Botanical Name(s): Nelumbo Nucifera
Family Name: Nelumbonaceae
Species: N. nucifera
Popular Name(s): Sacred Water Lotus, Sacred Water Lilly, Pink Lotus, Nelumbo Lutea, Bean of India
Parts Used: Petals, seeds, leaves, roots
Habitat: Found in ponds and swamps
An aquatic perennial, Indian lotus is the national flower of India and Vietnam. The roots of the plant are firmly planted in the soil of the pond or river bottom. The leaves can be seen floating on the top of the water surface. Lotus grows to a height of about 150 cm, with a 3-meter horizontal spread. The leaves can be as large as 60 cm in diameter, while the showy flowers can be up to 20 cm in diameter. The fruits are a conical pod, with seeds contained in holes in the pod. The lotus flower can be seen in hues of pink and white. It is native to Greater India and commonly cultivated in water gardens. It is known as kamala, svetakamala and pankaj in Sanskrit; kanwal in Hindi; kanwala in Unani; tamara in Malayalam; tamarai in Tamil; nelumbo in French; indische lotosblume in German and nilufer in Persian.
(+)- nuciferine, romerin, nerenyuferin, neferine, lotusine, isoliensinine, quercitin, flavonoids, isoquercitin, leukodelphinidin, myristic acid, palmatic acid, oleic acid, linoleic acid, protein, fat, carbohydrate, starch, moisture, sucrose, calcium, phosphorus, iron, ascorbic acid, aspirin, Vitamin B, Vitamin C.
Uses & Benefits of Indian Lotus
- Lotus is helpful in controlling the burning sensation, due to its cold potency.
- The plant helps in improving the skin texture and complexion.
- It improves mental condition and regularizes the peristaltic movements.
- It treats urine related problems and maintains the body’s normal temperature.
- The leaf paste is applied to the body in case of fever and inflammatory skin conditions.
- The young leaves of lotus are taken with sugar to treat rectal prolapse.
- The leaves are also used in treating sunstroke, diarrhea, dysentery, dizziness and vomiting of blood.
- The stamens are mixed with jaggery and ghee to treat hemorrhoids.
- The leaves and flowers are useful in many bleeding disorders.
- Lotus flowers are prescribed to promote conception.
- The flower stalk, mixed with other herbs, is used to treat bleeding from the uterus.
- The petals alleviate thirst and inflammations while the seeds are powdered and mixed with honey to treat cough.
- Lotus, when taken with ghee, milk and gold, is considered a general tonic to promote strength, virility and intellect.
- Its flowers, seeds, young leaves and roots (rhizomes) are widely used in cuisines across the globe.
- Lotus petals are used for garnishing and the leaves are used for wrapping food.
- The distinctive lotus seed heads that resemble the spouts of watering cans are sold throughout the world for decorative purposes and dried flower arranging.
- Lotus rootlets are used in pickles, along with rice vinegar, sugar, chili and/ or garlic.
- The stamens are dried and made into a fragrant herbal tea.
- In Asia, lotus is popular with salads, prawns, sesame oil and coriander leaves.
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