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Is Lotus Flower Edible? Learn Top Cooking Facts About Lotus

Lotus flower is visually appealing in aquatic landscape design, but there is a question if they are edible and appealing to the palate.

Generally, parts of the Lotus flower, like petals, roots, stems, and leaves, are edible and perfect for many dishes. However, you must be able to identify the edible varieties as parts of some Lotus varieties contain toxic compounds resulting in stomach upset and death in severe cases. 

The Lotus flower is a versatile aquatic plant famous for its colorful blossoms with traditional significance.

So, go through this article to know whether the Lotus flower is edible and make different recipes out of it.

Are all Lotus Flower Edible?

Various parts of lotus plants are edible, and people from ancient times consumed the plant as a staple food item.

Moreover, people from many Asian countries have been consuming Lotus flowers for 7000 years. 

However, all Lotus flowers aren’t edible, and consuming those non-edible varieties may lead to serious health problems.

The leaves and stems of American yellow Lotus contain a toxic compound like alkaloids causing serious stomach upset.

Lotus flower and the edible dishes out of it
You can make delicious dishes out of Lotus flowers.

Moreover, the edible variety Nelumbo nucifera var caerulea, or sacred Lotus, contains seeds loaded with nuciferine.

This toxic compound may cause nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, seizures, and death in high consumption.

Meanwhile, some subspecies of Sacred Lotus, like Nelumbo nucifera var nucifera, also contain non-toxic seeds.

Furthermore, if you find White American Lotus, it’s better not to consume any of its parts as the toxicity study is limited.

Do you know? Daffodil bulbs also contain alkaloids. But they are more potent than the ones present in Lotus parts.

Lotus Flower Edible Parts

Although some parts of the Lotus flower are not edible, many other consumable parts of the plant are a high source of protein and fiber.

A. Lotus Seeds: Seeds of some subspecies of Sacred Lotus are loaded with protein, fiber, calcium, and other beneficial nutrients. You can find Lotus seeds in the seed head at the Lotus flower’s center.

You can eat the seeds and tubers of American lotus cooked or raw. These seeds have a delicious nutty flavor.

B. Lotus Roots: The tuberous Lotus roots, with a sweet, crunchy taste, contains essential nutrients like potassium, calcium, vitamins, and many more. They are the common ingredients in several Asian dishes.

C. Lotus Stems: Although Lotus stems contain toxic compounds in American Lotus, Sacred Lotus contains eatable stems. Moreover, you can eat these stems similarly to the roots.

D. Lotus Leaves: Basically, Lotus leaves are tough, fibrous, and thick in texture, but you can use young leaves to wrap and steam the food items.

E. Lotus Petals: Petals of most of the Lotus varieties are edible and contain various antioxidants, dietary fiber, protein, vitamins, and many more. However, it’s not good to consume them heavily due to the presence of alkaloids.

How To Eat Lotus Flower With Perfect Recipes?

You can consume Lotus plants as a vegetable, tea, wraps, soups, salads, stews, tinctures, and other dishes.

Moreover, you can find these food items on the restaurant menu of Asian countries like China, Japan, and Korea.

1. Lotus Vegetable

Mostly, you can use Lotus stems, roots, tubers, and seeds as vegetables. However, it’s vital to avoid non-edible varieties.

  • Wash the roots, stems, or seeds and slice them thinly.
  • Boil the sliced parts for 5-10 minutes to soften them.
  • Heat 2 tablespoons of oil into a frying pan and stir fry the vegetable for 3-4 minutes.
  • Add spices and salt to taste and serve the vegetables hot.

2. Lotus Tea

Delicate lotus petals are the main ingredient in Lotus tea. However, it’s better to use dried petals for the perfect taste.

You can also find commercial dried petals online or in nearby tea shops. If you use fresh petals, rinse them first.

  • Boil a cup of water in a boiling pan.
  • In the boiling water, add a teaspoon of dried Lotus leaves.
  • Boil the mixture for 2 minutes.
  • Add sugar or honey to taste and turn off the heat.
  • Serve and enjoy the freshness of Lotus leaves as Tea.

3. Lotus Salad and Garnish

The edible Lotus stems, tubers, or seeds are perfect for salads. You can boil or put them raw to enjoy the crisp, nutty flavor.

  • Boil the stems or tubers for 4-5 minutes, or make the thin slices without boiling.
  • Place the slices in a bowl and add boiled chicken, greens, and dressings.
  • Chop Lotus petals and Coriander leaves to garnish the salad. 
  • Enjoy the crunchy and healthy Lotus salad.

You can also smoke the Lotus petals, as it has a calming effect that relieves you from stress. However, smoking in large amounts will encourage hallucinations and brain damage.

From Editorial Team

Do Not Confuse Lotus With Lilies!

Sometimes, Lily may confuse you with Lotus due to the same appearance, making you consume them.

As a result, you may suffer from serious stomach upset that sometimes result in death, as Lilies are extremely toxic.

You can differentiate Lilies from their petals as Lily petals are pointed, and Lotus contains more rounded petals.