A friend from far away visited me and brought me a bag of “flower tea” that she had collected herself. We made ourselves a cup of tea. It was foggy outside. Through the hazy mist, I started to enjoy the aroma and taste and” a garden in my teacup.”Do you know what it is?” My friend pointed at the pearl-sized furry white flower bud in the sea and asked me. I shook my head.
“It is the snow lotus” ! she told me.
“Snow Lotus?” I was surprised, “Isn’t it a flower that grows on snowy mountains?”
This herb is extremely precious — it is for certain one of the rarest herbs on earth. It comes from one of the most remote environments in the world — above the snowlines of the Tibetan Himalayas and of Heaven Mountain in Central Asia.
The snow lotus grows Xinjiang Province, China, too, it is called “Ka Er Lai Li,” which means the lotus flower in the snow.
It grows between sheer precipices three to four kilometers above the sea level. The snow lotus blossoms in July and August every year. The flower has several white or light green petals around a purple or white hemispheroid stamen. It’s a big lotus, standing gracefully in the wind and snow, sending out a unique fragrance.
According to legends, fairies had scattered down snow lotuses when the Heavenly Queen of the Jade Lake came to Tian Chi (Heavenly Lake) in Xinjiang Province to take a bath.
The snowy peak that is more than 5,000 meters high on the opposite side of the lake is said to be a beautiful mirror from the goddess.
The Snow Lotus has been highly prized for many centuries by the beautiful ladies of various imperial courts as a profound “beauty tonic.”
People think that drinking the dew from the flower bud can eliminate sickness and prolong life.
The book The New Edition of Chinese Medicine (新修本草) from the Tang Dynasty recorded one hundred and fourteen kinds of precious medicines from the west of China. One of them is snow lotus.
The lotus has the power of alleviating fever, detoxifying, dispelling rheumatism, lessening swelling, stopping the pain, enriching the blood, and warming the womb.
In Indian folk medicine, it is used to treat many chronic illnesses such as gastric ulcer, hemorrhoids, bronchitis, heart disease, nosebleed, and snake bite, among others.
In addition, the snow lotus flower also has a glorious history. In Tibetan medicine. Its use is recorded in the Tibetan medical reference books, Month Wang Yaozhen (月王藥珍) and Four-Volume Medical Code (四部醫典).
When the mountain herdsmen see snow lotus flowers, they think that the flower is a favorable sign. Unfortunately, in Xinjiang thieves have been stealing snow lotus flowers like crazy and that this rare and beautiful flower is facing extinction.