To practitioners of ayurvedic medicine, a 5,000-year-old system of healing that developed in India, the lotus flower has physical healing properties and great spiritual symbolism. In fact, the lotus flower commonly is represented in Hindu art, associated with various Hindu deities, and remains important in auyrveda. The flower itself, according to the website of the Vedic Shop, is an aquatic perennial that floats on the surface of a pond or river while the roots reach down to the pond or river bottom.
The lotus flower, notes writer Share Siwek on the website of the Flower Essence Society, is symbolic in Hinduism and ayurvedic medicine, representing eternity, purity and divinity. In both Hindu and Buddhist mythology, many deities religions are depicted sitting on a lotus blossom or carrying a lotus. The lotus flower also is used to symbolize beauty, sensuality and sexuality; in the famed Indian love-making guide "The Kama Sutra," the most skilled woman at the art of love-making is called Padmini, which means "the lotus woman."
Lotus flowers contain linoleic acid, protein, phosphorus, iron and vitamins B and C. Practitioners of ayurvedic medicine often use lotus flowers on the face for the flowers' soothing, cooling properties. According to the Vedic Shop website, lotus flowers often are used to improve both the texture and condition of skin on your face. In fact, many ayurvedic spas offer lotus flower facials. It's important to note, however, that there are no scientific studies to back up claims that lotus flowers offer any health benefits.
Assorted Health Benefits
The Oohoi website outlines a variety of health benefits associated with the use of lotus flowers in ayurvedic healing. For example, tea brewed from the lotus flower can be used to treat acid reflux and gastric ulcers, and also might help to prevent premature ejaculation. In addition, drinking tea brewed from the nutrient-rich lotus flower can improve overall health, in much the same way that taking iron and vitamin supplements, as the lotus flower is a natural source of many of these vitamins, minerals and nutrients.
A study published in the July 2009 issue of "Experimental & Molecular Medicine" examined the role that an essential oil made from the petals and stamens of the lotus could have on the body's production of melanin. According to the results, within the chemical composition of this oil extract was palmitic acid methyl ester, which was seen to induce the creation of melanin via a process called melanogenesis. These results indicated that oil extracted from the lotus flower might be effective in preventing gray hair and stimulating the body's production of melanin.
- Oohoi.com: The Benefits of the Lotus Plant
- Vedic Shop; Indian Lotus Flower; November 2010
- Ayurvedic Health Center: Panchakarma
- "Experimental & Molecular Medicine"; Lotus (Nelumbo Nuficera) Flower Essential Oil Increased Melanogenesis in Normal Human Melanocytes; S. Jeon, et al.; July 2009
- Flower Essence Society; The Sacred Lotus: A Plant Study; Share Siwek
- Kerala Ayurvedics; About Four Classes of Women; March 2007