The powerful lotus plant has been used in East and Southeast Asian traditional medicine and cuisine for centuries. The lotus has the title of India’s national flower and is a symbol of purity in Buddhist and Hindu traditions.

The lotus is a bowl-shaped perennial and is often confused with water lilies. There are over 100 species of lotus. You’re probably most familiar with the white single-flower lotus, which has around two dozen petals. Other types of lotuses include the double-flowered lotus, which can have over 100 petals, as well as pink and red varieties.

This plant’s medicinal usage goes back generations but the science behind its potential has only recently come under study. What kinds of conditions might this flower be able to treat?

One of the lotus’ most common uses in traditional Chinese medicine is stopping diarrhea. To try this natural remedy, soak lotus seeds in warm water for a few hours and then add rock sugar until you find a taste you like.

Note: People suffering from constipation should avoid using lotus.

Lotus root contains both fiber and complex carbohydrates. These two components work together to help manage your body’s cholesterol and blood sugar. Fiber and complex carbohydrates also help maintain a slow and steady digestive process.

Inflammation is usually accompanied by a sensation of heat. It’s an uncomfortable side effect or symptom of many conditions. It can also be caused by trauma, chemical exposure, or physical injury.

Recent research suggests that the seeds of both red and white lotus varieties could help reduce inflammation. A 2013 study found that two polysaccharides in lotus plumule have significant anti-inflammatory effects and show promise as a base for future treatment. Anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant properties were found to be significant.

The stem of the lotus plant is full of minerals and nutrients — such as vitamin C — that are important for your body’s daily function. One of these minerals is potassium, which helps regulate blood pressure.

Boil lotus roots for 10 minutes and then eat them to receive a healthy dose of nutrients. Lotus root is a common ingredient in many Asian dishes and can be prepared in practically every way.

Lotus might be able to help you in your struggle with acne. Sebum is the waxy substance that can cause acne breakouts when it builds up and clogs your skin’s pores. Adding lotus to green tea and applying it to the face can significantly reduce the amount of sebum that your glands produce, according to 2013 research.

Lotus leaves and root extracts have long been used in traditional Chinese medicine to help regulate the menstrual cycle and stop excess bleeding. There isn’t a lot of scientific research to back these claims. Some practitioners suggest that drinking lotus root juice or lotus soup can help you avoid anemia after menstruation by building blood to replace what was lost.

Put a traditional practice to the test by following the recommendation of this recent study, which suggests mixing lotus seed powder with honey to soothe your cough.

Research conducted in 2014 found that neferine, an organic compound in the lotus seed embryo, has the potential to kill and hinder the spread of lung cancer cells. This research suggests that lotus may have a future in the treatment of this deadly disease.

The lotus is a beautiful symbol of healing. The flower is certainly not new to medicine, but scientific research is still underway to uncover how this powerful plant works, as well as new ways to put it to use.

Consider trying a simple lotus remedy or supplement for a natural healing approach. Be sure to talk to your doctor before attempting to use lotus as an herbal remedy. It may interact with various medications and health conditions.