Lotus Herb for Depression, Anxiety, Liver Disease, Inflammation and More

sacred lotus heals and calms the mind

Lotus herb provides numerous medicinal benefits.

The Lotus is not only beautiful. It can help fight depression, anxiety, inflammation, liver damage and help prevent cavities among other things.

Nelumbo nucifera and its flowers, leaves and seeds contain numerous medicinal compounds found individually and in combination to also help fight cancer, help prevent cavities, aide cognition, reduce skin aging and a host of other medicinal properties.

For these reasons, many scientists are now looking at these compounds as potentials for pharmaceutical development. But as we’ve discussed elsewhere, it is the combination of nature’s balanced array of compounds within plant medicines that provides a level of safety unmatched by the single active compounds typically found in synthetic medications.

The Sacred Lotus Herb

The hypnotic and beautiful Lotus flower is considered a sacred plant in India. It array of flower petals and soft colors are pleasing to the eyes. Depending upon the location and genetics, lotus flowers can be white, pink, yellow or even rainbow-colored.

The leaves, stem, seeds, roots and flowers of the lotus have been used medicinally for thousands of years. The Mandarin name for the Sacred Lotus (seed) is Lian Zi and its Japanese name is Renshi, and in Korean, Yoncha.

Ancient Chinese and Ayurvedic texts indicate the stems and leaves of the plant are helpful for stomach aches, ulcers and intestinal cramping, increasing circulation, and improving the condition of the heart (cardiotonic). It is also known for strengthening the spleen.

The seeds and flowers of the lotus flower – and to a lesser degree the leaves – also have a range of other effects. These include reducing depression and being hypnotic and calming. The seeds contain alkaloid constituents that relax the nerves and the muscles. They also promote sleep. Restlessness and nervousness – even depression – have been treated traditionally using the seeds, flowers and leaves of the Lotus herb.

Then you have the roots of the lotus. These have been used to treat numerous infections, including intestinal infections and diarrhea. The dried roots have also been used for various issues of bleeding as well.

These are not theoretical uses either. These are recorded uses of the plant in clinical settings. Science has been recently confirming these uses.

Anti-depression effects of Lotus

Researchers have confirmed the hypnotic and sedative effects of the lotus plant. In a study recently published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, researchers created extracts from the lotus leaf. They tested neurotransmitter production in the brain after the extract, and found that the alkaloids of the plant increased the production of gamma-amino butyric acid (GABA), along with serotonin, 5-hydroxyindoleacetic acid and dopamine.

The researchers stated:

“These data demonstrated that the alkaloids from lotus leaf exert sedative-hypnotic and anxiolytic effects via binding to GABA receptor and activates the monoaminergic system.”

Another study found that an extract of the flower of the Sacred Lotus had elements that bound to several key receptors in the brain and nervous system known for encouraging relaxation: two cannabinoid receptors, and four opioid receptors.

A study from several Japanese universities, including the Yokohama College of Pharmacy extracted two special alkaloids from the Lotus herb: liensinine and isoliensinine. Each of these were found to have anti-depressant effects.

Read more:  Burdock Herb Inhibits Cancer, Boosts Memory

The researchers concluded:

“These data suggest that liensinine and isoliensinine from Nelumbo nucifera Gaertner have antidepressant-like effects and that antidepressant-like effects of liensinine and its analogues are closely related to serotonergic mechanisms.”

Another study found that an extract from Lotus seeds inhibited acetylcholinesterase and butyrylcholinesterase enzymes. Acetylcholinesterase inhibitors are used to treat a myriad of conditions, from tachycardia, to Alzheimer’s and other dementias, to Parkinson’s and schizophrenia.

They also found 19 medicinal constituents in the seeds, including saponins, flavonoids, steroids, alkaloids, terpenoids and cardiac glycosides.

Anti-inflammatory benefits of Lotus

Researchers from China and Korea’s Silla University tested lotus leaf extracts in laboratory studies and found that lotus had significant antioxidant properties, as well as significant anti-inflammatory effects. The researchers also found the extracts reduced free radicals among living cells.

The studies found that lotus contained antioxidant and anti-inflammatory compounds such as baicalein, kaempferol, kaempferid, quercetin, isorhamnetin, hyperoside, lespenephryl, and rutin.

Anti-cancer effects

Researchers from Florida’s Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine studied Lotus herb and its various medicinal compounds against cancer, using human cells and laboratory research.

The scientists found that compounds from Lotus reduced tumor size and prevented expansion of human breast cancers. They also reduced cervical cancer, colon cancer, squamous cell carcinoma, eye cancer, stomach cancer, liver cancer and other cancers.

Reduces body fat

Several studies have now found Lotus leaves help reduce obesity. Many of these have been done using lab animals, but some more recent human studies have confirmed this benefit.

For example, in a 2021 study, researchers tested 60 overweight patients in a double-blind trial. Those given dried Lotus leaves over a period of 12 weeks were found to have reduced body fat levels compared to the control group.

This and other studies have shown that Lotus appears to reduce fat conversion.

Protects the Liver

Other research has found that Lotus can significantly reduce liver damage and help protect the liver. Studies have found that the compounds in this herb work to break down chemicals and free radicals before they are able to damage the liver.

For example, a 2022 study found that an extract from Lotus seeds was able to suppress damage to liver cells caused by acetaminophen, a popular over-the-counter painkiller drug known to cause liver damage.

Another study found that Lotus reduces liver fibrosis. This is often the result of the over-consumption of alcohol.

Numerous other effects of Lotus

Continuing research over the past decade has found that Lotus herb produces a number of medicinal effects in the body. These include general anticancer and antioxidant effects, as well as improving the health of the liver, kidney and skin. Some of these effects are simply because Lotus is an extreme free radical scavenger. But other effects follow its complex blend of medicinal constituents.

As this research is analyzed and condensed, we find that Lotus’ additional medicinal benefits include:
• reduces the effects of UV radiation
• has anti-aging effects on the skin
• promotes skin health
• increases wound healing
• enhances cognition
• reduces kidney inflammation
• reduces bacteria that cause cavities and oral infections
• aids diabetes treatment
• reduces triglycerides

anxiety and depression natural

Sacred Lotus Flower Extract
White Lotus Essential Oil (for meditation).
Lotus Scar Healing and Anti-aging

Read more:  Yarrow for Anxiety, Malaria, Hepatitis and Kidney Diseases


Bishayee A, Patel PA, Sharma P, Thoutireddy S, Das N. Lotus (Nelumbo nucifera Gaertn.) and Its Bioactive Phytocompounds: A Tribute to Cancer Prevention and Intervention. Cancers (Basel). 2022 Jan 21;14(3):529. doi: 10.3390/cancers14030529.

Li C, He Y, Yang Y, Gou Y, Li S, Wang R, Zeng S, Zhao X. Antioxidant and Inflammatory Effects of Nelumbo nucifera Gaertn. Leaves. Oxid Med Cell Longev. 2021 Dec 28;2021:8375961. doi: 10.1155/2021/8375961.

Ye L, Wang X, Konno T, Gong X, Ding H, Yan H, Ji ZS, Liu E. Fat reducing effects of Nelumbo nucifera leaf extract in overweight patients. Nat Prod Res. 2022 Sep;36(18):4776-4781. doi: 10.1080/14786419.2021.2010196.

Lin Z, Zhang C, Cao D, Damaris RN, Yang P. The Latest Studies on Lotus (Nelumbo nucifera)-an Emerging Horticultural Model Plant. Int J Mol Sci. 2019 Jul 27;20(15):3680. doi: 10.3390/ijms20153680

Lee HE, Han MS, Nam SH. Anticariogenic activity of Nelumbo nucifera leaf extract in oral healthcare. Technol Health Care. 2019;27(5):487-497. doi: 10.3233/THC-191732.

Lin HH, Hsu JY, Tseng CY, Huang XY, Tseng HC, Chen JH. Hepatoprotective Activity of Nelumbo nucifera Gaertn. Seedpod Extract Attenuated Acetaminophen-Induced Hepatotoxicity. Molecules. 2022 Jun 23;27(13):4030. doi: 10.3390/molecules27134030.

Nadkarni KM. The Indian Materia Medica. Prakashan Private Ltd., 1908-1989.

Bensky D, Gamble A, Kaptehuk T. Chinese Herbal Medicine: Materia Medica. Eastland Press, 1986.

Kumarihamy M, León F, Pettaway S, Wilson L, Lambert JA, Wang M, Hill C, McCurdy CR, ElSohly MA, Cutler SJ, Muhammad I. In vitro opioid receptor affinity and in vivo behavioral studies of Nelumbo nucifera flower. J Ethnopharmacol. 2015 Aug 7:JEPD1501341. doi: 10.1016/j.jep.2015.08.006.

Sugimoto Y, Nishimura K, Itoh A, Tanahashi T, Nakajima H, Oshiro H, Sun S, Toda T, Yamada J. Serotonergic mechanisms are involved in antidepressant-like effects of bisbenzylisoquinolines liensinine and its analogs isolated from the embryo of Nelumbo nucifera Gaertner seeds in mice. J Pharm Pharmacol. 2015 Aug 5. doi: 10.1111/jphp.12473.

Yan MZ, Chang Q, Zhong Y, Xiao BX, Feng L, Cao FR, Pan RL, Zhang ZS, Liao YH, Liu XM. Lotus Leaf Alkaloid Extract Displays Sedative-Hypnotic and Anxiolytic Effects through GABAA Receptor. J Agric Food Chem. 2015 Oct 28;63(42):9277-85. doi: 10.1021/acs.jafc.5b04141.

Chen MS, Zhang JH, Wang JL, Gao L, Chen XX, Xiao JH. Anti-fibrotic effects of neferine on carbon tetrachloride-induced hepatic fibrosis in mice. Am J Chin Med. 2015;43(2):231-40. doi: 10.1142/S0192415X15500159.

Hou Q, He WJ, Chen L, Hao HJ, Liu JJ, Dong L, Tong C, Li MR, Zhou ZZ, Han WD, Fu XB. Effects of the Four-Herb Compound ANBP on Wound Healing Promotion in Diabetic Mice. Int J Low Extrem Wounds. 2015 Mar 20. pii: 1534734615575244

Lee JS, Shukla S, Kim JA, Kim M. Anti-angiogenic effect of Nelumbo nucifera leaf extracts in human umbilical vein endothelial cells with antioxidant potential. PLoS One. 2015 Feb 25;10(2):e0118552. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0118552.

Kim ES, Weon JB, Yun BR, Lee J, Eom MR, Oh KH, Ma CJ. Cognitive Enhancing and Neuroprotective Effect of the Embryo of the Nelumbo nucifera Seed. Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2014;2014:869831. doi: 10.1155/2014/869831.

Wang MX, Liu YL, Yang Y, Zhang DM, Kong LD. Nuciferine restores potassium oxonate-induced hyperuricemia and kidney inflammation in mice. Eur J Pharmacol. 2015 Jan 15;747:59-70. doi: 10.1016/j.ejphar.2014.11.035.

Hou Q, He WJ, Hao HJ, Han QW, Chen L, Dong L, Liu JJ, Li X, Zhang YJ, Ma YZ, Han WD, Fu XB. The four-herb Chinese medicine ANBP enhances wound healing and inhibits scar formation via bidirectional regulation of transformation growth factor pathway. PLoS One. 2014 Dec 9;9(12):e112274. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0112274.

Read more:  Ayurveda Remedy Beats Pharma Drug for Severe Anxiety

Liu CM, Kao CL, Wu HM, Li WJ, Huang CT, Li HT, Chen CY. Antioxidant and anticancer aporphine alkaloids from the leaves of Nelumbo nucifera Gaertn. cv. Rosa-plena. Molecules. 2014 Nov 3;19(11):17829-38. doi: 10.3390/molecules191117829.

Yuan L, Gu X, Yin Z, Kang W. Antioxidant activities in vitro and hepatoprotective effects of Nelumbo nucifera leaves in vivo. Afr J Tradit Complement Altern Med. 2014 Apr 3;11(3):85-91.

Mehta VV, Rajesh G, Rao A, Shenoy R, B H MP. Antimicrobial Efficacy of Punica granatum mesocarp, Nelumbo nucifera Leaf, Psidium guajava Leaf and Coffea Canephora Extract on Common Oral Pathogens: An In-vitro Study. J Clin Diagn Res. 2014 Jul;8(7):ZC65-8. doi: 10.7860/JCDR/2014/9122.4629.

Marwat SK, Rehman F, Khan EA, Khakwani AA, Ullah I, Khan KU, Khan IU. Useful ethnophytomedicinal recipes of angiosperms used against diabetes in South East Asian Countries (India, Pakistan & Sri Lanka). Pak J Pharm Sci. 2014 Sep;27(5):1333-58.

Liu SH, Lu TH, Su CC, Lay IS, Lin HY, Fang KM, Ho TJ, Chen KL, Su YC, Chiang WC, Chen YW. 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. doi: 10.1142/S0192415X14500554.

You JS, Lee YJ, Kim KS, Kim SH, Chang KJ. 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. doi: 10.1016/j.nutres.2014.01.003.

Lee DB, Kim DH, Je JY. Antioxidant and Cytoprotective Effects of Lotus (Nelumbo nucifera) Leaves Phenolic Fraction. Prev Nutr Food Sci. 2015 Mar;20(1):22-8. doi: 10.3746/pnf.2015.20.1.22.

Velusami CC, Agarwal A, Mookambeswaran V. Effect of Nelumbo nucifera Petal Extracts on Lipase, Adipogenesis, Adipolysis, and Central Receptors of Obesity. Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2013;2013:145925. doi: 10.1155/2013/145925.

Ahn YJ, Park SJ, Woo H, Lee HE, Kim HJ, Kwon G, Gao Q, Jang DS, Ryu JH. Effects of allantoin on cognitive function and hippocampal neurogenesis. Food Chem Toxicol. 2014 Feb;64:210-6. doi: 10.1016/j.fct.2013.11.033.

Zhao X, Shen J, Chang KJ, Kim SH. Analysis of fatty acids and phytosterols in ethanol extracts of Nelumbo nucifera seeds and rhizomes by GC-MS. J Agric Food Chem. 2013 Jul 17;61(28):6841-7. doi: 10.1021/jf401710h.

Zhao XL, Wang ZM, Ma XJ, Jing WG, Liu A. [Chemical constituents from leaves of Nelumbo nucifera]. Zhongguo Zhong Yao Za Zhi. 2013 Mar;38(5):703-8.

Jung SY, Jung WS, Jung HK, Lee GH, Cho JH, Cho HW, Choi IY. The mixture of different parts of Nelumbo nucifera and two bioactive components inhibited tyrosinase activity and melanogenesis. J Cosmet Sci. 2014 Nov-Dec;65(6):377-88.

Kim SY, Moon GS. Photoprotective Effect of Lotus (Nelumbo nucifera Gaertn.) Seed Tea against UVB Irradiation. Prev Nutr Food Sci. 2015 Sep;20(3):162-8. doi: 10.3746/pnf.2015.20.3.162.

Jadoon S, Karim S, Asad MH, Akram MR, Kalsoom Khan A, Malik A, Chen C, Murtaza G. Anti-Aging Potential of Phytoextract Loaded-Pharmaceutical Creams for Human Skin Cell Longetivity. Oxid Med Cell Longev. 2015;2015:709628. doi: 10.1155/2015/709628. Epub 2015 Sep 10.


  • Case Adams, Naturopath

    California Naturopath, Ph.D. in Natural Health Sciences, Doctorate in Integrative Health Sciences, Board Certified Alternative Medicine Practitioner. Diplomas in Blood Chemistry, Clinical Nutritional Counseling, Homeopathy, Aromatherapy, Colon Hydrotherapy, certificates in Pain Management and Case Management/Contact Tracing. Has authored more than 30 books and hundreds of periodical articles on natural medicine. Recreational activities include surfing, sailing, running, biking, swimming, SUPing, hiking. Contact: case(at)caseadams(dot)com.

    View all posts

You may also like...

This site is Copyright Protected