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Health Benefits and Medicinal Properties of the Lotus Flower

Most people have heard about the lotus flower, but how many of them know about the variety of medicinal benefits that can be gained from it! This applies not only to the flower, but to every other part of the plant. As well as its use as a food source the lotus has long been recognised in the East for having medicinal benefits. In the medicines of the Orient the seeds of the lotus are taken as a supplement for increasing energy, vitality and to help with digestion.

The seeds have a protein content of twenty percent and although the complete rhizome may be used for medicinal purposes, the joining part of the links is the most effective. Perhaps an indication of the healing abilities of the lotus is seen in its physical similarity to the human lungs. The root of the plant has by tradition been used in the treatment of a variety of respiratory complaints. Extraction of small amounts of juice from a raw and finely grated lotus root is a treatment for ailments associated with the lungs, which include asthma, tuberculosis and coughing spasms.

Roots seeds and flowers
The roots, seeds and the flower of the lotus plant have been utilised in various types of medicinal treatments worldwide. It is constantly being used in the cure of ailments, either as an individual herb or in combination with others. The petals of the lotus have a common use in cooking dishes and in the preparation of perfumes. In Thailand the petals when brewed as a tea, have the affect of strengthening the heart and lowering sugar levels in the blood. A tea prepared from the roots of the lotus strengthens the body and is a relief for excessive thirst. It is also capable of reducing inflammation and cleansing wounds.

Tea made from lotus leaves is another provider of relief that includes colds, headaches, coughs, nose bleeds and diarrhoea. This source of tea has the ability to remove toxins from the blood stream, thereby strengthening the immune system. If the lotus leaves are new, then they are a source of various nutrients to the human body. Leaves can also be used in the lowering blood lipids and in the treatment of fatty liver.

Astringent properties
The seeds of the lotus plant are regarded as having great astringent ingredients, which for example, are sweet and an aid to the heart, kidneys and spleen. Because of chi/qi, a Chinese term for energy, they are a help in stopping diarrhoea that is related to an energy deficiency. The lotus seeds have aphrodisiac benefits and because of this they are used in the treatment of weak sexual functions in men.

Tea made from the seeds of the plant has calming properties. Because of this it is capable of reducing restlessness, insomnia and palpitations. A further benefit of lotus seeds is that they strengthen joints and are considered prevention against cancer. Many cosmetic manufacturers are seeking to include the seeds from the lotus in their anti-aging products, because of their anti-aging property content.

The lotus plant
The lotus plants embody natural elements and flourish in an aquatic environment, with the roots needing to be firmly embedded in mud. Water is required by the lotus to sustain it and the stalks that are hollow and when in growth are filled with a milk type of sap. The flowers rise from beneath the surface of the water until able to reach the air. Lotus plants are able to use their upward direction as an advantage, even when crowded by water lilies on the surface of the water.

The meaning of a lotus bud (sesen) to the ancient Egyptians was a symbol of rebirth. This arose from its similarity to the rising and setting actions of the sun. The lotus closes in the evening and falls into the water and in the morning, it opens and is raised above the surface. In India the lotus known as Sanskrit padma, pundarika has petals showing the square earth element symbol and is the source of the Life essence, considered as Moisture. In Buddhist symbolism the white, blue or pink lotuses represent three types of human being. This is seen because the plant is either on the surface of the water, slightly above it or out of the water.