Views: 19 Author: Golden Horizon Biologics Publish Time: 2016-11-23 Origin: Golden Horizon Biologics
The blue water lily, long considered as an ornamental plant, could emerge as the new panacea for diabetics, obese and elderly with memory problems. Scientists at the city-based Indian Institute of Chemical Technology (CSIR-IICT) have discovered that the seeds and tuber of blue water lily are capable of effectively controlling the blood glucose and lipid levels in persons suffering from diabetes and obesity. They also contain chemicals that can delay the process of ageing and related brain and neurological problems.
The blue water lily or Nymphaea nouchali grows as a weed in lakes and ponds in several parts of India including Andhra Pradesh and Telangana. Since its seeds and tuber were consumed by people during severe food crisis in the past, the blue water lily has come to be known as 'famine food'. The IICT researchers have decoded the nutritional and medicinal secrets of this famine food. They suggest that people should include Nymphaea in regular diet to maintain blood glucose and fat levels under check.
"The plant works on pancreas and intestines and controls the blood glucose level. It works effectively after a meal by reducing the diet-induced blood sugar level. It also controls the lipid (fat) level," said the IICT scientists in their study published in the latest issue of the scientific journal, Cogent Food and Agriculture. The team comprised Ashok K Tiwari, U Priyanka, Amtul Zehra and others.
The researchers found that the extract from seeds and tuber also prevents formation of various 'advanced glycation end-products' that contribute to ageing and degeneration of the nervous system.
"Nymphaea nouchali may become an important dietary supplement to counter development of diet-induced hyperglycaemia (high blood sugar level), hyperlipidaemia (high lipid level) and resultant oxidative stress. It can also be utilised as an herbal therapeutic for management of type 2 diabetes mellitus and obesity," they said.
The blue lily is used in traditional systems of medicine including Ayurveda and Unani as a brain tonic and antibiotic. This is, however, the first time that scientists have found that the plant could also be used to control diabetes, obesity and ageing.