This enchanted blossom, beautiful to behold, figured prominently in the art of all these aforementioned societies, being symbols for rebirth and enlightenment. In 1922 when King Tutankhamen’s tomb was opened, the archaeologists were surprised to find the petals of the Blue Lotus spread around his tomb. They assumed this lotus with scented pale blue to sky-blue flowers was a purely symbolic flower. Today this assumption has been severely challenged and current research is highly suggestive that the Blue Lotus was used to induce an enlightened shamanic state.
That one can get blessedly blissed on this elegant flower is now certain. In 1998 as part of a British TV special – experimentation with Blue Lotus soaked wine demonstrated its psychoactive ecstatic nature – best described as euphoria with tranquillization. More recently these flowers have been scientifically determined to contain nuciferine (hypnotic compound known for muscle relaxant) and aporphine (an opiate). Both these psychoactive materials can also be trance inducing.
Its use as an inebriant seems certain in ancient Egypt. The first Egyptian mummy Azru to undergo mass spectroscopy was found to contain phytosterols, bioflavonoids and phosphodiastrates all obtained from Nymphaea caerulea. Phosphodiastrates are the active ingredients of Viagra, and given this fact it should come as no surprise that the Blue Water Lily was also considered a most excellent aphrodisiac in its native domains. Sacred indeed.
The Blue Lotus Nymphaea caerulea), also known as the Blue Water Lily, is sometimes confused with the non-psychoactive Blue Lily (Agapanthus africanus).1 Native to Old and New Worlds, the Blue Lotus is today rare in its original native Nile Delta habitat. Fortunately for us entheo-heads, this flower’s seeds are easily bought off the internet and equally easily grown in all the regions of North America with a mild climate -- the South, parts of the West Coast and California. As a bonus, the Blue Lotus has been found now growing wild in parts of Georgia, Texas, Louisiana and California and Washington State.
While the ancient Egyptians may have prepared the Blue Lotus by soaking it in wine, one can get an equally nice effect by steeping the flowers and leaves of the Blue Lotus in hot water.
Take three to six fresh buds or flowers that have properly opened – boiled them in water, and then straining the plant material out with cheesecloth. Drink the leftover “tea.” One can also take 3-6 grams of dried flower material and make a tea (or soak in some wine). Additionally one can smoke the dried flowers although this can involve a fair amount of smoke.2 Interestingly, it has a reverse tolerance so try a wee bit for a few days before smoking the full dose. I have also found it to be quite synergistic with cannabis.
The Blue Lotus (Nymphaea caerulea) was the most revered flower among a number of ancient civilizations, from the ancient Egyptians to the New World Mayans.
Additionally, for those in the Buddhist traditions the Blue Lotus represents the wide open eyes of the Awakened One (Buddha).
Ayurvedic health practioners value the Blue Lotus for its ability to bring heightened awareness and tranquility. Everywhere it existed it was revered.
The Blue Lotus, and in fact all the lotuses are legal everywhere on this planet. Nevertheless the wise shaman enjoys it and all sacred sacraments in the privacy of one’s home or similar safe place.
Other members of the Lotus (Nymphaea) species are also psychoactive, backed up by the anthropological record. Nucuferine and nornuciferine have been isolated from the White Lotus (Nymphaea ampla). Today some urban Mexicans recreationally use the White Lotus and there is a small subculture surrounding it.