Plant Name        Nelumbo nucifera           

                Common name:  Sacred Water Lotus     

                Marathi:               Kamal kakadi    

                Hindi:                   kamal or Pundarika         

                English:               Indian lotus        

                Jawhar:                Kamal kakadi     


Interesting facts and history

  1. Nelumbo nucifera Gaertn. (Nymphaeaceae), is known as sacred lotus and a well-known medicinal plant.
  2. The leaves of N. nucifera afford an impressive demonstration of effective water repellence called the “Lotus-Effect” and which may be of great biological and technological importance.


Identification guide


Sacred water lotus is perennial water plant, growing from a tuberous rootstock lying in mud at the bottom of lakes and ponds. The plant produces large leaves which float on the surface of the water.

This plant is the Sacred Lotus of India and it is much cultivated as a food plant in the Orient"


large, round shaped, covered with microscopic hair,


hermaphrodite, terminal on solitary scape, fragrant. Petals in many whorls, pink or white.


spongy torus containing a few oblongobovoid seed


Habit / Habitat

Aquatic perennial herb

Wetland habitats, including floodplains, pond lakes, marshes,pools, langoons, swamp



Native to Asia and flourishes in wide range from India to China 


Edible parts

Used by tribal community in Jawhar       Seeds


Method of consumption

Jawhar tribal      Seeds are roasted and consumed          

Medicinal use

The Sacred water lotus has been used in the Orient as a medicinal herb for well over 1,500 years. All parts of the plant are used, they are astringent, cardiotonic, febrifuge, hypotensive, resolvent, stomachic, styptic, tonic and vasodilator.


Nutritional and medicinal information

Nutritive Significance

 Literature review: 

  1. A study reported that seeds were rich in protein, amino acids, unsaturated fatty acids and minerals, without heavy metal contamination.


Nutritional component of seeds

Paramenters Nutritive value (%)

Crude fat 1.90

Protein  10.60

Carbohydrate 72.17

Crude fibre 2.70

Nutritive value 348.45 Cal/100g

Parameters  Per cent concentration

Na  1.00

K  28.5

Ca  22.10

Mg 9.20

Fe 0.1990

Mn 0.356



 Pharmaceutical significance

 Literature review:

  1. Oral administration of the ethanolic extract of rhizomes of Nelumbo nucifera improved glucose tolerance of normal, glucose-fed hyperglycemic and streptozotocin-induced diabetic rats, when compared with control animals.
  2. The diuretic efficacy of the rhizomes of Nelumbo nucifera was studied on albino rats which showed a significant increase in natriuretic and chloruretic activity but kaliuresis was less than natriuresis.
  3. Lotus plumule has been recognised as an anti-inflammatory agent through a study conducted by Chun- Huei Liao et al, 2010.                      


Propagation and Storage

 Season of collection

Edible: Summer

Medicinal parts: Annually

How to grow it?

In wild, seeds are dispersed by wind

Method of storage

Propagules: Seeds

Edibles: Eaten immediately after harvested from wild. It could be stored over a long period of time due to hard coat.


Other uses

In different states of India flowers, seeds, young leaves and roots are eaten; lotus rootlets are pickled with rice, vinegar, sugar, chilli and garlic and used with salads, prawns, sesame oil and coriander leaves.     



Kingdom:            Plantae

Division:              Spermatophyta

Sub-division:     Angiospermae

Class:                    Dicotyledonae

Sub-class:            Polypetalae

Series:                  Thalamiflorae

Order:                   Ranales

Family:                  Nymphaeceae

Genus:                  Nelumbo

Species:               nucifera




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