Bathukamma Flower Plants – Gems and Jewels in Telangana Haritha Haram
The Bathukamma festival is one of the most unique festivals of Telangana and one celebrated mainly by the women of this region. Celebrated during Navarathri, it honours the `life-giver’ Bathukamma, with women seeking her blessings for prosperity and a good year. Colours, flowers and water are all intrinsic to the festival; and the goddess herself is not one rooted in a shrine but made of flowers that signify both life and eternity in their colours as well as impermanence. For, the goddess is `created’ each year, and immersed duly on the 10th day of the festival in local water bodies.
Native flowers support native insects in pollination of native crops and better yields thereof. Also the native flowering plants have their own medicinal value and curative role in local ailments. They are a great source of home remedies.
Silver Cock’s comb – Celosia agrentea. The flower and seed is astringent, haemostatic, ophthalmicide and poultice. It is used in the treatment of bloody stool, haemorrahoid bleeding, uterine bleeding, leucorrhoea and diarrhea.
It is a parasiticide, the seed is hypertensive and ophthalmic. It is used in the treatment of bloodshot eyes, blurring of vision, cataracts and hypertension, but should not be used by the people with glaucoma because it dilates the pupils. The seed also has an antibacterial action, inhibiting the growth of Pseudomonas.
Tanners Cassia – Senna auriculata, contains a cardiac glucoside (sennapicrin). Sap, leaves and bark yield anthraquinones, while the latter contains tannins. The root is used in decoctions against fevers, diabetes, diseases of urinary system and constipation.
The leaves have laxative properties. The dried flowers and flower buds are used as substitute for tea in case of diabetes patients. It is also believed to improve the complexion in women. The powdered seed is also applied to the eyes, in case of chronic purulent conjunctivitis. In Africa, the bark and seeds are said to give relief in rheumatism, eye diseases, gonorrhoea, diabetes and gout. The plant has been shown to have antibacterial activity.
Cock’s comb – Celosia agrentea. Stems and leaves of Celosia, bruised and applied as poultice, is used for treating of infected sores, wounds and skin eruptions. Poultice of leaves, smeared with honey is used as cooling application to inflamed areas and painful buboes and abscesses.
Seeds are used to relieve gastrointestinal disorders and are antipyretic, improves vision, relieves fever associated with liver ailments. Seeds when in decoction or finely powered, are considered antidiarrheal and aphrodisiac. The juice of the seeds forced into the nostrils is a cure for epistaxins. Whole plant is used as antidote for snake poison. Root is used for colic, gonorrhoea and eczema.
Decoction of the seeds with sugar is prescribed against dysentery. Flowers and seeds are used for bloody stools, haemorrhoidal bleeding, leucorrhea and diarrhea. In Indian folk medicine, it is used for diabetes. Seeds are traditionally used for treatment of jaundice, gonorrhea, wounds and fever.
Rudraksha / Chandrakantha
4’O clock/ Marvel of Peru- Mirabilis jalapa, The flowers are used in food colouring. The cooked leaves are taken as an emergency food. An edible crimson dye is obtained from the flowers to colour cakes and jellies. In herbal medicine, parts of the plant may be used as diuretic, purgative, and for vulnerary (wound healing) purposes.
The root is believed to be an aphrodisiac as well as diuretic and purgative. It is used in the treatment of dropsy. The leaves are used to reduce inflammation.
A decoction of them (mashing and boiling) is used to treat abscesses. Leaf juice may be used to treat wounds. Powdered, the seed of some varieties is used as a cosmetic and a dye. The seeds are considered poisonous. The plant has a potential for the bio-remediation of soils polluted with moderate concentrations of heavy metals such as Cadmium.
Sedge – Rhychospora wightiana, it is an aromatic stimulant and mild tonic. It is much used in herbal medicine as an aromatic bitter.
On account of the oil which is present, it also acts as a carminative, removing the discomfort caused by flatulence and checking the growth of the bacteria which give rise to it. It is used to increase the appetite and benefit digestion, given as fluid extract. Infusion or tincture of Calamus, obtained by macerating the finely-cut rhizome in alcohol for seven days and filtering, is used as stomachic and flavoring agent. It has a brownish-yellow colour and a pungent, spicy taste.
The essential oil is used as addition to inhalations. It is useful in dyspepsia and bronchitis and chewed as a cough lozenge. It is of great service in all nervous complaints, Vertigoes, headaches and hypochondriacal infections.
Chrysantemum – Tarquinia bianco, Chrysanthemum tea has many purported medicinal uses, including an aid in recovery from influenza, acne and as a “cooling” herb.
According to traditional Chinese medicine the tea can aid in the prevention of sore throat and promote the reduction of fever. In Korea, it is known well for its medicinal use for making people alert.
In western herbal medicine, Chrysanthemum tea is drunk or used as a compress to treat circulatory disorders such as varicose medicine. Chrysanthemum tea is also said to clear the liver and eyes. It is believed to be effective in treating eye pain associated with stress or fluid deficiency. It is also used to treat blurring, spots in front of the eyes, diminished vision and dizziness.
Pumpkin - Cucurbita pepo: It acts as an antirheumatic, demulcent, diuretic, nerving and taenifuge. Traditionally, Pumpkin was used to treat kidney problems and intestinal parasites.
Today, its internal use is beneficial as a good laxative and diuretic. It has shown to be helpful in treatment of benign prostate hyperplasia. Used externally, Pumpkin pulp is an excellent emollient, softening dryness of skin. It is useful in treatments of pimples, spots, freckles and burns. Pumpkin plant also acts as a good immune booster, containing great amount of vitamins A, C and glycine.
Hibiscus - Hibisus rosa-sinensis. Hibiscus flowers, roots and leaves are anodyne and emmenagogue. They regulate menstruation and stimulate blood circulation. Flower extract has been traditionally used for liver disorders, high blood pressure and as an aphrodisiac. Young leaves and flowers are used in case of headache. Decoction of leaves, root and fruits are helpful in treatments of arthritis, boils and coughs, and the fruit is used externally in case of sprains, wounds and ulcers. Hibiscus tea is rich in Vitamin C.
Globe Amaranth - Gomphrena globosa. Treats chronic bronchitis, whooping cough, dysentery, pertussis, pulmonary tuberculosis with hemoptysis, infantile fever. Decoction of the flowers is drunk to treat asthma, bronchitis and leucorrhea, check hemorrhage and nocturnal weeping of children and to soothe sore eyes.
Skyblue Clustervine – Jacquemontia pentanthos, provide food for birds and moths which are excellent sources of pollination and honey.
Butterfly Gardenia – Tabernaemontana divaricata, remedy for eye diseases. The milk of the leaves has anti inflammatory action, so it is applied over the wounds. Juice of the flowers can be applied over eyes as eye drops for eye diseases. Flower juice can be mixed with oil and used as eye drops. It can be mixed with oil and can be applied over skin diseases. Decoction of the leaves is an anti-hypertensive and diuretic, milky juice of the leaves along with oil is applied over the forehead for pain present in the eyes. Roots is an anodyne hence used to relieve toothache. Roots are ground along with water and given internally for intestinal worms.
Firecraker – Crossandra infundibuliformis, Leaves are good anti-oxidant, flower is anti microbial, anti bacterial it is also anti fungal.
Marigold – Calendula officinalis, as a natural colour for food and clothes. Oil is used an anti inflammatory, an antitumor agent for getting rid of rashes, heals wounds and anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, astringent, antifungal, antiviral and aimmunostimulant properties making it useful for disinfectiong and treating minor wounds, conjunctivitis, cuts, scrapes, chapped or chafed skin, bruises, burns, athlete’s foot, acne, yeast infections, bee stings, diaper rashes and other minor irritations and infections of the skin.
Stick Bush –Clerodendrumchinense . Leaves, whole or pounded, used as cataplasm to relieve pains after childbirth. Leaves pounded with a little salt, applied to mumps, used for rheumatism and neuralgia. Plaster of leaves used for colic in children. Leaves, whole or pounded applied to abdomen for abdominal postpartum complaints. For colic, leaves are heated over fire, then wiped with coconut oil and applied to the stomach. Roots are used as purgative.
Ridge Gourd – Luffa aegyptiaca. Detoxifies skin. Used in treating and preventing colds. It is also used for nasal swelling and sinus problems, for arthritis pain, muscle pain and chest pain, helps in restoring absent menstrual periods. Nursing mothers use it to increase milk flow.
Button Pom – Chrysanthemum: Anti microbial and insecticide.
Scarlet – Morning glory – Ipomoea hederifolia, The seed is anthelmintic, antitumour, diuretic and laxative. It is used in the treatment of oedema, oliguria, ascariasis and constipation.
Jasmine – Jasminum fluminense . It is specifically used in dermatology as either an antiseptic or anti-inflammatory agent. Treatment of hepatitis and infertility. It is claming and soothing.
Rajnigandha – Tuberose polyanthus . The flowers are considered diuretic and emetic. The dried and powered bulbs are used as a remedy for gonorrhoea
Oleander – Nerium oleander . Used fortreating ulcers, hemorrhoids and leprosy. In addition, oleander has been used to treat ringworm, herpes and abscesses.
Rose – Good source of iron, calcium and vitamin B6. Helps alleviate muscle pain, improve memory, boost the immune and circulatory system and promote hair growth.
Moss Rose – Portulaca grandiflora: The entire plant is depurative. It is used in the treatment of hepatitis, cirrhosis of the liver with ascities, swelling and pain in the pharynx. The fresh juice of the leaves and stems is applied externally as a lotion to snake and insect bites, burns, scalds and eczema.