Discoveries In Health - Research Report
Truman Berst, Master Herbalist
images copyright 2002 Truman Berst
caerulea, nouchali var. caerulea
COMMON NAMES: Blue Lotus, Egyptian Lotus, Blue Water Lily, Sacred Narcotic Lily of the Nile
Nymphaea caerulea, (Blue Lotus) is often confused with Agapanthus africanus (Blue Lily).
Though the two plants look nothing alike (aside from being blue), both Nymphaea caerulea and
Agapanthus africanus are sometimes referred to as the “blue lily”. “Blue lily” seems to be a more
accurate name for Agapanthus africanus. Nymphaea caerulea is more commonly called the “blue
lotus” or “blue water lily”. It is Nymphaea caerulea (blue lotus) which was used in ancient Egypt
as a key to good health, sex, and re-birth. An aphrodisiac for both men and women as well as a
general remedy for all illness. Enhancing sexual vigor and general good health. A tonic like
ginseng, pain reliever like arnica, circulation stimulant richer than ginkgo biloba, and sexual
stimulant richer than Viagra. Creating a feeling of well-being, euphoria and ecstasy.
Nymphaea caerulea (blue lotus) is a water plant growing on the shores of lakes and rivers.
Agapanthus africanus (blue lily) is a drought tolerant plant, which is commonly used as a
Nymphaea caerulea has light blue flowers. Other similar varieties have purple, pink, or white
· Nymphaea ampla - similar psycho activity but has white flowers
· Nymphaea lotus L. - White lotus
· Nymphaea nelumba L - Red lotus
Nymphaea caerulea flowers in the spring should be planted in sunny positions in medium or clay
Grows along lakes and rivers in wet soil. Indigenous to Tanzania, Kenya
Represented in ancient Egyptian art. The blue lotus 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 may be some reason to believe that ancient Egyptians used it to induce an ecstatic
state, stimulation, and/or hallucinations, as well as being widely used as a general remedy against
illness, and 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 taken 1 to 3 times daily. Start with low dose and find your dosage.
Examining some relationships between selected plant species in greater detail, teams have determined
that the beautiful native blue water-lily, Nymphaea caerulea, can grow successfully only in locations
free from damage by the floating plant raft; but there is a constant “see-saw” between lily
germination from seeds in the lake mud and the destruction of these new plants by wind-blown rafts.
Thus the areas of the lake where lilies last long enough to flower and set seed change every year,
depending upon water level and raft area. Teams constantly survey the lake for lilies to build a dynamic
picture of the changes.
Rumored to contain apomorphine - a dopamine agonist - as well as perhaps nuciferine. Were
unfounded when in 2000 at Dr. Vic Garner’s laboratory for forensic analysis in Manchester, England,
the Egyptian mummy Azru was the first mummy to undergo mass spectroscopy. She had no
narcotics or painkillers in her. They found phytosterols, bioflavonoids, and phosphodiesterase, the
active ingredient of viagra, all from blue lotus. No drug use has ever been found in ancient Egypt.
Azru, is an Egyptian mummy donated to the Manchester Museum in England, in 1825. Living on the
Nile, in 2700 B.C, Azru was royalty, a noblewoman of Thebes, later called Luxor, a former capital of
Egypt, a chantress at Khonsu - the moon god was the son of Amon and Mut. The main temple at
Karnak is dedicated to him. Three times a day she would bring food and wine with blue lotus tincture
or extract, fetch garments for the gods, priests and Pharaoh, and dance and sing for the royal court.
She had wealth, and her own home and servants, where she stayed until scheduled or called to the
temple. There is evidence to suggest that it was a very sexually oriented society due to their pictures,
writings, and religious beliefs. And, that blue lotus was historically, traditionally and effectively used,
to relieve pain, increase memory, increase circulation, promote sexual desire and create a feeling of
euphoria and ecstasy, without the use of narcotics.
Dr. Rosalie David, Professor, Manchester Museum, at the Manchester Infirmary conducted an
autopsy of Azru. There was a team of biologists, pathologists, radiologists, forensic scientists,
anesthesiologists, Egyptologists and others who participated in the most extensive analysis of a
mummy ever conducted.
This project, established in 1973, involves multidisciplinary team of Egyptologists and scientists
who have developed a methodology for the study of Egyptian mummified remains and added to
knowledge of disease, living conditions and religious beliefs in ancient Egypt.
The project has been the subject of six books, five exhibitions, and six films shown
internationally, and has received many awards. A key element of the project is the development of
virtually non-destructive methods of obtaining tissue samples from mummies for further study.
Techniques include radiology, histopathology, electron microscopy, serology, palaeondontology,
DNA fingerprinting and genetic studies, scientific facial reconstruction, textile studies, and plant and
The Ministry of Health in Egypt, Medical Service Corporation International of Arlington, Virginia,
U.S.A., and the Manchester Project are undertaking a joint study of the epidemiology of a parasitic
disease, Schistosomiasis (Bilharzia), in Egypt.
This project is addressing the historical context and epidemiology of a disease in a population over a
5000-year period. Through analytical comparison of data from mummified remains, and from
modern studies, this multidisciplinary research will contribute to the understanding of disease
evolution and lay the groundwork for future studies on this and other diseases.
To clarify the epidemiology of the disease in ancient Egypt, modern techniques are being developed
and used for the first time to detect the disease.
Dr. Eddie Tapp, Pathologist, found parasites in Azru. Strongyloides worms found in mud that
penetrates the feet and hands, blood vessels, heart, lungs, crawl up the wind pipe to the throat, and go
down into the intestines where they become adults, causing bleeding, anemia, and diarrhea. Azru also
had scarring of the lungs from breathing the desert sand.
Dr. Alan Fennick, Schistosomiasis Research Project, Egypt and Dr. Mahhed L. Shahabini, made
medical history having found the first antibody ever, in a mummy. In Azru, Dr. Shahabini discovered
the antibody for Schistosomiasis, a parasitic disease caused by infested waters of a tiny flat worm in
fresh water snails. It causes diarrhea, fever, rashes, bronchitis, liver and lung disorders, kidney
failure, and death. 80% of the currant population is infected and possibly all were, 2700 years ago.
Professor Judith Adams, Radiologist, University of Manchester, found degenerative arthritis. Azru's
hands and back were the worst. She had a large badly herniated disc, which must have been very
Dr. Patricia Rutherford, Biologist, University of Manchester, Confirmed Azur's diagnosis of
Schistosomiasis in her bladder tissue. The team was surprised that with all her pain, that she had only
taken one thing for it, blue lotus.
Dr. Dave Counsel, Anesthesiologist, University of Manchester, found that Azru dyed her hair red.
He tested for drugs. No drugs were detected in Azru. Dr. David Counsel and chemist Vic Garner
went to Stapleys Water Garden, and took fresh blue lotus flower samples that had a scent similar to
bananas only more fragrant. And from Kew Gardens, they took a small piece of blue lotus flower
which was taken from an ancient mummy's tomb, and upon analysis they were both identical, had no
narcotic properties, the phytosterols were nearly identical to ginkgo biloba - only richer, the samples
also contained bioflavonoids that Dr. Counsel likened to the tonic effects of ginseng, and
phosphodiesterase inhibitors, the same active compound that is found in viagra.
Dr. Elizabeth Williamson, Pharmacognosist, University of London, comparing blue lotus to
ginkgo, and that blue lotus appeared richer in flavones. Gingko is free radical scavenger and
antioxidant. Blue lotus would have been used for age related diseases and would be useful in mild-
alzheimers, migraine headaches, tinnitus, various conditions involving blood flow and circulation,
sort of "Viagra" effect. It would be an important herb for both men and women, and could be a
natural herbal form of viagra.
Dr. Joan Fletcher, Egyptologist, University of Manchester said that sex was a very important part of
Azru's culture, and that she believed that continued use of blue lotus produced sexual vigor and
general good health.
Dr. Lisa Manniche, Egyptologist University of Copenhagen. Sixty miles up the Nile form The
Temple of Karnack in The Temple of Horus, (Horus - The earliest royal god was the shape of a
falcon, with the sun and moon as his eyes. The sky-god was the ruler of the day. The many forms of
Horus are; Re-Harakhti, Harsiesis, Haroeris, Harendotes, Khenti-irti, Khentekhtay (the crocodile-
god), and Harmakhis, which is Horus on the horizons, in which the Sphinx of Giza is considered to
be his aspect.) There are many pictures depicting sex, wearing and sniffing blue lotus flowers, and
blue lotus flowers are prominently displayed throughout Egypt. In one picture the king is offering a
blue lotus flower, the king speaks about the blue lotus flower to the gods and says, "When you look at
it's brilliance your eyes become dynamic or imbued with dynamic properties, your nostrils dilate".
This put many on the wrong path to thinking it must be a drug. Dr. Manniche, believes that blue lotus
was used as a general health and sex stimulant, and scent, which was central to a sexually orientated
society. Azru had probably used, and served wine, in which a blue lotus flower was floating, and blue
lotus tincture or extract had been added, as part of everyday rituals, a sign of rebirth and enhancing
sexual vigor and general good health.
Everyone thought blue lotus must be a narcotic, and what a surprise when no narcotics were
detected, and blue lotus was found to be loaded with health giving phytosterols and
bioflavonoids and phosphodiesterase . It turned out to be one the greatest daily health tonics
Manchester Museum web site http://www.mcc.ac.uk/Museum
Secrets of The Pharaohs, Unwrapping The Mummy, PBS Home Video 2001 #B8482
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