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Sacred Blue Lily of the Nile

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Key to the Fountain of Youth?

It’s no wonder the plant became scarce. The “Sacred Blue lily of the Nile” (Nymphaea caerulea), was so popular, the once abundant and common water lily that grew wild along the Nile delta is now seriously endangered.

There is a similar lily, called Agapanthus africanus that is commonly used as a landscaping plant in the USA, though it only has beautiful flowers, not magical powers.
Here is a bit of history to shed light on the plant so revered by the ancient Egyptians.

“Represented in ancient Egyptian art. The Sacred Blue Lily of the Nile (Many mistakenly call it Blue Lotus because that is how it is referred to in India) was found scattered over Tutankhamen’s body when the Pharaoh’s tomb was opened in 1922. Many historians thought it was a purely symbolic flower, but there is mounting evidence that strongly points to ancient Egyptians using it to induce an ecstatic state, stimulation, and/or hallucinations, as well as being widely used as a general remedy against illness.  To this day is used as a tonic for good health, consumed as an extract, 6-12 drops or up to 1 tsp to 1 Tbs in juice or, more typically; wine, taken 1 to 3 times daily.”

“The Egyptian mummy Azru was the first mummy to undergo mass spectroscopy and she had no narcotics or painkillers in her. But researchers found phytosterols, bioflavonoids, and phosphodiastrates, the active ingredient of viagra, all from Sacred Blue Lily of the Nile”

“One of the most important ritual plants of ancient Egypt, the blue lotus flower grew wild in ponds and in the lowlands of the Nile, and was planted in natural and man-made bodies of water. The flowers were highly valued for their exquisite beauty, their intoxicating lilac-like scent, their symbolism, and their inebriating effects.  The plant has blue to sky blue flowers, sometimes tinted with purple, that sit on long stems four to five feet above the water’s surface. The long-stemmed, floating leaves are round. Blue lotus is only found in the Nile delta, the wetlands along the Nile, and, less frequently, Palestine. Today, it has almost completely disappeared from around the Nile and is seriously endangered. The plant can be propagated by placing pieces of the rhizome (or roots), in still bodies of water.”

For more on this tantalizing topic, check out the article from which the excerpts above were taken:


Agapanthus africanus ancient Egyptians backyard pond Blue lotus bog plants endangered Featured Posts koi pond Nile delta Nymphaea caerulea pond Pond Plants Tutankhamen water gardening Water lily

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