Besides its use as a food, all parts of the lotus plant - seeds, leaves, and flowers as well as the root - have long been respected in the East for their medicinal properties. In Oriental medicine lotus seeds are eaten to increase energy and vitality and to aid digestion. Containing twenty percent protein, the seeds are also nourishing. Though the entire rhizome can be used medicinally, the portion where the links join has the greatest effect. The physical resemblance of lotus root to the lungs is a clue to its healing properties. Lotus root has traditionally been used to treat various respiratory problems. Small doses of the juice extracted from raw, finely grated lotus root is prescribed for lung-related ailments, such as tuberculosis, asthma, and coughing, for heart disease, and to increase energy and neutralize toxins.
Lotus root is said to melt mucus accumulation in the body, especially in the respiratory system. Lotus Root Tea is also said to be effective, particularly to relieve coughing. A macrobiotic remedy combining lotus root and kuzu is often used to treat colds accompanied by fever and/or troubled stomach and intestines.
Combined with the juice of grated ginger, lotus root juice is said to be good for enteritis (inflammation of the intestine). A plaster compress made from lotus root, white flour, and grated ginger is considered an effective folk remedy for dispersing and moving stagnated mucus. When applied to the face, lotus root plaster can relieve sinus congestion and inflammation.