It is difficult to say exactly which of these three ingredients plays the maximum role in reducing the arthritis.

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Pop a pill daily
Q: I have mild hypertension and have been prescribed 2.5 mg of amlodipin once a day. I check my BP myself with an electronic machine. Whenever I find it is normal I stop the tablet. I take it again only if I have a headache or the reading is high. Is this all right?

2.5 mg of amlodipin>.…..

A:
Once hypertension has been diagnosed and the treatment started, you have to take the medication every day at the same time, as this particular drug acts for 24 hours. Once you start the treatment the blood pressure will get controlled. Even if you stop the tablets the BP (blood pressure) will remain under control for 2-3 days before it starts to rise again. Therefore, you can’t start and stop medication based on headaches and BP readings. Unlike diabetes where the sugars are controlled on a day-to-day basis, in BP the control is usually monthly. Take the tablets regularly as prescribed to prevent unnoticed elevations in the BP.

Try surgery :
Q: I have an umbilical hernia and the doctor told me that as it is small I can leave it alone. I am 47 years old.

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A: Umbilical hernia is a generic term and can be used for a defect exactly at the umbilicus, or above (paraumbilical). Intestines or other contents from the abdomen can pass through the defect. As long as the contents pass freely there is no problem. However the contents can get stuck as they pass outwards. This compromises the blood supply to that area and it can even be fatal.You are young and healthy. It is probably better to have surgery while there are no risk factors.

Brittle-boned babe :
Q: My daughter who is 18 years old has weak bones and cannot do any work or lift weights. What can I do?

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A: An 18 year old should not have weak bones unless there is an underlying kidney, intestinal, blood or bone disease. You need to get the diagnosis sorted out first. Remove the cause and the disease will be cured.

Sources: The Telegraph (Kolkata, India)

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