Dasapushpam is a combination of two Sanskrit word ‘Dasa’ means ‘Ten’ and ‘Pushpa’ means ‘Flowers’ which is a magical combination of ten medicinal plant’s flowers or Ten Sacred Flowers. All of these flowers are found in Kerala, especially in Western ghats areas. These ten favourable herbs are used in ayurvedic system of medicine and it possesses tremendous therapeutic and potential benefits.
Name of the plant: Cheroola (Mountain Knot Grass)
Botanical name: Aerva lanata
It is a perennial and annual herb, commonly known as Mountain Knot Grass. The flowers are tiny about 2.5 mm long with green, pink or creamy white color and grow in clusters near the axis of stems. Aerva Lanata flowers during may and October. Aerva Lanata is rarely pollinated by insects as there is no honey or fragrance. It is self-pollinated.
Aerva Lanata is believed to be a best natural medicine for Kidney stones.This herb is diuretic which helps in promoting the production of urine, effective in urethral (difficulty passing urine) problems, lithiasis (kidney stone), and gonorrhea. Aerva Lanata is antimicrobial. What it helps is fighting against pathogens. It protects both the skin and the body from pathogens. Aerva Lanata acts as a demulcent which helps in getting relief from pain and inflammation. It has properties that will help to ease child birth.
Name of the plant: Mukkutty (Little Tree Plant)
Botanical name: Biophytum sensitivum
Mukkutti or Viparitalajjalu (in Sanskrit) is a very small flowering plant. Each plant produces five to ten small flowers with yellow petals.
Biophytum sensitivum is a traditional oriental herbal medicine that is known for its immune-stimulatory and antitumor effects. Tumor metastasis is the most important cause of cancer death. Although B. sensitivum was shown to inhibit metastasis, the mechanism underlying this action is not well understood.
Name of the plant: Uzhinja (Balloon plant)
Botanical name: Cardiospermum halicacabum
It is fast growing and climb with the support of tendrils, up to 10 feet, leaves are yellowish green , lobed and sized 4 inch length, flowers are white and small. The fruit is brown, 3-angled capsule up to 3 cm across, containing 3 black seeds inside.
Root has diaphoretic, diuretic and laxative properties. Leaf juice is used for earache. It is used in the treatment of rheumatism, nervous diseases, stiffness of the limbs and snakebite. A tea made from them is used in the treatment of itchy skin. Salted leaves are used as a poultice on swellings. The leaf juice has been used as a treatment for earache. The root is occasionally used in the treatment of rheumatism, lumbago and nervous diseases.
Name of the plant: Nilappana (Golden Eye-grass)
Botanical name: Curculiogo orchioides gaertn
Kali Musli (Curguliginis orchiodis rhizoma) is a very small herb, with the only showy parts being the long blade like leaves and tiny yellow flowers.Kali musli is a perennial shrub and has elongated and short fleshy roots. Its rhizome is 1 feet in length and pulpy.
Curculigo orchioides is an Ayurvedic herb, used for the treatment of sperm deformity, low sperm count,general weakness.
The plant is loaded with various other health benefits. Few of them are:
- It is rejuvenating and aphrodisiac herb
- It reduces stress.
- It is a sexual tonic.
- It is diuretic and promotes urine secretion.
- It reduces blood pressure.
Name of the plant: Karuka (Bermuda Grass)
Botanical name: Cynodon dactylon
Bahama grass is a spreading grass, commonly found in plane areas, leaves are grayish green, usually 2 to 15 cm long with rough edges. Stem are erect, can grow 1 to 30 cm tall, and slightly flattened, often tinged purple in color. The seeds are in clusters of two to six spikes, each spike 2 to 5 cm long. It has a deep root system can grow to over 2 m deep in the drought period.
The plant has antiviral and antimicrobial properties. The plant has been suggested for treatment of urinary track infections, skin diseases, blood disorders, dysentery and prostatitis .Recent studiesshows that the herb is able to reduce blood sugar level in blood. The juice is cool, sweet and palatableand is nutritious. The whole plant is medicinal and used externally and internally. The plant extract is used to relieve discomforts caused due to phlegm. The cooling property of the plant enables it to mitigate thirst and burning sensation. It works as a detoxifying agent when taken in empty stomach. The herb mixed
with curd is used in leucorrhea. It helps in curing minor cuts and wounds. In general it is a good tonic for the body.
Name of the plant: Kaiyonni (False Daisy)
Botanical name: Eclipta alba
False Daisy is an annual herb commonly throughout India, in waste land, plane areas etc., prostrate, erect, and it grows up to 1 ft tall, grows abundantly in the tropical area. Leaves are simple lace shaped and 2.5 to 7.5 cm long, oppositely arranged, oblong, elliptic.
In ayurvedic medicine, the leaf extract is considered a powerful liver tonic, rejuvenative and especially good for the hair. A black dye obtained from Eclipta prostrata is used for dyeing hair and tattooing. Eclipta prostrata also has traditional external uses, such as for athlete’s foot, eczema and dermatitis, and on the scalp to address hair loss; the leaves have been used in the treatment of scorpion stings. It is used as anti-venom against snakebite in China and Brazil. It is reported to improve hair growth and color.
Name of the plant: Thiruthali (Morning glory)
Botanical name: Ipomea maxima
Ipomoea Obscura is a perennial herb with slender, twining or prostrate stems up to 3 meters long and 2 cm in diameter. It also has ornamental value as a climber with attractive flowers. The leaves are mucilaginous, with a pleasant smell. There are 5-6 species of this plant. Heart shaped leaves with a blood (or black) like mark on the leaf is the one used for medicinal purpose.
Ipomoea Obscura is used to treat infertility in woman. It is also good for diseases related to uterus. Juice is diuretic and deobstruent.
Name of the plant: Muyal Cheviyan (Lilac tassel flower)
Botanical name: Emilia sonchifolia
It is an annual herb, grow as a weed in the tropical flowering herb, with weak stem, erect and branched, grows up to the height of 60 cm. The leaves are thistle-like, irregularly toothed, ovate, triangular-ovate, 4 to 16 cm long and 1 to 8 cm broad. Flowers are pink, found in branch end in clusters in a long stalk and urn-shaped.
A tea made from the leaves is used in the treatment of dysentery. The juice of the leaves is used in treating eye inflammations, night blindness, cuts and wounds and sore ears. The plant is astringent, depurative, diuretic, expectorant, febrifuge, and sudorific. It is used in the treatment of infantile tympanites and bowel complaints. The juice of the root is used in the treatment of diarrhea. The flower heads are chewed and kept in the mouth for about 10 minutes to protect teeth from decay.
Name of the plant: Vishnukranthi (Dwarf Morning glory)
Botanical name: Evolvulus alsinoidus
It is a slender, less branched, spreading or sometimes ascending, usually hairy herb. The leaves are densely clothed, white, and silky hairs, Lancelot to ovate, and grow up to 1 cm in length the apex is blunt with pointed and the base is tapered. The stems are growing up to 70 centimeters long. The flowers are pale blue, five-petaled, center white and about 8 mm in diameter. The fruit is a capsule, oblong, and contains 4 seeds.
The whole plant is used for medicinal purpose, externally; the medicated oil of the herb is used as a hair tonic, to promote the hair growth. Its paste is also applied externally in skin diseases. Sankhapushpi (Sanskrit name) hair oil prevents the premature graying and falling of hair. Internally, the plant is used in vast range of diseases. The whole plant juice is traditionally used in various mental disorders. As one of the best psychotropic drugs, it was held in high esteem by the ancient sages of India. In minor memory disturbances, nervous debility and amentia it is widely used as a brain tonic.
Poovamkurunthal (Little Ironweed or Purple Fleabane)
Botanical name: Vernonia cinerea
Vernonia Cineria is a terrestrial annual herb. The plant has erect and cylindrical stems. Leaves are ovate or lanceolate. The flowers are either white or purple in color and occur in small head inflorescence.
Every part of the plant can be used medicinally. This herb has been used to treat a number of disorders including inflammation, malaria, fever, worms, pain, dieresis, cancer, abortion, and various gastrointestinal disorders. The juice of the plant is given to children with urinary incontinence. The leaves are eaten as a potherb. A decoction of it is also given in diarrhea, stomachache and for a cough and colic.
Reference: Social forestry, Kerala forest department