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The Graceful Water Lily: Exploring Kumuda (Nymphaea alba)

Introduction of Kumuda / Waterlily

Kumuda is also known as Water lily and its botanical name is Nymphaea alba with Nymphaeaceae (Kamala kula) family. In charaka samhitas (च.सू.०४।३४ ) it is explained under the mutra virajaniya maha kashyas it is a group of herbs that impart the natural color to the urine. The tuber or flowers contains the sedative property in it, root contains the absorbent (grahi) properties in it, and is also used for sweat induction. In this article we see in more detail about the kumuda/ Water Lily (Nymphaea alba) .

Kumuda (Nymphaea alba)

Identification of Kumuda / Waterlily ( भा.नि. Page no. ४७१ in Puspha varga)

  • Leaves - Leaves are round, heart-shaped, bright, and floating on the surface of water.
  • Flowers - Generally white in color with 5 to 12.5 inches in diameter, from outside it is green in color and from inside it is white in color.
  • Fruit - Fruit contains the spongy outer coat and they ripe and burst inside in the water and then float on the water surface.
  • Seeds - Small, in the raw state, they are red in color and after ripening up they are black with a whitish covering.
  • Stem - It is 10 to 12 cm in diameter and 25 cm in length.

Scientific Classification Of Kumuda / Waterlily

  • Kingdom - Plantae
  • Clade - Tracheophytes
  • Order - Nymphaeales
  • Family - Nymphaeaceae
  • Genus - Nymphaea
  • Species - Alba
  • Botanical name - Nymphaea alba

Sanskrit Synonyms Of Kumuda / Waterlily

  • Shweta jalaja, Shweta kuvalaya - As the flowers are white in color.
  • Somapria, Abja, Ambuja, Jaleruha - As it grows in water.
  • Chandra vikasi - As it blossoms during nighttime.
  • Pankaja - Born in mud.
  • Neela vrunta, Shyama vrunta - As the stem is bluish in color.

Other Vernacular Names Of Kumuda / Waterlily

  • Hindi name - Koyi
  • English name - White water lily
  • Malayalam name - Kamod
  • Telugu name - Kauva puvvu

Geographical Distribution Of Kumuda / Waterlily

It grows in ditches, slow moving streams, lakes, and ponds that are is ph tolerant across a large range and it favours in muddy lake or pond bottoms. In India the species is found in Uttrakhand, Himachal pradesh, Haryana and Jammu and Kashmir.

Similar herbs like Kumuda / Waterlily with same genus and different species
( भा.नि. Page no. ४७१ in Puspha varga)

  • Nymphaea rubra - It contains the red, white, and pink color flowers with 7.5 to 20 cm in diameter. Flowers bloom in harmony with good morning and it is grown in all places.
  • Nymphaea willd - Flowers are small in size and on the under surface small hairs are present.
  • Nymphaea stellata - It contains the purple and blue colour flowers with 7.5 to 15 cm in diameter. It occurs in the hot regions.

Medicinal Uses Of Kumuda / Waterlily

कुमुद पिच्छिल स्निग्ध मधुर हलादि शीतलम्। (भा.नि. ४।१५)

  • Rasa (taste) - Madhura (sweet)
  • Guna (physical property) - Picchilla (viscous), and Snigdha (unctuous)
  • Veerya (potency) - Sheeta (cold)
  • Vipaka (metabolic property after digestion) - Madhur (sweet)

Description Of Kumuda/ Water Lily

In ancient text

  • In the Charaka Samhita - It is explained under the mutra virajaniya maha kashyas (च.सू.०४।३४)
  • In the Raj Nighantu - It is explained under the Karaveeradi varga (page no. 538)
  • In the Bhavaprakasha Nighantu - It is explained under the pushpa varga varga (page no. 471)

Nutritional Value Of Kumuda / Waterlily

Per 100 gm of water lilies contains the described below-

  • Carbohydrate - 76.5 %
  • Crude protein - 10.76 %
  • Crude lipid - 2.4 %
  • Crude fibre - 3 %
  • Sodium - 11.55 mg
  • Magnesium - 312.71 mg
  • Calcium - 188.81 mg
  • Potassium - 481.1 mg

Uses Of Kumuda / Waterlily

कुमुद पिच्छिल स्निग्ध मधुर हलादि शीतलम्। In (भा.नि. ४।१५)

It is Picchilla (stickiness), and Snigdha( unctuous), coolant, and contains the Madhur (sweet) taste in it, and is pleasant to the heart.

Therapeutic Use of Kumuda/ Waterlily

  • Daha - Helps in reducing burning sensation.
  • Shrama - Relieves tiredness and fatigue.
  • Rakta Dosha - Helpful in bleeding disorders and skin diseases.
  • Atisara - Helps in relieving diarrhea.

Sthanika (Systemic) Action Of Kumuda / Waterlily

1. For External Application

Use the paste of water lily flowers to relieve the burning sensation

2. For Internal Administration

  • Digestive system - It is absorbent and indicated in vomiting, thirst, diarrhea, hemorrhoids.
  • Nervous system - It helps in improving intellect and calming the mind. Indicated for giddiness and epilepsy.
  • Circulatory system - Indicated in bleeding disorders.
  • Tapakrama - The seeds of water lily flower are used with laja and help in fever with a burning sensation.

According To Modern Uses Of Kumuda / Waterlily

  • It might possess the anti-inflammatory properties in it.
  • It might possess the anti-depressant properties in it.
  • It might possess the hepatoprotective properties in it.
  • It might possess the sudation properties in it.

Chemical Constituents Of Kumuda / Waterlily

( भा.नि. Page no. ४७१ in Puspha varga)

In the flowers:

  • Kaempferol
  • Nymphalin (glycoside)
  • Quercetin

In the roots:

  • Nymphaeine
  • Astringent liquids (Kashaya dravyas)

Parts Used Of Kumuda / Waterlily

Whole plant, Rhizome, Seeds, Flowers

Dosage Used of Kumuda / Waterlily

  • Swaras (fresh juice of rhizome) - 10 to 20 ml
  • Churna (seed powder) - 3 to 6 gm

Remedies For Of Kumuda / Waterlily

( भा.नि. Page no. ४७१ in Puspha varga)

  • In fever - The water lily's seed used with laja to reduce fever with burning sensation.
  • In dysentery - The root is given in dysentery.
  • In diarrhea - The decoction of flowers and fruits will be given.
  • For sudation therapy - The Kumuda will be used for sudation therapy. (Bolded last content)

Ayurvedic Medicines By Using K umuda / Waterlily

Classical Products

  1. Chandanadi lauh - Helps to treat chronic fever.
  2. Phal kalyan ghrita - Used for infertility in both males and females.
  3. Darvyadi kashaya - Helps to relieve heavy menstrual bleeding with pain.
  4. Puga khanda - Helps to relieve symptoms of gastritis, vomiting, abdominal pain, and dizziness.
  5. Samangadi churna - Helps to relieve symptoms of bleeding hemorrhoids.

Who Can Not Take Of Kumuda / Waterlily

As there is no side effect of Kumuda but if taken in excessive quantities it can cause constipation.


As we see in the whole article water lily or Kumuda has so many benefits but when taken in moderate quantities. If it is taken in excess quantities it can harm the body, so before taking any type of medications in any type of disease please consult an ayurvedic expert. It contains the Madhura (sweet) Rasa (taste) in it, Picchilla (stickiness), and Snigdha( unctuous) in Guna (physical property), Sheeta (cold) in Veerya (potency), Madhur (sweet) in Vipaka (metabolic property after digestion).

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Author Bio:

Best Ayurvedic Doctor - Dr. Meenakshi Chauhan

Dr. Meenakshi Chauhan


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Reviewed By:

Best Ayurvedic Doctor in Mohali - Dr. Vikram Chauhan

Dr. Vikram Chauhan


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