Lotus - traditional medicine
Due to its astringent qualities, lotus has been widely used in the treatment of diarrhoea, dysentery and piles. Many traditional ancient medical texts also report its use for skin conditions, notably ringworm, and leprosy, sexually transmitted diseases such as gonorrhoea and syphilis as well as for lowering fevers, fighting fungal infections and supporting a weak heart. The milky latex found in the stems, leaves and flowers is used to fight bacterial infections.
Roots and rhizomes have been used for treating smallpox, throat conditions, loss of skin pigmentation, coughs, diarrhoea and dysentery. One preparation involves mixing boiled rhizomes with sesame oil and rubbing it on the head to cool all parts of the head including the eyes. Leaves and stems have been prepared in a variety of ways to treat piles, leprosy, parasites and vomiting. Various parts of the flower including the petals have treated diarrhoea, cholera, fever, liver conditions, bronchitis, skin eruptions, snake bites and scorpion stings. To treat coughs, syrup is made using the dried flowers. Fruits and seeds have been used to soothe inflamed mucous membranes, lower fever and get rid of bad breath. Some sources state that the seeds, taken orally with a rice wash for 7 days, can increase female fertility.
|Image: Lotus flowers are used in traditional medicine to treat a variety of conditions.|
Folk medicineThe main use for lotus in folk medicine is associated with the astringent properties of its flowers. It is frequently used in the treatment of diarrhoea and cholera. In India, honey made by bees visiting lotus flowers is said to be a tonic called 'padmamadjhu' or 'makaranda' and is used for eye disorders. The large leaves are sometimes used as 'cold bed-sheets' to treat high fever and burning of the skin.
This information is provided for general interest only. It is not intended as guidance for medicinal use. Further information on using herbal medicines is available.