Nymphaea caerulea (Sacred Blue Lily of the Nile) was worshiped as a visionary plant by the ancient Egyptians, and was a symbol for the origins of life. Nymphaea caerulea (Blue Lily) is also highly respected by Indians, and is a common sacred Buddhist symbol. When Nymphaea caerulea is smoked or consumed after being soaked in water or wine, it acts as an intoxicant. The flowers are suspected to contain aporphine and nuciferine, natural opiate alkaloids.
Blue Lily extracts best into alcohol. Wine is traditional. However, any other alcohol will work, and certainly an ethanolic sublingual or ingestible tincture may be made from larger amounts.
Regarding heat: heat damages free-base alkaloids! This is why sticklers insist on NEVER pouring boiling water on tea leaves. In fact, no tea/brew should ever be exposed to boiling temperatures unless you have converted the naturally occurring free bases into an acid salt.
Question: Why can I use boiling water on coffee?
This is because coffee has the protection of the bean shell around it, even when ground, and can take higher heat. On the other hand, delicate leaves and flowers have no protection from high temperatures.
Here’s the deal: Alkaloids are natural free bases in the plant. Free bases have very low boiling points and are destroyed easily by temperatures above 140 F (approximately; the exact temperature different for each alkaloid type). Pouring boiling water on leaves and flowers and soaking them, or, worse yet, continuing to boil them will destroy all active alkaloids.
SOOOOO: What to do? Simple! Change the boiling point of the alkaloids to something unreasonably high, like broiling temperature (400-500 F) instead of boiling temperature (140-200 F)! This is accomplished by soaking your flowers or leaves in an cold or room-temperature acid solution for anywhere from 1 hour to 24 hours (overnight is strongly recommended). The acid of choice is lemon/lime juice if you are making a brew that you will drink with honey or sugar. Use enough to lower the PH to 4 at highest. Acids convert the “base” alkaloids into the practically indestructible acid alkaloid form.
Once you’ve converted to the acid form of the alkaloids, go ahead and boil your hearts out. Actually, don’t boil. Be gentle. These are plant spirits after all. Simmer them for anywhere from 1 to 4 hours, and then strain and filter several times with a coffee filter. The clearer the better – this creates less chance of experiencing nausea from other toxins in the plant.
There you have it. You will have a tea with the lemon already built in! Add honey to taste, and you’ve got relaxation just around the corner.
NOTE: the alcoholic extract in wine produces a freebase, but since alcoholic extract don’t need to be heated, there is no danger of harming the alkaloids, see?
Purchase Sacred Blue Lily of the Nile products to work with this marvelous plant in your own home.
Hi there, thanks for the fantastic writeup on Lily preparation!
One thing I want to clarify is, can I truly “boil my heart out”, or will a strong boil still destroy the alkalines if left on for a few hours? Or does the acid conversion protect the plant completely?
Also, in regards to Kratom – the alkalines in there, are they as affected by boiling as lotus alkalines? If so, does an acid bath help as it does lotus?
Lastly, since kratom is so hard to fully extract its alkalines in via decoction, are there any ways (aside from adding lemon juice) to help this process out, without having to re-boil 2-3 times?
Thanks for the tip on using lemon juice to preserve the alkaloids. it was really helpful.. this might explain why so many report not feeling effects when making the tea.