The Lotus Flower: all about its history and meaning – happiness and health

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Have you never been attracted by the beauty of this mysterious flower? All flowers have a religious or spiritual history and meaning.

But the Lotus flower takes on a sacred dimension which makes it more mystical and symbolic than others.

This magnificent aquatic plant, found in swamps and lakes, looks like a water lily. However, she does not float and she is the only one to rise above the water, which makes her unique.

But why so much fascination around this flower? Discover here its history and its symbolism

Lotus flower in the world

The beauty and the delicate and subtle smell of Lotus make it an exceptional flower with multiple virtues.

It comes in different colors depending on where it comes from, because there are several varieties spread around the world (1):. Here is a non-exhaustive list of the most famous:

Blue lotus

  • In Egypt: the Blue Lotus or Sacred Lotus (Nymphea Caerulea). Its light blue or purple petals have a very spiritual connotation. There is also the white Lotus (Nymphea Lotus), symbol of purity par excellence.

Indian lotus

  • In Asia: the Indian Lotus (Nelumbo Nucifera). Pinkish white in color, this variety is considered sacred in a large part of Asia (China, Bali, Vietnam…) and in the Indian subcontinent (India, Nepal, Pakistan, Sri Lanka…).

Yellow lotus

  • In America: the yellow Lotus (Nelumbo Lutea). This variety comes from North America. Recognizable by its very bright yellow color, this lotus has no spiritual dimension but it was popular with Native Americans fond of its roots.

There are still other varieties such as the red lotus, a symbol of rebirth and love, found in tropical Asia.

So we understand that each color of the Lotus flower has its own meaning.

A symbol across civilizationsThe Lotus Flower: all about its history and meaning – happiness and health

Since antiquity, the Lotus flower, one of the oldest flowers on Earth, has always been considered sacred by ancient civilizations.

In the East, the peoples still attribute to it virtues and spiritual and religious properties.

 

In ancient Egypt, mythology says that the Lotus is the reincarnation of a nymph. Which explains its Latin name Nymphea, family Nymphaeaceae.

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called Sacred lotus, it would be a symbol of reincarnation and rebirth. This is why we find it on the walls and paintings of temples and tombs.

In Asia, the Lotus flower takes on an even stronger symbolism, even today. She is the national flower of Vietnam and India. She is known by the names of Oriental Lotus, Indian lotus ou Sacred lotus (2).

 

The Asian lotus is a symbol of purity, prosperity and love, even immortality. It is very often represented during ceremonies and celebrations.

The Lotus flower in religions

The Lotus has a very strong religious connotation for certain peoples:

Buddhism and Hinduism

The Lotus is a divine symbol in Eastern religions like Buddhism or Brahmanism. The  Lotus flower represents Buddha, referring to the fact that she rises above water like Buddha who rests like a cat above the ground (3).

 

It is not uncommon to see paintings and sculptures depicting the Lotus flower with deities. It is also a symbol of enlightenment because it springs from the mud to flourish while remaining immaculate.

Christian religion

Formerly, the Lotus was the emblem of the Greek and Latin Churches. During the Annunciation, Archangel Gabriel appears before the Virgin Mary with a stem of a white lily (associated with the Lotus) in his hand.

A spiritual and psychological dimension

The Lotus Flower: all about its history and meaning – happiness and health

La Lotus flower is very represented in the symbols related to the chakras. We find in the practice of yoga the famous posture of the lotus which refers to its petals.

In psychology, the Lotus flower is a symbol of resistance and resilience. It would transform adversity into renewal and potentiality.

Today, the Lotus flower is widely used in tattooing and it has even become a big trend. It is possible to send a spiritual message by sporting an elegant and discreet tattoo.

A Lotus flower tattoo would bring balance in her life and inner peace. Indeed, the eight petals, already represented on the chakras, show the 8 parts of the spiritual path.

As explained at the beginning of the article, the colors have a meaning:

  • a tattoo of a red lotus is a symbol of love and compassion
  • a tattoo of a blue lotus represents wisdom and calm
  • a tattoo of a pink and white lotus evokes purity and devotion

The therapeutic virtues of the Lotus flower

This plant is definitely full of surprises! In addition to its ability to emerge from a muddy swamp without the shadow of a spot and to remain immaculate under all circumstances, the Lotus flower also has recognized medicinal properties.

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The making of tea with Lotus flowers is very common. This tea would have sedative and soothing properties (especially with the flowers of the Blue Lotus). It would be very effective in treating certain ailments (4):

  • headaches
  • insomnia
  • nosebleeds
  • colds and coughs

Lotus flower tea also strengthens the immune system. It even has aphrodisiac properties.

Lotus flower is widely used in Chinese and Ayurvedic medicine. Every element of the Lotus is used: the flower, the seeds, the roots and the rhizome (the stem). Here is a non-exhaustive list of the effects obtained with the Lotus:

  • it relaxes, soothes and can even become euphoric in high doses such as the effects of a drug
  • it tones the heart
  • fight against fever
  • it prevents premature aging of the body thanks to its antioxidants
  • it fights effectively against diabetes by reducing the level of sugar in the blood.
  • it reduces the affections of the bronchi
  • it has anti-inflammatory and neuroprotective effects

In the form of essential oil, Lotus has benefits on the skin and the body but on condition that the dosages are respected. The essential oil is contraindicated for children and young women who are pregnant or breastfeeding.

In cosmetics, we find the Lotus flower in the composition of creams and perfumes thanks to its soothing, moisturizing and purifying properties.

Lotus flower and its taste qualities

More than a symbol and a medical remedy, the Lotus flower is also edible! As I had specified at the beginning, the roots of the yellow lotus were very appreciated by the Amerindians who consumed them regularly.

You should know that everything is good to eat in the lotus (5).

It has the particularity of being both a flower and a fruit. When the petals fall, we can see the fruit that looks like a watering can apple.

In Vietnam, the Lotus is a very popular gastronomic delicacy.

Renkon (the tubers)

They are cooked fried, raw, steamed, marinated, or sautéed in a wok.

The rhizome

Like the potato, it is rich in starch. It is tasted in several ways: raw, cooked in a wok, boiled in soup, fried. It can be eaten salty or sweet.

Lotus leaves

They flavor rice wonderfully and are also eaten in salads.

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Lotus seeds

Like the rhizome, they are very rich in starch. They can be eaten raw or cooked in different ways. You can also roast them and eat them like peanuts. They are also very popular in the making of desserts.

Stamens

They are mainly used to flavor tea. Its manufacture is such that Vietnamese tea is one of the best in the world.

Lotus flower petals

Very often used for decorating dishes, it is also possible to taste them in the form of a tempura-type donut.

A treasure trove of technology

The Lotus Flower: all about its history and meaning – happiness and health

Among all its exceptional properties, the Lotus flower is a plant with amazing characteristics (6).

The design of the self-cleaning windows was inspired by the properties of Lotus leaves which are completely water-repellent. The Lotus effect due to a nanometric effect that no liquid adheres to the surface.

This is the reason why the flower always remains intact despite the mud in which it grows.

Lotus seeds also have an exceptional talent: their longevity! Indeed, they have an infinite lifespan that scientists discovered a few years ago.

Lotus seeds that dated back more than… 1000 years were found in China at the bottom of a dry lake. By replanting them, they managed to germinate again.

It seems that the protective envelope is extremely tight and that the seeds are endowed with formidable enzymes.

Finally, Lotus leaves have shown thermoregulatory properties. At the time of flowering, they have the power to maintain a heat of up to 30 ° while the outside temperature is not around 10 °.

Conclusion

La Lotus flower is a unique and exceptional plant.

Since the dawn of time, it has been the symbol of purity, love, rebirth and devotion.

It is the sacred flower par excellence in the world both spiritually and religiously. Venerated and respected, certain religions such as Buddhism, Hinduism, Christianity and since ancient Egypt, represent it through their paintings and sculptures of tombs and temples.

Its therapeutic and edible virtues make it a formidable ally for our body.

Never has a flower taken such good care of man spiritually, psychologically and physically throughout history.

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