‘Whenever you doubt your self-worth, remember the lotus flower. Even though it plunges to life from beneath the mud, it does not allow the dirt that surrounds it to affect its growth or beauty.’ ― Suzy Kassem
Among the few flowers celebrated by humankind, Lotus can hold the first five spots. Having a majestic and dignified beauty, lotus (scientific name: Nelumbo nucifera) has been a part of folklore, art, and religion from time immemorial. It is well known as sacred flower because of its therapeutic effects it can give to the human body. However, there are many other health benefits of lotus as well. Let us know about them in detail but before that, here is a small introduction.
Largely grown from seeds, a seed can lie dormant for a hundred years and then germinate. Lotus can easily grow in damp soil but will require sunlight for up to six hours a day. The plant also requires fertilizer for at least one year. Moreover, it has to be protected from cold temperatures.
Structure of Lotus
The roots of this plant are firmly entrenched to the bottom soil of the river or pond. The leaves float on the water while the lotus flowers are on the thick stems over the leaves.
5 Health Benefits Of Lotus Flower (Nelumbo nucifera)
For a boody to function properly, there should be proper blood circulation so that the oxygen is pumped to all the blood cells. When this happens correctly, functionality and energy levels of all the vital organs can be enhanced. Though Lotus is fortified with multiple nutrients, the ones to make a mark are iron & copper (essential participants in the production of red blood cells). A good number of red blood cells in the body prevents anaemia and enhances the proper blood flow.
1. Positive Mood
When you have Vitamin B, you also get pyridoxine in the body. This component can directly interact with neural receptors in the brain to influence mental state as well as positive mood. The other negative factors such as stress levels, headaches, and irritation are also regulated. Although Lotus flowers are usually linked with peace, the roots offer more of this positive aspect to the human body.
2. Regulates Normal Blood Pressure
Potassium is found in sufficient amounts in lotus roots, which means consumption of this part can give a healthy heart. This mineral is responsible for regulation of the balance between fluids in the body and maintains the level of sodium in the blood. It is best known as a vasodilator; as it relaxes blood vessels, promotes blood flow, and alleviate the strain on the heart. It also forms a vital component of the brain as it is needed for healthy neural activity, the passage of blood and fluid in the brain.
3. Promotes Digestion
As with any health benefits of the root, this Lotus part is also full of dietary fibre. It offers a smooth flow in bowel movements. It has been known to reduce constipation symptoms while facilitating absorption of nutrients by triggering the secretion of gastric and digestive juices in the intestine. By partaking this food, you can also manage your weight, as you feel full and do not opt for more food.
4. Boosts Immunity
Among the vitamins, Vitamin C is the most abundant. Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant to neutralize harmful radicals. It is also involved in the production of collagen that is needed for strengthening the organs, skin and blood vessels.
5. Promotes Healthy Eyes, Skin, and Hair
Another vitamin found in lotus roots is vitamin A, which improves the health of hair, eyes, and skin. It can also prevent macular degeneration, assist in healing the wounds at a fast pace, and reduce inflammation. The seed heads of the lotus flowers are dried and used for decorative purposes.
Medicinal Use Of Lotus
The entire lotus plant has been used in ancient Chinese Medicine for strengthening the human body. Let us see in details the medicinal properties of each part of the lotus flower plant.
1. Lotus Seeds
The seeds of lotus can give relaxation to the mind. Besides this, it helps in the treatment of high blood pressure (hypertension) and diarrhea. Lotus seeds are fortified with proteins and vitamins. According to an ancient Chinese book on medicine, the seeds of lotus assist in the proper functioning of kidneys, intestines, spleen, stomach, and heart. It also has been known to reduce the symptoms of insomnia, palpitations, and restlessness.
With advice from a naturopathy doctor, you can also use it for asthma and cough symptoms (take powdered seeds with honey). The seeds have protein, minerals (calcium, phosphorous, potassium), carbohydrates along with other constituents. The medicinal component of the embryos in seeds is known as isoquinoline alkaloids can reduce the blood pressure in the blood vessels. The astringent quality of the seeds assists in kidney dysfunction; so they are also used in the treatment of erectile dysfunction in men and leucorrhea in the case of women.
If you are suffering from diarrhea bouts, all you need is an ounce of these lotus seeds. Soak them in water for four hours, add the same quantity of rock sugar and let the two become a mixture. Boil it in water for ten minutes. Add 5 grams of black tea to the mixture and boil again. This is termed as an effective remedy in the treatment of diarrhea.
2. Lotus Flower
The flowers of lotus plant assist in clotting of blood and summer heat. It can be made or brewed as lotus tea. The petals are also effective in reducing the symptoms of thirst and inflammations in the body. The flowers have high amounts of calcium and iron. The petals alleviate thirst and inflammations while the seeds are powdered and mixed with honey to treat cough.
3. Lotus Leaves
The leaves of the lotus are well known to cure stomach ailments and clotting of blood. The leaves, because of their large size, can also be used to cover food. Ancients used these leaves to wrap the entire body during a fever just to bring the high temperature down. When used as medicine, it can strengthen the liver, provides relief with headaches, nosebleeds, coughs, colds and offers energy to a person suffering from fatigue.
These leaves also are one of the best home remedies for summer heat syndrome. Also, they reduce blood lipids, promote better blood circulation and reduce fats. As per the scientific research, any part of the lotus plant can be used for treating the symptoms of mushroom poisoning.
4. Lotus Stamen
The stamen of Lotus can benefit both kidney and heart because of its astringent properties. It can be used in the treatment of frequent urination, premature ejaculation, and uterus bleeding.
5. Lotus Rhizome or Roots
The rhizomes of lotus plant also display astringent properties and are highly beneficial in controlling the symptoms of bleeding. The medicinal properties are attributed to the presence of flavonoids and quercetin. The roots of lotus plant assist in relieving the human body from toxins. They regulate the body temperature, strengthen the liver, promote regeneration of tissues, assists in the proper functioning of the stomach, and enhance the sperm count in men.
The roots can be used as vegetables, or they can be grounded and brewed as a powder for further use. Every part of the lotus plant has its advantages. As for the roots, it contains carbohydrates, dietary fiber, sugars, fat, proteins, vitamins (Thiamine – Vitamin B1, Riboflavin – Vitamin B2, Niacin – Vitamin B3, Pantothenic Acid – Vitamin B5, Pyridoxine – Vitamin B6, Folate – Vitamin B9, Vitamin C), Choline, and minerals like iron, calcium, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, potassium, sodium and zinc.
Side Effects Of Lotus
Just as a coin has two sides, every herb or an ingredient has its benefits and side effects. Hence, Lotus is no exception. Though Lotus is highly healthy for the body, it also possesses some disadvantages. Make a not of them:
Lotus Is Not Good, If:
- You have diabetes. The use of Lotus parts can reduce the sugar levels in the blood. You have to monitor the levels carefully.
- Since blood sugar levels might get altered, you have to stop using lotus two weeks before scheduled surgery.
- You eat the lotus roots without cooking. You can fall ill due to bacterial or parasite infections.