Blue Lotus Honey Mead
In the early 2000’s Ethnobotanicals became a point of interest and blue lotus popped up on my radar. The plant fascinated me at first sight, just looking at the beautiful pictures online. The flower itself was stunning and I would soon learn that it had almost magical properties. It was Categorized as a sedative on eroid.org, with some reports claiming hypnotic effects. I learned that Egyptians brewed it with wine, and I just happened to have a friend who was brewing wine at that time. I quickly found a way to buy blue lotus online, and had it shipped directly to my door step.
The flowers arrived and there was an idea formulating in my brain. What if the blue lotus was brewed with Honey mead? I talked to my friend and we started the process. We made a batch of “berry blue lotus honey mead” and bottled it up. The bitter taste of the blue lotus flower complimented the honey mead like it was meant to be. The effects were subtle, but easy to distinguish from a standard wine or mead buzz. It was years ago since that batch was made, and I still have one bottle left. What a fun and interesting experiment it was, all my friends loved it.
The Blue Lotus name (Nymphaea Caerulea) might be the biggest liar on the planet. After all, it’s not actually a Lotus… it’s a lily! If you’ve heard “Egyptian blue lily,” “blue water lily,” or “sacred blue lily” tossed around in conversation, know that it’s all the same thing. The first thing that comes to mind when you hear the word “lotus” is probably not Blue Lotus, but the more traditional Nelumbo Nucifera, or Sacred Lotus, which has a rounder appearance and light pink blossoms instead of pale blue ones.
So what is Blue Lotus?
Blue lotus has been highly symbolic since ancient times. The lotus plant is regarded as a symbol of purity of heart, beauty, fertility, and even transcendence; a Blue Lotus symbolizes wisdom and knowledge. Ancient Egyptians and South Americans used it for its psychoactive effects during religious rituals. It’s been known for its relaxation or sedative properties in these settings. Blue lotus also has a sweet floral scent, which is why it pops up in perfumes and aromatherapy products. Keep reading for more about Blue Lotus’ origin, effects, and historical use.
Blue Lotus 101
The Blue Lotus plant is delicate and aquatic-looking. Its oblong, gently rounded leaves can get 16 inches long, with narrow 6-inch flower petals. The whole plant spreads out to around three feet. True to its name, its flowers are bluish, ranging from more of a whitish indigo to light sky blue with a light yellow center. The flowers open in the morning and close in late afternoon. The connection to the sun’s habits led some to believe Blue Lotus was associated with the sun god Ra.
In swampy habitats and those with at least a foot of water, Blue Lotus is easy to grow. Quality soil, plenty of sun, and a U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zone of 10 through 12 are recommended. It’s plentiful in South Africa and tropical climates. At first, Blue Lotus looks like grass sprouting from loam underwater, but then leaves grow on the water’s surface. Eventually its flowers bloom, and the beauty is unveiled. The reason purity and immortality got associated with Blue Lotus is that the flower grows in muddy, slimy areas, yet its flowers are clean, beautiful, and reaching skyward. A metaphor for humanity, perhaps?
Blue Lotus Origin
Today, Blue Lotus has spread throughout Southern Africa and select other African countries as well as growing in Israel, Yemen, Thailand, Brazil, and Argentina. It’s cultivated in many more areas. Many believe it originally grew along the Nile River in Egypt.
Supposedly the goddess Isis was the first to note that Blue Lotus was edible, in the first century B.C. Word spread to pharaohs and others who were eager to partake in the ”medicine” ceremonies. Blue Lotus flowers were often gifts for visitors and used in party decorations and palace landscaping. Blue lotus became quite prevalent in artwork, from pots and urns to mosaics and tomb paintings. Its flowers were also widely used as a burial wreath. Nowadays, Blue Lotus is ubiquitous in Japanese and Chinese landscaping.
Blue Lotus Historical Use
The priest caste in Egyptian and Mayan civilizations used Blue Lotus extract for its narcotic properties, according to a 1981 paper by William A. Emboden. The ancient Egyptians believed in the medicinal power of the flower’s scent. Dried Blue Lotus flowers have been known to be smoked as well.
It’s possible that Blue lotus is what Homer mentions in The Odyssey. Homer writes of meeting island dwellers he calls the Lotus-Eaters, who eat the “honey-sweet lotus fruit” and never wanting to go home. He has to drag his men away from the island back to the ship — that’s how potent the lotus flower was! It might have been the sacred lotus instead, but the description of the lotus’ sedative property seems to suggest it was blue lotus.
Current Use of Blue Lotus
Neurosoup asserts that Blue Lotus extract acts a claiming, relaxing mild psychoactive, “Dosages of 5 to 10 grams of the flowers induces slight stimulation, a shift in thought processes, enhanced visual perception, and mild closed-eye visuals.” Some people report pleasant effects after boiling the flowers to make tea or soaking them in alcohol. Wine, honey mead, and riesling are most popular. Sweeter wines and spirits tend to be more popular with blue lotus as it can add a bitter taste to your brew.
Scientific Research on Blue Lotus Extract
Blue lotus’ two main alkaloids are nuciferine and aporphine. A 1978 study found that nuciferine blocks dopamine receptors and has a relaxing, sedative effect. Aporphine in particular is a “dopamine D1 antagonist,” meaning it blocks a specific dopamine receptor. Dopamine receptors in the brain play a role in mood, pleasure, motivation, memory, and more. Blocking dopamine reception means more dopamine — the happiness neurotransmitter — stays in the synapse, potentially leading to a temporary feeling of well-being.
Although research on the flower is scarce, Blue Lotus extract was featured in a British TV series called Sacred Weeds, which aired in the late ‘90s. Two volunteers drank wine that Blue Lotus flowers were steeped in for several days. The volunteers said they felt relaxed, happy, chatty, and cheeky for roughly two hours, at which point they ate the flowers and some effects returned. At the time, a pharmacologist observed that the effects of Blue Lotus extract were “euphoria with tranquilization.” However, this obviously was not a scientific study, as there wasn’t a control group. Scientists, you know what to do.
Blue Lotus Warnings
This statement is for educational purposes only and has not been evaluated by the FDA. Blue lotus extract, tincture, resin, and flowers are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.
When ordering Blue Lotus, you agree to our disclaimer and that you are at least 18 years old.
As with most supplements, it has not been established that Blue Lotus is safe for pregnant or breastfeeding women.