Egyptian Blue Lotus Monograph (short-version)
Egyptian Blue Lotus: Nymphaea Caerulea
Main Constituents: apomorphine, nuciferine, oils, bioflavanoids, phytosterols, nupherine, nupharidine, other alkaloids, minerals
Parts Used: flowers, leaves, rhizomes, leaf-stalk, leaves
When to Harvest: when in bloom, between 8am and 12pm - sometimes open until as late as 3pm, between September and February
Elements: Water and Earth
Energetics: bitter, aromatic, warm
Actions and Properties: sedative, febrifuge, aphrodisiac, circulatory, antispasmodic, antidepressant, anti-carcinogenic, anti-convulsant, anti-inflammatory
Potential Uses: purify blood, treat tuberculosis, expel worms and parasites, relieve edema, vertigo, and vomiting, strengthen the breasts, enhance libido/treat erectile dysfunction, improve lactation, anti-anxiety, alleviate depression, arrest internal bleeding, sooth hemorrhoid pains, eliminate oral ulcers, fight eye disease, balance the menstrual cycle, check blood sugar levels
Affinity in Body: kidneys, heart, nervous system, skin, liver
Ecological Considerations: nectar for bees and other pollinators. Egyptian Blue Lotus is rarely seen where it was once abundant, so they might be a potentially endangered or at-risk species, at least in certain areas. Be considerate and aware of this when using. I recommend direct communion with the plant if you intend to use any part of them - this connection will even help to unlock more of this plant’s personal healing matrix to be shared with you and in your practice. Another regard concerning aquatic plants such as this is the supply of oxygen to their roots. Roots must constantly be supplied with oxygen to stay healthy and the water lily's (aka Egyptian Blue Lotus) roots are buried in poorly aerated pond mud and therefore cannot get oxygen the way normal plants do. It has overcome this difficulty by developing a system of large internal ducts throughout the leaves, petioles and roots which ferries the oxygen from the leaves to the roots. Plant intelligence at its finest.
Safety: though generally harmless for most people, there are mild side effects. When taken in excess, it can lead to hot flashes or a general jittery feeling. Combining it with certain prescriptions painkillers can cause nausea, dizziness, or a feeling of disorientation. People under the age of 18, pregnant people, and the elderly should not use unless mixed into a formula such as a tincture or blended herbs infusion.
Despite its long history of use, Egyptian Blue Lotus is a flower shrouded in deep mystery yet they are powerfully medicinal. In the search, little monographic accounts of Egyptian Blue Lotus can be found, but evidence through personal and communal experience is quantifiable and of great quality. Nymphaea is one whose full body can be used resulting in an entity with true whole plant medicine potential. The flowers, the most commonly used part, are used in aromatherapy and as an otherwise stimulating agent. The aroma promotes a deep state of relaxation, creating a more receptive space within the person. The flowers also have oil compounds useful as pain-relief and have been said to possess anesthetic qualities, producing a somewhat numbing effect to enable things to pass without so much of a traumatic/stuck consequence. In this way, this flower is a potent remedy for depression and the moving of stagnant emotional energies. They are particularly useful as medicine for renewal, in all the senses of the word. Egyptian Blue Lotus Flowers also help to alleviate anxiety. Alkaloid compounds such as nuciferine are likely responsible for these effects - working as alkalizing, bitter agents in the body, they can serve as detoxifiers in the system. The leaves, also infused or even as a poultice in some cases, can be used to alleviate the pain of burns, thirst, hemorrhoids, and bleeding from internal organs. The leaf-stalk helps to increase lactation - this is an interesting contrast between two parts of the same whole. Here we see evidence of an ally essential to overall balance. In countries such as Thailand, seed extracts have been used to prepare skin remedies for dry and flaky skin and also to aid those displaying a recurrence of acne and pimples. Like the water element from which the emerge, Egyptian Blue Lotus is has moisturizing capacity.
There seems to be a strong correspondence between this flower and the Sun and also Venus. They are perhaps a great ally for those with strong solar or Venusian energy in their natal chart; they could also prove to be soothing to the minds and hearts of those who have Venus and/or the Sun in Leo, Libra, or Taurus. These astrological associations can vary, but we see this ally as promoting warmth, illumination, and beauty - Blue Lotus can even be added to conditioners for hair care as they are a great crown chakra tonic. By interacting with various receptors in the brain, Nymphaea promotes an elevated mood and overall spiritual quality. Nuciferine is said to play a major role in the effects of this plant - the interaction with receptors show a potential for EBL to address a variety of conditions including neuropathic pain, inflammation-related depression, and fibromyalgia. I had the honor of witnessing my aunt benefit greatly in reducing bodily aches, pains, and insomnia related to fibromyalgia with the use of EBL. Trials and research in this area have yet to be conducted, but this could change with the needs of the times. Evidence does show that they have not changed much in the past 160 million years, but have instead expanded their presence upon the face of the earth, keeping within the tropical and temperate regions. This is specifically an ally that shows up in places where the Sun is active and felt, saying plenty for the energy they can bring to us. Considering this, we can say that further applications can be for those born in the warmer months of the year but also those who were born in the winter and seek to be relieved of the coldness they may naturally possess. Even with what we know, there is much left to be learned about this ancient sacrament. The body of knowledge available via the scientific, alternative medicine, and other publications do not suffice to document or explicate the wisdom of this entity. Keep in mind that the water lily family, Nymphaeceae, is an old and ‘primitive’ family, so they carry information from time before even the existence of who we know as homosapiens. Egyptian Blue Lotus is an ally of many.
T R A D I T I O N A N D M A G I C K
It is more common to hear of Egyptian Blue Lotus as a sacrament within the Kemetic tradition, but there has been evidence of the flower been used, perhaps ceremoniously, in Mayan practices (the term Mayan is used loosely, though respectively, as Mayan really denotes several groups of people whose practices and traditions might not have been the same). There have been artistic(?) motifs of the flower in juxtaposition with the cane toad (bufo marinus). This toad is known to secrete bufotenin, a chemical constituent that produces psychoactive effects purported to be less pleasant than that of other psychedelics such as LSD, when they are aroused. Bufotenin is an alkaloid compound, and alkaloids typically affect the central nervous system on some level. This particular compound is considered ‘poisonous’ or psychoactive (as most alkaloids are administered deliberately to avoid toxicity), so the motifs show some correlation between using plant (blue lotus) and animal (toad) material to induce altered states of consciousness.
In Kemet, the flowers and buds were used as a narcotic. The associations discovered in the Egypt related deeply to Osiris. Brought back to life by the assistance of his sister and wife Isis, Osiris became a great symbol of resurrection and rebirth. Observing the activity of the Lotus flower as it rises with the rising sun, it is no wonder that there is a designated correspondence between the sun god and the Lotus flower. There are clear depictions of proprietors holding water lilies (lotus flowers) as they approached the temples of Horus and Osiris. By 18th Dynasty Kemet, the flower had established a ubiquitous presence, being seen everywhere from displayed on healing balm jars to being a part of the headdress of the Queen to being seen in piles of offerings for the dead. Ritual chalices and drinking vessels found throughout Egypt were usually made of calcite and shaped in the form of a water lily - these were the remains of time between the 18th and 22nd Dynasties. Much of the figurative association left for speculation and study is indicative of Blue Lotus being used in various ceremonies and as an elixir of life. The Blue Lotus is the flower of royalty as we find many depictions of Queens and Kings and the Ones in High Places adorned with both lotus and mandrake flowers - this is a motif that we find repeat itself in many illustrations, denoting, perhaps, a ceremonial use of these flowers as narcotic in the way of those who walk the poison path.
Other magickal applications suggest the use of Egyptian Blue Lotus as companion for the rite passage of life to death/afterlife/rebirth. One such example is that of a tomb where there is a fresco showing a sacrificial bull being led to the funeral slaughter. A woman holding 3 blue lotus flower leads the procession - sacrificial bulls were often garlanded with blue lotus and mandrake fruits. The Egyptologist Mekhitarian says, "We must never lose sight of the fact that the choice of motifs in Egyptian pictures, even in those which seem to have no connection with religious subjects, is always guided by ritual considerations." In another tomb, we see a widow squatted before her coffered husband, pouring dust over her head as a gesture of grief. At the base of this figure we see blue water lilies and poppy capsules bound together. As asserted, we doubt that the depictions are merely aesthetic. Conclusively, much of the traditional representation leave students of these past mysteries with the impression that Egyptian Blue Lotus was used as narcotic, evidenced by the continual depiction of the flowers with either poppy or mandrake. Reasons for use might have been to induce shamanic trance states of ecstasy amongst the priestly people.
Modern day uses see this flower more as a tonic for the nervous system and formulas of this nature may employ the use of Egyptian Blue Lotus as a relaxant and to induce feelings of calm and euphoria. Similar to preparations of the past, Egyptian Blue Lotus extracted in wine provides aphrodisiac qualities, making it magickally helpful for love and sex magick. Ultimately, they help to induce theta brain waves, so they can serve as a tool in mind reprogramming work. Using recorded affirmations or other de/reprogramming mechanisms after ingesting Egyptian Blue Lotus in tincture or infusion form can prove to be quite effective when working within the psychoemotional and psychoimaginal realms.
Gold Water Alchemy potions containing Egyptian Blue Lotus
Key 1: The Magician / a formula of Lavender, Hibiscus, Gentian, and Egyptian Blue Lotus meant to activate remembrance of gifts and talents + enable insight into the tools they offer you so that you can begin to live fully in your power.
Key 5: The Hierophant / crafted with Astragalus, Reishi, Schizandra, Muira Puama, and Egyptian Blue Lotus, this is a nootropic medicine that works with both the nervous system and the brain to help establish full body balance. Codes of activation encapsulated within the formula enable us to access the wise teacher inside.
Key 14: Temperance / Rose Petals, Egyptian Blue Lotus, Holy Basil, Skullcap, and Ashwaghanda come together to offer you an elixir made for the gods. Several of the flowers here are used by those communing with yogini and dakini or going through puja and/or sadhana. Recommended for those who need in boost in mental clarity. A favorite!
Emboden, William A. Sacred Narcotic Lily of the Nile. Economic Botany, Volume 32, Number 4. California State University.
Kurtz, Jennifer. Blue Lotus Benefits, Side-Effects, and How-to Use. Kratom Guides: online. published November 30, 2016. accessed August 10, 2019.
Rands, R. L. 1953. The water lily in Maya art: a complex of alleged Asiatic origin. Bureau of American Ethnology Bulletin 151: 75-153.
My heart/intuitive knowing/ancestral memory.