Alisma belongs to a genus of flowering plants called Alismataceae and mostly grows in shallow water. This plant is found worldwide and legend has it that the leaf of Alisma was used to display nature’s divine proportion. This plant has a triangular flower and short and squat fruit. If the leaves are in the water, they tend to be ribbon-like. If the leaves are above the water, they are long-stemmed and spoon-like.

You can buy this herb in dried or capsule form, usually online, or in Asian stores or stores that stock Chinese herbal remedies.

Nutritional information and Properties  

This plant is very beneficial as most of its parts are used in different home treatments. It contains triterpenes like alisol A, alisol B and alisol C. This plant also contains a flavone called sulfate. The fresh root of this plant is poisonous and has to be dried before it is used. This root is picked in the winters and then dried in the sun before using it.

Health Benefits and Therapeutic Uses

  • This plant is used as a diuretic and to control kidney and liver problems. It can help get rid of excess water in the body.
  • This plant can also allow the body to produce more urine. This, in turn, helps reduce edema, diarrhea, abdominal distention and difficulty producing urine.
  • This herb is also classified as a ‘cooling herb’ so it is also used to treat dizziness and ringing in the ears.
  • This herb is used in home remedies for blood pressure. It also can reduce lipids in the blood. This herb even helps lower cholesterol and sugar levels. You should also consult your doctor if you decide to take this herb. There might be contraindications.
  • It can also help expel phlegm from the body.
  • The leaves are used like a poultice for bruises and swelling. The leaves, ingested, can help reduce inflammation of the intestinal tract and urinary tract infections.
  • This herb has also been known to prevent fatty deposits on the liver.
  • It is also used in home remedies to promote milk secretion in lactating mothers.
  • As this herb is a cool herb, it is also used in reducing fevers.
  • This herb is also used to treat nightly emissions, premature ejaculation and spermatorrhea.

Other Uses

  • The root of this plant is sometimes used to make homeopathic remedies.
  • This herb is used very often in Chinese herbal remedies. It is usually mixed with other herbs like lycium chrysanthemum, rehmania, schizandra and cornus. This herb is also used in treatments for infections.
This herb, like other herbs, can have adverse reactions and contraindications for medications.  Sometimes in a bid to cure kidney infections, it can create additional complications. If you suspect you have kidney infection, visit a doctor before self-medicating. There have been some indications that the herb can cause skin irritation. Though there is little information on how this herb might react, you should take it only after consulting your doctor. Scientific studies regarding the effect of this herb are still not done. That is the reason you should seek caution.