• Name : Nilotpal
  • English Name :Water Lily
  • Scientific Name :Nymphaea stellata



Utpala consists of dried flower of Nymphaea stellata Willd. (Fam. Nymphaceae); an aquatic herb, generally found in tanks and ponds throughout the warmer parts of the country.1


Morphology Description (Habit):

Drug occurs mostly in broken form of varying sizes of dried pieces of flowers and buds, dark brown, attached with a pedicel of 0.5-1.0 cm long when present; sepals-5 - 6 cm long, 1.5 - 2.0 cm wide, oblong, lanceolate, tip acute or subacute, free, adnate to base of disc; petals - 3.5 - 4.5 cm long 2.0-2.5 cm wide, linear-oblong or lanceolate, yellowish-brown; stamen- 6 to indefinite, free, adnate to fleshy thalamus; filamentsdilated at base; anther - with lingual appendages, introrse, dithecous; gynoecium 3 to indefinite, enclosed by thalamus; style short; ovary unilocular.1


Parts Used:




Flower of N. stellata contain a lead compound Nymphayol (25, 26- dinorcholest-5-en-3β?ol). The flowers of plant contain flavonoids, gallic acid, astrgalin, quercetin, and kaempferol.


As per Ayurveda:

           Rasa (Taste)                 : Sweet, Astringent

           Guna (Property)           : Unctuous

           Veerya (Potency)         : Cold

           Vipaka (End Result)    : Sweet


Pharmacological Actions:

Nilotpal is Pittahara and Raktaprasadak.

Nymphaea stellata Willd. (Syn. Nymphaea nouchali Burman f.) (Nymphaeaceae) is an important and well-known medicinal plant, widely used in the Ayurveda and Siddha systems of medicines for the treatment of diabetes, inflammation, liver disorders, urinary disorders, menorrhagia, blenorrhagia, menstruation problem, as an aphrodisiac, and as a bitter tonic.2

The primary pharmacological actions of this soothing flower are summarized as under:


Digestive System:

i. Possesses antihyperlipidaemic and antihepatotoxic activities.


Endocrinal System: 

i. The extract from Nymphaea stellata flowers exhibits significant intestinal alpha-glucosidase inhibitory activity, without showing any acute toxicity or genotoxicity, which may be useful in suppressing postprandial hyperglycemia in diabetics.3

ii. Nymphayol, a steroid isolated from the flowers has been scientifically proved to be responsible for the traditionally claimed antidiabetic activity; it reverses the damaged endocrine tissue and stimulates secretion of insulin in the β-cells.2, 4



i. Nymphayol possesses potent anti-nociceptive, immunomodulatory and antipyretic activities.5



Lowered Immunity

Type 2 Diabetes mellitus



1. The Ayurvedic Pharmacopoeia of India, Part-1, Vol-3.

2. Raja MK, Sethiya NK, Mishra SH. A comprehensive review on Nymphaea stellata: A traditionally used bitter. J Adv Pharm Technol Res. 2010 Jul;1(3):311-9.

3. Huang YN, Zhao YL, Gao XL, et al. Intestinal alpha-glucosidase inhibitory activity and toxicological evaluation of Nymphaea stellata flowers extract. J Ethnopharmacol. 2010 Sep 15;131(2):306-12.

4. Subash-Babu P, Ignacimuthu S, Agastian P, Varghese B. Partial regeneration of beta-cells in the islets of Langerhans by Nymphayol a sterol isolated from Nymphaeastellata (Willd.) flowers. Bioorg Med Chem. 2009 Apr 1;17(7):2864-70.

5. Pandurangan SB, Paul AS, Savarimuthu I, Ali AA. Antinociceptive, Immunomodulatory and Antipyretic Activity of Nymphayol Isolated from Nymphaea stellata(Willd.) Flowers. Biomol Ther (Seoul). 2013 Sep 30;21(5):391-7.


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