Get A Lotus This!
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"You must be a lotus, unfolding its petals when the sun rises in the sky, unaffected by the slush where it is born or even the water which sustains it!"
~ Sathya Sai Baba
This week, The Weekly Beet reports on a seriously spiritual flower that just so happens to contain some pretty incredible health benefits. Mary Kent gets up close to a lotus, revealing why this sacred flower has such immaculate powers.
It's a car, a meditation position, a rock band, a spiritual symbol, a national flower, a food, an ancient teaching, and even a piece of computer software. Commonly known as the Sacred Lotus, but also referred to as the Indian Lotus, the Bean of India, or the Sacred Water-Lily, this divine flower has clearly received a plethora of spiritual and universal attention. But what is it exactly that makes this water-lily-esque plant such a holy symbol? Used in many Eastern religions such as Hinduism and Buddhism to represent the spiritual awakening within the human mind, it is the life and sleep cycle of the lotus flower that holds the symbolic key. Growing up at the bottom among the mud and murk of swampy ponds provides the perfect environment for this blossoming beauty. As the lotus grows, it moves towards the light, leaving behind its muddy roots, and spreading its beautiful petals to show off its peculiar, flat, seeded center. Each night, the lotus closes off to the world and heads underneath the water, only to emerge the following day at the first sight of light to repeat its daily routine of opening and closing. The mud and murk symbolize the mental impurities that are rooted deep within the mind, and it is the blossoming petals which rise above such darkness that represent the mind's transformation of blooming into a state of purity and enlightenment. The lotus in full bloom reveals that the human mind, no matter what state it is rooted, contains within itself the full capacity to achieve a state of clarity, peace, and serenity. This is why the spiritual beings such as the Buddha, Lakshmi, and other deities are often seen perched upon a blooming lotus. They are there to symbolize that which can be achieved within.
Not only is the lotus revered as a holy symbol, it is also used in many countries as food and medicine to heal the body. What's so incredible is that the seed, the leaf, and the steam of the lotus plant are all edible. The root, which is most popular in many Chinese recipes, resembles sausage links and tastes very similar to the water chestnut. Inside of the lotus root, the porous texture makes it a perfect food to heal the lungs, as the two really do resemble each other.
Here's what's so miraculous about the Lotus:
- The seeds of the lotus are eaten in the Orient to increase energy and aid digestion.
- For a vegetable, the lotus contains 20% protein.
- The root of the lotus heals tuberculosis, asthma, and the common cough.
- Eating lotus root rids the body of mucus accumulation.
- Eating lotus root soup can help treat colds.
- The root is high in Vitamin C, fiber, and low in sugar.
- Lotus root heals digestive inflammation.
Found in any Oriental market, the lotus root can be sliced, boiled, and thrown into any soup or salad and even made into chips. Click here to learn how to make Lotus Root Soup.
Load up on lotus! Your spirit and your health will thank you. Don't miss a Beet. Stay tuned for next week.
PS. MK is wearing top by Gap. She is in a pond covered in lotus flowers in the mountains of South Carolina.
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