Lotus (Nelumbo nucifera) has been used throughout Egypt, the Middle East, India and China since ancient times, primarily as a food, but also for gastrointestinal and bleeding related disorders. The flowers, seeds, leaves, and rhizomes of the lotus are all edible. The petals of the flower are used as a wrap for foods in Asia and the rhizome is a common ingredient in soups and stir-fry.
The lotus flower has been used as a medicinal herb for generations in Asia. Lotus leaf juices alone are used for diarrhea and sunstroke when mixed with licorice. The flower is used for abdominal cramps, bloody discharges, bleeding gastric ulcers, excessive menstruation and post-partum hemorrhage. The flower stamens of the lotus are used in urinary frequency, premature ejaculation, hemolysis (the breakdown of red blood cells), epistasis (gene interaction) and uterine bleeding.
The fruit is used for agitation and fever. Lotus seed has been shown to lower cholesterol levels and to relax the smooth muscle of the uterus. It has been used for poor digestion, enteritis (inflammation of the small intestine), chronic diarrhea, insomnia, and palpitations. Currently, there is not enough scientific evidence to recommend the use of lotus for any indication.
Alkaloids, aporphine, asimilobine, bean of India, benzylisoquinoline, beta-sitosterol glucopyranoside, bisbenzylisoquinoline alkaloids, carbohydrates, coclaurine, flavonoids, gallic acid, Indian lotus, isoliensinine, kaempferol, lian fang, lian xu, lian zi, liensinine, lirinidine, lotusine, methyl gallate, neferine, negferine, Nelumbium speciosum Willd., Nelumbo nucifera, Nelumbo nucifera Gaertn., Nelumbonaceae (family), norcoclaurine, nuciferine, phenolics, procyanidins, pronuciferine, quercetin, red lotus, sacred lotus, sacred water-lily, saponins.
Note: This monograph does not include plants from the Lotus or Nymphaea genera, as these are distantly related plants from other botanical families.
These uses have been tested in humans or animals. Safety and effectiveness have not always been proven. Some of these conditions are potentially serious, and should be evaluated by a qualified healthcare provider.