Disarming, magical and serene…. that’s what the lotus flower represents for many people around the world. Lotus flower’s influence reaches far, both through time and across the world. For the Ancient Egyptians the lotus flower symbolized rebirth, but also in Hinduism and Buddhism the symbolic meaning of the lotus flower has its place. In Hinduism, the lotus flower mainly represents prosperity, and in Buddhism it symbolizes purity and enlightenment. Buddhism relates that Buddha was born from a lotus flower.
Lotus Origin & Characteristics
Lotus Flower is full of symbolism!
The deeper meaning of the lotus flower is inseparable from its growth and inflorescence. The seeds of the flower settle in swampy soil. Depending on the depth of the water, the root stems of the lotus flower can grow up to 5.5 meters long and stop growing as soon as they reach the water surface. Once at the surface, the leaves develop and grow, which can be up to 60 centimetres in circumference. The blooming lotus flower can be up to 25 centimetres in diameter and blooms with the rhythm of the day – the petals open in the morning and close again in the evening.
Today the lotus flower represents purity. This is due to the hydrophobic (literally “water-fearing”) property of the flower, referring to the water-repellent property of the petals. Despite their growth and existence in swampy areas, water or mud never clings to the leaves. This so-called self-cleaning ability is referred to as the “lotus effect”. Another special feature of the lotus flower is the fact that once a flower is opened, it blooms for a whole year. As a result, the lotus flower also symbolizes life. Ripened seeds find their way into the water as the flower bends over to let them fall. The seeds remain germinable for a very long time, sometimes hundreds of years.
The entire cycle from the nesting of the seeds to the opening of the flower also symbolizes inner growth and the path to enlightenment. The pure flower emerges from the darkness, but remains unaffected by it once it has found its way to the light. This in turn symbolizes human enlightenment where darkness represents the past. Once above the water, the lotus flower unites with all four elements. Where it was previously connected with earth and water, it is now also connected with air and fire (the sun) through flowering. An ultimate connection is created – unity and balance with nature.
Even each of the different colours of the lotus flower has its own associations and meaning. The white flower symbolizes peace, purity and perfection, and represents the pursuit of a certain, self-chosen goal. Pink expresses human growth and contact with the soul, it specifically symbolizes the way from unconscious life (the dark swamp) over a life path (the stem) to enlightenment (the blooming flower). Red is associated with love and passion, as well as growth, loyalty and friendship. The purple lotus symbolizes the Eightfold Path that leads to enlightenment. Because of this, the purple lotus is often depicted with eight petals. The blue coloured flower is associated with the mind, with knowledge, wisdom and learning. The fruit of the blue lotus is always hidden under the petals, either in whole or in part, symbolizing the infinity of spiritual growth.
Lotus Oil & Benefits
Lotus Oil, the pink absolute, is extracted from the red lotus flowers of the Nelumbo nucifera. Its scent is warm and spicy exotic, and is known as a powerful aphrodisiac. It is an ideal addition to sensible harmonic skin massage oils.
Lotus essential oil is used in many skin care products such as bath soaps and body lotions, as massage oil and in aromatherapy. The rich fragrance provides a feeling of peacefulness, it inspires the body to breathe more deeply. Ancient Romans used lotus oil to treat respiratory problems such as asthma. Its calming effects increase the feeling of tranquillity. It is considered as one of the most expensive attributes in aromatherapy due to the costly extraction process.
This oil should be diluted before applying to the skin. A few drops of lotus oil added to a carrier oil or lotion will reduce wrinkles, redness and irritation. The oil regenerates the skin and stimulates the formation of new tissue.
Lotus Oil for Skin
The constituents of lotus essential oil are phosphorus, linoleic acid, vitamin C and B, iron, protein, and many others. Many of those beneficial substances help to maintain and preserve the skin’s natural beauty. The cooling and soothing properties of lotus oil promotes the skin condition and improves texture of the skin.
In addition, the astringent compound of lotus oil can be very effective in healing or controlling current blemishes and acne. This oil can therefore be a real godsend for teenagers and some adults who have difficulty getting rid of this nasty skin condition.
Neutralizes Free Radicals
Free radicals can cause enormous damage in our body. They can cause cancer, and start or accelerate an early ageing process of the body. The presence of flavonoids and polysaccharides in lotus oil act as an antioxidant, makes it an anti-inflammatory agent and moisturizes the body. These properties of lotus oil can neutralize free radicals, protecting the body against cell damage they may cause.
Prevents Premature Ageing
As mentioned, one of the health benefits of lotus oil is that it can prevent premature skin ageing, which manifests itself in wrinkles, freckles, dull complexion and other skin problems. It should be noted that unstable mood, stress, bad habits such as smoking or drinking are the main causes of premature ageing. Conversely, healthy lifestyle habits contribute positively to beautiful skin. In addition, the use of lotus oil can aid in skin care by ensuring that toxins are neutralized, resulting in healthy, radiant, smooth, youthful looking skin.
Lotus oil can easily be blended with other essential oils such as sandalwood, citrus or floral oils, so you simply can prepare your own favourite skincare oil.
Lotus Oil & Aromatherapy
Now knowing more about the “sacred” lotus, it may not come as a real surprise that lotus essential oil is a very well known and much used oil in aromatherapy. It is known as an effective means of calming the airways, relieving mild conditions such as cold, flu and fever.
Additional benefits of lotus essential oil is the calming effect it has on the nervous system, and prevention of stress. This is easily achieved by evaporating lotus oil in a vaporizer to be inhaled, plus additionally functioning as an air freshener at home.
Lotus oil possesses cardio-tonic properties, which lowers high blood pressure and brings peace in life. The soothing properties of lotus makes it an ideal oil for restless people, ensuring to find physical and mental harmony, like no other oil can do. The correct dosage (2-3 drops in 50 ml. carrier/base oil) is important as this is the right ratio for balance and harmony, a larger amount of lotus oil is more likely to have a numbing effect. The ability of lotus’ aroma to help with mental exhaustion and fatigue, while promoting inner strength, makes us more self-aware and creative, and can put a stop to the occurrence of nightmares. Offering peace as well as increasing brain clarity, it enhances concentration and helps in personal development.
Use of Lotus Oil
Diluted with a carrier oil, it can be applied topically to the skin. It can also be used as a bath oil or added to any preferred bath product, or used as a massage oil to stimulate the skin while providing pleasure and relaxation. In this way you will enjoy all lotus oils’ benefits at once, both in terms of its aromatherapeutic effects, and as a remedy for rashes, skin irritations, wrinkles, depression, irritability, stress and frigidity.