The lotus plant, botanically known as nelumbo nucifera or nelumbo lutea and commonly known as Asian lotus and Indian lotus, belongs to the nelumbonaceae family. It is native to southern Asia and is India’s national flower. Lotus, a perennial, aquatic plant grows from a tuberous root-stock lying in the mud at the bottom of ponds and lakes. The plant has a special meaning to Buddhists, symbolizing enlightenment and purity due to its ability to bring forth beautiful flowers from dirty, smelly mud.
[Note: The Right Flowers is not a medical site. Knowledge of and information about the therapeutic benefits and applications of flowers, while known through the ages, does not constitute medical advice. If you are having health issues, you should consult with a physician.]
Though lotus plants are native to Asia, they are easy to propagate in most backyard ponds. In the absence of a pond, these flowering plants can be planted in a large water bowl on a balcony as long as they get the mandatory 6 hours of sunshine.
Lotus plants are attention grabbers due to their exotic flowers that resemble peonies. The flowers come out in yellow, white and light pink hues which look beautiful against the large blue-green leaves. They look magnificent in a pond, on the balcony or in floral arrangements.
The lotus plant is often mistaken for a water lily, however, water lilies belong to a different family of plants. In addition, though both plants are aquatic, the leaves and blossoms of the lotus extend above the water surface while the water lily floats on the water surface.
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The sacred lotus has been used in Orient medicine for more than 1500 years. All parts of the plant – leaves, stems, flowers, and tubers have medicinal properties. It is high in phenolics and can be used to manage depression and diabetes. In addition, it has hypotensive, stomachic, tonic, styptic and resolvent properties.
Lotus flower benefits for your health include:
Skin and hair care
Nelumbo nucifera and nelumbo lutea are rich in antioxidants which make them an ideal skin conditioner. In addition, lotus flowers have properties which make them ideal for hydrating and moisturizing the skin. These assist in boosting skin elasticity and enhancing skin complexion thus erasing blemishes, fine lines and reducing wrinkles.
Apart from being an effective skin conditioner, the lotus is also good for your hair. It helps to strengthen, increase the volume and enhance the elasticity of your hair which prevents breakages while making your hair shiny and healthier. In addition, essential oils derived from the lotus plant stimulate melanin in gray hair thus effectively stalling premature graying of the hair.
The unique characteristics and capabilities of the lotus flowering plant have earned it a special place in the world. This plant is not only highly regarded in major religions, but also esteemed in many cultures for its beauty, purity and medicinal purposes.