Saturday, April 18, 2009

Lotus and its secrets

Lotus is a perennial water plant, grown as ornamental and for its edible rhizomes (roots) and seeds. The rhizomes are rich in starch and when baked (after steeped in water to remove any bitterness) it becomes sweet and mealy, somewhat like a sweet potato. These starchy rhizomes are eaten boiled, roasted and fried as chips.

The fruit(torus) of the plant is an enlarged receptacle containing 8 to 15 embedded seeds. The young fresh green seeds can be eaten raw after the removal of the bitter embryo, and the hard ripe acorn-like black seeds can be eaten raw like nuts, boiled or roasted like chestnuts. They can be dried and ground into flour, which is used for making bread. In China the roasted seeds are sold like peanuts.

These seeds contains 19 percent protein content and an edible oil also can be extracted from it.

The lotus flowers are used for the production of perfume.

In India, honey made by bees visiting Lotus flowers is considered a tonic known as 'Padmammadjhu' and it is used to treat eye disorders. The rhizome extract showed anti-diabetic and anti-obesity attributes.
[image: edible seeds embedded in torus]

[image: the edible roots(rhizomes) of the plant]