Blue lotus flower is experiencing a surge in popularity for its relaxing and calming effects. With the momentum behind recreational cannabis legalization, the interest in other smokeable herbs has also grown. The flower is often consumed as a tea, topically as a cream, tincture, or smokeable herb. Due to its sun-loving activity, it is closely associated with the Egyptian god, Ra, the Sun God in Egyptian culture. Flower petals open upon first light, blossoms follow the arc of the sun throughout the day and then blooms finally close at sundown.
Blue lotus is increasingly being used in the cannabis industry. Some CBD companies have infused blue lotus flower into their smoking blends to encourage sleep, lucid dreaming, and euphoria. Some brands offer “dressed” pre-rolls that use blue lotus flower petals: joints or blunts that have been infused with another substance or powder by coating the outside of the rolling paper with that substance. For example, cannabis joints are sometimes “dressed” with kief or the flower parts of other herbs. This makes for a visually appealing presentation and offers secondary benefits from the herb or flower it is dressed with. And much like cannabis, the effects are felt when smoked.
What is Blue Lotus Flower (Nymphaea caerulea)?
While ‘blue lotus’ is in its name, this flower is not actually a lotus at all—it’s a lily. It is also known by the common names blue water lily, sacred blue lily of the Nile, and Egyptian lotus. It is an aquatic perennial plant that grows on the shores of lakes and rivers. In folk medicine, the plant is reported to be soothing with tranquilizing effects. In folk medicine, the plant is reportedly soothing with tranquilizing effects. Its historical uses include detoxification, aphrodisiac purposes, and astringent and diuretic properties. It is used in Ayurvedic medicine for dyspepsia, enteritis, diarrhea, urinary problems, fevers, and heart palpitations.
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Blue lotus flower historically hails from northern and central Africa. It was originally found along the Nile River but now grows throughout the continent of Africa and Asia. The intoxicating plant has was used in Egyptian shamanistic rituals for its narcotic effects, producing trance-induced states of altered consciousness. It was also used in ancient Egyptian healing. Blue lotus flower was a key component in ritual mourning and is frequently featured along with the white lotus in Egyptian art, artifacts, and hieroglyphics, dating back to the 14th century B.C. The frequent appearance of the plant in documented ceremonies and sacred iconography of dynastic Egypt—as seen on stelae, papyri, and vessels—demonstrates the ancient Egyptians’ profound knowledge and use of therapeutic and ceremonial plants.
Blue Lotus Flower Active Compounds
Blue lotus contains the active ingredients apomorphine and nuciferine. Apomorphine is a psychoactive alkaloid that interacts with both dopamine and serotonin systems, key neurotransmitters that regulate feelings of pleasure and mood. (Science enthusiasts may take delight in knowing that blue lotus shows activity as a partial agonist at 5-HT1A and an antagonist at 5-HT2A serotonin receptors.)
Nuciferine is an alkaloid associated with dopamine receptor blockade or a dopamine antagonist, which blocks dopamine receptor activity. Blue lotus flower is used as a sleep aid and anxiety reliever today. Blue lotus flower is rich in food-derived flavonoids such as flavonols, quercetin, kaempferol, and myricetin, which have shown antimutagenic and anticarcinogenic effects. Flavonoids from blue lotus flowers show promising antioxidant activity.
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Blue Lotus Flower Benefits
For centuries, blue lotus flower was used therapeutically for a number of health issues. Yet, while some research claims that it can help with anxiety, stress, and insomnia, there have been no clinical trials to date that test the effectiveness or safety of blue lotus for these conditions. If you have a pre-existing medical condition or are taking medication, it is particularly important to consult with your doctor before taking blue lotus. Some herbs and supplements can interact with medications or have side effects, and it is important to be aware of these risks before using them.
As mentioned above, blue lotus has a long history of use for its relaxing and mood-enhancing effects. It is thought to contain a number of active compounds that may promote relaxation, including apomorphine and nuciferine. The plant is considered a nervine, which is an herb that supports balance in the central nervous system, producing a feeling of restfulness in the body. While the effects of the blue lotus can be euphoric, it may help decompress the mind and relax the body. Some people use blue lotus for its potential to help with anxiety, stress, and insomnia, as well as for its purported ability to enhance sexual pleasure and function. However, there is limited scientific evidence to support these uses, and further research is needed to determine the plant’s safety and efficacy.
Blue lotus active ingredients, apomorphine, and nuciferine, have shown therapeutic effects in several mental health diseases. Early research proposes that apomorphine may hold potential in the treatment of depression, anxiety, insomnia, and schizophrenia. Nuciferine in blue lotus has varying effects on serotonin and dopamine receptors. One study suggests nuciferine may have potential therapeutic applications as an antipsychotic drug. In another early study, nuciferine showed potential effectiveness in treating schizophrenia. The nuciferine receptor profile is similar to one of the most successful antipsychotic drugs, clozapine.
One of nuciferine’s metabolites, atherosperminine, is associated with dopaminergic agonism—meaning it engages with dopamine receptors. It’s been used as an antipsychotic and in the treatment of alcohol use disorder and tobacco use disorder. In animal studies, nuciferine has produced some behavioral effects such as catalepsy, potentiation of hexobarbitone hypnosis, morphine analgesia, and anticonvulsant action. While it is used to treat addiction, apomorphine has potentially addictive qualities, and high doses should be used with caution where a risk of abuse is a concern.
While limited scientific data has demonstrated that Blue lotus flower can help to improve symptoms of Parkinson’s disease (PD), such as tremors and muscle rigidity, there have been no clinical trials to test the effectiveness or safety of blue lotus for this condition. The Canadian Medical Association Journal reports the use of apomorphine to alleviate spasticity in patients with paralysis agitans as early as 1935. Other studies show that apomorphine was a valuable drug in antiparkinsonian armamentarium——a materia medica of sorts for PD. Apomorphine has since been used in diagnosing and treating of PD in Europe, either as a pen injection or through continuous infusion. Despite evidence of its efficacy in treating advanced PD and its positive impact on patients’ quality of life, apomorphine remains underused and unavailable to many patients worldwide.
In popular culture, some people use blue lotus flower to induce lucid dreaming. A lucid dream is a type of dream where the dreamer is conscious they are dreaming. It is said that simply recognizing you in a dream, you may be able to maintain a level of control over how your dreams play out. Lucid dreamers may find they are able to manipulate many aspects of themselves and their dreams. They can dream of flying, relive old memories, act out fantasies, change scenery, and more. The belief is that the combination of euphoric and drowsy effects promotes vivid and lucid dream states. However, there currently is no scientific evidence about blue lotus and lucid dreaming.
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Blue Lotus Side Effects
Blue lotus flower is generally considered to be safe when used in small amounts, but it is possible to experience side effects. Some common side effects of blue lotus may include dizziness, nausea, vomiting, dry mouth, and constipation.
It is important to start with a small dose and gradually increase your dose over time to reduce the risk of side effects. High doses have been known to raise heart rate and cause flush, or redness in the face and body. It is also important to follow the dosing instructions provided on the product label or by your healthcare provider before using any supplement or herbal product for medicinal purposes, as they can help you determine the appropriate dose and ensure that it is safe for you to use. If you experience any side effects while using blue lotus, stop using it and speak with your healthcare provider.
How Do You Take Blue Lotus?
Blue lotus flower may be taken in a variety of forms, including as a tea, tincture, extract, or dried flower. Some people also smoke the dried flowers or add them to food or drinks. It can be enjoyed recreationally or therapeutically with any of these consumption methods.
Blue Lotus Flower Tea
Sipping blue lotus tea is one of the most common ways to experience this dreamy flower. Steeping a cup before bed or meditation can relax the mind and body while opening up consciousness and sensory capacity. To make tea, you can add 1 to 2 teaspoons of dried blue lotus flowers to a cup of hot water and let it steep for 5 to 10 minutes. Placing a lid over your tea while it steeps will ensure you recapture any active components that may evaporate in the steam. You can also add honey or lemon to taste.
Smoking Blue Lotus Flower
Blue lotus petals can also be smoked ceremonially or burned as incense to encourage lucid dreaming and muscle relaxation. Inhalation brings much stronger and faster-acting effects but also dramatically increases the risk and severity of side effects. Blue lotus flower can be smoked by itself or mixed with other herbs. To smoke blue lotus, you can use a pipe, water pipe, or rolling papers.
Here is a general method for smoking Blue lotus flower:
- Grind the dried blue lotus flowers into a fine powder using a grinder or mortar and pestle.
- Fill your smoking device or rolling papers with ground flower.
- Light the flower and inhale the smoke through the mouthpiece of the device or from the rolled paper.
- Exhale the smoke and repeat as desired.
It is important to start with a small amount and gradually increase the amount as needed, as smoking large amounts of blue lotus could lead to side effects such as dizziness, nausea, and vomiting. It is also important to be aware that smoking can harm your health and increase the risk of lung cancer and other respiratory problems.
To make a tincture, you can mix a 5:1 ratio of alcohol (such as vodka or brandy) to dried herb. You can then take the tincture by adding a few drops to a glass of water or directly under your tongue. To make a blue lotus flower tincture, you will need:
- Dried blue lotus flowers
- Alcohol, such as vodka or brandy
- A glass jar with a tight-fitting lid
- A strainer or cheesecloth
- A dark-colored glass dropper bottle
- Place the dried blue lotus flowers in the glass jar.
- Fill the jar with enough alcohol to completely cover the flowers.
- Seal the jar tightly and shake it well to mix the contents.
- Store the jar in a cool, dark place for 4-6 weeks, shaking it daily to help extract the active compounds from the flowers.
- After 4-6 weeks, strain the tincture through a strainer or cheesecloth into a clean jar or bowl.
- Transfer the tincture to a dark-colored glass dropper bottle and store it in a cool, dark place.
To use the tincture, add a few drops to a glass of water or directly under your tongue. It is important to follow the dosing instructions provided on the product label or by your healthcare provider. It is also important to start with a low dose and gradually increase it to reduce the risk of side effects.