Chinese Water Lily

Chinese Water Lily (Lian Zi Xin

Botanical Name: Nelumbo nucifera

The Chinese water lily or lotus is a culinary and medicinal herb, with many of its parts having important and even distinct attributes.  It is famous for calming anxiety, stopping bleeding, and being highly nutritious. It symbolizes peace and enlightenment.

Watch a short video, from Ann Christensen, Founder and Creator of White Rabbit Institute of Healing™ – How To Use The Different Parts Of Chinese Water Lily/Lotus.

Below is an overview of Chinese Water Lily, combining the best of Western Science, Oriental Medicine, Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), Shamanism, Folklore, and a wide range of healing modalities. Gain a balanced and thorough understanding of the healing properties of Chinese Water Lily.

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Western Name: Chinese Water Lily

Also Known As: Sacred Lotus, East Indian Lotus, Hindu Lotus, Oriental Lotus

Organs/Systems: Digestive, Cardiovascular

Key Actions: Anthelmintic, Anti-aging, Alkaline, Anti-inflammatory

Key Medicinal Uses: Diarrhea, inflammation, acne, cough, cancer, blood sugar regulation, palpitations.


Pin Yin: Lian Zi Xin (seed embryo or plumule), He Ye (leaf), Lian Feng (receptacle)

Pin Yin: Lian Zi Xin (seed embryo or plumule), He Ye (leaf), Lian Feng (receptacle)

Meridians: Heart, Kidney, Spleen, Liver, Lung, Stomach

Key Actions: Seed – Tonifies the Spleen, Tonifies Jing (Essence). Seed Embryo – Tonifies the Heart, Clears Heat, Calms Shen. Leaf – Builds Blood, Regulates Menses, Tonifies the Lungs, Clears Heat. Rhizome and Nodes – Nourishes Blood, Stops Bleeding, Removes Blood Stagnation, Benefits the Liver, Lung, and Stomach, Stops Bleeding. Stamen and Leaf Stalk – Benefits the Heart and Kidney.

Key Medicinal Uses: Seed – Loss of appetite, stops diarrhea, astringes excess leakage of fluids, leukorrhea, sexual dysfunction in men. Seed Embryo– Anxiety, tonifies the cardiovascular system, insomnia, palpitations, restlessness. Leaf – Infertility, respiratory disorders, calms the effects of Summer Heat (excessive sweating, dehydration, and lack of urination). Rhizomes and Nodes – Menses, infertility. The nodes are specifically used to stop bleeding even though other parts of the lotus may also stop bleeding. The nodes are considered the best for stopping bleeding. Stamen – Prevents discharge, leukorrhea, frequent urination.

Basic Habitat / Botany:

An aquatic bowl-shaped perennial plant in the family Nymphaeaceae. There are over 200 species of lotus. The pink-tipped flowered water lily (Nelumbo nucifera), sometimes called the sacred lotus, Indian lotus, or simply lotus, blooms between July and mid-September. Do not confuse water lilies with lotus plants. Water lily flowers and leaves are thick and rubbery. Lotus flowers and leaves are papery. Water lily leaves each contain a distinctive notch to help correctly identify them. The water lily petal is pointed and creates a star-like, and the lotus petal is more rounded and sometimes even ruffly. The common names of water lily and water lotus are often used interchangeably to describe Nelumbo nucifera.

Habitat: Native to India, this species was brought to other countries ranging from Egypt to China over 2,000 years ago.

Parts Most Frequently Used: Whole Plant, Flower, Seed, Flower Stamen, Pod, Leaf, Plumule

Flavors/Temps: Seed – Astringent, Sweet, Neutral. Plumule. Seed Embryo Very Bitter and cold. Stamen or Stem – Sweet, Neutral. Leaf– Bitter, Neutral. Receptacle – Warm. Rhizome Node – Neutral.

Caution: Considered safe. However, overdosing can cause nausea.

Key Constituents: Potassium, Alkaloids, Rich in Vitamin C and B, High in Protein, Asparagine, Neferine, Iron, Phosphorus, Copper, Manganese, Sodium, Fiber.

History/Folklore: Buddhists, Hindus, and the Ancient Egyptians all consider the lotus flower or water lily to be a symbol of prosperity, fertility, and a symbol of the inner soul or being. It also signifies purity, rebirth, strength, the blossoming and transcending of mundane secular life, and joining with the divine and consciousness itself. It is a symbol of Tantric meditation and the Ancient Greeks used the image in their architecture and art. In Traditional Chinese Medicine the many different parts of the plant have been used as a culinary vegetable and the seeds and leaves are additionally used as medicines, especially noted for treating Heart Fire Nelumbo nucifera is often commonly called either lotus or Chinese water lily.

The lotuses’ American relative, Nelumbo petapetala, was used by the Native American Indians.

In Traditional Chinese Medicine, soaking lotus seeds (Lian Zi) in warm water for a few hours, then adding honey or rock sugar) to taste and simmering till the lotus seeds are well done is a common remedy for treating diarrhea. The seeds of both the red and white lotus can reduce inflammation. The seeds can also be powdered and mixed with honey to treat sore throats and coughs. The typical dosage of the seeds used alone is about 30 grams, used in combination with other herbs, the dosage will typically be 6-15 grams. Inside the seed is a green embryo that is quite bitter, it is usually removed before the seed is prepared as a food product.

Recent research suggests that lotus plumule (a.k.a. Seed embryo) contains polysaccharides with significant anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. The organic compound neferine, also found in lotus seed embryos(ian Zi Xin) has been found to kill and hinder the spread of lung cancer cells. It continues to be studied for further use in the treatment of lung cancer and other cancers. The seed embryos are bitter and cold and benefit the Heart, dispelling Pathogenic Heat.

The lotus stem (Lian Xu) is full of minerals and nutrients including high levels of vitamin C and potassium and is enjoyed in salads and side dishes. The stamens are more astringent than the seeds but lack the seed’s tonic properties.

Lotus roots or rhizomes (Ou Zhi) also contain these nutrients and can be boiled for 10 minutes and enjoyed. The perforated rhizome that grows in muddy water is a common ingredient in Chinese stir-fries. All parts of this species of lotus are edible and are common ingredients in many Asian dishes, popular for their anti-aging, anti-inflammatory, and antioxidant properties. They are common in many Asian dishes.

The whole plant can balance fluids, astringing tissues that need toning while moistening tissues that have become too dry and brittle.

For treating acne caused by the buildup of greasy sebum on the skin which clogs pores and causes acne, you can add lotus to green tea and apply it to the face, significantly reducing the amount of sebum on the surface of the skin.

Lotus leaf (He Ye) has been used in Traditional Chinese Medicine for thousands of years to regulate menses and stop excess bleeding. Recent scientific research supports this application and function of lotus leaves. Lotus root juice or soup can help prevent anemia after menstruation, helping to build blood back up. The leaves are also eaten as an edible food wrap when preparing dim sum filled with meat, rice, and peanuts.

The rhizome or root (Ou Zhi) is sold whole or cut into pieces and consumed as a vegetable in China and Japan. The dried flowers are used in cooking such dishes as “Mandarin Duck and Lotus Flowers.” The fresh flowers are commonly used as a decoration in food dishes.

Several wild animals feed on the plant, and fish find refuge in the underwater stalks of these beautiful aquatic flowers.

The Chinese water lily or lotus symbolizes peace and enlightenment, especially as it is a beautiful flower that grows out of mud and water. It is often also associated with birth and resurrection because of the ability to emerge from the water and the fact that they close up at night and reopen with sunlight.

Did you know?

Like Popcorn

When roasted, lotus seeds become crisp and crunchy like popcorn.


Moon Cakes

The seeds are candied and made into a paste used for filling a popular dessert called “moon cakes.”

Fun fact!

Fresh is Best

The fresher the stamen, the more potent it is. Bitter or very dry stamens should be avoided.

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ATENCIÓN: Todo el material proporcionado en este sitio web es sólo con fines informativos o educativos. No es sustituto del consejo de su profesional de la salud o médico. Esté sano. Sea feliz. Siéntase completo. Sea libre.

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