The Sacred Lotus (Nelumbo nucifera), some times misnomered as a water Lilly, is sacred to the religions of Buddhism, Jainism, Hinduism, Bahá’í and is mentioned in the Bible when the Lord speaks to Job. It is widely considered to be a symbol of divine perfection. It is one of only two aquatic plants in the family Nelumbonaceae. It is the national flower of both India and Vietnam.
While many parts of the plant can be used as food and medicine, special regard is given to the dried stamens, which are traditionally made into a tea known in Chinese medicine as liánhuā cha. The plant contains alkaloids including lotusine, demethyl coclaurine, neferin, and nuciferine.
Another point of clarification comes in differentiating Sacred Lotus from Blue Lotus (Nymphaea Caerulea), which actually is a water Lilly. Both are commonly made into tea, and increasingly in the United States, are some times smoked by users to achieve what are described as “mystical effects” which can some times be sedative or euphoric. Others report a sense of relaxed mental clarity.
One herb shop I came across boasts “The stamen from the pink lotus flower is the most potent part. Inducing deep relaxation and feelings of bliss, [Sacred Lotus Stamen] is perfect to unwind after a long day.” Personally, I do find the effects very noticable – and while not quite ‘mystical’ (then again I am making tea, not smoking it….) and would compare it to other great nervines tonic herbs like Passion Flower or Skullcap – perhaps with a little more pizazz. Give it a try yourself and find some inner calm! Perfect before yoga. 🙂
For a limited time you can try it at 25% off at the Food Movement.