Blue lotus tea is made from the blue lotus flower1, a type of water lily. In flower form, the blue lotus has long been used in Egyptian culture for health and spiritual purposes, and currently, it’s often used as a tea or tincture as a way to relax.1 While blue lotus tea is not as well known and researched as other sleep aids, there’s been growing interest in it.
In this article, we’re going to delve deeper into the science behind blue lotus tea. We’ll discuss the blue lotus flower’s key ingredients, the safety of drinking blue lotus tea, and its potential benefits and side effects. We’ll also offer some tips on ways you can promote sleep other than drinking blue lotus tea.
What Is Blue Lotus Tea?
Blue lotus tea originates from the blue lotus flower, which has a history of use in Egypt, and today, the tea form is often used to help people relax.1 Because blue lotus tea reportedly helps with relaxation, it’s sought after as a means of reducing anxiety and aiding sleep2.
Within the flower are the ingredients nuciferine and apomorphine.2
- Nuciferine – Nuciferine3 is an alkaloid found in certain plants and has anti-hyperlipidemic, anti-obesity, anti-fatty liver, antidiabetic, anti-hyperuricemic, antitumor, anti-inflammatory, antiviral, and antioxidant properties. All of this means that nuciferine can be used as an important ingredient in various types of medication. Additionally, nuciferine has certain properties4 that resemble an antipsychotic drug5, which is a type of drug typically used to treat disorders such as bipolar disorder and schizophrenia.
- Apomorphine – Apomorphine is a dopamine receptor agonist drug that’s been reported to help with multiple ailments, including insomnia, depression, schizophrenia, erectile dysfunction, and alcohol addiction.2 Additionally, it’s been used to help increase mobility6 for people with Parkinson’s disease. When you consume apomorphine, it boosts the amount of dopamine7 in your brain. Typically, this medication must be prescribed, but as mentioned, it is also an ingredient in blue lotus tea.7
Is it Safe to Drink Blue Lotus Tea?
Blue lotus has not been approved or regulated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA)9 as a substance for human consumption. However, blue lotus is not a controlled substance in most states, so people can legally purchase it.9 So, although you are legally allowed to drink blue lotus flower tea, you should still consult a medical professional before drinking any.
Does Blue Lotus Tea Help You Sleep?
People may be looking to blue lotus tea for sleep, but does it actually work? On one hand, blue lotus tea is thought to help people relax, which could, in turn, allow people to sleep easier.1 Another point is that one of the ingredients in the blue lotus flower, apomorphine, is reportedly able to help with insomnia.2
That said, experts with the Uniformed Services University emphasize that “No reliable scientific evidence supports the safety or effectiveness of this plant in any form for any specific purpose in humans.”9
Blue Lotus Tea Benefits
- May help with insomnia – As mentioned, the blue lotus contains apomorphine, which has been used to help with insomnia.2 However, experts say add that there’s no scientific evidence that the blue lotus is effective at this.9
- May relieve anxiety – There are anecdotal claims that blue lotus tea can help relieve anxiety.2 However, there’s no scientific evidence backing this up.9
- May help with Parkinson’s disease – The blue lotus ingredient apomorphine has been used to help those with Parkinson’s disease, but there’s no data that blue lotus tea specifically helps with this.6
- May promote weight loss – Nuciferine, an ingredient in the blue lotus flower, has anti-obesity properties.3 Additionally, studies have revealed that nuciferine can be an effective treatment against weight gain and obesity10. However, we want to emphasize that the research focuses on the nuciferine ingredient, rather than blue lotus tea specifically, so there’s no evidence specifically linking blue lotus tea to weight loss.
Blue Lotus Tea Side Effects
Apomorphine and nuciferine both have psychoactive properties11 that may lead to enhanced mood and a somewhat euphoric state.
In the 2023 study, researchers analyzed five case studies of men who either inhaled or ingested substances containing the blue lotus flower. Three out of the five vaped a product containing the blue lotus flower, and the other two consumed beverages containing the flower, though neither was blue lotus tea. According to the researchers, their symptoms ranged from “altered mental status to anxiety and chest pain.”11
Other Ways to Improve Your Sleep
While teas and supplements are an option, there are also some general habits that could help you sleep better.
- Create a calm bedroom environment – A cool, dark, and quiet bedroom is the ideal sleep environment. If your bedroom isn’t already like this, you can use items like blackout curtains, earplugs, and white noise machines for a more sleep-friendly space.
- Form a consistent nighttime routine – If you do the same activities before you go to sleep each night, your body can begin to associate those activities with bedtime, which will hopefully help you sleep better. You may want to wind down before bed by reading, doing yoga or meditation, taking a warm bath, or listening to calming music.
- Avoid electronic devices before bedtime – We also suggest that you avoid blue light screens at least 30 minutes to an hour before you go to sleep This includes looking at devices like your smartphone or laptop. Blue light12 tricks the body’s circadian rhythm into thinking it’s daytime, which can make it harder for you to feel tired.
- Avoid caffeine before bedtime – Did you know that drinking caffeine even up to six hours14 before you go to bed could disrupt your sleep? Therefore, try to limit your coffee to just the morning and avoid having it too late in the afternoon.
Learn more: 11 Tips to Improve Sleep Quality
Frequently Asked Questions
Is blue lotus good for sleep?
Unfortunately, there is no scientific evidence yet that blue lotus tea is good for sleep.9 That said, the blue lotus flower contains an ingredient known as apomorphine, which has been used to treat insomnia.2
So, while it’s possible that this tea may help some people sleep, there’s no research yet that confirms this.
What does blue lotus do to your body?
Blue lotus flowers include both nuciferine and apomorphine, and these two ingredients have been used to help with conditions such as insomnia, weight gain, and Parkinson’s disease.2, 6, 10
That said, these ingredients also contain psychoactive properties, with researchers finding that users who inhaled or ingested this flower experienced symptoms including an altered mental status, anxiety, and chest pain.11However, they did not say that anyone had consumed blue lotus tea specifically.11
Is blue lotus tea calming?
While there are anecdotal claims that blue lotus tea is calming, no scientific research confirms this.1, 2, 9 That said, the act of drinking tea can still be calming for many people, no matter if the ingredients actually promote this.
Emma is an Editorial Intern for Sleep Advisor. She collaborates with the editor and staff writers to come up with article ideas, create article outlines, and write for the website.
- Dosoky, Noura S., et al. “Chemical Composition, Market Survey, and Safety Assessment of Blue Lotus ( Nymphaea caerulea Savigny) Extracts”. Molecules. 2023.
- Poklis, Justin L., et al. “The Blue Lotus Flower (Nymphea caerulea) Resin Used in a New Type of Electronic Cigarette, the Re-Buildable Dripping Atomizer”. HHS Public Access. 2017.
- Huang, Xiaobo., et al. “Chemistry and biology of nuciferine”. Industrial Crops and Products. 2022.
- Farrell, Martilias S., et al. “In Vitro and In Vivo Characterization of the Alkaloid Nuciferine”. PLoS One. 2016.
- Chokhawala, Krutika., Stevens, Lee. “Antipsychotic Medications. StatPearls. Last modified February 26, 2023.
- “Apomorphine”. PubChem. Webpage accessed January 11, 2024.
- “Apomorphine Injection”. Cleveland Clinic. Webpage accessed January 11, 2024.
- Cochen de Cock MD PhD, Valérie., et al. “Night‐Time Apomorphine Infusion: Who Are the Best Candidates?”. Movement Disorders Clinical Practice. 2023.
- “Blue Lotus: Prohibited For Use”. Uniformed Services University. 2023.
- Shi, Zhen., et al. “Nuciferine improves high-fat diet-induced obesity via reducing intestinal permeability by increasing autophagy and remodeling the gut microbiota”. Food & Function. 2021.
- Schimpf, Mackenzie., et al. “Toxicity From Blue Lotus (Nymphaea caerulea) After Ingestion or Inhalation: A Case Series”. Military Medicine. 2021.
- Wahl, Siegfried., et al. “The inner clock—Blue light sets the human rhythm”. Journal of Biophotonics. 2019.
- Drake PhD, Christopher. “Caffeine Effects on Sleep Taken 0, 3, or 6 Hours before Going to Bed”. Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine. 2013.