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The Lotus flower was well known in Old China long before Indian monks spread Buddhism in the country. Many old scriptures show the great worship for this plant and in vernacular it was called ‘ho’, which means peace. A disciple of Confucius has written a hymn on the Lotus flower saying that it symbolizes the perfect man rising up out of darkness and marshy ground, growing towards light and unfolding the purest petals regardless of deepest duskiness.
The plant belongs to the Nymphaeaceae family and the botanical name of Lotus is Nelumbo nucifera, with ‘Nelumbo’ deriving from Tamil and ‘nucifera’ from Latin, which means ‘nut bearing’. In Sanskrit it is known under several names, especially padma, ka, mala or pushkara.
Though originating from Persia, Asia and Oceania, nowadays the cultivation of the Lotus plant is widespread in Australia, China, Japan, South Korea and even Africa. It needs a frost-free climate and in Europe we can admire the plant’s beauty in some artificially created lakes such as the Botanical Garden in Zurich.
The Lotus flower is a perennial aquatic plant and flourishes during summer in pink, white yellow or blue blossoms with many, many folds – hence the name ‘thousandfold Lotus’. The plant has its roots anchored in the mud of the lake or pond in which it grows. A stately stalk rises up through the water with the majestic flower opening its petals when touched by the light of the early morning. The German expression for lotus means lake-rose and indeed the unfoldment of the petals resembles that of roses.
The long stem rising out of the water carries four or five sepals with its many petals. In autumn fruits of a strange form develop reminding one of the lip of a watering can. In the capsules there are the valuable and rich in starch seeds.
The big shield-like Lotus leaves crowned by its many fan-shaped blossoms always stay clean. It was not until the 1990s that the botanist Wilhelm Barthlott from the University of Bonn discovered the secret of the surface structure producing this effect. A rough structure with a wax coating perceivable only in the micro-zone keeps the water from getting deposited on the leaves. The water is running off constantly, thereby taking away dirt particles – this is called the ‘Lotus effect’. Thus nature has created a self-purifying way with the Lotus flower which modern scientists try to imitate by inventing coatings that do not get dirty.
Lotus captivating scent and the beautiful blossoms have inspired artists to create paintings, music and poetry. In Ancient Egypt the Lotus was the embodiment of love and joy and we can see people presented with a Lotus flower in their hands on many wall paintings of that time. In modern times the famous Claude Monet did not get tired to create his famous Lotus paintings. In Egypt as well as in India Lotus still nowadays is revered as a holy plant.
It is a completely edible plant and highly estimated in Oriental medicine since centuries. In Roman times it was used in compresses to treat asthma and other infectious deseases of the respiratory system. It is also famous for curing skin problems, fungal infections and cholera. Also those suffering from diabetes and arthritis benefit from the plant. Lotus is said to strengthen and nourish the mind, improve vitality and eliminate hundreds of ailments. Thus it is a medicinal and uniquely useful plant.
The tubers can be eaten raw or cooked. Served cooked they are rich in starch and easily digestible, so they are good for sick or weak people. The above mentioned part of the latin name”nucifera” meaning nutlets which are found in the inner part of the flower, this are highly appreciated in the Chinese kitchen. A special delicacy is to offer meat wrapped in the fresh leaves that carry the wonderful fragrance of the plant and transmit it to it.
The essential oil is obtained through Hexan distillation of the pink, white and blue Lotus which are different in their extraordinary fragrances. The taste of the essential oil resembles a bit that of anise and is often used to produce remedies. The scent is unforgettably beautiful as enchanting and is able to work miracles in stressful and hectic times. Apart from its physical capabilities the essential oil helps to calm our nerves and regain inner harmony.
Lotus oil can really be regarded as a royal essential oil because of its outstanding properties. It is able to open our hearts for love and can release our creative powers.
The closed Lotus bud seems to carry a secret embedded and the unfolded bud radiates all the virtues a spiritual awakened being loves to spread over the environment: Purity, clarity, faith, serenity, gratefulness, love. Thus it is understandable that the flower was regarded as sacred in the Eastern religions since ancient times.
When studying Indian’s sacred scriptures the Lotus appears as a symbol of purity, serenity, beauty, peace, enlightenment, transcendence, upliftment, unfoldment, a crystal clear mind and fertility. In Indian tradition, the Lotus flower is believed to be of divine genesis and regarded as sacred by both the Hindus and the Buddhists. In their religious teachings it is still regarded as the cradle of the universe and the Indians love to portray their deities sitting on a Lotus. It serves as an imagery of enlightenment and man being linked with his divine source.
It is wise to use this extraordinary oil in combination with other essences. Its all over effect carries the energy of other essential oils also to every cell, so in case the whole body needs care and healing, it is a benevolent choice. For example blending Lotus and Rose takes care of the hormonal system, and Lotus blended with Red Grape helps with irregular heart beat and weakness of the blood circulation. It also harmonizes well with Sandalwood oil, Cardamom oil and other Spice oils.
Scientific studies by Jane Shen-Miller at the University in California have demonstrated that five hundred years old seeds have kept their ability to germinate and flourish after such a long time. In addition, it was found that the radioactivity of the soil where the seeds were excavated showed only minor deformity in their growth. Interesting here, that the Lotus has the ability to resist radioactivity.
Shen-Miller reported : ‘The lotus is so robust that it can sprout after centuries of exposure to low-dose gamma radiation. We need to learn its repair mechanism, and about its biochemical, physiological and molecular properties. The repair mechanisms in the lotus would be very useful if they could be transferred to crops, such as rice, corn and wheat, whose seeds have life spans of only a few years.’ (Cf. http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2002-02/uoc- -cls022102.php)
In the light of the beauty, the enchanting fragrance of the Lotus plant, and especially its important healing and spiritual properties it is a wise decision to take advantage of this so valuable present nature is granting us.
Plant : Nelumbo nucifera
Family : Nymphaeaceae
Countries of Origin :
Originally native to Persia, Asia and Oceania, nowadays widespread in Australia, China, Japan, South Korea and Africa.
Manufacturing the Essential Oil:
The Essential Oil is obtained by Hexan distillation of the pink, white and blue Lotus blossoms, being different in their fragrances.
Properties of the Oil:
Diverse blossom colors, white, yellow, pink and blue (strongest fragrance)
Treatment of asthma and other infectious diseases of the respiratory system
Benefits in case of diabetes and arthritis
Cure skin problems, fungal infections and cholera, as it is a skin regenerator
Takes care of the hormonal system
Stimulates the production of Pheromones
Strengthening and nourishing the mind
Improvement of vitality
Relaxing and antistress effects
Calming of nerves and regaining of inner harmony
Application : max. 5 drops
Attention : more than 5 drops may stun the user
Outstanding properties to open your heart for love
Release your creative powers and inspirations
Stimulation of creative powers
Application : 1-2 drops mixed with carrier oil
Main Compound :
Dimethyl-Ocatnol-1, not yet biochemically determined efficiency
Blends well with :
Rose oil for the hormonal system
Red Grape oil helps against irregular heart beat and weak blood circulation
Also harmonizes well with Sandalwood oil, Cardamon oil and other spice oils
Blended with Lotus absolute and Sandalwood, Grape oil the mixture is perfect for body care, baths and massages.