This section is from the book "An Experimental History Of The Materia Medica", by William Lewis.
Water-Lily: an aquatic plant, with thick firm roundish, leaves, furnished with two obtuse ears at the pedicle, floating on the surface of the water: the flowers, which stand on sepa-rate pedicles, are large, composed of several petala with numerous stamina in the middle, followed by fingle capsules full of blackish fishing seeds: the root is long, thick, internally white and fungous.
1. Nymphaea alba major C. B. Leuco-nympbaea. Nenuphar, Nymphaea alba Linn. White water-lily: with white flowers set in four-leaved cups: the seed vessels round, and the roots externally brownish or blackish.
2. Nymphaea lutea: Nymphaea major lutea C. B. Nympbaea lutea Linn. Yellow waterlily: with yellow flowers set in large five-leaved cups, the seed vessels shaped like a pear, and the roots externally greenish.
(a) Pbilofopbical tranf. numb. 250.
(b) Cbymia medica, etc.i. 717. Chemical works, p. 347.
Both these plants are found in rivers and large lakes; the yellow is mod common: they are perennial, and flower usually in June. The roots and flowers have been employed, both internally and externally, as demulcent, antiinflammatory, and in some degree anodyne. Their virtues, however, do not appear to be very great, as they have no smell, at least when dried, and but little taste: extracts made from them both by water and spirit are weakly bitterish, subastringent, and subsaline. Lin-deftolpe informs us, that in some parts of Sweden, the roots, which are the strongest part, were in times of scarcity used as food, and did not prove unwholesome.