Nelumbo nucifera

Nelumbo nucifera Gaertn. (Nymphaeaceae)

Sacred Lotus, East Indian Lotus, Oriental Lotus

Nelumbo nucifera Gaertn. is an aquatic plant that grows in shallow waters. Leaves are green, round, 30-60 cm across and with long petiole. Flowers are pink, white or red, 10-30 cm and solitary. Fruits are non-edible and non-fleshy.


Native to tropical and temperate Asia, Australia and Eastern Europe.


Nuciferin, nornuciferin, nelumboroside A & B, nelumstemine, dotriacontane, ricinoleic, roemerin, liensinine, neferine, lotusine, liriodenine, asimilobin, pronuciferine and others.

Traditional Medicinal Uses

The leaves are used to treat sunstroke, diarrhoea, dysentery, fever, dizziness and vomiting of blood. The plant is used as an antidote for mushroom poisoning and for smallpox. In Ayurveda, the plant is used to treat cholera, diarrhoea, worm infestation, vomiting, exhaustion and intermittent fever. The fruits are used in decoction for agitation, fever, heart and haematemesis while the stamens are used to “purify the heart, permeate the kidneys, strengthen virility, to blacken the hair, for haemoptysis and spermatorrhoea”. They are also used to treat premature ejaculation, as astringent for bleeding, excessive bleeding from the uterus, abdominal cramps, bloody discharges, metrorrhagia, non-expulsion of the amniotic sac, and as cooling agent during cholera. The seeds are believed to promote virility, for leucorrhoea and gonorrhoea. Powdered beans are used in treating digestive disorders, particularly diarrhoea. They are also used as a tonic, for enteritis, insomnia, metrorrhagia, neurasthenia, nightmare, spermatorrhoea, splenitis and seminal emissions. The roots are for the treatment of diarrhoea, dysentery, dyspepsia, ringworm and other skin ailments and as a tonic as well.

Pharmacological Activities

Antianxiety, Antiarrhythmic, Antibacterial, Anticonvulsant, Antidiarrhoeal, Anti-inflammatory, Hepatoprotective, Antioxidant, Antiplatelet, Antiproliferative, Antipyretic, Antiviral, Hypoglycaemic, Hypolipidaemic, Immunomodulatory and Insecticidal.


A daily dose of 10 to 30 g of the ripe seeds as a decoction or powder is used for the treatment of neurasthenia, spermatorrhoea and metrorrhoea. The pericarps should be removed before using the seeds. Decoctions of 15 to 20 g and 2 to 4 g of dried leaves and seed cores respectively have been used for treating insomnia, haemorrhage and haematemesis. 6 to 12 g of plumules, 5 to 10 g of filaments, or 15 to 30 g of the receptacles in the form of a decoction, are used in the treatment of bloody stools, haematuria, uterine haemorrhage and haematemesis. A daily dose of 5 to 8 g of rhizome or seeds taken by mouth is recommended.

Adverse Reactions

Stamen, receptacle, rhizome node, leaf, and embryo can be safely consumed with proper usage. No known side effects with appropriate therapeutic dosages.


No information as yet.


Seed is contraindicated in constipation and stomach distention.

Drug-Herb Interactions

No information as yet.