Lotus: A Symbol of Divine Beauty and Purity
Lotus is the national flower of India which is also known as"Kamal" or "Padmini". It is a sacred plant which signifies divine beauty and purity. It is known to be revered in Indian culture and is offered to Goddess Laxmi. All parts of the lotus such as leaves, flowers, seeds, fruit and rhizomes are edible. Its scientific name is Nelumbo nucifera.
Lotus has historical, cultural and spiritual significance. It is known by different names in different languages such as “Kamal” in Hindi, “Thamarai, Taavarai” in Tamil, “Tamara Puvvu” in Telugu and “Tamara” in Malayalam.
Importance of Lotus
Lotus has three varieties on the basis of color i.e. red, white and blue, having the same properties. In Ayurveda, the white lotus is considered to be “Pundareeka”, red lotus is known as “Koknada” and blue lotus is “Indivera”. Pundareeka is best for balancing Pitta and Rakta Dosha.
Its seeds contain Protein, Calcium, Iron, Magnesium, Manganese, Phosphorus, Sodium, Zinc and Vitamins (B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, B9, C, E). Bioactive constituents like alkaloids and flavonoids are also present in Lotus.
Lotus is also rich in medicinal properties like astringent, diuretic, emollient, anti-oxidative, anti-diabetic, anti-aging, anti-hyperlipidemic, anti-ischaemia, antimicrobial, anti-viral, anti-inflammatory, antipyretic, hepatoprotective and anti-allergic properties.
Benefits of Lotus
Lotus has astringent (kashaya) properties and also contains a good amount of phytochemicals that contribute to the formation of blood clots helping in faster healing of injuries. This property of lotus helps to stop excessive bleeding in the body , thus, helpful in problems like bleeding piles, excessive menstrual flow and nose bleeding.
Lotus is useful in controlling diarrhea due to its antispasmodic properties. It reduces the frequency of bowel movements, moistening the stool and prevents accumulation of fluid in the small intestine.
Lotus can be beneficial in treating indigestion. This is due to the presence of alkaloids in lotus, which have antispasmodic properties.
Lotus helps in relieving inflammation due to the presence of anti-inflammatory properties. These constituents soothe inflamed tissues, thereby reducing inflammation.
Good for skin-
Lotus flower extract acts as a skin whitening and anti-aging agent. It inhibits the enzymes responsible for the formation of melanin (which darkens the skin) and wrinkles.
Uses of using Lotus
- A paste made from lotus petals is useful for relieving headaches.
- Powdered lotus roots areused as a paste to treat ringworms and other skin ailments.
- Lotus petals are used to garnish food items.
- Lotus leaves are also used as a wrap for steaming rice and sticky rice in Southeast Asian cuisine.
- Lotus filaments are given with honey and fresh butter or with sugar in bleeding piles.
- Cow’s milk cooked with lotus helps in reducing redness, haemorrhage, pain and wound.
- To treat cough, use lotus seeds powder mixed with honey. It provides instant relief.
Precautions and Side effects of using Lotus
Lotus is usually safe to take orally. However, people can be allergic to lotus which can lead to adverse effects. The side effects from consuming lotus can include:
- Swelling in the throat
It is advisable not to take lotus in pregnancy and is not recommended to be consumed before surgery. If you consume lotus & are allergic to it, immediately consult a doctor and take anti-allergic drugs.
Where is it found?
Lotus is found all over India. It grows mostly in floodplains and delta areas.