“My favourite is the water lily. How stainless it rises form its slimy bed. How modestly it reposes on the clear pool, an emblem of purity and truth. Symmetrically perfect, its subtle perfume is wafted far and wide; while there it rests in spotless state, something to be regarded reverently from a distance, and not to be profaned by familiar approach.”
Chou Tun-I of the 11th Century T’ang Dynasty
Nymphaea nouchali Burm. f. var. caerulea (Sav.) Verdc.
Common Names: Blue Water Lily, Cape Water Lily, Frog’s Pulpit, Blue Lotus (Eng.); Blouwaterlelie, Kaaimanblom, Paddapreekstoel, Blou Plomb (Afr.); Izubu, Iziba (Zul.)
Nymphaea Nouchali var. Caerulea, a lovely aquatic plant with sky-blue flowers, is South Africa’s most commonly grown indigenous water lily.
In modern times, the name Lotus is used almost exclusively for Nelumbo nucifera, also called the Sacred Lotus or incorrectly the Egyptian Lotus. Nelumbo nucifera is not a native of Egypt. It actually comes from south-east Asia where it is often found near temples and is regarded as sacred in China and Japan. It was introduced to the Nile by the Romans, probably for food. The true Egyptian Lotus is Nymphaea nouchali var. caerulea (syn. N. caerulea) and Nymphaea lotus.
The common name Kaaimanblom, which means Merman’s Flower in English, was acquired because this water lily is often found growing in a deep pool (kaaimansgat), and popular superstition had it that a merman (kaaiman) dwelt in such a pool and would drown anyone swimming in his pool. Furthermore, it was suspected that the merman put the flowers there specifically to attract his victims, especially disobedient boys. It gets the name Frog’s Pulpit, Paddapreekstoel, because the leaves provide resting places for frogs. Read more here…
Uses of Blue Lotus Tea
Blue Lotus tea was used in ancient societies in the Middle East much like yerba mate is used in South America. The tea offers mild psychoactive effects that offer a feeling of euphoria. These effects are the main reason the flower was brewed into a tea for celebrations.
As A Sleep Aid
Blue Lotus Tea may be an effective sleep aid thanks to the presence of compounds including nuciferine and aporphine. These compounds offer antispasmodic effects and a calming sensation that may help to induce more peaceful sleep. The antispasmodic effects may also help to alleviate gastrointestinal problems such as dyspepsia.
Blue lotus tea is often used by individuals to induce or enhance lucid dreams. To achieve these lucid dreams, many people ingest the extract of the blue lily plant or add the blue flowers to hot water to brew an herbal tea. You can also find blue lotus tea bags, which are marketed as a stress reliever. The flower petals can also be found for use in vapes, or vaporizers.
Blue lotus extract may offer aphrodisiac effects though modern medical research hasn’t confirmed its use in this aspect. The plant has played a role in historical contexts, particularly in ancient Egypt, where it was used as part of sexual ceremonies.