Post-modern Lotophagi: Flower Essences as Food Supplements

By Tamima Mourad.

Published by Food Studies: An Interdisciplinary Journal

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This paper offers a discussion on the significance of the historical and mythical episodes mentioned by both Herodotus and Homer concerning the Lotus Eaters, who lived in an island off the coast of northern Africa. Lotophagi was not well-regarded because the flower made the local population happy, aloof, and often sleepy. As the Greek crew tasted it, they themselves became insubordinate. Such myths answer several questions concerning the restricted use of flowers in our diet due to narcotic, allergenic, and poisonous active ingredients. On the other hand, myths, popular names, and folk stories instruct us of their possible use for their healing properties. The lotus flower in post-modernity is used in flower essence therapy as a remedy, with a similar role as that illustrated by Herodotus and Homer. The cautious measures taken today have to do with the development of preparation and dosage. The reoccurrence of the healing purpose of a flower in mythology and folk tales and the popular names given to them constitute a phenomenon that has the empirical experience of generations grounding it. Such principle also lies at the core of defining the function of flower essence in promoting our health.

Keywords: Flower Essence Therapy, Lotus Flower, Lotophagi

Food Studies: An Interdisciplinary Journal, Volume 2, Issue 4, pp.61-70. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 365.560KB).

Dr. Tamima Mourad

Member of the Complementary and Alternative Practices Research Group - EEUSP, Escola de Enfermagem, University of São Paulo, São Paulo, Brazil

After obtaining a BA, a MA, and a PhD in humanities, I took up a graduate degree in communitary therapy. Just as my research interests in other disciplines always fell upon theoretical and methodological analysis and critique, it was not any different with flower therapy. For the last two years, I have undertaken research on the scientific production of flower therapy in order to understand aspects to be improved to facilitate its recognition by the National Council of Health. I am currently a member of the Complementary and Alternative Practices Research Group at the Escola de Enfermagem, University of São Paulo, where I am also a member of the board of examiners of theses produced by graduate students undertaking the course in flower therapy.