Lotus Roots- A Miracle Cure?
Rather than waiting for a disease to strike, herbalism works towards maintenance of optimal health, and foregrounds the benefits of conventional treatments. Physical breakdowns are mostly the result of unheeded warnings that the body has been trying to communicate. Such communications may call for a general air of malaise, or even acquire physical forms like indigestion or headache, which we ignorantly try to suppress with preliminary pills without prior consultations with a medical practitioner. In an age where the effects of food processing and over-medications have been detrimental to our holistic development, we can perhaps spend some time to discuss on one of the precious gifts of Mother Nature- the lotus plant.
The floral display of the lotus in lagoons and inland waterways in Asian countries and northern Australia have always been an eye-catcher. Despite blooming from thick mud, the waxy layer on the petals of the lotus enables it to resurrect itself beautifully each morning. There are hundreds of species of the lotus plant, which is not only considered to be a symbol of saintliness and vitality in Hindu and Buddhist traditions, but has also been integral to the conventional Southeast Asian medicine and cuisine since time immemorial. For food connoisseurs across the world, the lotus roots add a perfect crunch to dishes, and confer on them a skilful garnish.
The fleshy, jointed fibre-rich root-stock of the lotus has been predominantly considered for medical usage either in raw or cooked form. The cool character of the raw tuber is useful in reducing fevers, cleansing blood toxins, and even preventing clot formation (if mixed with a little salt, according to traditional herbal remedies). Boiling and cooking of the starchy tuber imparts a pleasant, warm aroma that is effective as a tonic in abdominal dysfunctions. Furthermore, the dietary starch obtained from the crushed part of lotus rhizomes shall appeal substantial research for its potential role in serving the purpose of arrow-root, cholesterol and blood sugar regulation, as well as in treatment of obesity, diarrhoea, and dysentery if blended with honey.