Blue Lotus, or Nymphaea caerulea is a water lily first discovered on the banks of the Nile more than three thousand years ago. Historically revered for its psychoactive properties, this plant has been in use since the days of Egyptian orgies, and has never fallen out of popularity. This flower was valued highly enough by the Egyptians that they banned its use amongst the lower castes, while King Tutankhamon's sarcophagus was buried in pounds of blue lotus petals. But what makes this flower special, and how does it work?
Methods of use have varied from teas, tinctures, and oils, but we prefer smoking it, and you can find it in our Sweet Dreams and Have a Fun Time blends. To feel the full effect of this plant, it’s best to smoke it without cannabis so it’s not overpowered. When consumed, users report a calm sense of euphoria--part-sedative, but part-tingly energy like a stimulant. Many claim that these petals can be a lucid-dreaming aid, as well as an aphrodisiac. While your mileage may vary with this, I can say that I smoke blue lotus often, and it has a strong effect on both my dreams and my libido.
Blue lotus flowers can grow to six inches in diameter, with broad leaves that can stretch from ten to sixteen inches across. The flower is star-shaped, with pointed petals that lie flat on the surface of the water during the day, and close at night. Colored in brilliant shades of sky-blue, bluish-white, and mauve, the petals shift to a pale yellow in the center, and seem to shift under different lights. It’s a common belief that blue lotus rises and sinks below the surface of the water on a daily basis, but this process actually takes place over a period of two to three days. When surfaced, the petals open to greet the sun around 9:30 a.m., and close around 3:00 p.m. It was this cyclical nature that led the Egyptians to associate it with the sun, rebirth, and creation. Beneath the water, a long stalk connects the floating portions of the plant to its rhizomes dug into the earth below. Once pollinated, blue lotus retreats underwater to grow its spongy berry-type fruit, filled with seeds that sink into the soil once the fruit ripens.
Like many of the ingredients in an herbalist’s toolbelt, modern research on blue lotus is scarce due to the high cost of clinical trials and apparent lack of interest from pharmaceutical companies. That said, new research on the health benefits of blue lotus is trickling out, and the results are promising. First, it's an antioxidant, so it inhibits oxidization, a chain of chemical reactions that may lead to cell damage, a process that has been linked to the age-related development of cancer. It’s also seen promising results in the treatment of gastrointestinal problems, although research into these effects is still in its infancy.
One of the most prized functions of blue lotus is its use as a sleep-aid. Again, research into this is scarce, but the flower is known to contain the alkaloid nuciferine. This alkaloid’s main influence is on the dopamine receptors in your brain, where it improves blood flow, as well as the transmission of information between your nerve cells. This means that nuciferine likely contributes to the calming euphoria that users of blue lotus experience, and this is supported by the historical record.
Remember, this flower has been used for thousands of years by cultures from the Egyptians to the Mayans. Usage has varied from ritualistic to recreational, but the Egyptians in particular prized blue lotus for its euphoric effects, and the insight that could come with it. It was believed that its use could dispel fear, and bring revelations as to the origins of any negative emotions they had been experiencing. Once the body had been cleansed of this negativity, it allowed room for self-growth and a connection with the cosmos in its wake.
Today, blue lotus is recognized by users as a potent lucid-dreaming aid. I can personally attest to the power that this flower has on dreams. I first smoked it as a skeptic, and not only did I discover that it worked as an excellent sedative, but my dreams were longer and more vivid than they’d been for months, and I could recall more details than I’d ever been able to in the past. I’m not alone in this, as many people that are more dedicated to the pursuit of lucid dreaming than I also recommend its use.
Another major positive of blue lotus is its effects as an aphrodisiac. This quality is what led to its popularity as a “party drug” in ancient Egypt. Steeped in wine for orgies, blue lotus was known to increase libido, and provide relaxation and euphoria--effects that would later be compared to a small dose of MDMA. This is due to the alkaloids contained within the leaves. In 2018, a team of Italian urologists proved that nuciferine showed efficacy in the treatment of both premature ejaculation, and erectile dysfunction. But nuciferine isn’t the only alkaloid in blue lotus that can carry its weight--apomorphine has proven to be an even solution. In 2000, a team of specialists from the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recommended its use as a treatment for impotence and erectile dysfunction, and subsequent clinical trials have supported this.
Today, blue lotus has disappeared from its birthplace on the Nile river, but it can still be found growing strong in India, as well as parts of Asia and the U.S. Regardless of its shifting habitat, it’s clear that this flower has a rich history, and should be cherished and preserved. Users are attracted to the flower for a variety of reasons, but find common ground within this enchanting flower. You can try it yourself in our Have a Fun Time and Sweet Dreams blends, and experience the beauty and grandeur of a flower that has been passed down to us by our ancestors.
These statements haven’t been evaluated by the FDA. It is not intended to diagnose, cure or prevent any disease. Consult your doctor before use. Do not use if you are pregnant or nursing. Smoking anything may be hazardous to your health.