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Blue Lily: Everything You Need To Know

Contents:

  1. The Sacred Blue Lily
  2. Blue Lily Effects
  3. Traditional preparation
  4. Blue Lily Chemistry
  5. History of the Blue Lily

The Sacred Blue Lily

The Blue Lily (Nymphaea caerulea) is a stunningly beautiful psychoactive plant that has been used for thousands of years as a relaxant, aphrodisiac and mild psychedelic. It is often confused with the Sacred Lotus (Nelumbo nucifera), even though originate from different areas of the world. The Blue Lily is thought to originate from Egypt and other parts of Northern Africa, where it can be found growing along the river Nile. It has since spread, and can now be found growing in the wilds of the Indian sub-continent and parts of Asia, such as Thailand.

The plant is thought to have played a central part in the culture of the old Egyptians. The blue lily is depicted on many of the well known wall paintings, and has even been found in the tomb of Tutankhamun. The psychoactive effects of the plant suggest religious use, and indeed such evidence can be found. But also, the lily is often depicted along bottles of wine, which suggests that the Egyptians brewed a wine concoction with the blue lily. It‘s aphrodisiac and euphoric qualities certainly go well with alcohol.

The confusion surrounding Blue Lily stems for vendors that have gotten the names mixed up, or used lotus instead of lily as it sounds better. In fact, the plants look distinctly different, but they do share some active chemical ingredients; nuciferine. The Blue lily is a water lily that typically grows with light blue petals and a bright golden centre. It can also come in variations that have white (White Lily), purple, violet or pink petals. The petals are dagger like in shape, and an entire Blue lily flower will grow to roughly 10-15 cm in diameter. It grows broad, rounded leaves that usually sit on the surface, these leaves tend to be 25-40 cm across and have a notch at the leaf stem.

There are many reports in literature by those unfamiliar with the true nature of the plant as rising up through the water at dawn to flower, and then submerging back into the water at night. This is common misconception. As the blue lily grows and flowers for the first time, it will rise up to the surface and flower (around 9 am in the morning) and then close mid-afternoon (around 3pm). Once the lily has risen to the surface of the water, it never recedes back under.

Blue Lily Effects

The effects of the blue lily range from aphrodisiac, euphoric, sedative, and mildly entheogenic, depending on the dose and the combination with other substances. In general, the energy of the plant is ethereal, subtle and delicate. After its use, it is not uncommon to fall asleep deeply, and awake only when one is sufficiently rested; regardless of the time of the day.

The ability of Blue Lily to lower social inhibitions and slightly alter thought patterns is reported to increase feelings of empathy and compassion. It is why it was, and still is, popular as a recreational substance.

Traditional preparation

The traditional preparation methods of Blue Lily are somewhat speculative, and primarily derived from paintings and analysis of residue. It is thought that the dried buds, flowers and perhaps the seeds of the plant were made into a tea and soaked in wine. It is these parts of the plant that contain the psychoactive components.

Some believe the fresh flowers were boiled in water and then squeezed in a linen cloth to filter it out. This could either then be drunk as part of a hot tea, or put into wine. It is also possible to infuse wine directly with Blue Lilly by allowing the dried flowers to soak in it for a few days.

Whether Blue Lily is a full entheogen on its own is disputed, but so far no form of preparation nor dose has been found that would justify such a claim. Blue lily is often added in smoke blends to add a twist, but it doesn‘t seem to be able to induce a very strong psychedelic experience on its own. Considering that the Egyptians are thought to have used the Blue lily in wine only, raises the possibility that its effects are best expressed in this combination.

Blue Lily Chemistry

Blue Lily contains two main active compounds, nuciferine1 and aporphine2.

Nuciferine is an alkaloid whose actions are thought to be associated with dopamine receptor blockading. It induces sedation and also acts as an anti-spasmodic. Aporphine acts as a dopamine agonist, activating dopamine receptors in its absence and causing a feeling of happiness.

History of the Blue Lily

References to Blue Lily can be found throughout ancient Egyptian history, in which the plant seems to have occupied a central role. Culturally the blue lily was used as an enhancement to their wine, and spiritually the plant was part of their creation history:

“In the beginning were the waters of chaos ... Darkness covered the waters until ... the Primeval Water Lily rose from the abyss. Slowly the blue water lily opened its petals to reveal a young god sitting in its golden heart. A sweet perfume drifted across the waters and light streamed from the body of this Divine Child to banish universal darkness. This child was the Creator, the Sun God, the source of all life.”

It is for this reason that it held great religious and ceremonial significance, and has been found in the tombs of pharaohs, depicted in tombs and temples, and used to symbolise the union of Upper and Lower Egypt.

It was believed that the opening of the lily each morning, with its blue petals and gold centre, imitated the way the sky greeted the sun, only to close at dusk as the sun set. This caused blue lily to be tied to the rising and setting of the sun, and the Egyptian gods are associated with the sun. One such god was known as Nefertem, who was not only linked to the sun, but also beauty and healing. It was Nefertem who brought the Blue Lily flower to the sun god Ra, to help ease his ageing body.

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The significance of the Blue Lily was not only contained to religion. Evidence from mass spectroscopy conducted on the Egyptian mummy Azru has found traces of Blue Lilly within the mass of the mummy itself. Writings and pictures found suggest that this sexually oriented society used Blue Lilly as both a medicinal and party drug, to relieve pain, increase memory, increase circulation, increase sexual desire, and induce feelings of euphoria and ecstasy. It was so important to the ancient Egyptians, that it was specifically cultivated and farmed in manmade pools.

Whilst it was once a prominent feature of the Nile, Blue Lilies are now all but gone from the river, and the plant is classed as endangered. It is mainly through human cultivation that its numbers are being brought back up.

External Resources:

  1. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nuciferine
  2. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aporphine
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Blue Lily