Blue lotus flower (Nymphaea caerulea) is a psychoactive plant, also known as blue Egyptian lotus, blue water lily, and sacred blue lily.

It’s been used in traditional medicine for thousands of years as a natural aphrodisiac, sleep aid, and anxiety reliever. However, due to its psychoactive properties, many people wonder if it’s legal and safe to use.

This article tells you all you need to know about blue lotus flower, including its benefits, downsides, legality, and safety.

Blue lotus flower is a water lily that predominantly grows in Egypt and certain parts of Asia.

It holds cultural importance, and images of the flower have been found on ancient papyri and on the walls of tombs. Historians believe it was once used in Egypt as a traditional medicine to treat an array of conditions and disorders like anxiety and insomnia (1).

It’s known as an entheogenic drug, which is a mind-altering substance believed to alter one’s consciousness in a spiritual or religious manner. This term is commonly used instead of “hallucinogenic” or “psychedelic” (2).

The two main compounds responsible for the flower’s psychoactive and medicinal effects are apomorphine and nuciferine (1, 3, 4, 5):

  • 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.

Consuming blue lotus flower may make you feel “high” and result in a gentle euphoria. Some people have drawn comparisons to the high you experience after consuming cannabis, though this can be largely individual.

Currently, blue lotus flower isn’t approved for human consumption in the United States. However, it’s not a controlled substance and is legally allowed to be cultivated, sold, and purchased except in the state of Louisiana where it’s illegal (1, 6).

The most common forms of the flower include teas, infused wine and spirits, and products to smoke or vape. You may be able to find these in specialty holistic wellness stores, vape shops, or online.

Despite this, always check your local and federal laws regarding the legality of any psychoactive substances and speak with a healthcare professional before trying them.

Summary

The two compounds responsible for the psychoactive and medicinal properties in blue lotus flower are apomorphine and nuciferine. Always check your local and federal laws and consult your healthcare provider before trying the flower.

Despite the many claims of blue lotus flower’s health benefits, there’s only limited research on the plant.

Historically, it’s been used recreationally and medicinally, with most advocates claiming it can improve sleep, reduce anxiety, assist with erectile dysfunction, and act as a natural aphrodisiac (1, 7).

Though no direct research supports these claims, many suspect that these effects come from the two compounds in the flower — apomorphine and nuciferine — commonly known to promote calmness and assist with muscle control (1, 7).

Furthermore, blue lotus flower contains antioxidants like flavonoids, quercetin, kaempferol, and myricetin (8).

Antioxidants promote good health by fighting free radicals, which can otherwise damage your body’s cells. A diet high in antioxidants is associated with a lower risk of chronic conditions like heart disease, diabetes, obesity, and certain types of cancer (9, 10, 11, 12).

Yet, despite its antioxidant content, no research directly links this flower with a reduced risk of chronic disease, and no studies have confirmed whether there’s an ideal way to consume it to reap the most benefits.

The best way to get antioxidants is to include a variety of antioxidant-rich foods in your diet like vegetables, fruit, nuts, seeds, whole grains, green tea, and coffee (9, 11).

Summary

Although proponents believe that blue lotus flower may improve sleep, anxiety, erectile dysfunction, and many other conditions, limited research supports these claims.

Even though you can buy blue lotus flower online and in certain stores, there’s a large debate as to whether it should be a legal substance due to its psychoactive properties.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) labels the flower as poisonous, yet doesn’t classify it as a controlled substance. This means that you can legally purchase blue lotus teas, incense, and oils. It’s legal in most countries except for Poland, Russia, and Latvia (1, 13).

Though proponents of the flower tout its medicinal benefits, very limited research backs up these claims. Further, there’s no safety data on the substance and no generally accepted dosage.

Therefore, it’s important to speak with your healthcare provider if you’re considering trying blue lotus flower.

It’s also important to note that children and people who are pregnant or breastfeeding should avoid the flower due to the lack of research on its safety in these populations.

Finally, because of its psychoactive properties, it may not be suitable for everyone and shouldn’t be mixed with other substances like cannabis or alcohol.

Do not drive or perform other activities while consuming the flower.

Summary

Limited studies exist on blue lotus flower and its effect on human health and safety. Due to its psychoactive properties, always consult with a healthcare provider and avoid driving or performing other activities while under the influence.

Blue lotus flower can be used in many different forms, though there’s no data available on its safety, maximum dosage, and potency:

  • Tea. To make blue flower lotus tea, add one premade tea bag or 3–5 grams of dried flowers to 1–2 cups (250–500 mL) of hot water. Let steep for 5–10 minutes.
  • Smoking. If you choose to smoke it, roll dried flowers using rolling papers. Just keep in mind that this method may cause significant psychoactive effects and should be used with caution.
  • Vaping. For vaping, finely ground flowers can be added to a vaporizer and inhaled.
  • Alcoholic beverage. Some people infuse wine or alcoholic spirits with the flower. Due to the unknown safety of this, it’s best to avoid it.
  • Massage and essential oil. You can purchase blue lotus flower massage oil or essential oil which can enter the body through the skin or nasal passage. Though unknown at this time, many claim that these forms are less potent.

Despite these uses, it’s unknown if blue lotus toxicity or drug interactions can occur.

Don’t exceed the recommended dosage instructions on the product’s packaging. It’s also important to purchase these products from a reliable source and speak with a healthcare provider to make sure it’s right for you.

Summary

Most advocates of blue lotus flower consume it through tea, smoking, vaping, or essential oil inhalation. Due to the unknown safety and lack of standard dosage recommendations, be sure to follow the package instructions.

The blue lotus flower has been used for thousands of years as a traditional medicine in ancient Egypt.

Today, it’s commonly consumed as a tea, smoked or vaped, or inhaled as an essential oil. Despite many anecdotal claims, there’s no evidence that it helps reduce anxiety, improve sleep, increase sexual arousal, or manage erectile dysfunction.

Though legal in most countries, the substance can elicit psychoactive effects and should only be used after speaking with your healthcare provider.