Nymphaea caerulea, known primarily as blue lotus (or blue Egyptian lotus), but also blue water lily (or blue Egyptian water lily), and sacred blue lily (or sacred narcotic lily of the Nile), is a water-lily in the genus Nymphaea. Its original habitat may have been along the Nile and other parts of East Africa. It spread more widely in ancient times, including to the Indian subcontinent and Thailand.
Some evidence indicates the medicinal effects of plants including N. caerulea that contain the psychoactive alkaloid aporphine were known to both the Maya and the Ancient Egyptians. The mildly sedating effects of N. caerulea makes it a likely candidate (among several) for the lotus plant eaten by the mythical Lotophagi in Homer's Odyssey. This lotus has been used to produce perfumes since ancient times; it is also used in aromatherapy.
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