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What is Blue Lotus: Unveiling the Effects, Advantages, and US Legal Insights

The blue lotus (Nymphaea caerulea) is a unique flower known for its soothing powers and psychoactive properties. Ancient cultures revered this aquatic plant, believing it possessed spiritual and medicinal powers. Modern explorers are curious about the mind-altering and therapeutic benefits of blue lotus.

This guide dives into the fascination and facts surrounding blue lotus, including blue lotus effects and uses, legality, and safety risks, and how people consume it.

What is Blue Lotus?

Blue lotus is a lily that grows in water and produces a beautiful and aromatic flower. 

This aquatic plant is native to the Nile in Egypt. Also known as blue Egyptian lotus or blue water lily, it predominantly grows in Africa and certain parts of Asia. Its unique effects have made it an essential plant for many ancient cultures, with various meanings and uses spanning thousands of years. 

The flower contains psychoactive compounds like aporphine and nuciferine, inducing relaxation and mild euphoria. Nowadays, some people use blue lotus in aromatherapy for its calming fragrance and in skincare for its anti-inflammatory properties. Many others drink or smoke the plant for its therapeutic and psychoactive effects. 

Spiritual flower

Ancient Egyptians revered the blue lotus flower as sacred. Its daily blooming cycle at sunrise and closing at sunset deeply connected it with the Egyptian sun god Ra and represented rebirth. The pattern appeared frequently as a symbol in art, artifacts, and hieroglyphics. 

Egyptians also utilized the flower in spiritual ceremonies for its psychoactive effects. The famous Egyptian “Book of the Dead” mentions the plant in several chapters concerning magical and religious rituals. 

Buddhism and Hinduism also highly regarded the blue lotus for its role in meditation and spiritual practices. The flower’s emergence from murky, muddy waters, yet displaying pristine blossoms, led these religions to associate the blue lotus with purity and enlightenment. Buddhist meditators often used lotus flowers to symbolize and aid in purifying body and spirit.

Traditional medicine

Egyptians utilized blue lotus as a medicinal herb and a sacrament. Thanks to its antioxidant-rich flavonoids like quercetin, kaempferol, and myricetin, blue lotus was used to treat:

  • Diarrhea and gastrointestinal issues
  • Fevers
  • Urinary problems
  • Heart palpitations

Today, modern herbalists continue to recognize the therapeutic potential of blue lotus and its naturally soothing qualities, citing benefits like anxiety relief, sleep support, and inflammation-fighting abilities. 

Blue lotus also piques the interest of those looking to tap into its psychoactive properties, with effects that range from euphoria to mild hallucinations in high doses. 

Blue Lotus Effects: Is Blue Lotus Psychoactive?

The blue lotus plant has persisted for centuries due to its intriguing effects, described as borderline psychedelic. Ancient Egyptians and Mayans harnessed these effects, using blue lotus as an essential component to induce trance states and alter consciousness in religious ceremonies and shamanistic rituals, thanks to its entheogenic qualities. 

  • Entheogens are mind-altering plant-based substances that alter an individual’s perception, behavior, and cognition. 
  • Specific compounds in blue lotus give it mind-altering properties, enabling it to produce a high with euphoric effects. 

Research shows blue lotus effects primarily come from apomorphine and nuciferine. These compounds are alkaloids, natural substances high in nitrogen that often interact with serotonin and dopamine receptors in the brain.

  • Apomorphine is a psychoactive compound that stimulates dopamine receptors, the body’s “feel good” chemical that affects brain functions, such as movement, reward, and emotions. Specifically, it inhibits the breakdown of dopamine, keeping more of this neurotransmitter available and likely accounting for most of the psychoactive properties.

Apomorphine’s interaction with dopamine receptors also has therapeutic potential in treating conditions like Parkinson’s disease. Its role in enhancing dopamine availability can improve motor control and reduce motor dysfunction symptoms. Further, apomorphine’s dopamine modulation has implications in treating addiction.

  • Nuciferine is a compound thought to act as an antipsychotic drug. It exhibits dopamine receptor-blocking activity, which results in more calming feelings that help people feel sedated and relaxed. Nuciferine’s action on dopamine receptors extends to its potential use in treating schizophrenia and bipolar disorders. By blocking excess dopamine activity, it can help mitigate symptoms like hallucinations and mood swings. Additionally, nuciferine’s calming effect is being studied for its potential in treating insomnia and anxiety disorders, offering a more natural alternative to conventional sedatives.

A psychoactive blue lotus dose depends on the person’s tolerance and expectations.  (Check out our “How Long Does Blue Lotus Stay in Your System?” guide for detailed information about its longevity and what affects it). In reality, the blue lotus “high” is often only mildly psychoactive. Some people compare blue lotus to the high from smoking cannabis. People who want to experience blue lotus hallucinations typically consume the plant in mass quantities. Some mix it with alcohol

  • In high doses, apomorphine and nuciferine work to release dopamine and serotonin, which can influence mood and cause effects such as visual and auditory hallucinations.
  • Alcohol will enhance blue lotus’s psychoactive effects. The plant’s potency is more notable when people mix dried flowers in an alcohol-based tincture or smoke it as a liquid in vaping devices. 

What Does Blue Lotus Do? Blue Lotus Benefits

what is blue lotus

Along with its spiritual significance, many believe blue lotus has medicinal properties. No clinical scientific evidence is available to support the safety or effectiveness of the blue lotus flower for human health issues. Yet, the bioactive compounds are likely responsible for the anecdotal benefits.

An emerging market touting blue lotus flower benefits claims this antioxidant-rich, psychoactive flower can provide:

  • Improved sleep
  • Anxiety relief
  • Reduced inflammation
  • Muscle control
  • Mental health
  • Enhanced sexual performance
  • Altered states of consciousness, such as lucid dreaming

Many suspect some of these effects come from apomorphine and nuciferine. Reports indicate these compounds interact with brain receptors to promote calmness and have numerous positive effects on the body. 

Sleep and anxiety

Blue lotus has calming, tranquilizing effects, making it popular for easing stress, anxiety, and insomnia. Ayurveda, one of the world’s oldest medical systems, believes the scent of blue lotus encourages deep breathing and relaxation, making it a regular meditation and sleep aid. 

Apomorphine works to stimulate serotonin receptors and parts of the brain influenced by dopamine. These effects can lead to reduced tension and increased happiness, which gives it many potential clinical uses, including:

  • As an anesthetic
  • To ease sleep problems associated with Parkinson’s disease
  • To reduce anxiety levels

Nuciferine also displays effects that give it abilities as an anxiety reliever, sleep aid, and antipsychotic drug, such as:

Muscle function and libido

Another claim for blue lotus effects is as an aphrodisiac and to help with sexual performance. This belief stems from ancient references to the use of blue lotus in erotic ceremonies. For example, the Egyptian Turin Papyrus depicts intimate gatherings of elite society who shared sacred wines imbued with blue lotus extract.

No research supports blue lotus effects related to increased libido or sexual performance. However, studies show blue lotus compounds can potentially treat muscle-related issues, such as:

The apomorphine in blue lotus is also a long-standing antiparkinsonian drug. Doctors often prescribe it to ease the motor fluctuations in patients with advanced Parkinson’s disease. 

Dreams and consciousness

Many associate the blue lotus flower with altered states of consciousness, such as lucid dreaming. Ancient Egyptians reportedly utilized the plant for dreaming effects, such as to calm emotional tensions and induce lucid dreaming. This state is when a person is entirely aware that they are dreaming. 

Modern research does not prove the blue lotus connection to lucid dreaming. However, anecdotal reports on sites like Reddit support such claims. Some people say blue lotus gave them “some of the most vivid and realistic dreams of my life.”

This dream experience is still common today and can have positive benefits in waking life, including:

  • Recognizing emotions and thoughts
  • A better sense of control
  • Relief from frequent nightmares
  • Help with anxiety, insomnia, and depression

Is Blue Lotus Legal, and Can I Buy It Online?

The DEA does not list blue lotus as a controlled substance, making it federally legal to purchase and distribute in the United States. The only exception is Louisiana, which bans all psychoactive plant substances, including blue lotus. 

Blue lotus products are available in specialty holistic wellness stores, vape shops, and online. There are numerous products to choose from online, including:

  • Blue lotus flower extracts
  • Resins
  • Dried leaves
  • Oils and powders
  • Electronic cigarette refill liquids (e-liquids)

Blue lotus is legal in most places, but it is unregulated. That means the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has not approved blue lotus for human consumption and does not have quality-control rules in place. Consumers must buy blue lotus from trusted brands that verify their ingredients to avoid unsafe products. 

Is Blue Lotus Safe? Blue Lotus Side Effects

Blue lotus is generally safe to consume. However, blue lotus dosage plays a key role in the experience. Most people tolerate blue lotus well in small doses, such as those intended for therapeutic benefits like anxiety relief and better sleep. However, in higher doses, blue lotus has intoxicating properties that can cause unwanted side effects. 

Documented cases of blue lotus toxicity have sent patients to the ER with symptoms like:

  • Confusion
  • Dizziness
  • Dry mouth
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Slurred speech
  • Chest pain
  • Drowsiness

Most symptoms resolve without medical intervention as the effects subside within a few hours. 

Little research is available on the most acceptable blue lotus dosage, so consumers should follow precautions to ensure they have the best experience. 

  • Start with small doses and gradually increase over time to reduce the risk of side effects. 
  • Don’t exceed the recommended dosage instructions on the product packaging. 

Lack of regulation is another potential safety issue. Unfortunately, the herb supplement industry is highly unchecked, so some companies might cut corners, selling products that contain no blue lotus or are contaminated with toxins. Consumers should exert caution by purchasing blue lotus from brands that verify potency and safety through third-party laboratory testing. 

Common Questions About Blue Lotus

How much Blue Lotus do I need to get high?

Blue lotus effects vary depending on the dose. Generally, lower doses produce therapeutic and euphoric effects, while high doses can cause more intense psychoactive effects. In the case of blue lotus tea, a mild brew serves as a stress reliever, while a strong brew can induce more potent effects, such as lucid dreaming or hallucinations. Many abide by the following blue lotus dosage:

  • 5 grams (0.17 ounce) is a regular or mild dose
  • 10 grams (0.35 ounce) is an experienced dose

How long does Blue Lotus high last?

Blue lotus can trigger visual hallucinations and euphoria when taken in high enough amounts. Many wonder how long a blue lotus high will last. Most accounts say the blue lotus experience lasts two to four hours. Symptoms resolved within that time, according to a series of case studies.

Does Blue Lotus cause hallucinations?

Research and case reports indicate that the blue lotus can produce euphoria and hallucinations at high doses, particularly when inhaled or vaped. The case series describes patients who experienced altered mental states, including sedation and perceptual disturbances, after using blue lotus products. 

What are Blue Lotus uses?

Traditionally, people consumed the blue lotus flower for its gentle euphoric and narcotic effects. The alkaloids apomorphine and nuciferine in the plant help release dopamine and serotonin, which can have many health benefits. Common blue lotus uses include:

  • Reduced anxiety and stress
  • Improved digestion
  • Calmness and relaxation
  • Better sleep 
  • Aphrodisiac and improved sexual function

Some people also take blue lotus for its psychoactive qualities. In high doses, often when inhaled, compounds in blue lotus work to release dopamine and serotonin, which can rapidly alter mood and cause effects such as:

  • Euphoria
  • Mild psychoactive effects, similar to the high from cannabis
  • Visual and auditory hallucinations

Blue Lotus Flower: How to use it?

Various consumption methods exist for enjoying blue lotus flower recreationally or therapeutically. The most common forms are teas, tinctures, and smoking or vaping. 

Blue lotus tea: Blue lotus tea steeps dried flowers in hot water. The flavor is excellent, but adding honey or lemon can enhance the taste. Many blue lotus tea products are available online for easy prep. Most blue flower lotus teas involve adding one premade tea bag (3-5 grams of dried flowers) to 1-2 cups of hot water and steeping for 10-15 minutes.

Smoking and vaping blue lotus: Smoking blue lotus involves grinding dried flower petals and stems in rolling papers or a device, such as a vaporizer. Inhalation produces the fastest effect and may cause significant psychoactive effects compared to blue lotus tea. Combining blue lotus with other herbs, such as catnip, lavender, and spearmint, can enhance and customize the flavor. 

Blue lotus tinctures: Tinctures are a popular way to take herbal remedies, including blue lotus flower. They involve a ratio of dried herbs to alcohol, which steeps over several weeks. Consumers can add a few drops to a glass of water or place it directly under the tongue. 

Wine or Alcohol Infusion: Historically, Blue Lotus was often infused in wine or other spirits. The petals were soaked in alcohol for an extended period, which was believed to extract its active compounds.

Topical Application: In some traditions, Blue Lotus is used in oils or creams for topical application, though this is less common.

Final Thoughts on Blue Lotus

The blue lotus is a lily with a beautiful flower that originated along the banks of the Nile River. Ancient cultures used blue lotus flowers for thousands of years in spiritual ceremonies and as traditional medicine. In high doses, blue lotus can elicit psychoactive effects and mild hallucinations, yet it is legal in most countries. 

Today, there is new interest in this fascinating flower for euphoria, relaxation, and anxiety relief. Blue lotus contains antioxidants and psychoactive alkaloids that imbibe it with therapeutic effects noted for helping with anxiety, sleep, and mental disorders. Consumers have many products to choose from that are readily available online, including teas, beverages, extracts, and dried flowers for smoking and vaping. It’s an exciting new frontier in entheogenic medicine.

Elena Schmidt


Elena Schmidt is a writer, entrepreneur, and yoga teacher in Austin, Texas. She holds a journalism degree from the University of Miami and spent nearly a decade in editorial and content management for the health and beauty sectors. Today, Elena runs a boutique content marketing agency targeted towards brands that matter. Elena has found her passion supporting industries like plant medicine, cannabis, psychedelics, and wellness. She has written countless articles on these subjects and is passionate about spreading the word to those who need it most.