Blue lotus flower (Nymphaea caerulea) is a plant with psychoactive compounds that affect the central nervous system, causing alteration in brain function. Blue lotus is commonly sold as a dried plant, tea, and extract used in electronic cigarettes. Increased psychoactive use brings many questions about its legality, safety, and physical and mental health effects. This article discusses blue lotus uses, legality, and potential health effects.
The blue lotus flower (Nymphaea caerulea) contains psychoactive compounds that impact the central nervous system and lead to changes in brain function.
The blue lotus flower contains the psychoactive compounds apomorphine and nuciferine.
Blue lotus flower products are available in diverse forms, including tea, capsules, essential oils, and liquids for use in electronic cigarettes, which are gaining popularity.
Blue lotus causes euphoria, hallucinations, and health issues at high doses, including altered mental state, agitation, chest pain, and rapid heartbeat.
The blue lotus flower is not a controlled substance and lacks FDA approval for human use in the United States.
Potential health effects
The blue lotus flower, also known as the blue Egyptian lotus, is a water lily that contains the psychoactive compounds apomorphine and nuciferine.
Apomorphine is a psychoactive compound that affects serotonin and dopamine physiology. It has been used to treat insomnia, depression, and schizophrenia.
Dopamine is a neurotransmitter with critical functions in memory, motivation, cognition, learning, sleep, and movement. Abnormal dopamine levels are associated with Parkinson's disease, restless legs syndrome, and attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).
Apomorphine is a liquid drug for Parkinson's disease. It acts as dopamine; therefore, it's reported to reduce disease symptoms. It also carries a risk of side effects such as nausea, vomiting, sleep problems, hallucinations, delusions, and impulsive and compulsive behavior.
The U.S. does not regulate blue lotus flower products, so users don't know the amount of active compounds they contain and their purity.
Nuciferine is a psychoactive compound that interacts with dopamine receptors and transporters, influencing the dopamine effect.
Research has shown that nuciferine is a potential drug ingredient due to its anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, antidiabetic, antitumor, and anti-hyperlipidemic effects. However, these results do not suggest that blue lotus flowers help with diabetes, hyperlipidemia, or cancer.
The effectiveness, dosage, and safety of compounds should be determined through extensive research, including preclinical testing and clinical trials, followed by regulatory approval for their use to treat diseases.
Therefore, it's impossible to predict the physiological and psychological effects of online-purchased blue lotus flower products, which remain unregulated.
Uses of blue lotus flower
The products of blue lotus flowers are sold in various forms:
- Teas. Steeped dried blue lotus flowers make tea.
- Capsules. Blue lotus flower is sold as a capsule that contains powder of blue lotus flower.
- Essential oils. Blue lotus essential oil is extracted from flowers. It's advertised to be a scent with calming effects.
- Smoking or vaping in electronic cigarettes. The popularity of electronic cigarettes is increasing. These e-cigarettes often contain many unregulated substances due to the lack of regulation.
A study analyzed some blue lotus-containing liquids sold online for e-cigarettes. The results showed that all five samples contained nuciferine, and two contained apomorphine. Samples had 25ng/g to 4300ng/g of nuciferine and up to 130ng/g of apomorphine. However, there isn't enough evidence to determine potent amounts of these substances to execute psychoactive effects in humans.
Is blue lotus flower legal?
Blue lotus flower is not a controlled substance in the United States — but it isn't FDA-approved either.
The blue lotus flower is legal in most states of America. However, it's banned in Latvia, Poland, and Russia.
Risks of using blue lotus flower
The blue lotus flower is advertised to improve mental health. However, it can cause euphoria, hallucinations, and emergency room visits at higher doses. Case studies reported altered mental status, agitation, anxiety, chest pain, and tachycardia.
Remember, blue lotus flower is not a regulated substance; therefore, users aren't able to ascertain the ingredients and purity of products.
Potential users should always consult their doctor before using plants with psychoactive compounds, as they can cause serious side effects, potentially requiring emergency medical attention.
- Military Medicine. Toxicity From Blue Lotus (Nymphaea caerulea) After Ingestion or Inhalation: A Case Series.
- Journal of Psychoactive Drugs. The Blue Lotus Flower (Nymphea caerulea) Resin Used in a New Type of Electronic Cigarette, the Re-Buildable Dripping Atomizer.
- Parkinson's UK. Apomorphine.
- Industrial Crops and Products. Chemistry and biology of nuciferine.
- Frontiers in Veterinary Science. Nuciferine Regulates Immune Function and Gut Microbiota in DSS-Induced Ulcerative Colitis.
Show all references
- Harvard Health Publishing. Dopamine: The pathway to pleasure.