Lotus – Nelumbo nucifera

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Lotus---Nelumbo-nucifera

Lotus Quick Facts
Name: Lotus
Scientific Name: Nelumbo nucifera
Origin Tropical Asia and Queensland (Australia) which is widely cultivated in water gardens.
Colors Brown
Shapes Nut, oblong-ovoid, glabrous, 1.0–2.0 × 7–1.5 cm
Calories 40 Kcal./cup
Major nutrients Vitamin C (18.22%)
Copper (14.44%)
Vitamin B6 (10.08%)
Carbohydrate (7.39%)
Iron (6.75%)
Health benefits Circulates blood, Influence mood, Flow of blood, Reduce constipation, Antioxidant activity
Nelumbo nucifera, under the more common names of the Hindu Lotus, Egyptian Bean, Lotus, Indian Lotus, Lotus Bean, Sacred Lotus, Oriental Lotus, Water Lotus, is a perennial flowering aquatic herb which are found on the fresh water. It has floating leaves and rooted plant, grows about 150 cm high. The plant rises from the rhizomes which are planted in the soil. It is many petaled flowers which grow in the range of white to rosy. These flowers rise above several centimeters on thick stems above the water.

It is the member of Nelumbonaceae family native to Tropical Asia and Queensland (Australia) which is widely cultivated in water gardens. Lotus lives over a thousand years. It grows in a warm-temperate to tropical climates. Some varieties of Lotus are: Asiatic, Chawan Basu, Chinese Double Rose, Momo Botan, Mrs. Perry D. Slocum, Perry’s Giant Sunburst, Rosea Plena and Sacred Pink.

History

In the 18th century, it has been introduced in Europe as a water lily but today it is found all over the world in modern botanical gardens. Lotus plants are typically cultivated in Japan, Australia, India, China and Iran.

The lotus flower is also regarded as a symbol of purity and beauty in both Buddhist and Hindu religions. It is illustrated in religious pictures and texts. During 1999, it was served in China as an industrial crop. Lotus was cultivated for more than 1000 years in Japan which was introduced from China.

Plant

Lotus is perennial, rhizomatous and aquatic herb which usually grows to the height of 150 cm and has a horizontal spread of 3 meters. The roots are long, slightly round from white to reddish and brown. The leaves are large which float on the surface of water. The leaves are water repellant, orbicular, concave-cupshaped with 60 cm as a diameter. The stems are thick which bears flowers several centimeters above the water. The flowers are hermaphrodite, oblong elliptic to obovate, about 10-25 cm diameter and are sweet scented. Petals are white to rosy and numerous. Flowers bloom in the morning and closes in the evening.  The fruits are like nuts, oblong-ovoid, brown, glabrous with the size of 1.0–2.0 × 7–1.5 cm. The fruit possess the black, hard and ovoid seeds.

Nutritional Value

The serving of one cup measuring 60 gm contributes 0.95 gram of protein, 0.04 gram of total fat and 1.9 gram of dietary fiber.  It serves 16.4 mg of Vitamin C, 0.13 mg of Copper, 0.131 mg of Vitamin B6, 0.54 mg of Iron, 47 mg of Phosphorus and others. Lotus root is composed of 48.85 gram of water and 0.3 gram of total sugar.

Health Benefits of Lotus

All parts of the Lotus plant are edible and provides numerous health benefits. The lotus root is used to treat various health ailments and to add seasoning to the food. It is composed with several vitamins, minerals and nutrients. Due to the richness in Vitamin C, it benefits the body in various ways. The ample amount of potassium helps to reduce fatigue, heart problems, irritability and high blood pressure. Minerals such as iron assist in producing red blood cells.

  1. Circulates blood

The Lotus root promotes the blood circulation which helps to raise oxygenation of organs and also increase the functions and energy level. The presence of copper and iron in meaningful amount assist in the production of red blood cells, lowers the risk of anemia, increases the blood flow as well as vitality. (1)

  1. Influence mood

The presence of pyridoxine interacts with the neural receptors in brain which impacts the mental state and mood. It eradicates headaches, irritability and stress level. The flowers of Lotus are associated with tranquility and peace. (2)

  1. Flow of blood

Lotus root contains potassium in significant amount which helps to maintain the balance the fluids and prevent the sodium effects in the bloodstream. Potassium acts as a vasodilator which helps to relax the blood vessels, lowers the rigidity and contraction, increase blood flow and lowers the stress on cardiovascular system. Potassium is vital for the neural activity and transport the blood and fluid to the brain. (3)

  1. Reduce constipation

Lotus root is loaded with dietary fiber which adds bulk to the stool and ease bowel movements. This can lower the constipation, increase nutrient absorption through the digestive and gastric juice secretion, stimulates the peristaltic motion in the intestinal muscles and ease the bowel movements. (4)

  1. Antioxidant activity

Vitamin C is an antioxidant which is found in high amount. It is vital for the formation of collagen; maintain strength and integrity in the organs, vessels and skin. It enhances the immune functions. In addition, Vitamin C eradicates the free radicals from the body that leads to the health conditions like heart disease and cancer. (5)

  1. Prevent heart ailments

Potassium is a vasodilator and dietary fiber has the cholesterol scrubbing ability. The lotus root contains the pyridoxine which helps to control the homocysteine level in the blood that are associated to heart attacks. (6)

  1. Regulates weight

Lotus root helps to manage the weight due to low calorie content and high amount of fiber and nutrients. It provides all the nutrients and make full for long periods of time which lowers the chances of overeating and also manage obesity. (7)

  1. High in Vitamin A

Lotus roots are an excellent source of Vitamin A which enhances the skin, eyes and hair health. The antioxidant activities prevent ocular conditions and macular degeneration, speeds up the healing process, reduces inflammation and skin ailments. (8)

Traditional uses       

  • The dried mature seeds are used as tonic or sedative.
  • The embryos (dried) are used as sedative and haemostatic.
  • The dry stamens are used as an astringent.
  • The dry leaves are used as hemostatic.
  • In Japan and China, the leaf is used to treat summer heat syndrome.
  • In traditional Chinese drug, embryo is used to cure insomnia, overcome nervous disorders and cardiovascular diseases.
  • In traditional Chinese medicine, the leaves are used as a treatment for haematemesis, haemoptysis, epistaxis, metrorrhagia and haematuria.
  • Roots are used in traditional Korean medicine as antiproliferative and antidiabetic remedy.
  • Seeds are used to treat cancer, tissue inflammation, leprosy and skin diseases on folk medicines. It is also used as antiemetic, cooling agent and poison antidote.
  • The seeds and fruits are used to treat hyperdipsia, halitosis, dermatopathy, menorrhagia, fever and leprosy.
  • The rhizomes are used to treat pharyngopathy, spermatorrhoea, pectoralgia, small pox, leucoderma, dysentery, diarrhea and cough.
  • In Ayurvedic medicine, the stem is used to treat strangury, leprosy, vomiting, nervous exhaustion and skin diseases.
  • In traditional Chinese herbal medicine, seed is used as an antiobesity therapy.
  • Leaves possess astringent and diuretic properties which are helpful in curing sweating, fever and strangury.
  • In Malayan medicine, Lotus is used as a tonic for fever.
  • In Java, Lotus is used as an astringent and to treat vomiting and diarrhea.
  • In China, Lotus is used in facial cosmetic.
  • In India and Indonesia, the juice extracted from the peduncles and petioles are used to treat diarrhea.
  • The seeds are used in Vietnam as a cure for dysentery, leucorrhoea, spermatorrhoea, insomnia, palpitation, anorexia and general debility.
  • The leaves are used to treat bloody stools, gingival, haematuria and subcutaneous haemorrhage.
  • The stamens are helpful for metrorrhagia, spermotorrhoea, haemoptysis and insomnia.
  • The whole plant of Lotus is used as an antidote for mushroom poisoning.

Other Facts 

  • Lotus is regarded as a religious flower in Buddhism and Hinduism.
  • The Lotus is correlated with the sun in Egyptian mythology because it opens in day time and closes during night.
  • The fruits are a conical pod with seeds which is found in the holes of pod.
  • The petals are replaced by flat-topped seed pod when it falls which is divided into compartments such as wasp’s hive.
  • Nelumbium luteum is the American Lotus which has small, pale flowers.
  • Nelumbium nelumbo which is the Indian or Chinese Lotus has pink flowers.
  • Lotus is the national flower of Bangladesh, India and Vietnam.

Lotus – Nelumbo nucifera Facts

Lotus is the water plant which consists of bright fragrant flowers and broad floating leaves. The stems are long which contains air spaces. The flowers and leaves float in the water. The leaves are round and 50 cm in diameter. The flowers are rosy pink and have a bit of white shade. The seeds are hard, dark brown and round-oval-oblong in shape. This flower opens during the morning time whereas the petals fall in the afternoon time.

Name Lotus
Scientific Name Nelumbo nucifera
Native Tropical Asia and Queensland (Australia) which is widely cultivated in water gardens.
Common/English Name Bean Of India, Baladi Bean, East Indian Lotus, Chinese Water Lily, Hindu Lotus, Egyptian Bean, Lotus, Indian Lotus, Lotus Bean, Sacred Lotus, Oriental Lotus, Water Lotus, Sacred Water Lotus
Name in Other Languages Arabic: Kanwal Gatta
Brazil: Lotus
Burmese: Padung Ma
Chinese:-
Plant: Lien,
Rhizome: Ou,
Flower: He-Hua,
Seed: Lian Zi,
Leaf: He-Ye;
Czech: Lotos Indický
Danish: Indisk Lotus
Dutch: Indische Lotusbloem
Estonian: India Lootos
French: Lotus Magnolia
German: Lotos
Hungarian: Indiai Lótusz
Indonesia:-
Malay: Tarate
Javanese: Trate
Sundanese: Tarate
India:-
Assamese: Podum,
Bengali: Kamal,
Hindu: Kanwal,
Kannada: Tavarigadde,
Malayalam: Tamara,
Manipuri: Thambal,
Marathi: Kamala,
Oriya: Kamal,
Sanskrit: Sarsiruha,
Tamil: Vantuni,
Telugu: Tamara,
Urdu: Nilufer;
Italian: Giglio De Nilo,
Japanese: Hasu,
Khmer: Chhuk
Korean (Rhizome): Yon Puri
Laotian: Bwà
Malaysia: Bunga Padam
Nepal: Kamal
Persian: Nilufer
Philippines:-
Ibanag: Liñgaling,
Iloko: Sukau,
Maguindanao: Saua,
Tagalog: Baino;
Portuguese: Lótus-Do-Egito,
Spanish (Root): Loto Sagrado,
Sri Lanka (Sinhalese): Nelum
Taiwan: Lian
Thailand: Sattabut,
Tibetan: Pa Dma Dmar Po,
Vietnam:-
Tay: Lien,
Thai: Bo Bua,
Dao: Lin Ngo
Plant Growth Habit Perennial, rhizomatous and aquatic herb
Growing Climate Warm-temperate to tropical
Grows Fresh water
Plant Size 150 cm high, Horizontal spread: 3 meters
Lifespan Over a thousand years
Root Long, slightly round
Root skin White to reddish and brown
Root flesh Creamy white
Root taste Mild sweet
Stem Thick
Leaf Large, floating, orbicular, concave-cupshaped; Diameter: 60 cm
Edible parts of the plants
  • The root, leaf and seed are consumed in Korea as a tea, braised in soups or dishes.
  • The stems, rhizomes and leaves are eaten cooked with other vegetables, pickled in vinegar or soaked in syrup.
  • In Chinese recipe, the stem is cooked as food.
  • At Vietnam, stem is used as vegetable and salads.
  • The seeds can be popped like popcorn, ground into powder and eaten dry or used in bread making.
  • The roasted seeds are a perfect substitute for coffee.
  • The starches which are extracted from the rhizomes are consumed as breakfast or added in fast food in China.
  • The blossom and leaves of Lotus is used to make liquors in Korea.
  • In Taiwan, the leaves of Lotus are used as a beverage or food.
  • The unexpanded leaves and young shoots are consumed in Sulawesi, either boiled or raw.
  • The rhizomes are added to salad or pickled in vinegar or salt.
  • The unripe seeds are eaten raw, boiled or roasted, while the ripe seeds are boiled or roasted.
  • The seeds are added in food dishes, soups, sweetmeat, pastries, cakes and desserts.
  • The young rhizomes are consumed raw as salads in Thailand.
  • In Japan, China and Malaysia, the rhizomes (matured) are consumed stir-fried, deep fried and stuffed.
  • The rhizome of Lotus is common in Japanese bento food and nimono.
  • The rhizome pieces (dried) are consumed by frying as chips.
  • In India, the flower stamens are infused with water in order to add fragrant to the tea.
  • The fresh petals of Lotus are also consumed.
  • Young tender leaves are cooked and consumed in Thailand with savoury sauce and the petals are used to garnish.
  • In China, dried leaves are used to make herbal tea.
  • In China, the leaves of Lotus are used as wrapper for tamale which is a special Chinese pastry found in China.
  • The leaves are used to wrap rice preparations.
  • In India, the young leaf stalks, leaves and flowers are consumed as vegetable.
Flower White-rosy, solitary, hermaphrodite, sweet scented, oblong elliptic to obovate; Diameter: 10-25 cm
Fruit shape & size Nut, oblong-ovoid, glabrous, 1.0–2.0 × 7–1.5 cm
Fruit color Brown
Flavor/aroma Delicate
Seed Black, hard and ovoid
Varieties/Types
  • Asiatic
  • Chawan Basu
  • Chinese Double Rose
  • Momo Botan
  • Mrs. Perry D. Slocum
  • Perry’s Giant Sunburst
  • Rosea Plena
  • Sacred Pink
Major Nutritions (Cooked without salt) Vitamin C (Ascorbic acid) 16.4 mg (18.22%)
Copper, Cu 0.13 mg (14.44%)
Vitamin B6 (Pyridoxine) 0.131 mg (10.08%)
Carbohydrate 9.61 g (7.39%)
Iron, Fe 0.54 mg (6.75%)
Phosphorus, P 47 mg (6.71%)
Vitamin B1 (Thiamin) 0.076 mg (6.33%)
Manganese, Mn 0.132 mg (5.74%)
Total dietary Fiber 1.9 g (5.00%)
Potassium, K 218 mg (4.64%)
Health Benefits
  • Circulates blood
  • Influence mood
  • Flow of blood
  • Reduce constipation
  • Antioxidant activity
  • Prevent heart ailments
  • Regulates weight
  • High in Vitamin A
Calories in 0.5 cup (60 gm) Cooked without salt 40 Kcal.
Precautions
  • The consumption of Lotus may reduce the level of blood sugar.
  • The intake of raw Lotus root may result parasitic infestations.

Lotus (Nelumbo nucifera)Scientific Classification

Scientific name Nelumbo nucifera
Kingdom Plantae
Subkingdom Tracheobionta
Order Nymphaeales
Family Nelumbonaceae
Genus Nelumbo Adans.
Species Nelumbo nucifera Gaertn.
Super division Spermatophyta
Division Magnoliophyta
Class Magnoliopsida
Sub Class Magnoliidae

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