Blue lotus (Nymphaea caerulea), also known as blue Egyptian lotus or blue water lily, is an aquatic plant that mostly grows in Egypt and certain parts of Asia. It contains two alkaloids (apomorphine and nuciferine) that stimulate dopamine receptors (which affect movements, rewards, and emotions in the brain). Some historians have described the use of the blue lotus flower by ancient Egyptians during rituals to achieve a sense of euphoria due to its ability to produce feelings of happiness and calmness. Anecdotal evidence suggests blue lotus has a psychoactive effect similar to a “high” from cannabis.
Blue lotus is on the DoD Prohibited Dietary Supplement Ingredients list.
Blue lotus is currently not approved for human consumption in the United States, nor is it regulated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). However, it is not currently listed as a controlled substance, according to the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA), so it can be sold legally in most states.
In states where it is legal, it can be purchased in the form of dried plant material, as a tea or beverage, in extracts for use in electronic cigarettes or vaping devices, and in dietary supplement products. It is marketed for a variety of health benefits, such as improved sleep, anxiety relief, improved sexual performance, and antioxidant activity. However, no reliable scientific evidence supports the safety or effectiveness of this plant in any form for any specific purpose in humans.
Can blue lotus negatively affect your health and performance?
Blue lotus has been reported to cause hallucinations and euphoria when used as a liquid in vaping devices or when the dried flower is infused in alcohol. Several active-duty Service Members have reported to an emergency room with symptoms of paranoia, anxiety, slurred speech, decreased responsiveness, “bizarre behavior,” chest pain, rapid heartbeat, and even seizure after using blue lotus.
Can Service Members and other DoD personnel use blue lotus?
Blue lotus is on the DoD Prohibited Dietary Supplement Ingredients list, which means it is prohibited for use by Service Members and other DoD personnel. In addition, blue lotus plant material has been reported to be commonly laced with synthetic cannabinoids, which are controlled substances and would show up on a drug test.
Blue lotus is promoted for a variety of health benefits and is readily available in many forms. However, it is currently not approved for human use and could cause serious side effects. In addition, no reliable scientific evidence supports any of the marketed benefits. Blue lotus is prohibited for use by Service Members and other DoD personnel.
Posted 24 January 2023