Nymphaea caerulea, also known as the Blue Egyptian water lotus or sacred blue lotus, is a water-lily in the genus Nymphaea.
In modern culture, blue lotus flowers are used to make various concoctions including blue lotus tea, wine and martinis. Recipes for such drinks involve steeping or soaking the petals, about 10-20 grams for up to 3 weeks. Blue lotus tea is prepared by boiling the entire flowers for 10–20 minutes.
Recent studies have shown Nymphaea caerulea to have mild psycho-active properties. It may have been used as a sacrament in ancient Egypt and certain ancient South American cultures. Eating Blue Lotus can act as a mild sedative. Nymphaea caerulea is distantly related to, and possesses similar activity to Nelumbo nucifera, the Sacred Lotus. Both Nymphaea caerulea and Nelumbo nucifera contain the alkaloids nuciferine and aporphine. The mildly sedating effects of Nymphaea caerulea makes it a likely candidate (among several) for the lotus plant eaten by the mythical Lotophagi in Homer's Odyssey.
This lotus is used to produce perfumes since ancient times; it is also used in aromatherapy.
Used in aromatherapy, Nymphaea caerulea is purported to have a "divine" essence, bringing heightened awareness and tranquility. Some sources cite it as an antispasmodic similar to copal resin.