Of course, being interested in herbal medicine, wild foods etc, I really loved the different plants I encountered in Minnesota. One of them was this Yellow Pond Lily.
I had seen Lily’s of other colors, but never this gorgeous deep yellow before. It was interesting to learn that these plants rhizomes can be used for food, (if properly prepared), and the fully dried seeds can be prepare like you would popcorn, the old fashioned way, not in a modern popcorn popper! I didn’t get a chance to try it, but maybe next time;-) The seeds can also be parched , winnowed and ground into flour. The Yellow Pond Lily can also be used medicinally. It has astringent properties, so has been used for diarrhea, vaginal discharges, bleeding and urethritis. Various Indian tribes used the sliced and warmed rhizomes in a poultice to control pain. The Okanagan- Colville Indians applied the stem to an aching tooth. The Bella Coola Indians used a decoction of the rhizomes to sooth the pain of tuberculosis, rheumatism, gonorrhea, as well as for any part of the body which hurt. Many other tribes used it for many sorts of infections and modern science has substantiated that the yellow pond-lily’s alkaloids are strongly antimicrobial. It has been used frequently as a vulnerary, ( an herb that encourages healing of wounds). Other uses have been as a contraceptive, an aid in menopausal symptoms, and for heart problems. All in all a plant I would love to spend more time getting to know if I get to return to Minnesota someday! Besides the yellow:) I noticed that the bees were flying out to visit these lovelies also:)
reference books: Edible and Medicinal Wild Plants of Minnesota and Wisconsin by Matthew Alfs
Strength of the Earth the Classic Guide to Ojibwe uses of native plants by Frances Densmore