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Family Nymphaeaceae
Hairy water lily
Nymphaea pubescens Willd.

Scientific names Common names
Nymphaea lotus var. pubescens (Willd.) Hook.f. & Thomson Hairy water lily (Engl.)
Nymphaea pubescens Willd. Pink water lily (Engl.)
  Red water lily (Engl.)
  White water lily (Engl.)
Nymphaea pubescens Willd. is an accepted name. The Plant List
Other compilations have a longer list of synonyms: Nymphaea rubra Roxb. ex Andrews, N. edulis (Salisb.) DC., N. esculenta Roxb., N. lotus var. pubescens (Willd.) Hook.f. & Thomson, N. magnifica (Salisb.) Conard, N. purpurea Rehnet & F. Henkel, N. rosea (Sims) Sweet. (1) (2)

Other vernacular names
ASSAMESE: Nal, Mokua.
BENGALI: Shapla, Shaluk.
HINDI: Koka.
SRI LANKAN: Olu, Et-olu.
THAI: Bua sai.

Gen info
- It is the national flower of Bangladesh.

Hairy water lily is an aquatic plant with erect perennial rhizomes or rootstocks that anchor to the mud in the bottom. Rhizomes produce slender stolons. Leaf blades are round above water and heart-shaped below. papery, hairy underneath, the stems similarly hairy. While most leaves float on the surface, some leaves rise slightly above water held by their stem in lotus fashion. The floating leaves have wavy edges that give a crenelate effect. Flowers are solitary on long pedicels, large, about 15 cm diameter when fully open, usually close in the daytime and wide open at night. Flower color varies depending on variety or hybrid, ranging from white to pink, mauve or purple. Fruits re spongy berries, globose. Seeds are arillate with both endosperm and perisperm. (2) (15)

- Cultivated or in the wild..
- Common in shallow lakes and ponds throughout the temperate and tropical Asia: Bangladesh, India, Sri Lanka, China, Taiwan, Philippines, Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Thailand, Vietnam, Indonesia and Malaysia.

- Ethanolic extract of whole plant yielded flavonoids, alkaloids, tannins, proteins, steroids and phenol with absence of saponins and anthroquinones. (see study below) (9)
- Screening for biomolecules yielded: total chlorophyll 5.54 mg/g, carotenoids 3.11 mg/g, proteins 348 mg/g, carbohydrates 165 mg/g, lipids 100 mg/g. total phenols 850 mg/ml. (12)
- Phytochemical screening yielded alkaloids, ellagic acid,, phenols, tannins, saponins, and flavonoids, with absence of of steroids and triterpenoids. (12)
- Study of rhizome extract for total phenolic and flavonoid content yielded 0.48 GAE g/100g. and 0.98 g/100g, respectively. (see study below) (18)
- Proximate composition study of seeds yielded (%) moisture 6.20, ash 3.00, proteins 4.14, lipids 9.28, fiber 5.00 and carbohydrates 78.58. (23)
- Study of amino acid composition of seeds yielded (g/100g) leucine 5.14, lysine 4.88, isoleucine 4.19, phenylalanine 2.39, tryptophan 0.92, valine 3.71, methionine 1.20, arginine 4.47. histidine 2.20, threonine 3.25, cysteine 1.27, proline 3.96, tyrosine 3.10, alanine 3.41, glutamic acid 11.58, glycine 3.94, serine 3.59 and aspartic acid 7.50. (23)
- Preliminary phytochemical screening of powdered flower parts and alcohol extract yielded alkaloids, carbohydrates, glycosides, phytosterols, tannin and phenolic compounds,and flavanoids (powdered flower only), with absence of fixed oil and fat, saponins, protein and amino acid, mucilage, and lignins. (25)
- In Siddha medicine, rhizomes used for the treatment of perumpaadu (menorrhagia). (26)

- Studies have suggested antidiabetic, hypolipidemic, antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, hepatoprotective, glucuronidase inhibitory, anticancer, antiproliferative, hepatoprotective, glucokinase inhibitory, acethylcholinesterase inhibitory, properties,

Parts used
Roots, leaves, seeds, flowers.

- In northeast Thailand, stalks are eaten raw as a side dish. (10)
- Seeds are reportedly edible.
-In Assam, India, during the flood season when the plant grows profusely in flooded area, the plant becomes a market product. Vhet-laddu is prepared from roasted endosperms. Also, the rhizomes, peduncles, flowers, and fruits of the plants becomes food fare in the rural communities of Bongaidaon in Assam. (15)
- No reported folkloric medicinal use in the Philippines.
- Elsewhere, various plant parts used for treatment of diabetes, bleeding piles, dyspepsia, jaundice, and eye disorders. (4)
- In Bangladesh, roots of N. pubescens used with flowers of Hibiscus rosa-sinensis, bark of Ficus religiosa, and seeds of Sesamum indicum as abortifacient, Tribals of Boudh District, Odisha combine rhizomes of N. pubescens with seeds of P. nigrum to make a paste that is applied externally to goiter. Bagdi tribal healers use use leaves, roots, and flowers to treat chronic leucorrhea and the black and foul odor of menstrual blood. Traditional healers of South Orissa use plant rhizomes to treat dysentery, leucorrhea, dysentery, dyspepsia, hemorrhoids and roots to treat burning sensation on urination and menorrhagia, and as abortifacient. (8)
- In Assam, India, powdered rootstock taken orally twice daily for a week for stomach pain caused by acidity. (11)
- In Andhra Pradesh, India, tribes of ViVisakhapatnam District use the plant for various gynecological problems: (1) Flowers with petioles are ground and bandaged on the lower abdomen for bleeding in pregnant women. For leucorrhea, tuber decoction of the white variety is mixed with equal amounts of Mirabilis jalapa and flowers of Thunbergia alata. Also, shade dried powdered pieces of fresh tuber with equal amounts of sugar is administered daily. (3) For menorrhagia, half a cup of fruit juice with a little sugar is administered daily; or half a cup of flower extract with a little sugar, thrice daily. (24)

Antidiabetic / Whole Plant:
Study evaluated the antidiabetic activity of ethanolic extract of whole plant of Nymphaea pubescens. Results showed appreciable α-amylase and α-glucosidase inhibitory effects. Results of invitro study suggest antidiabetic activity. Further studies are suggested to evaluate molecular mechanism and active plant compounds. (4)
Guggultetrol / Glucokinase Inhibitors: Study evaluated guggultetrol as inhibitor of Glucokinase (PDBID:IV4S) a validated drug target enzyme of type 2 diabetes. In silico molecular docking studies of guggultetrol with Glucokinase enzyme exhibited binding interactions and warrants further studies with potential for the development of potent glucokinase inhibition for treatment of T2DM. (5)
Hepatoprotective Antioxidant / Anti-Inflammatory / Flowers: In a study of water, methanol, and chloroform extracts of Nymphaea pubescens flowers, the water extract showed most potent free radical scavenging activity with IC50 <100 µg/mL. The water extract also exhibited inhibition of nitrogen radical generation in LPS-activated macrophages (IC5075.5 µg/mL) through suppression of iNOS protein. with no associated toxicity in the cells. It also reduced paw edema after carrageenan administration. It also exhibited hepatoprotective activity on an in-vivo CCl4-induced hepatotoxicity in rats. The hepatoprotective activity was attributed to flavonoids, phenolics, and saponin constituents. (6)
Anticancer / Apoptosis and Suppression of Cancer Cell Progression: Study evaluated the effect of N. pubescens extracts on cell apoptosis, cellular migration, and invasion through the r0le of antioxidants in B16 melanoma cells. Nymphaea pubescens showed higher capacity for free radical scavenging and higher phenolic than N. stellate. N. pubescens was toxic to B16 melanoma cells. N. pubescens inhibited B16 melanoma cell migration and invasion with low doses. High doses showed a potential of cytotoxicity to induce melanoma cell death.. At low doses the extract showed potential to suppress melanoma cells progression by interfering with both cellular migration and invasion capacity.  (7)
Anti-diabetic / Whole Plant: Study evaluated an ethanolic extract of whole plant for diabetic potential on STZ-induc4d diabetes in wistar albino rats. Acute oral toxicity study of the extract did not produce any mortality or signs of toxicity at dose of 2000 mg/kbw p.o. Results showed a antihyperglycemic effect attributed to the ability to restore the function of pancreatic tissues via increase in insulin output or inhibition of intestinal absorption of glucose or to the facilitation of metabolites in insulin dependent processes. (see constituents above) (9)
ß-Glucuronidase Inhibitors / Hepatoprotective / Flowers: Study of crude methanol extracts of flowers and pedicels of N. pubescens for hepatoprotective activity by inhibiting the enzyme ß-glucuronidase. GC-MS analyses identified metabolites in the flowers and pedicels (IC50s of 270.7 and 868.46 µg/ml, respectively) which inhibited ß-glucuronidase activity. Fractions showed significantly stronger activity than silymarin. GC-MS analysis of the flower extract and solvent fractions identified kaempferol which showed a 79-fold stronger activity than that of silymarin, Kaempferol showed an IC50 value of 10.44 ± 0.084 µg/ml. (13)
Antibacterial / Leaves: Study evaluated the antibacterial activity of N. pubescens leaves against human pathogens using diffusion method. The extract high antibacterial activity with inhibition of six Gram-positive bacteria i.e., Bacillus cereus, Staphylococcus aureus , Methicillin resistant S. aureus, an d Enterococcus faecium. There was no inhibition of Gram-negative test bacteria. (14)
Antiproliferative / Anticancer / Flower: Study evaluated the ethanolic extract of various parts of N. pubescens i.e., leaves, fruits, flower, root and rhizomes for cytotoxic effect against human cervical carcinoma HeLa cell lines and human breast carcinoma MCF-7 cell lines. (16)
Acetylcholinesterase Inhibitors / Flower: Acetylcholineterase (AChE) inhibitors are used in the treatment of Alzheimer's disease. Screening of edible flowers of N. pubescens showed inhibition of AChE. Study sought to identify the bioactive metabolite(s) responsible for inhibition of AChE. Chemometric analysis showed gallic acid contributed significantly to the inhibition of AChE by the flower extract. Kaempferol, negatively correlated, inhibited AChE. Study suggests a probably synergistic action of metabolites for the AChE inhibitory property of NP flower extracts. (17)
Antioxidant / Rhizome: Study evaluated the antioxidant activity of various extract of N. pubescens rhizomes for free radical scavenging property using different in vitro models viz., DPPH, hydroxyl superoxide, ABTS, and reducing power, The methanol extract exhibited more potent activity. The in vitro antioxidant activity was compared with standard ascorbic acid/trolox. (see constituents above) (18)
| Phytol / Anticancer / Leaves: Study evaluated crude extracts of leaves for phytol compound and evaluated it for anticancer effects, antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects and lethality. All the extracts showed potent inhibition of DPPH, with the methanol extract showing best activity and a potential source of natural antioxidants. The phytol decreased the viability of cells in a dose dependent manner. with an IC50 in MDA MB 231 breast cancer cell line of 160 µg. Results suggest that the phytol of N. pubescens reduces the proliferation and self-renewal ability of actin-positive BCSCs and can be used as a drug for potentially targeting BCSCs. (19)
| Antihepatotoxic / Acetaminophen Induced Toxicity / Flowers: Study evaluated the antihepatotoxic efficacy of aqueous flower extracts of N . pubescens and silymarin against acetaminophen induced liver damage in rats. Liver damage was evidenced by significant rise in serum levels of AST, ALT, ALP, bilirubin, cholesterol, and decrease in protein level. Antihepatotoxic efficacy was shown by significantly lowered biochemical parameters and increased protein level. (20)
| Antidiabetic / Hypolipidemic / Antioxidant / Tuber: Study evaluated the possible antidiabetic, hypolipidemic, and antioxidant effects of ethanol extract of N. pubescens tuber in alloxan induced diabetic rats. The extract elicited significant (p<0.05) reductions of blood glucose, lipid parameters except HDL-C, serum enzymes and significantly increased HDL-0C and antioxidant. There was also a significant (p<0.05) increase in plasma insulin. The effects were attributed to its potent antioxidant potential. (21)
| Antidiabetic / Allipoo Chooranam / Flowers: Study evaluated the antidiabetic activity of Alipoo chooranam, a Siddha herbal preparation of N. pubescens flowers, in STZ-induced diabetic rats. Acute oral toxicity study in normal female Wistar rats per OECD guidelines showed an LD50 of over 2000 mg/kg po. Glibenclamide was used as standard drug. Results showed potent antidiabetic activity. (22)
| Nutritional Potential of Seeds: Study evaluated the nutritional qualities of Nymphaea pubescens and N. lotus seeds. Results suggest that the wild and semi-wild seeds can contribute useful amounts of nutrients to the human diet. (see constituents above) (23)

- Wild-crafted.
- Cultivated.
- Commercialized as an aquatic plant.

November 2020

                                                 PHOTOS / ILLUSTRATIONS
IMAGE SOURCE: Photo: Nymphaea pubescens / / click on image to go to source page / CC by SA 4.0 / Wikipedia
IMAGE SOURCE: Photo: Nymphaea rubra / RI / click on image to go to source page / CC by SA 2.0 / Wikipedia
IMAGE SOURCE: Photo: Nymphaea pubescens / Shishirdasika / click on image to go to source page / CC by SA 2.0 / Wikipedia
OTHER IMAGE SOURCE: /Gliricidia sepium (Jacq.) Kunth ex Walp. - quickstick GLSE2 / Steve Hurst @ USDA-NRCS PLANTS Database / USDA

Additional Sources and Suggested Readings
Sorting Nymphaea names / /Maintained by: Michel H. Porcher / MULTILINGUAL MULTISCRIPT PLANT NAME DATABASE / Copyright © 1995 - 2020 / A Work in Progress. School of Agriculture and Food Systems. Faculty of Land & Food Resources. The Univers ity of Melbourne. Australia.

Nymphaea pubescens / Wikipedia .
Nymphaea pubescens / Synonyms / The Plant List
Antidiabetic activity of Nymphaea pubescens ethanolic extract – in vitro study
/ Rajan Rushender C, Madhavi Eerike, Madhusudhanan N, Ve Gopala Rao Konda / Journal of Pharmacy Research, 2012; 5(7): pp 3807-3809 / ISSN: 0974-6943
Molecular docking studies of guggultetrol from Nymphaea pubescens with target glucokinase (GK) related to type-II Diabetes / Kiran Kumar Angadi, Ravi Kumar Gundampati, Medicherla V Jagannadham, Ammani Kandru / Journal of Applied Pharmaceutical Science, Feb 2013; 3(20): pp 127-131 / DOI: 10.7324/JAPS.2013.30222
Inhibitory effect of Nymphaea pubescens Willd. flower extract on carrageenan-induced inflammation and CCl4-induced hepatotoxicity in rats / Sukalyani Debnath, Banasri Hazra et al / Food and Chemistry Toxicology, Sept 2013; Vol 59: pp 485-491 / http://doi.org/10.1016/j.fct.2013.06.036
Nymphaea pubescens Induces Apoptosis, Suppresses Cellular Oxidants- Related Cell Invasion in B16 Melanoma Cells / Parichaya Aimvijarn, Teerapat Rodboon, Witchuda Payuhakrit, Prasit Suwannalert / Pharmaceutical Sciences, Sept 2018; 24: pp 199-206 / DOI: 10.15171/PS.2018.29
Treatment with aquatic plants by a Bagdi tribal healer of Rajbari District, Bangladesh / Mohsina Mukti and Mahammed Rahmatullah / Anc Sci Life, Jul-Sept 2013; 33(1): pp 22-26 / DOI: 10.4103/0257-7941.134562 / PMID: 25161326 / PMCID: PMC4140017
Evaluation on Anti-Diabetic Effect of Ethanolic Extract of Whole Plant of Nymphaea Pubescens on Streptozotocin Induced Diabetes in Wistar Rats / Vijay S / Master Thesis, 2017 / The Tamil Nadu Dr. MGR Medical Unversity
Ethnobotanical Investigation of Wild Food Plants Used by Rice Farmers in Kalasin, Northeast Thailand / Gisella S Cruz-Garcia and Lisa L Pruce / Journal of Ethnobotany and Ethnomedicine, 2011; 7(33) / https://doi.org/10.1186/1746-4269-7-33
Medicinal Plants of North Kamrup District of Assam Used in Primary Healthcare System / N J Das, S P Saikia, S Sarkar, and K Devi / Indian Journal of Traditional Knowledge, Oct 2006; 5(4): pp 489-403
Biomolecular and phytochemical analyses of three aquatic angiosperms / Kandukuri Vasu, Jakku Vinayasagar Goud, Aruri Suryam, and M A Singara Charya / African Journal of Microbiology Research, Aug 2009; 3(8): pp 418-421 / ISSN: 1996-0808
Bioactivity-guided fractionation to identify ß-glucuronidase inhibitors in Nymphaea pubescens flower extract / Jayashree Acharya and Bratati De / Food Science and Technology, Jan 2016 / https://doi.org/10.1080/23311932.2015.1134379
AntibacteriL Activity of Nympaea pubescens Willd. Leaves / Kessaya Waidee, Surang Chankhamhaengdecha, and Praneet Damrongphol / 7th International Conference on Medical, Biological, and Pharmaceutical Sciences (ICMBPS), June 2015; / Thailand
LESS KNOWN USES OF NYMPHAEA SPP. (NYMPHAEACEAE0 AS THE TRADITIONAL FOOD ITEM (VHET-LADDU) IN NORTHEAST INDIA / Dilip Kr. Roy, Anupam Das Talukdar, Manabendra Dutta Choudhury, and Bipin Kr. Sinha / International Journal of Food, Agriculture and Veterinary Sciences, 2013; 3(2): pp 82-87 / ISSN: 2277-209X
Phytochemistry and Pharmacology of the Genus Nymphaea / E. Selvakumar, A shantha, C Sreenath Kumar and T Purushoth Prabhu / Journal of Academia and Industrial Research, Dec 2016; 5(7) / ISSN: 2278-5213
Metabolomics and chemometric study for identification of acetylcholinesterase inhibitor(s) from the flower extracts of Nymphaea pubescens / Jayashree Acharya, Mainak Dutta, Koel Chaudjury, Bratati De / Journal of Food Biochemistry, 2018; 42(5) / https://doi.org/10.1111/jfbc.12575
Total Phenolics, Flavonoids and In Vitro Antiodieant Activity of Nymphaea pubescens Willd. Rhizome / Edison Dalmeida Daffodil and Veerabahu Ramasamy Mohan / World Journal of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, 2013; 2(5): pp 3710-3722 / ISSN: 2278-4357
MolecularStudies on Evaluation of Phytol as Cytoskeleton Targeting Element in Cancer / Rajasekhar Chikati, Santhi Latha Pandrangi, Chitta Suresh Kumar et al / International Journal of Science & Engineering Research, Oct 2018; 9(10): pp 1978-1992
Antihepatotoxic efficacy of Nymphaea pubescens (Willd.) on acetaminophen induced liver damage in male wistar rats / Minnady Muthulingam / International Journal of Current Research
Potential antidiabetic, hypolipidemic and antioxidant effects of Nymphaea pubescens extract in alloxan induced diabetic rats / Shajeela P S, Kalpanadevi V and Mohan V R / Journal of Applied Pharmaceutivcal Science, 2012; 2(2): pp 83-88 / ISSN: 2231-3354
Antidiabetic Activity pf Siddha Herbal Preparation Allipoo Chooranam (Nymphaea pubescens flowers) on STZ Induced Diabetic Rats / Hemalatha P, Ilavarasan / IJPPR:Human, 2016; 7(2): pp 283-201
Comparative Evaluation of Nutritional Quaities of Nymphaea lotus and Nymphaea pubescens Seeds / M Aliyu, M K Atiku, N Abdullahi, A Zahbaraddeen and A A Imam / International Journal of Bioche,ostry Research & Review, 2017; 19(3): pp1-10 / ISSN: 2231-086X.
New Traditional Phytotherapy for Gynecological Disorders Among the Tribes of Visakhapatnam District, Andhra Pradesh, India / B Sandhya, Sri S Padal, B Ram,akrishna / Journal of Phytomedicine: Archived Aug 2014; 1(1)
Pharmacognostical Studies on Flower Parts of Nymphaea pubescens / S Thiyagarajan, C Sasikala, R Venkatalakshmi, B Sudhakar and K Suresh
Medicinal Plants Used in Siddha Medicine for Treating Perumpaadu - A Review / Dr S Sivashanmugarajah BSMS, MD / IOSR Journal of Pharmacy, May 2019; 9(5) series II: pp 52-65 / eISSN: 2250-3013

It is not uncommon for links on studies/sources to change. Copying and pasting the information on the search window or using the DOI (if available) will often redirect to the new link page. (Citing and Using a (DOI) Digital Object Identifier)

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