• Name : Kamal Pushpa
  • English Name :Lotus
  • Scientific Name :Nelumbo nucifera, N. speciosum



Lotus is a large, aquatic herb with creeping stem, occurring throughout warmer parts of the country up to an altitude of 1000 m.1


Morphology Description (Habit):

Flower - 10-15 cm in diameter, yellowish-brown; sepals leaf-like, crimpled, 3-5 cm long, 1.3-2 cm wide, dark brown, broken pieces also occur; petals numerous, crimp led, elliptic, obtuse, membranous, finely veined, 2-4 cm long, 1.2-2 cm wide yellowish-brown; anther, erect, linear 1.4-2 cm long, extended into clavate appendages; gynoceium apocarpous; carpels many, free, embedded in a creamy, top shaped fleshy thalamus (torus) 3-5 cm long and 2.5-3 cm wide; fruit an etaerio of achenes, becoming loose in their sockets when ripe; seed hard, black, starchy and large.

Rhizome has distinct nodes and internodes, cylindrical, 0.5-2.5 cm in diameter, longitudinally marked with brown patches, smooth, yellowish white to yellowish-brown; root adventitious, less developed, 0.5-1 mm thick, attached to node of rhizome; dark brown.1


Parts Used:

Flower, Rhizome, Seed, Leaves



Flower - Alkaloid (Nelumbine)

Rhizome – Starch and Reducing Sugars


As per Ayurveda:

           Rasa (Taste)                 : Flower – Sweet, bitter and astringent & Rhizome – Sweet, Salty, Pungent, Bitter, Astringent

           Guna (Property)           : Flower - Light, cold & Rhizome – Heavy, Rough

           Veerya (Potency)         : Cold

           Vipaka (End Result)      : Sweet


Pharmacological Actions:

Nelumbo nucifera Gaertn. (Nymphaeaceae) is a well-known aquatic plant which has been used for the treatment of several disorders including skin disease, cough, inflammation, fever and many other disorders.2

Aporphine alkaloids from the leaves of Nelumbo nucifera Gaertn are substances of great interest because of their important pharmacological activities, particularly anti-diabetic, anti-obesity, anti-hyperlipidemic, anti-oxidant, and anti-HIV's activities.3

Kamal Pushpa is Kaphapittahara. The primary pharmacological actions of this soothing flower are summarized as under:


Digestive System:

i. The leaf extract possesses hepatoprotective activity.4


Endocrinal System: 

i. Possesses antidiabetic activity.5

ii. Nuciferine was found to stimulate insulin secretion by closing potassium-adenosine triphosphate channels, explaining anti-diabetic effects of Nelumbo nucifera.6


Cardiovascular System: 

i. The leaves effectively ameliorate hyperlipidemia and inhibit the key enzymes related to type 2 diabetes mellitus.7


Urinary System: 

i. The flower mitigates burning micturition.


Skin and Hair: 

i. The leaf extract has been observed to possess strong protective effect against UVB-induced phototoxicity.8



i. The extract of rhizome and seed Nelumbo nucifera stimulate defense system by modulating several immunological parameters.2

ii. Inflammation is a serious health issue worldwide that induces many diseases, such as inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), sepsis, acute pancreatitis and lung injury. The leaf extract and its major components quercetin and catechin exhibit anti-inflammatory activities by inhibiting the JNK- and NF-κB-regulated pathways and could therefore be an useful anti-inflammatory agent.9

iii. Lotus root exerts anti-oxidant and anti-obesity effects and could be used as a functional and nutraceutical ingredient in combatting obesity-related diseases.10

iv. Lotus seed has a potential to be developed as an effective agent against obesity-related diseases.11

v. The leaves of N.nucifera have potential as an anti-obesity agent by inhibiting pancreatic lipase and adipocyte differentiation.12

vi. The flower is a coolant and is used in many cooling and styptic therapeutic preparations.

vii. Flowers are useful in the management of Pittaja disorders, including fever.



Flowers ? excessive bleeding, burning micturition, Pittaja disorders

Rhizome, Seeds and Leaves ? Type 2 Diabetes mellitus, Obesity, Metabolic Syndrome, Impaired immunity



1. The Ayurvedic Pharmacopoeia of India, Part-1, Vol-2 and 3.

2. Debajyoti Mukherjee, Tarak Nath Khatua, P. Venkatesh, et al. Immunomodulatory potential of rhizome and seed extracts ofNelumbo nucifera Gaertn. Journal of Ethnopharmacology. 2010; 128(2): 490-494.

3. Ma C, Wang J, Chu H, et al. Purification and characterization of aporphine alkaloids from leaves of Nelumbo nucifera Gaertn and their effects on glucose consumption in 3T3-L1 adipocytes. Int J Mol Sci. 2014 Feb 26;15(3):3481-94.

4. Tang CC, Lin WL, Lee YJ, et al. Polyphenol-rich extract of Nelumbo nucifera leaves inhibits alcohol-induced steatohepatitis via reducing hepatic lipid accumulation and anti-inflammation in C57BL/6J mice. Food Funct. 2014 Apr;5(4):678-87.

5. Gupta S, Singh N, Jaggi AS. Evaluation of in vitro aldose reductase inhibitory potential of alkaloidal fractions of Piper nigrum, Murraya koenigii, Argemone mexicana, and Nelumbo nucifera. J Basic Clin Physiol Pharmacol. 2014 May 1;25(2):255-65.

6. Nguyen KH, Ta TN, Pham TH, et al. Nuciferine stimulates insulin secretion from beta cells-an in vitro comparison with glibenclamide. J Ethnopharmacol. 2012 Jul 13;142(2):488-95.

7. Liu S, Li D, Huang B, et al. Inhibition of pancreatic lipase, α-glucosidase, α-amylase, and hypolipidemic effects of the total flavonoids fromNelumbo nucifera leaves. J Ethnopharmacol. 2013 Aug 26;149(1):263-9.

8. Huang B, Zhu L, Liu S, et al. In vitro and in vivo evaluation of inhibition activity of lotus (Nelumbo nucifera Gaertn.) leaves against ultraviolet B-induced phototoxicity. J Photochem Photobiol B. 2013 Apr 5;121:1-5.

9. Liu SH, Lu TH, Su CC, et al. Lotus Leaf (Nelumbo nucifera) and its Active Constituents Prevent Inflammatory Responses in Macrophages via JNK/NF-κB Signaling Pathway. Am J Chin Med. 2014;42(4):869-89.

10. You JS, Lee YJ, Kim KS, et al. Ethanol extract of lotus (Nelumbo nucifera) root exhibits an anti-adipogenic effect in human pre-adipocytes and anti-obesity and anti-oxidant effects in rats fed a high-fat diet. Nutr Res. 2014 Mar;34(3):258-67.

11. You JS, Lee YJ, Kim KS, et al. Anti-obesity and hypolipidaemic effects of Nelumbo nucifera seed ethanol extract in human pre-adipocytes and rats fed a high-fat diet. J Sci Food Agric. 2014 Feb;94(3):568-75.

12. Ahn JH, Kim ES, Lee C, et al. Chemical constituents from Nelumbo nucifera leaves and their anti-obesity effects. Bioorg Med Chem Lett. 2013 Jun 15;23(12):3604-8.


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