Nymphaea caerulea - Blue Lily / Blue Lotus
There seems to be quite a bit of confusion surrounding Sacred Blue Lotus. It’s often confused with the Blue Lily. This article from Entheology.org explains the differences.
Nymphaea caerulea has light blue flowers. Other similar varieties have purple, pink, or white flowers. There is much mis-information regarding this species of plant, as well as the Nelumbo nucifera plant. There's a great article called Blue Lily / Blue Lotus Flowers at Shaman's Garden, which makes it vividly clear which plant is which. In short, the reason for the confusion, is that India doesn't have ANY of the plants that are generally accepted as being called "lotus" flowers; they have Nymphaea caerula, which is the "Sacred BLue Lily of the Nile" made famous in Egyptian culture, but they refer to it as "Blue Lotus", confusing spiritual explorers the world over.
• Nelumbo nucifera - Blue Lotus
• Nymphaea caerulea - Blue Lily (Sacred Blue Lily of the Nile)
• Nymphaea ampla - Mesoamerican White Lily (similar psychoactivity)
• Nymphaea rubra - Red Lotus
Represented in ancient Egyptian art. The Sacred Blue Lily of the Nile (Many mistakenly call it Blue Lotus becuase that is how it is referred to in India) was found scattered over Tutankhamen’s body when the Pharaoh’s tomb was opened in 1922. Many historians thought it was a purely symbolic flower, but there is mounting evidence that strongly points to ancient Egyptians using it to induce an ecstatic state, stimulation, and/or hallucinations, as well as being widely used as a general remedy against illness. To this day is used as a tonic for good health, consumed as an extract, 6-12 drops or up to 1 tsp to 1 Tbs in juice or, more typically; wine, taken 1 to 3 times daily.
ACTIVE CONSTITUENTS: Contains apomorphine, a dopamine agonist, as well as nuciferine.
The Egyptian mummy Azru was the first mummy to undergo mass spectroscopy and she had no narcotics or painkillers in her. But researchers found phytosterols, bioflavonoids, and phosphodiastrates, the active ingredient of viagra, all from Sacred Blue Lily of the Nile. Blue Lotus also contains these similar alkaloids, but Blue Lotus was not found in India. No drug use has ever been found in ancient Egypt, so it clearly points to the natural flowering plants of the Lily/Lotus species.
Azru is an Egyptian mummy donated to the Manchester Museum in England, in 1825. Living on the Nile in 2700 B.C., Azru was royalty - a noblewoman of Thebes, later called Luxor (a former capital of Egypt), and a chantress for Khonsu, the moon god. The main temple at Karnak is dedicated to him. Three times a day, Azru would come bearing food as well as wine fortified with Blue Lily/Lotus Tincture; she would fetch garments for the gods, the priests and the Pharaoh; and she would dance and sing for the royal court. She had wealth and her own home with servants, where she stayed until scheduled at or summoned to the temple.
There is evidence to suggest that it was a very sexually oriented society due to their pictures, writings, and religous beliefs. And, that Blue Lily was historically, traditionally and effectively used, to relieve pain, increase memory, increase circulation, promote sexual desire and create a feeling of euphoria and ecstacy, without the use of narcotics. Creating a feeling of well being, euphoria and ecstasy, Nymphaea caerulea is a water plant growing on the shores of lakes and rivers. Agapanthus africanus (also called Blue Lily, but not the magical kind and with no psychoactive effects whatsoever) is a drought tolerant plant, which is commonly used as a landscaping plant in the United States of America. Nelumbo nucifera is the famed plant of the "Lotus Eaters" spoken of in Iliad's "The Odyssey", and is a very revered and sacred plant, which is still used today for meditation purposes in Tibet.
Nymphaea caerulea, (Blue Lily) is often confused with Nelumbo nucifera (Blue Lotus). Though the two plants look nothing alike (aside from being blue), both Nymphaea caerulea and Agapanthus africanus are most-often referred to as the “blue lily”. “Blue lily” seems to be a more accurate name for Agapanthus africanus, although, as stated earlier, it doesn't have any spiritual or psychoactive properties. Nymphaea caerulea is more commonly called the “Blue Water Lily” as well.
One of the most important ritual plants of ancient Egypt, the blue lotus flower grew wild in ponds and in the lowlands of the Nile, and was planted in natural and man-made bodies of water. The flowers were highly valued for their exquisite beauty, their intoxicating lilac-like scent, their symbolism, and their inebriating effects. The plant has blue to sky blue flowers, sometimes tinted with purple, that sit on long stems four to five feet above the water’s surface. The long-stemmed, floating leaves are round. Blue lotus is only found in the Nile delta, the wetlands along the Nile, and, less frequently, Palestine. Today, it has almost completely disappeared from around the Nile and is seriously endangered. The plant can be propagated by placing pieces of the rhizome (or roots), in still bodies of water.
It is Nymphaea caerulea which was used in ancient Egypt as an essential key to good health, great sex and re-birth. Because of the mythological, astral, representational and artistic significance of the water lily, it has been suggested that the ancient Egyptians used the blue lily for its narcotic effects to produce a shamanic ecstasy among the elite priesthood.
The blue lily was well represented in ancient Egyptian art; for example, a portrait of Tutankhamen shows his head emerging from a blue lotus flower. The water lily was associated with the sun god Ra as the bringer of light, and was found scattered over Tutankhamen’s body when the Pharaoh’s tomb was opened in 1922.
In one variation of the ancient Egyptian story of Horus and Seth, the lotus flower appears as a symbol of the divine, all-seeing eye. When Seth, the god of chaos, tracks down Horus, the god of light, in an oasis, he rips out his left eye and buries it in the sand, whereupon it is transformed into a lotus flower.
TRADITIONAL PREPARATION: Fresh Nymphaea caerulea was made into a tea or soaked in wine, then drunk, followed by a cigarette made of the dried plant material. The buds and flowers are the psychoactive parts of the plant. Details are speculative and difficult to come by, but a noted, ancient method to extract the psychoactive properties from the blue lotus is to boil six buds or flowers that have already opened and closed again in water. The flowers should be squeezed in a linen cloth so that their greenish brown juice runs into the water. The psychoactive extract is said to create a feeling of well being, euphoria and ecstasy. Details are speculative and difficult to come by, as this is another plant that need smore research done in regard to it.
Many historians thought it purely a symbolic flower, since there is no proven, scientific substantiation that recreational drug use was ever practiced in ancient Egypt. However, there is some evidence that ancient Egyptians used blue lotus to induce a sense of stimulation, an ecstatic state and/or hallucinations, an it has been reported that it was heavily used in magical mixtures used in ancient Egyptian shamanic rituals.
It is documented that it was widely used as a general preventative therapy against disease. To this day it is used as a tonic for good health when consumed as an extract, using six to twelve drops, or from one teaspoon up to one tablespoon, taken in juice, one to three times daily.
Ancient Egyptian women wore blue lotus buds and flowers as fashionable head and hair adornments. Traditionally, both the living and the dead were bedecked with garlands made from the plant. The garlands in the grave of Pharaoh Ramses II were made almost entirely of blue lotus leaves. The Egyptian lotus was described by Dioscorides (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dioscorides), who was undoubtedly aware of blue lotus as well, and the flower was first sited in the Egyptian Book of the Dead: “[It is] that lotus flower which shines in the earth” (chapter 174, line 30).
Since the blue lotus is often portrayed in ancient art and hieroglyphics alongside mandrakes (Mandraga officinarum) and poppy flowers (Papaver spp.), it is highly possible that these images represent an iconographic recipe - a psychoactive ritual drink consisting of lotus buds, mandrake fruits and poppy capsules has been speculated by academics and researchers.
There is evidence to suggest that blue lotus was historically, traditionally and effectively used to relieve pain, increase memory, increase circulation, promote sexual desire and create a feeling of euphoria and ecstasy, without the use of narcotics. Ancient Egypt was a highly sexually-charged society, as one can glean from their pictures, writings and religious beliefs. Blue lotus was used as a tonic much like ginseng, as a pain reliever akin to arnica, as a circulation stimulant richer than ginkgo biloba, and as a sexual stimulant more powerful than Viagra.