I once read that Indians popped the seeds of lotus and ate it like popcorn. At the time I assumed it meant American Indians. My current research has not confirmed that. But the people of India and other Asians do pop the seeds of the Afro-Asian sacred lotus. The result, called makhane, is a popular snack. For more on this http://thatsthesecretformula.blogspot.com/2013/08/salted-makhane-snack-popped-lotus-seeds.html American Indians did eat the tuberous root. Lotus may have been introduced to the northern part of its range by Indians. Lotus is protected where it grows along Lake Erie in Michigan. It has become a bone of contention with boaters, for whom it is a legitimate hindrance. For this reason, Connecticut considers it a noxious weed, and has banned its sale and import.