Nymphaea stellata (Dwarf Red Water Lily) is an aquatic plant, found throughout India and used in traditional Ayurvedic medicine. In this role the plant are used for a number of purposes including as an effective treatment for diabetes. However, evidence suggests that Nymphaea stellata may be useful as a mood enhancer. Other Nymphaea species of water lily including Nymphaeae alba and Nymphaea lotus also share these mood elevating properties. Evidence from studies indicates that Nymphaea stellata may act as a mild sedative, possibly by affecting the cholinergic neurotransmitter system in the brain. However, the plant is rich in flavonoids, and flavonoids have been shown to affect the GABAergic system in animals and humans. Therefore phytochemicals in the plant may be acting on multiple neurotransmitter pathways. An anti-inflammatory effect has also been observed for extracts of Nymphaea stellata, which may also contribute to the mood elevating effects.
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