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Food in itself and of itself is medicine. So goes an old Tamil adage. Familiar with the medicinal properties of greens, our forefathers made them a part of their daily diet. Modern doctors too insist on taking greens regularly as they play a major role in maintaining health.
So, let’s look at the health benefits of the various kinds of greens.
Several greens are available in our local markets, including spinach, manathakkali (black nightshade), pirandai (veldt grape), pudina (spearmint), thoothuvalai (solanum trilobatum), murungai keerai (drumstick leaves), mulai keerai, mullangi keerai, ponnanganni, paruppu keerai, mudakathan, arai keerai, sirukeerai, agathikeerai, kothamalli, vendhaya keerai (fenugreek plant) and so on.
For curing stomach ulcer, alleviating body pain, relieving asthma, relief from cold and for treating hair loss, drumstick leaves can be had as a soup. Murungai keerai is also well known to help eliminate infertility
Pasalai Keerai, called spinach in English, has medicinal properties to cure diseases that commonly occur in the summer. Some spinach varieties are kodi pasalai, kuthu pasalai, tharai pasalai, vellai pasalai and Ceylon pasalai. Spinach can boost your immune system and is a good remedy for arthritis. Its juice can be applied on the face to eliminate pimples. Vellai pasalai and kodi pasalai can reduce body heat as well.
Spinach can keep heart diseases at bay and cure children of nervous ailments. This variety of greens can dissolve fatty substances and is recommended for tackling obesity. It also helps in maintaining a good haemoglobin level. As it has flavonoids and phytonutrients, it can help in the treatment of cancer too.
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Among medicinal herbs, manathakkali keerai has pride of place. It can be grown in the kitchen garden and is an ideal food-based medicine for sore throat, intestinal injuries and indigestion. Containing trace amounts of iron, phosphorus and calcium needed for the body, manathakkali keerai is good for pregnant women and children as well. Oral and stomach ulcers can easily be cured by consuming manathakkali keerai twice or thrice a week.
It’s beneficial to have murungai keerai (drumstick leaves) twice a week. It raises haemoglobin level as its iron content is 25 times more than that in other plants. Drumstick leaves are a good source of protein, calcium, iron, vitamin A and several other nutrients required for children’s growth. If you’re anaemic, you can fry murungai keerai in ghee and eat it to improve your haemoglobin levels.
For curing stomach ulcer, alleviating body pain, relieving asthma, relief from cold and for treating hair loss, drumstick leaves can be had as a soup. Murungai keerai is also well known to help eliminate infertility.
Chiefly known for improving eyesight, ponnanganni keerai cures eye diseases such as irritation, blurred vision and so on. If eaten at least once a week, this keerai sanitises blood of all waste and also keeps cancer away
A good medicine for diabetes, kidney diseases and heart disease, radish greens or mullangi keerai if made a regular dish on the menu can also improve defective vision. Besides, it makes up for the deficiency of vitamins.
Chiefly known for improving eyesight, ponnanganni keerai cures eye diseases such as irritation, blurred vision and so on. If eaten at least once a week, this keerai sanitises blood of all waste and also keeps cancer away.
Nature has given us a bounty with the various kinds of greens grown on our soil. Affordable and accessible, we should make all the different greens an indispensable part of our diet so that we can have good health and immunity.
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