Young leaves - cooked or raw. Used as a vegetable. The leaves can also be used to wrap small parcels of food before cooking them. Stems - cooked. A taste somewhat like beet. They are usually peeled before use. Seed - raw or cooked. A delicate flavour. The seed can be popped like popcorn, ground into a powder and used in making bread or eaten dry. The bitter tasting embryo is often removed. The seed contains about 15.9% protein, 2.8% fat, 70% carbohydrate, 3.9% ash. The roasted seed is a coffee substitute. Petals can be floated in soups or used as a garnish.The stamens are used to flavour tea.
The leaf juice is used in the treatment of diarrhoea and is decocted with liquorice (Glycyrrhiza spp) for the treatment of sunstroke. A decoction of the flowers is used in the treatment of premature ejaculation. The flowers are recommended as a cardiac tonic. A decoction of the floral receptacle is used in the treatment of abdominal cramps, bloody discharges etc. The flower stalk is haemostatic. It is used in treating bleeding gastric ulcers, excessive menstruation, post-partum haemorrhage. The stamens are used in treating urinary frequency, premature ejaculation, haemolysis, epistasis and uterine bleeding. A decoction of the fruit is used in the treatment of agitation, fever, heart complaints etc. The seed contains several medically active constituents, including alkaloids and flavonoids. It is hypotensive, sedative and vasodilator. The seed has been shown to lower cholesterol levels and to relax the smooth muscle of the uterus. It is used in the treatment of poor digestion, enteritis, chronic diarrhoea, spermatorrhoea, leukorrhoea, insomnia, palpitations etc. The plumule and radicle are used to treat thirst in high febrile disease, hypertension, insomnia and restlessness. The root is tonic. The root starch is used in the treatment of diarrhoea, dysentery etc, a paste is applied to ringworm and other skin ailments. It is also taken internally in the treatment of haemorrhages, excessive menstruation and nosebleeds. The roots are harvested in autumn or winter and dried for later use. The root nodes are used in the treatment of nasal bleeding, haemoptysis, haematuria and functional bleeding of the uterus.The plant has a folk history in the treatment of cancer, modern research has isolated certain compounds from the plant that show anticancer activity.
Practical Plants is currently lacking information on propagation instructions of Nelumbo nucifera. Help us fill in the blanks! Edit this page to add your knowledge.
This species is not tremendously hardy when grown outdoors in Britain and it is best, once the leaves have died down in the autumn, to store the roots in a frost-free place, either in a tub of water or in moist sand.. Plants are resentful of root disturbance and should be planted into their permanent positions as soon as possible. Once established, they can become invasive when growing in suitable conditions. A very ornamental plant, there are many named varieties some of which have been developed for their edible uses. It is said that pink-flowered forms are preferred for their edible seeds whilst the white-flowered forms are preferred for their edible roots. Most forms are not cold-hardy outdoors in Britain but some, especially those from far eastern provenances are much hardier and will possibly succeed outdoors in favoured areas of Britain. The flowers have a sweet fruity perfume.This is the sacred Lotus of India and it is much cultivated as a food plant in the Orient.
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