Saturday, March 28, 2009


Injikkari (pickle made with ginger) is an inevitable part of Kerala traditional feast. It is equivalent to 108 curries. 'Inji thairu' is another variety dish. It is made with yogurt, green chilly, salt and ginger. Ginger has the ability to destroy cancer cells. It enhances our digestive power. Inji juice with honey is a medicine for vomitting tendency. We can also make chutney with Inji.
'Inji thinnna kurangine pole' is a famous saying in Kerala.

Pudina leaves

Friday, March 27, 2009

eera pullu

Ezhilam pala

Leaves of Ezhilam pala
Ezhilam pala tree -shots from Aalappuzha
Tree mostly related to ancient stories of ghosts. Its also known as Yakshi pala. Flowers have an exciting fragrance. This evergreen ornamental shade tree is native to India. Its strong fragrance attract pollinators.
In Sanskrit it is known as 'Saptha parni'. Leaves come out in whorls of seven that's the name 'Ezhilam pala'. This tree has medicinal qualities also. The wood is used for match sticks, black boards and packing cases.
This tree can be seen near 'kavu' and temples. It is believed that this tree is abode of evil spirits.
May be its fragrance and connection with the legends make this tree a common subject for poets and novelists.
Very famous malayalam film songs
'Ezhilam pala poothu poomarangal kuda pidichu
Vellimalayil velimalayil'
'Pala poove enthiru mangalya thali tharoo
Makara nilave neeyen neeharakkodi tharoo
Kanathe vinnithalay maryum...'

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

A banana a day keeps the doctor away!!!!

Its an energy booster and a natural remedy for many ills.

This fruit is high in Pottassium and low salt. It has ability to reduce the risk of blood pressure and stroke.

Studies showed that this Pottassium packed fruit can increase your brain power and make you more alert.

Fruit is rich with fibre which will help to avoid constipation.

Banana is rich with Iron which will produce Haemoglobin which keeps anemia away.

Banana is used as a dietary food against intestinal disorders.

When we are in stressed condition a pottassium rich banana snack will recharge our pottassium levels.


Kanikkonna flowers welcoming vishu

Kanikkonna tree images from Kunnara Park, Kochi. Traditionally this tree is known as 'Rajavrikham'.

Kanikkonna flower

Bunch of Kanikkonna
A seasonal flower which is connected with the 'Vishu' harvest festival of Kerala. Like Onam Vishu has also strong links with nature. We need Kanivellari, Kanikkonna and other vegetables for the sacred 'Kani'. Kanikkonna is the official flower of Kerala state.
My neighbour's Konna tree remembers me of Vishu with full of flowers. Yesterday we went to Kunnara park. There are so many Konna trees. Kanikkonna is the favourite flower of Krishna. Yellow colour brings more happiness and prosperity thus it became an inevitable part of our Vishu. Kanikkonna is known as Golden shower tree. It is a shade giving ornamental tree wide spread in Kerala. Its stem and fruits are used in Ayurvedic medicines. Other varieties of kanikkonna are vellakkonna, chaarakkonna and manja konna.
You may be interested to know about

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Ponnankanni cheera

I was astonished by his words. He was my cousin and also a busy herbal consultant by proffession. Among the grass in front of our home he pointed out 'Ponnankanni cheera' I had not yet noticed that leafy vegetable. He told that its good for our eyes, especially children.
For better health we must turn towards nature.
Other cheera varieties are
Sambar cheera, kuppa cheera, mullan keera, madhura cheera, thazhuthama, agathi cheera, valli cheera, kozhuppa and thakara.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Pera maram

I had not noticed the guava flower. Its marvellous. Its also used as a medicine for Bronchitis.
Pera poovu shots from Kattappana.
Since this time I hadn't noticed this flower. This blog is my initial step to know more about nature. I love to watch nature with more curiosity due to this blog. Whenever I bow in front of arayal 'peepal tree' I think its more heartfelt nowadyas.

Most of my memories about childhood have a connection with a tree. Pera maram, chamba, kashumavu, nadan mavu, ambazham, plavu, puli, kurukkuthi, marotti, arana maram, kada plavu, aanjily, kilichundan mavu ....... the list goes on . But my children are not familiar with these trees. They don't know how to climb upon them easily or how play bus or train from their branches. Its a thrill to collect maximum mangoes falling during windy season. Nature give taste, smell and colours to our memories also.

There was a 'potta kinar' in our play area. Potta kinar means a well that is not used. In that days there was not a restricted area for playing. I think that freedom was the real happiness in that play. My children have balls, building blocks and other toys to play. But their area is limited. That may be the cause for their frustration.

My ammoomma's home had a huge plavu. There was an old jasmine plant. Whenever I remember that jasmine flowers I can also see my friends.
Almost all homes in Kerala have a guava(Pera), excuse to city dwellers. 'Perentha Perakka' Its a common saying in Kerala. Guava is eaten as fresh fruit. We have two varieties mainly the pink and the green. Pink guava can be used to make Guava milk shake. In Tamil nadu we can see fresh guava cubes with light amount of chilli and salt on it. In Kuttanadu I had seen very small type perakka which has more sour than the usual one.
In Kerala Guava leaves are put in boiled water and its a great medicine to sugar patients. This decotion is used in medicines for vomiting and diarrhoea. It increases our digestion.
Powdered form of bark is used in medicines for wounds and sores.

Paddy fields from Manjoor

Paddy fields are feast to our eyes. Their colour changes from season to season. These paddy fields remembers me of the labour behind this uniqueness.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Nelli maram

gooseberry plant from Kerala

Nellimaram pictures from Idukki.

'Oru vattam koodiyen ormakal meyunna
Thiru muttathe ethuvaan moham…
Thiru muttathe oru konil nilkunnoraa nelli…
Maram onne uluthuvaan moham
Adarunna kaay manikal pozhiyumbol chenneduthu….
Athilonnu thinnuvaan moham
Sukhamezhum kaypum pulippum madhuravum….
Nukaruvaan ippozhum moham
Thodiyile kinar vellam kori kudiche enthu……
Madhuramennu othuvaan moham
Oru vattam koodiya puzhayude theerathu….
Veruthe irickuvaan moham
Veruthe irunnoru kuyilinte paattu kettu…
Ethir paattu paaduvaan moham
Ethir paattu paaduvaan moham
Athu kelke uchathil kookum kuyilinte…
Shruthi pin thudaruvaan moham
Oduvil pinangi parannupom pakshiyodu….
Aruthe ennothuvaan moham
Veruthe ee mohangal ennariyumbozhum…..
Veruthe mohickuvaan moham.'

A song from a malayalam film 'Chillu'.

Nellikka is the fruit of nelli tree. It has a lot of medicinal qualities. Its rich with vitamin C. Its good for digestive problems.

A famous pazhanjollu in malayalam is 'Moothavar parayum muthunellikka adyam kaykum pinne madhurikkum'. Means the advice of the elders are like the gooseberry it will be sour at first and then we will realise its sweetness or its value. Nellikka is used widely in Ayurvedic medicines. Nellikka rasayanam, Nellikka arishtam are very common medicines in Ayurveda. Its very good for hair also. "Nellikka thalam" is a way of ayurveda to cool the head. Its mainly used in mental patients. Its also used in our language for persons who introduce wild ideas. The wood of nelli tree is very hard and its used as the base of wells in ancient homes. Thats also used in common talks like 'nelli palaka kandu'. This wood have many medicinal qualities that may be the reason for it using in the well. Anyway nelli maram and nellikka had become an essential part of life, medicines and in our literature also.

A story related with nellikka is very interesting. Its main character is Aadi shankara. One day he asked Bhiksha at a brahmin home. The lady had nothing to give except a dried gooseberry that too was kept as her food. Seeing all these Shankara prayered to Lakshmi devi for her glimpse to this house for wealth. Then golden gooseberries fell from the sky as the blessing of Lakshmi. The chantings of Shankaracharya later known as 'Kanakadhara sthavam'. Still its believed that chanting these shlokas will please Lakshmi devi.

Monday, March 2, 2009


Pathimukham tree
Pathimukham fruits

Pathimukham leaves
Widely used in Kerala as 'Dahashamani'. Its wood is used to make natural dyes. Its an anti cancerous herb.

Kashu mavu

Kashumanga, its of red variety. Its seeds are removed...

Tender cashew nuts fruits

Leaves of Kashu mavu
Kashuvandi (cashew nut) is a major cash crop in Kerala. Kollam is the largest cashew nut processing centre in the world.



'Nalu masathin munpil Ere naal kothichittee Balamakandham poovitt-Unnikal viriyave Ammathan manikkuttanPoothiri kathicha pol Aa malarchendonnodicha-Ahladichaduthethi
Chodichu mathavappol unnikal virinja poo odichu kalanjallo kusruthikkurunne nee'
Famous lines from the poem Mampazham by Viloppilly Sreedhara menon


Murikkin poovu
This tree has a main role in the life of farmers of Highrange. It is the supporting tree of pepper vines. We can see the orange flowers throughout highrange remembering the 'black gold' of Kerala. They have thorns and these protect pepper from wild animals. Its leaves are used as manure.

Mala inji

Its a medicine for fungal diseases


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