Growing from the mud at the bottom of ponds, streams and marshes, the exquisite lotus flower rises above the water unfurling its delicate petals towards the sun.
It possesses an amazing ability to flourish in a variety of environments ranging from clear ponds to muddy marshes. With its exceptionally hardy seed pods that can remain quiescent during cold, dry seasons, it is no wonder that the lotus symbolises immortality and resurrection. Seeds of the Indian lotus can germinate some 200 years after they are shed!
In Buddhism the lotus represents purity and divine birth. Buddhist say this is how people should rise above everything which is dukkha. A flower may be very beautiful and have a wonderful scent, but it soon withers and dies. This shows that nothing in life is perfect. (Dukkha is loosely translated into English as suffering)
In fact the lotus flower has symbolised spiritual enlightenment across many religions over the years, with many deities being pictured sat on a lotus flower, rising from within it, or holding a lotus blossom.
Alabaster vessels found in Tutankhamuns tomb when it was opened in 1922 contained lotus oil that had still retained its scent after 3,000 years. Cleopatra was said to have bathed in a lotus bath every day. At the time lotus, cinnamon and marjoram were among the most commonly used top notes in perfumery.
The lotus flower contains many euphoric chemicals that can produce a powerful hypnotic effect. Many historians believe that the Egyptians used it to induce an ecstatic state and create hallucinations. It was used as a sedative and also as an aphrodisiac.
You need to plan to pay a premium for true exotic oils such as lotus. If the price seems to good to be true, then it usually will be. The true oil is very rare and only available in very small quantities. It takes around 100 flowers to make 1 gram of oil. Only 1000 to 3000 grams of the true white lotus oil has ever been exported as far as we know, and you can expect to pay over £200 for approx. 5mls.
It has a beautiful delicate fragrance and is effective in improving skin conditions, mild fungal infections, fever and cholera.
And finally, it is the most famous flower associated with good Feng Shui, used to create an environment of harmony, peace and good energy, inspiring contentment and new opportunities…..maybe we should be hosing the streets of London tonight not with water but with lotus oil!!