10 wild fruits of Uttarakhand that have medicinal properties
The captivating beauty of the Himalayas is indescribable. The snowy peaks, the breathtaking valleys and dark forests! The Himalayan range is also home to various plants that have medicinal uses. Here are few wild fruits, all found in Uttarakhand, which have been traditionally used for medicinal purpose:
Botanical name: Ficus auriculata
Also known as Roxburgh fig tree, timla is found in Asian forests. Its fruit is sweet and brownish or purplish in colour.
Medicinal uses: Timla can be used to maintain blood pressure (BP) in people living with hypertension. It can also be used to treat constipation, as it acts as a laxative and helps regulate the digestive system. It has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, too.
Botanical name: Rubus ellipticus Sm.
These golden-yellow Himalayan raspberries actually belong to the rose family. They are found in the wilds of Uttarakhand and Nepal. They are deliciously sour, in the way raspberries usually are.
Medicinal uses: Not only does it have a fruity flavour, but the berry is also used to treat indigestion. The roots of the hisalu plant are used to treat stomach pains and headaches.
Botanical name: Myrica esculenta
Commonly known as box berry, this fruit is found in the sub-tropical Himalayas. The fruit is sweet, and locals typically eat it whole - seeds and all.
Medicinal uses: Kafal is a naturally occurring antioxidant. It is widely used in folk medicine to treat ailments such as cough, chronic bronchitis, ulcers, anaemia, fever, diarrhoea, and ear, nose, and throat disorders.
Botanical name: Prunus subg. Prunus
Plums are low-calorie fruits that don't spike your blood sugar. They can be eaten raw, dried or in jam form. The plums of the Uttarakhand forests are slightly different from the variety you get in the metros - the fruit is usually a brighter red, and sweet and sour to taste.
Medicinal uses: Plums are rich in vitamin C and so they nourish and purify the skin. They also boost immunity.
Botanical name: Ficus palmata
Commonly known as the Punjab fig, bedu is found in the wilds of Uttarakhand. The fruit is sweet - as you would expect figs to be.
Medicinal uses: Bedu helps in relieving inflammation (demulcent) and its sap is used in the treatment of warts. It is also used for the treatment of constipation and diseases of the lungs and bladder. The sap is used by the local inhabitants to take out spines (small needle-like covering on some fruits and tree bark, like in cacti) lodged deep in the skin.
Botanical name: Pyracantha crenulata
Ghigaru is also known as Himalayan firethorn and Nepalese firethorn. It tastes a bit like jamuns and dries out your mouth slightly.
Medicinal uses: The antioxidants present in this fruit help in maintaining blood pressure and reduce cholesterol. It is also rich in beta-carotene (a great source of vitamin A), iron, and potassium.
The leaves are used in the preparation of herbal teas and sunburn creams. An infusion made by steeping the bark of this shrub is given to girls in case of heavy menstrual bleeding.
Botanical name: Prunus armeniaca
Khubani is commonly known as apricot. The yellow-peach coloured fruit is sweet. It belongs to the same family as plum and cherries.
Medicinal uses: Apricots are great antioxidants. They are highly fibrous and maintain healthy blood sugar and cholesterol levels. They are also rich in vitamin C and potassium.
Botanical name: Morus alba L.
These mulberries are white and can be cultivated in home gardens as well. They're typically sweeter than the red or purple mulberries we get in the plains of north India.
Medicinal uses: Mulberries have bioactive components like alkaloids and flavonoids which have antioxidant properties. These white mulberries have anti-cholesterol, anti-obesity and hepatoprotective (liver-protecting) effects.
Botanical name: Aegle marmelos (L.)
Also known as bael, siriphal is typically used for pujas or for its medicinal purposes.
Medicinal uses: Clinical studies have shown that Aegle marmelos possesses antidiarrhoeal, antimicrobial, antiviral, radioprotective, antipyretic (cures fever), ulcer healing, antifertility and anti-inflammatory properties. These help in the prevention and treatment of many diseases.
Botanical name: Rhododendron arboreum
Burans is a bright scarlet, bell-shaped flower filled with sweet nectar seen in the Himalayan range in India, Bhutan and Nepal at altitudes of 1200 m. Though you'll find bottled juice of burans everywhere in the shops, the traditional way to consume the honey-sweet nectar is straight from the flower.
Medicinal uses: The juice of the bark is used in the treatment of coughs, diarrhoea and dysentery. Burans has anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and antimicrobial properties. Its juice is said to be beneficial for diabetics, menstrual disorders and relief from persistent allergies.
Health articles in Firstpost are written by myUpchar.com, India’s first and biggest resource for verified medical information. At myUpchar, researchers and journalists work with doctors to bring you information on all things health. For more information, please read our article on Mulberry: Uses, Benefits and Side-Effects.
The information provided here is intended to provide free education about certain medical conditions and certain possible treatment. It is not a substitute for examination, diagnosis, treatment, and medical care provided by a licensed and qualified health professional. If you believe you, your child or someone you know suffers from the conditions described herein, please see your health care provider immediately. Do not attempt to treat yourself, your child, or anyone else without proper medical supervision. You acknowledge and agree that neither myUpchar nor firstpost is liable for any loss or damage which may be incurred by you as a result of the information provided here, or as a result of any reliance placed by you on the completeness, accuracy or existence of any information provided herein.
Updated Date: Nov 19, 2019 16:57:51 IST
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