Nymphaea lotus, Egyptian white water-lily (also called tiger lotus or white lotus), is an aquatic flowering plant in the Nymphaceae (water-lily family), native to Egypt, central and west Africa, and Madagascar, which is frequently used as an aquarium plant or in water gardens. It is neither a true lily (in the genus Liliaceae) nor a lotus (which generally refers to plants in the lotus family, Nelumbaceae, although there is also a genus Lotus included in the legume family, Fabaceae). This species has a white flower that opens at night, which is the source of most night-blooming white water-lily hybrids and cultivars in commerce today.
In mythology, the lotus was the first plant to rise out of the primordial waters and, at the same time, it also appeared out of the light, like the sun at dawn. The lotus flower disappearing in the water at dusk and rising out of it in full glory in the morning became a symbol of rebirth. In the Book of the Dead Re is referred to as the golden youth emerging from the lotus. The white Lotus has long been symbolic in Hinduism and Buddhism. It is very easy to see why this is the case as it is a beautiful flower, which usually emerges in a pristine condition from the murkiest of waters.
In Buddhism the different colors of the lotus are associated with different stages of the spiritual journey. For instance a Lotus of blue symbolizing someone who has started their spiritual journey behind by leaving the concept of ‘self’ behind. The pink is the one reserved for enlightenment of the highest order and is associated with the highest deity, the Buddha. The white lotus flower on the other hand sits at a stage between these two and is associated with the state of bodhi; that of becoming awakened to the wonders of it all. When one reaches this state it is said that one has mental purity and has reached a state of spiritual perfection. In addition to this the white lotus flower also has a few further meanings as it is considered to be the womb of the world. Additionally it is linked with the pacification of one’s own nature.
Botanical Name(s): Nymphaea Lotus, Nymphaea Nouchali
Family Name: Nymphaeaceae
Species: N. lotus
Popular Name(s): Tiger Lotus, Wild Pond Lily, Egyptian White Water Lily, Sweet-Scented Pond Lily, Sweet Scented Water Lily, Toad Lily, Pond Lily, Water Lily, Cow Cabbage, Sweet Water Lily, Water Cabbage, Blue Lotus, Blue Water Lily, Sacred Blue Lotus, Blue Lily of the Nile.
Parts Used: Flowers, Roots, Leaves, Stem.
Habitat: Throughout warmer parts of India, in tanks, ponds and ditches
A species of water lily, white lotus is a perennial plant growing to a height of 45 cm. Also known as tiger lotus, it grows in clear, warm, still and slightly acidic waters. The lily pads can be seen floating on water, while the blossoms rise above the water. The flowers are white in color sometimes, with a pink tinge. The leaves vary from green to red-brown, with a number of purple spots. Tiger lotus is native to the Nile and is grown in various parts of East Africa and Southeast Asia. It is often used as an aquarium plant.
Uses & Benefits of White Lotus
- White lotus was used in ancient Egypt, as a key to good health, sex and re-birth.
- The plant is an aphrodisiac for both men and women and a general remedy for all kind of illnesses.
- Continued use of tiger lotus enhances sexual vigor and general good health.
- It is a tonic richer than ginseng, pain reliever richer than arnica, circulation stimulant richer than ginkgo biloba and sexual stimulant richer than Viagra.
- The flowers of white lotus are used for preparing tea that creates a warm, euphoric glow.
- The dried flowers are smoked by themselves or mixed with other herbs to add flavor to smoking mixtures.
- The effects of tiger lotus are enhanced when soaked in wine or other alcohol.
- The plant is effectively used to increase memory and create a feeling of euphoria and ecstasy, without the use of narcotics.
- Its rhizomes are cooling, sweet, bitter and tonic and used in diarrhea, dysentery, dyspepsia and general debility.
- White lotus is used internally in treatment of gastrointestinal disorders and jaundice.
- The leaves are used in cutaneous, subcutaneous parasitic infection, eye treatments and pregnancy.
- The seeds are used in sauces, condiments, spices and flavorings.