Description: Lotus seed is also known as lotus nut or Lian Zi. As the name implies, it refers to the mature seeds of Nelumbo nucifera Gaertn., which is a plant in the family nymphaeaceae. Its scientific name is Semen Nelumbinis. In China place of origin include Hunan, Fujian, Jiangsu, and Zhejiang. Habitats are ponds and lakes. The lotus seed pods are harvested in autumn when the fruits are ripe. And then take the seeds out, remove the peel, dry, and use raw.
Lotus nut is slightly elliptical or spherical, 1.2 to 1.8cm long, and 0.8 to 1.4cm wide. Surface is from yellowish brown to reddish brown, with fine vertical stripes and wide veins. The center of one end looks like papillae, dark brown, with a few gaps and slight subsidence around. It is hard and with thin peel that is hard to remove.
It has a variety of longevity-related medicinal properties, such as tranquilizing mind, nourishing the heart, improving brain health, increasing mentality, and eliminating fatigue.
Lotus seed benefits
First of all, let's take a close look at its nutrition facts. It contains large amounts of starch and raffinose, 16.6% protein, 2.0% fat, 62% carbohydrate, 0.089% calcium, 0.285% phosphorus, and 0.0064% Fe. In addition, it also contains β-Sitosterol, β-Sitosterol fatty ester, vitamin C, glucose, chlorophyll, palmitic acid and glutathione.
It is rich in calcium, phosphorus and potassium, which are the main components that form bones and teeth. Besides, they promote blood clotting, activate some certain enzymes, maintain nerve conduction, calm nerves, and maintain muscle flexibility and heartbeat rhythm, and so on. As a major component of nuclear protein, phosphorus can helps the body metabolize the protein, fat, and carbohydrate, maintain the acid-base balance, and play an important role on the formation of the sperm.
Lotus seeds have sedative effect, which can be of great help for the middle-aged and elderly, especially mental workers, since it can improve brain function, enhance memory, improve work efficiency, and prevent the occurrence of senile dementia. Lotus plumule tastes really bitter but has a significant cardiac effect, which can expand peripheral vessel and thus lower blood pressure. In addition, it is good at clearing heart-fire, treating mouth sores, and helping sleep.
Modern pharmacological actions of lotus seeds:
1. The oxoushinsunine has inhibitory effect on NPC;
2. The non-crystalline alkaloid N-9 can lower blood pressure; 3. The alkaloids are with significant cardiac effects;
4. The liensinine has strong anti-calcium and antiarrhythmic effects;
5. The raffinose is a tonic for both young and old, especially for bedridden patients, postpartum woman, or the frail elderly;
6. The liensinine can control sexual desire. That’s to say, it can arrest seminal emission, which is beneficial to those young people with too much dreaming and frequent involuntary emission of semen at night;
7. The lotus seed with plumule can clear heart fire and get rid of freckles.
How to use:
Dried lotus seeds can be soaked in water overweight prior to use.They can be added directly to soups, salads or used in other dishes.
Red Bean and Lotus Seed Soup
* 14-ounce package red beans (also known as adzuki beans)
* 1.5 ounces lotus seeds
* 1 piece dried tangerine skin, soaked in hot water 10 minutes until soft
* 3/4 cup brown sugar
In a large pot, combine 7 cups cold water, red beans, lotus seeds and tangerine skin. Bring to a boil over high heat, reduce heat and simmer, covered, with pot lid slightly ajar, for 1 and 1/4 hours to 1 and 1/2 hours or until beans become tender. When beans are tender and open, and lotus seeds soften, add sugar; stir. Turn off the heat, pour into a heated tureen and serve. Makes 6 servings. Because the soup is sweet, it is also served as a desert.
Cream Lotus Seed Soup
* 8 ounces lotus seeds
* 8 ounce can of crushed pineapple
* 4 tablespoons cornstarch
* 1/2 teaspoon salt
* 2/3 cup of sugar
* 8 maraschino cherries
Soak the lotus seeds in water overnight; combine drained lotus seeds and 3 cups water and bring to boil over medium heat for 15 minutes; remove from heat and drain. Smash the cooked lotus seeds in a blender and pour the resulting paste into a big bowl. Dissolve the cornstarch in four tablespoons of water, pour into a small cup and set aside. Bring 6 cups of water to a boil over medium heat in a non-stick pot, then add the sugar, salt, pineapple, and lotus paste. Return to a boil and mix in the cornstarch liquid. Stir constantly until smooth and thickened. Reduce the heat and simmer for one minute. Remove from heat, pour into a large bowl, place pieces of the cherries on the top and serve hot. Makes 6 servings.