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WATER LILY (giant)  (Victoria amazonica, Nymphaeaceae family)


Giant water lily (Victoria amazonica)

As its botanical name suggests, this very large water lily grows in the Amazon. It was named after Queen Victoria of England as she was the reigning sovereign at that time. It is an aquatic, rhizomatous plant with seven or more large, orbicular leaves with upturned rims. Its delicate white flowers only bloom at night and turn to shades of pink and purple once pollinated. This is generally done by bees but also sometimes instigated by the scarab beetle.

Giant water lily pollinated (Victoria amazonica)

The Brazilian Amazonians consume the water lily plants as food and the root, stem and seeds are all edible. They soak the roots first to remove anti-nutrients then cook them before consumption. The seeds are dried and taste similar to popcorn and are often used to make flour by the Amazonian riverside residents.

The flower is astringent can help to treat palpations of the heart.

The water lily seed oil has medicinal properties which can treat inflammatory conditions such as haemorrhoids and rheumatism when mixed with andiroba oil that is derived from the seeds of the andiroba tree (Carapa guianensis).

The rhizomes are used to treat dyspepsia, dysentery and vomiting and is a powerful remedy against worms and parasites. They can also be dried and ground to a powder as a remedy for haemorrhoids and rheumatism.  This powder can also be mixed with honey to treat a bleeding nose and as a cardiac tonic.

Fifteen important compounds have been found in this plant by scientists including aristophyll, stigmasterol and vanillic acids and the anthocyanidin flavonoids, delphinidin and cyanidin, have been found in the leaves. It is also a rich source of fibre and protein and regular consumption of this plant can help to help to stabilise blood sugar.


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"Nature cures not the physician..." Hippocrates 460 BC

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