Properties and description of traditional uses:
- Apomorphine. A psychoactive compound that acts as a dopamine agonist, meaning it can instill a happy and euphoric feeling. It may also help with muscle control in those with conditions such as Parkinson’s disease and erectile dysfunction.
- Nuciferine. A compound thought to act as an antipsychotic drug that induces feelings of calmness through mechanisms that aren’t yet fully understood. It has also been shown to improve symptoms of erectile dysfunction.
Nymphaea caerulea, popularly known as the blue lotus flower or the blue Egyptian lotus, is a water lily in the genus Nymphaea. Images of the blue lotus flower can be found on ancient Egyptian papyri and tomb depictions. It has been speculated that the flower was used in ancient Egyptian culture as part of healing and shamanistic rituals dating back to the fourteenth century B.C. (Emboden 1989).
Today, blue lotus flower is used as a sleep aid and anxiety reliever, but has also been described as a mild stimulant. Blue lotus flower can be purchased primarily as tea extracts or incense.
Some evidence indicates the medicinal effects of plants including N. caerulea that contain the psychoactive alkaloid aporphine were known to both the Maya and the Ancient Egyptians.
Apomorphine is a nonselective dopamine receptor agonist and activates serotonin receptors and α-adrenergic receptors (LeWitt 2004; Millan et al. 2002). It has been used as a sedative-hypnotic since the late 1800s to treat insomnia, depression, or schizophrenia (Ribarič 2012).
It has been used in the treatment of erectile dysfunction (Gottlieb 2000) and was sold under the trade name Upriama and Ixense.
In 1951, it was reported to successfully treat Parkinson’s disease at a subcutaneous dose of 0.5 to 1.0 mg (Schwab, Amador, and Lettvin 1951).
It has also been used in the treatment of alcohol and morphine addiction (Ribarič 2012).
This lotus has been used to produce perfumes since ancient times; it is also used in aromatherapy.
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