Introducing The White Lotus – Nymphaea ampla.
This particular species is native to Mexico and Guatemala with significant use described in the myths and lore of the Ancient Mayan Civilization.
One story is known as the legend of Chechén & Chakáh. Two great brother warriors – Tizic and Kinic had fallen in love with the same woman, Nicté-Ha (meaning flower of the water). The brothers had opposite personalities and Tizic challenged Kinic to dual to the death over her. The gods were very upset over this battle. The brothers both ended up dying in each others arms at the end. Once the brothers reached the other world, they begged the gods for forgiveness and asked to see their beloved Nicté-Ha again. The gods sent the brothers back as the Chechen tree and the Chakah tree. These two trees can be found everywhere in the Yucatan right next to each other (sometimes one growing inside the other). One is poisonous and causes severe rashes and the other has sap that cures the rashes of the other.
Once Nicté-Ha heard of their deaths she died of sadness. Upon reaching the other world, the gods were kind to her and granted her to be reborn as a white flower near the water, now known as the White Lotus.
Another story tells of a prince who fell in love with a woman out of his rank. Nicté-Ha was the guardian of the sacred cenote. The prince would sing to her by the water. He was not allowed to marry her so he tried to marry Nicté-Ha in secret. The high priest found out about their love and murdered her with a bow and arrow. The arrow pierced her heart as she fell into the cenote. The prince was overcome with pain and sadness and begged the gods to take him with her. The gods heard his cries and granted Nicté-Ha to be reborn as the white lotus and granted the prince to be reborn as a red cardinal. Since then, he returns to the ponds every morning in the form of a cardinal bird to sing to his beloved Nicté-Ha in the form of the White Lotus.
The white lotus was commonly used in preparation of a sacred Mayan drink called Balche used to celebrate divine inebriation. This was a fermented drink made from the honey of the Melipona Bee, a now endangered stingless bee only found in the Yucatan. There are significant Mayan references to this flower in Ritual and Medicinal Use.
Recommended as a drink additive.