Botanical name : Nelumbo nucifera Gaertn. It belongs to plant family Nymphaeaceae.
Kamal, Padma, or Indian Lotus is the national flower of India. It is the most sacred plant in Hinduism. It is sacred to the goddess of prosperity, Devi Lakshmi. Lord Brahma, who is God of creation, sits on a lotus flower emerging from the navel of Lord Vishnu.
The lotus root and seeds have been used for devotional practices, as the plant is believed to improve the mind’s ability to focus and encourage the development of a person’s spirituality. The lotus is considered a metaphor for the soul, rooted in the mud of the material world but transcending limitations to rise towards the top of the pond.
The pink lotus is called Brahma Kamal and it appears in all Hindu temples. It symbolizes purity, beauty, water, source of divine immaculate birth, fertility and growth.
To practitioners of ayurvedic medicine, a 5000-year-old system of healing that developed in India, the lotus flower has physical healing properties and great spiritual symbolism. In fact, the lotus flower commonly is represented in Hindu art, associated with various Hindu deities, and remains important in auyrveda.
The lotus is an erect, large, attractive aquatic herb with large circular, leathery leaves measuring about 20 inches (50 cm) in diameter. The overall height of the plant is 3 – 6 ft. (1 – 2 m) high. The leaves and large, fragrant, white or pink flowers with a yellow Centre float on the water. Slender, elongated roots reach down into, and fan out through, the mud of the pond. The flowers are solitary and the plant has many-seeded ovoid fruits.
All parts of the plant such as Seed, Leaf, Root, Flower, Filament, Anther, and Stalk, are edible and used for therapeutic use. In Ayurveda, for medicinal purpose generally, white lotus flower is used.
Flowers yielded quercetin, luteolin and their glycosides and kaempferol glycosides. Leaves gave quercetin, isoquercitrin and leucoanthocyanidin. Leaves contain alkaloids, nelumbin and roemerin.
Part(s) used for medicinal purpose: Plant, Seed, Leaf, Root, Flower, Filament, Anther, Stalks leaves.
Flowering & Fruiting: March – December (January).
Habitat: A range of shallow wetland habitats, including fresh water ponds, lakes, marshes, swamps and the backwaters of reservoirs.
Propagated by: division of rhizomes and by seeds.
Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It cannot grow in the shade. It grows in water.
Order here: Lotus Stems
Health Benefits of Lotus:
Lotus flowers contain linoleic acid, protein, phosphorus, iron and vitamins B and C. Practitioners of ayurvedic medicine often use lotus flowers on the face for the flowers’ soothing, cooling properties.
The enzymes, which exist in Lotus seeds are supposed to inhibit aging. L-isoaspartyl methyltransferase is the enzyme that assists the repairing and maintaining of the damaged proteins within the body. Lotus seed in powdered form is now being added to various cosmetics to gain an advantage over the process of aging.
Lotus seeds are supposed to have calming effects and are antispasmodic, which means, your nerves relax better and you get better sleep. It also helps the dilatation process of the blood vessels and helps you feel rejuvenated. This is thanks to the presence of isoquinoline alkaloids in Lotus seeds.
Research has proved that Lotus seed helps in the cooling process of the heart and thereby reduces the pathogenic heat generated.
People suffering with gum tissue related problems are recommended to consume Lotus seeds, because of the healing properties existing within Lotus seeds.
Lotus seeds are supposed to be a great source of protein to the body. Doctors recommend this for intake to combat situations of protein deficiency within the body.
Low Glycemic Index
Lotus seed is low on GI, which means it will slowly release the energy levels in your body, keeping you feeling energetic throughout the day. This will keep you far away from stress and even keep your mind healthy.
Lotus seed contain abundant magnesium in it. Magnesium being the greatest channel blocker, improves the blood, oxygen and the flow of other nutrients. Low levels of magnesium can leave your body more prone to heart attacks. Such great is the content of Lotus seed that it leads to a dramatic difference of the heart condition. Its nutrition content of magnesium and folate brings down the risks associated with coronary heart diseases and other heart related conditions.
The properties within Lotus seed have known to control chronic diarrhea.
The astringent like properties in Lotus seed helps combating kidney related issues.
Lotus seeds, as per some research, are also supposed to be a good remedy for general debilty.
Since Lotus seeds are supposed to be low in glycemic index, it leaves you with a feeling of being full and even leads to weight loss.
Lotus seed has the ability to handle and control this unnerving condition of insomnia on account of its naturally sedative effect.
Lotus seed has high potassium content and traces of sodium, so lotus seed does its best in maintaining, stabilizing and even harmonizing the right blood pressure levels of the human body.
The flavonoids content in Lotus seed is supposed to combat multiple health related issues. Kaempferol, which exists in natural state in Lotus seed, helps to prevent inflammation.
Nutritional Benefits of lotus seeds
High in fiber
Being great in fiber content, it helps in keeping your digestive tract in order. It helps to drive away all the bile, which comprises of cholesterol from the body and keep it clean. This means, your body cholesterol level is maintained.
High in Potassium
The high levels of potassium in Lotus seeds can be of great benefit to the heart. It can reduce the risks arising out of heart stroke or even hypertension. It leads to excess amount of sodium and water being flushed out of the system. It also aids in muscle contractions that lead to cramps. This essential micronutrient of extensive importance to the human body is available in an excellent proportion in Lotus seed.
This nutrient is required by the body to maintain cognitive functions and the health of the nerves. Acetylcholine required for the purpose of neurotransmission can be generated via Lotus seed intake.
Medicinal Uses of Kamal / Lotus (Nelumbo nucifera)
1. Lotus leaves have lipolytic, anti-obesity, cardiovascular and hypocholesterolaemic activity.
2. They also possess diuretic and astringent properties and help to treat fever, sweating and strangury and as styptic.
3. The paste of leaf can be applied to the body during fever and inflammatory skin conditions.
4. Leaves are used as effective drug for hematemesis, epistaxis, hemoptysis, hematuria and metrorrhagia.
1. The flower is cooling, sedative, astringent, cholagogue, cardiac tonic, diuretic, bitter, expectorant and refrigerant.
2. The decoction of lotus flower is given in cholera, fever, disease of liver, strangury, and palpitation of heart.
3. Lotus flowers are considered a tonic for the heart, liver and skin, particularly when aggravated pitta is involved.
4. Flowers, with their parts or extracts have shown to possess antimicrobial, vasodilating, antihypertensive, antiarrhythmic, aphrodisiac and antioxidant properties.
5. Flowers are recommended to promote conception.
6. The decoction of the flowers is used in the treatment of premature ejaculation.
1. The seeds (Kamal beej/Kamal Gatta) are given for vomiting, leprosy, chronic diarrhoea, in high blood pressure, fevers and as antidote to poisons.
2. They are used as spleen tonic.
3. Nutritionally, lotus seeds consist of 10.5% moisture, 10.6-15.9% protein, 1.93-2.8% crude fat, 70-72.17% carbohydrate, 2.7% crude fibre and energy 348.45 cal/100 g.
4. Minerals present in lotus seeds include chromium (0.0042%), sodium (1%), potassium (28.5%), calcium (22.1%), magnesium (9.2%), copper (0.0463%), zinc (0.084%), manganese (0.356%) and iron (0.199%).
5. The seeds are tonic and eaten raw or roasted.
6. They are demulcent and nutritive.
7. The seeds are high in protein and encourage hormonal function. They are used as an aphrodisiac.
8. The seeds or their extracts have been reported to possess anti-proliferative, anti-fibrosis, antidepressant, anti-inflammation, astringent, hepatoprotective and free radical scavenging, anti-obesity, hypolipidemic, anti-inflammatory, immunomodulatory and antiviral activities.
9. Seed powder is used against cough. For Kasa / cough, powder of seeds 3 gram, is given with honey two times a day.
1. The rhizomes, or underground stems (often called roots) grow in the mud at the bottom of shallow ponds, lakes, lagoons, marshes and flooded fields. They contain large spaces that allow for air storage for the submerged plant structures.
2. The starchy rhizomes are very nutritious and can be eaten either raw or cooked. They are edible and has mild flavor. They consist of 1.7% protein, 0.1% fat and 9.7% carbohydrate.
3. Lotus Rhizome has diuretic, anti-diabetic, anti-obesity, hypoglycemic, antipyretic and antioxidant activities.
4. They are used in piles, dysentery, chronic dyspepsia, and dysentery. It is applied externally in skin affections, eruptions, scabies and ringworm. The rhizome extract has anti-diabetic.
5. The rhizome is demulcent and increase sperm production. It arrests bleeding and assist respiratory conditions such as pharyngitis.
6. For infertility in women, lotus root powder (1 teaspoon) + Shatavari powder (1 teaspoon) + 1/4 cup of Aloe Vera juice + 1/2 cup of warm water is mixed. This mix is taken twice a day on an empty stomach.
7. Lotus rhizome are rich in highly digestible starch, vitamins, minerals, dietary fiber and used as food.
8. As a reproductive tonic, to boost sperm count and libido, the seed and root powder (each 3 grams) is mixed in one cup of warm almond milk and taken one hour before bed.
1. The filaments / Padma Kesara is astringent and hemostatic and prescribed for bleeding piles and menorrhagia.
2. In piles Padma Kesara, five gram is given with five gram butter.
3. Contraindications, Interactions, and Side Effects
4. Seed should not be taken in constipation and stomach distention.
5. Hazards and/or side effects not known for proper therapeutic dosages.