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Nymphaea caerulea

 

Blue lotus flower  (Nymphaea caerulea) is a water lily endemic to East Africa. It was once the most important sacred and ritualistic plant of Ancient Egypt. The reason is simple: the stunning flowers and buds hold a special gift to which only the elite, the priests and the dead had access.  

This early civilization built a strong spirituality around the worship of the sun. The blue lotus flower, which opens during the day and closes during the night, became a representative symbol of this devotion. Furthermore, the color blue was of great importance to the Egyptians. Since the pharaohs were incarnated deities who came from heaven, their crown was dyed blue. Also, in hieroglyphs this color was always related to the firmament, water, life, rebirth and royalty. 

Blue Lotus: Beyond symbolism and beauty 

 

Traditionally, Blue Lotus extracts and flowers were used for treating constipation, ailments of the liver or urinary tract, and for aphrodisiac purposes. It is now proven that the Nymphaea Caerulea contains the psychoactive alkaloid aporphine. This alkaloid is being tested for its potential against metabolic syndrome and its related diseases. 

 This alkaloid is also responsible for the psychoactive effects that earned the blue lotus flower a special place in the Egyptian Book of the Dead :  

 

Peacefulness in the nile surrounded by blue lotus flowers

 

“As if I’d slept a thousand years underwater I wake into a new season. I am the blue lotus rising. I am the cup of dreams and memory opening – I, the thousand-petaled flower…” 

 

Artistic representations of blue lotus along with mandrake fruit and poppy flowers have been found. This leads us to believe that a “magical” preparation was made with these ingredients to induce shamanic ecstasy. The decoction would have consciousness-altering effects including euphoria, feelings of well-being, auditory hallucinations and visions.  

 

Findings of blue lotus petals, buds and garlands in mummy decorations and graves, have also given a hint of its importance. Key for  the transition between life, death and rebirth. In Egyptian mythology, the ripped-out eyes of Horus turned into blue lotus flowers after being buried by his brother Seth. Being Horus one of the most important deities in ancient Egypt, Nymphaea caerulea represent his eyes on earth.  

 

Blue lotus plant

 

Blue lotus used to grow naturally along the Nile river and was planted in most natural and artificial water bodies throughout the region. Now it is almost extinct in its original environment, but during its heyday it spread widely in some Asian countries that still grow it. The blue lotus flower that is used for Munay Botanicals Blue Lotus full spectrum concentrate is responsibly sourced from Thailand. 

 

In small doses, using Blue Lotus extract, tea, or resin is enough for its alkaloids to provide their calming effects. These effects include improving sleep, relieving pain and bringing feelings of euphoria. In the realm of the intangible, some might also approach this sacred plant to call upon its natural qualities: opening to the light, thriving in challenging conditions and offering its unique scent to anyone who knew how to appreciate it. 

 

Blue Lotus flower

By Camila Franco • 12 May 2023

 

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