DASHAPUSHPAM PART 10 - UZHINJA - INDRAVALLI (CARDIOSPERMUM HALICACABUM)
Updated: May 16
HEALTH AND LOVE PUFFED IN NATURE'S BALLOON
The season of Karkitakam has advanced halfway. Rains have receded and the temperatures are soaring in southern parts of the sub-continent while the northern regions are submerged in the floods caused by the heavy downpour.
The festive season is around the corner and the spirit is somewhat subdued with the anxiety of persisting floods and anticipated droughts. Whatever is in the waiting, the consequences are to be faced and for that health is a mandatory requirement. Let Dashapushpam bestow health to all.
The plant for today is Uzhinja climbing up around us bearing papery thin balloon-like fruits filled with health and love. Cardiospermum halicacabum known in Sanskrit as Indravalli or the vine of the God-king is aptly named in English as love in a puff or balloon vine. Belonging to the Sapindaceae family it is a perennial climber found in moist surroundings like river banks and road sides and is often considered weed-like other plants of the Dashapushpam group. The highlight feature of the climber with forked tendrils and large teethed lobed leaflets is its fruit with a papery thin inflated balloon-like green or greenish-red triangular capsule enclosing three seeds inside.
Also used in homeopathy the plant is famous for its heat-reducing therapeutic action and is helpful in correcting digestion. Uzhinja possesses analgesic, diuretic, laxative, stomachic and anti-inflammatory properties. It is used in the treatment of indigestion, constipation, arthritis, ear infections and inflammatory conditions.
Uzhinja at home
The decoction prepared by boiling 100g of crushed whole plant and taken in a dose of 20 to 30 ml in the evening is good for constipation and abdominal discomfort.
For any bruise the paste of the leaves sautéed in castor oil is applied over the affected areas.
The leaves are soaked overnight in water and then crushed well. This water is used to wash the hair for dandruff problems.
Uzhinja, if trimmed and maintained in a garden can make a beautiful vertical landscape with its bright green leaves sprinkled with tiny white flowers and conspicuous balloon fruits puffed with health and love. Let the message of creating a Dashapushpam patch spread far and wide disseminating nature’s teachings to the humanity.