“The grass is always greener on the other side of the fence.” goes a popular proverb. How true! Health conscious people, who are busy counting calories and spending a fortune on expensive and nutritious foodstuffs, hardly spare a thought to the humble drumstick (sahjan) tree which is a common sight in the gardens of so many Indian homes. They don’t mind consulting dieticians who charge exorbitant amounts for chalking out a suitable diet chart but are hesitant to make use of any home-grown, nutritious or cheaply available vegetable. Why the special emphasis on 'drumstick' ? Simply, because it is loaded with all the vital health ingredients. Read on to find out more…
Drumstick or Moringa Oleifera is named so for its long bean-like fruit. Just about the whole plant is edible. The roots, flowers, leaves, pods are used in curries, salads and soups. The leaves are the most nutritious of all, and hence worth including in one’s diet. However, for maximum benefit, it should be consumed raw or in raw form. Don’t be put off by that characteristic aroma of the leaves. Just take a look at their nutritional value and then decide for yourself.
Nutritional value of drumstick leaves
* Four times more vitamin A than carrots to protect against eye disease, skin disease, and heart disease.* Three times more potassium than bananas essential for the functioning of the brain and nerves.
*The bark contains a gum that is used as a seasoning and a treatment for some stomach ailments.
*The seed is often used to purify dirty or cloudy drinking water. It is pounded into small fragments, wrapped in some sort or cloth, and then placed into water jars or containers.
*This pounded seed acts as flocculent, taking impurities out of water solution.
* The decoction of the seeds is found to be useful in dysmenorrhea or scanty menstruation. Papaya and aloe vera are also useful in such cases.
* A hot infusion of the leaves provides relief in skin diseases.
* The same infusion as mentioned above can be used in fevers to reduce temperature.
* Externally, the paste of the roots can be used in swellings and abscesses.
* Applying the oil obtained from the seeds reduces arthritic and rheumatic pain and swellings.
* Pound drumstick pods and/or leaves to form a paste and then mix it with lemon juice and get rid of pimples and the scars left by them.Pic credits:fotosearch.com
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