The ancient Egyptians revered the blue lotus flower and cherished its psychoactive properties. You will find it as a motif in many of their ancient paintings and architecture. The blue lotus flower symbolized regeneration, fertility, water, and plant life. Today, it is highly sought after for its euphoric effects. In lower doses, the blue lotus flower soothes anxiety and acts as a sleep aid. This article explores the health benefits of the blue lotus flower and explains how to use it. Read on!
What Is Blue Lotus Flower?
The blue lotus flower (Nymphaea caerulea) is a water lily found in Africa and Asia. It is also known as blue Egyptian lotus, blue water lily, and sacred blue lily of the Nile. It is an aquatic perennial plant and usually grows along lakes and rivers, including the Nile.
The blue lotus flower is traditionally used as a sleep aid, detoxifying agent, and aphrodisiac. It is rich in antioxidants and widely used in Ayurveda for relieving diarrhea, fevers, urinary problems, and heart palpitations (1).
Ancient Egyptians and Mayans used blue lotus flowers as ritual plants to achieve euphoria and ecstasy. The flower was depicted in ancient Egyptian papyri and tomb art, and during the 14th century B.C., ancient Egyptians used it for healing and shamanic rituals. These plants played a vital role in the cultures they flourished in (2).
Licensed wellness professional and medicinal cannabis educator Jade Sancho-Duser shares, “Egyptians used to decant blue lotus in wine along with other flowers and herbs (e.g., poppies). This would produce euphoric effects, which have been said to have a similar effect as MDMA (Ecstasy/Molly). The Ancient Egyptians would serve this wine and engage in large celebrations.”
Today, the blue lotus flower is used to soothe anxiety and help people sleep better. Some have also described it as mildly stimulating.
Jade adds, “Blue lotus can be hallucinogenic to some extent if consumed in mass quantities (which I have experienced firsthand), but in reality, it is mildly psychoactive. The potency of this plant is much more notable when mixed in an alcohol-based tincture as it begins to enhance the effects of the psychoactive properties.”
Several bioactive compounds are thought to be responsible for the psychoactive properties of the blue lotus flower. They influence your mood, calm your nerves, and may benefit you in several ways. Let’s explore the benefits in the next section.
Potential Health Benefits Of Blue Lotus Flower
1. A Potent Psychoactive
The blue lotus flower contains alkaloids, tannins, phenolic acids, and flavonoids. The alkaloids apomorphine and nuciferine in the plant help release dopamine and serotonin to influence your mood and produce mild psychoactive effects that induce euphoria (1), (3). Anecdotal evidence suggests that the flower may also cause visual and auditory hallucinations.
2. May Help You Sleep
The alkaloids nuciferine and apomorphine in the flower may induce sleep and help you wake up without hallucinations. Apomorphine is often used in clinical settings as anesthesia and to ease sleep problems associated with Parkinson’s disease. Nuciferine enhances the sleep-inducing effects of apomorphine (4), (5), (6).
According to anecdotal evidence, brewing blue lotus flower tea helped people have more lucid dreams.
3. May Relieve Anxiety
Blue lotus flowers are known for their anxiety-relieving abilities. Lotus blossoms are used to ‘calm emotional disturbances’ in Eastern medicine. Apomorphine has also been linked to reducing anxiety levels (6), (7), (8).
4. May Reduce Signs Of Aging
Jade says, “Blue lotus also is wonderful in skin care as well. It is touted for its anti-aging properties. Skin care and perfumery are the two only legal permissions for the flower.”
The blue lotus flower contains antioxidants, which may help fight free radicals and slow down the early signs of aging. A study found that blue lotus flower extract could significantly reduce acne (1), (9), (10).
5. May Reduce Menstrual Irregularities
In Ayurveda and Siddha (ancient Indian medical systems), Indian blue lily (Nymphaea stellata), a closely related plant, is often used to treat menstrual irregularities. It is used alone or in combination with other drugs (11).
Anecdotal evidence suggests that blue lotus flower tea can ease the cramps and also stabilize the menstrual cycle.
6. May Have Aphrodisiac Effects
There is no scientific evidence to prove the aphrodisiac effects of the blue lotus flower. There are only historical references to it being used by ancient Egyptians for its aphrodisiac effects.
Blue lotus flowers are commonly sold as tea extracts or incense. Inhaling and consuming the extracts may have mild psychoactive benefits. However, always consult a doctor before using the extracts. Here are a few tips for using blue lotus flowers.
How To Use Blue Lotus Flower
Blue lotus flower extracts, resins, dried leaves, oils, powders, and electronic cigarette refill liquids (e-liquids) are now readily available online.
Since the alkaloids are not water-soluble, you may use the flower extracts by consuming them as teas, dissolving in ethanol-containing beverages, or smoking or vaping in electronic cigarettes.
These products are sold as natural sedatives or aphrodisiacs. They are labeled as natural and are not approved by the Federal Drug Administration (FDA) (12).
Jade adds, “Because of its psychoactive nature, selling this plant for consumption purposes is technically prohibited. This also makes it a bit difficult to find quality sources of the lotus. Knowing your source before you purchase will make all of the difference since there are multiple types of lotus out there but none as magical as Nymphaea caerulea, in my professional opinion.”
A cup of blue lotus flower tea is the simplest and safest way to take advantage of this flower’s benefits. Here’s the recipe.
Blue Lotus Flower Tea
Take advantage of the soothing effects of blue flower tea to ease stress and anxiety.
What You Need
- 2 tablespoons of the dried blue lotus flower
- 250 mL of water
- 1 tablespoon of honey
How To Prepare
- Boil water in a pan. Add the dried flowers to it.
- Steep for 5-7 minutes. Add honey for enhanced flavor.
- Strain the tea in a cup. Enjoy!
Blue flower tea bags are commercially available. If you procure fresh blue lotus flower, below are some tips you can follow to store it for a long time.
Tips To Store Blue Lotus Flower
- Place the lotus stem in a water-filled vase. Replace the water every day or every other day.
- Submerge two-third of the stem in water and cut any extra lengths.
- To reduce blemishes, do not wet the petals.
- Lotuses should be kept at room temperature or in the fridge for 1-2 days.
- Protect them with plastic food wrappers.
You should be extremely cautious while consuming (or inhaling/vaping) the blue lotus flower extract. A high dose of the flower can have some side effects.
Possible Side Effects
Ingesting or inhaling higher doses of blue lotus flower extract can cause euphoria and hallucinations. You may experience other side effects like (12):
- Altered mental state
- Chest pain
- Fast heart rate
- Brief periods of oxygen limitation
- Decreased alertness
The safety and dosage of the blue lotus flower are not well-researched. Hence, there is no generally accepted dosage, and that is why you should be more careful while using it. Children and pregnant or nursing women should also avoid the flower as there is no research on its safety. Always consult a doctor before trying the blue lotus flower.
To Sum Up
Ancient Egyptians considered the blue lotus flower to be sacred. This water lily has psychoactive properties and can induce sleep, relieve anxiety, and enhance your mood when taken at low doses. However, due to limited research and lack of safety information, you should be cautious before consuming the flower. Consult your healthcare provider before trying it.
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- Investigation of Apomorphine during Sleep in Parkinson’s: Improvement in UPDRS Scores
- Blue Nile Flower Rituals from the Perspective of Transpersonal Psychology – The Role of Nuciferine and its Putative Value as an Antipsychotic Drug
- PHARMOCOGNOSTIC STUDIES ON NYMPHAEA SPP
- APOMORPHINE IN THE TREATMENT OF ANXIETY STATES WITH ESPECIAL REFERENCE TO ALCOHOLISM*
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- The effect of blue and pink lotus flower extract on acne vulgaris: A randomized double-blind clinical trial
- A comprehensive review on Nymphaea stellata: A traditionally used bitter
- Toxicity From Blue Lotus (Nymphaea caerulea) After Ingestion or Inhalation: A Case Series