What is Blue Lotus?
Blue Lotus (Nymphea nouchali) is an aquatic plant naturally found in parts of eastern Africa and the Middle East. It has been used as a sleep aid and anxiolytic. With larger doses a variety of effects were described in this case series of military enlistees. These included sedation, depressed LOC, delusions, hypomania, agitation and chest pain. The route of exposure was by vape device in 4 and infused wine in the fifth. The implicated alkaloids are apomorphine and nuciferine. Both have effects at serotonergic and dopaminergic receptors.
Schimpf M, Ulmer T, Hiller H, Barbuto AF. Toxicity From Blue Lotus (Nymphaea caerulea) After Ingestion or Inhalation: A Case Series. Mil Med. 2021 Aug 4:usab328. doi: 10.1093/milmed/usab328. Online ahead of print.
Submitted by: Michael Hodgman, MD