Lotus root is the under-water edible rhizome of lotus plant. Internally the root has white, crunchy flesh with mild sweet, water chestnut like flavor. It is full of fiber, vitamins and other nutrients but very low in saturated fat. The roots are often pickled with rice vinegar, sugar, chilly and garlic. In Asian diet it is popular with salad, prawns, sesame oil and coriander leaves.
Lotus Root Health benefits
- Improves immune function: It is full of anti-oxidant vitamin C and minerals like zinc, manganese, magnesium, iron and copper. Iron helps in regeneration of red blood cells. Copper, manganese and zinc are co-factors for many vital anti-oxidation enzymes in the body like cytochrome c-oxidase and superoxide dismutase. Magnesium acts on cells making them more tonic and thereby helping them to protect themselves from microbial attacks.
- Helps in Lung Detoxification .
- Aids in digestion: It is rich in dietary fibers that slow down the digestion of complex carbohydrates. This further helps in relieving constipation and irritable bowel syndrome as well assists in weight control.
- Mucus elimination: The high amounts of vitamin C present in the root helps to dissolve mucus build up within the respiratory system as a result it is useful in relieving symptoms of asthma, bronchitis, cold, cough and tuberculosis. Consuming juice made from equal quantity of carrots and lotus root does the trick.
- Good for the nervous system: Presence of pyridoxine or vitamin B6 in lotus root enhances neuro-chemical synthesis in the brain which influences mood. Adequate pyridoxine levels in the body help control nervous irritability, headache and tension.
- Beneficial for heart: The B-complex vitamins like pyridoxine, niacin, pantothenic acid, folates and thiamin safeguard against heart attack risk by controlling the levels of harmful homocycteine in blood.
- Stops internal bleeding: Traditional Chinese medicine uses juice of lotus root to prevent bleeding within the esophagus, intestine, stomach, colon and nose bleeding.
- Treats anemia in women: Since it is a very rich source of iron it can prevent and treat anemia especially in menstruating women. Lotus root soup or juice is excellent for blood building.
- Boosts energy: The root stores energy in the form of carbohydrates or starch. In Eastern Oriental medicine it is believed that that lotus roots and seeds help boost energy and vitality.
- Regulates blood pressure: The lotus root has optimal electrolyte balance. The sodium to potassium ratio is 1:4 which is good for countering negative effects of sodium and maintaining blood pressure.
- Controls body temperature: You can drink juice of lotus root and orange to bring down fever or a hot soup as a cold remedy.
- Lotus root juice when mixed with grated ginger is said to be useful in curing enteritis or intestinal inflammation.
- You can apply a plaster made from lotus root, white flour and grated ginger on the face to reduce facial inflammation and congestion in sinus cavities.
Caution: The under-water roots have chances of harboring parasites so they should be cleaned thoroughly to remove mud and cooked before eating to destroy the larvae if any.