Drumstick: The Miracle Tree
Drumstick is a vegetable which enhances the flavour of various dishes. It is known as Sahjan ke phali in Hindi. It is very common to see this tree in the backyards of houses in South India. You will be surprised to know that this drumstick which is very commonly used in sambar and rasam has innumerable health benefits. Not only the drumstick but the whole tree is beneficial to some or other organ of our body. It has all the vital minerals, vitamins and proteins.
Its leaves possess potassium thrice as much as in bananas, Vitamin C seven times as much as in oranges, calcium four times as much as in milk, protein twice as much as in milk and four times more Vitamin A than what is found in carrots. This fruit also contains magnesium and iron in abundance.
Drumstick leaves are advised to be given to children at every stage of their growth. They are like tonic. They contain iron in abundance. Especially girls are advised to take the leaves in any form to overcome malnutrition, anemia and to build up immunity.
Here are some other benefits of drumstick
■ Protects eyes: Many children are prone to Vitamin A deficiency. Vitamin A acts as a shield against eye diseases.
Consumption of drumstick and leaves gives nourishment to eyes and protects them from many illnesses.
■ Good remedy for bladder infection: A teaspoon of fresh juice of drumstick flowers mixed with ½ glass of coconut water should be taken twice a day. On regular consumption one can get rid of bladder infection.
■ Pimples and blackheads: Extract the juice of drumstick leaves, mix it with lemon juice and apply on pimples and blackheads. It not only cures them but also improves the complexion of the skin.
■ Enlargement of spleen: Boil 20g of drumstick tree bark in ½ liter water, till the water is reduced to ¼ liter, now filter the kashayam and add 1gm chitramulam powder (Rose-coloured red wort), 2gm Pippal powder and 3gm saindhalavan (rock salt) to it. Drinking this kashayam helps resolve the problem of enlargement of spleen.
■ Improves digestion: Regular consumption of these leads to improvement in kidney function and also helps intestines improve the quality of gastric juice which further helps in the digestion.
■ Improves the immune system: Drumstick helps maintain immunity. Due to its anti-inflammatory and anti-biotic properties drumstick keeps viral infections at bay.
■ Beneficial in head injury: Drumstick leaves are beneficial in head injury. Doctors advice patients to consume drumstick leaves for quick recovery after brain surgery.
■ Fibroid: Regular consumption of drumsticks and leaves help reduce the size of the fibroid and reduce pain below the abdomen.
■ Ulcers in intestines: Ulcers or tumors in intestines are reduced with the help of drumstick extracts.
■ Asthma and lung problems: Boil drumsticks in a kettle and inhale the steam to get over asthma and lung infection.
■ Cough and chest congestion: Drumstick soup helps reduce the chest congestion, cough and sore throat.
■ Protects from cancer: Regular consumption of drumsticks and leaves reduces the chances of developing cancer. It has been proven that women who were victims of breast cancer heal fast from the sickness if they consume drumsticks regularly.
■ Cardiac diseases: Consumption of drumsticks and its leaves helps cure heart ailments.
■ The bark of the tree contains gum which is used for stomach ailments.
■ Drumstick extracts are widely used in bread, pasta, herbal tea etc.
The seeds are used for preparing medicines for different ailments. The oil obtained from the seeds is very effective in skin infections and cramps. It is beneficial in hysteria, scurvy and prostrate. It lowers cholesterol and reduces the risk of cancer. The main use of the seeds is to purify water. These seeds are crushed, tied in a cloth and placed in water. It is proved by research that together with bacteria and dirt these seeds sink to the bottom of the container. This method is very cost effective and is in practice in many countries.
By Nibhanapudi Suguna