Ganesh Chaturthi or Vinayaka Chavithi that falls on the fourth day of Hindu month Bhadrapath is an important festival that is celebrated across the country.
Lord Ganesha, is worshipped for being a remover of obstacles, wisdom and knowledge. In many parts of India, Ganesh Navatri – the 9-day festivities start from today and culminate with the immersion of the idols.
The prayers and prasad- offering various delicacies form the major part of festivities. On this festival day, it is a practice in all Hindu households to offer modak, poli and other sweet, savoury treats to the God. And it is perhaps the only pooja, where leaves are also offered along with flowers as a part of rituals.
Since time immemorial, many herbs and leaves have been a part of Ganesh Puja prayers and surprisingly, it is for various health reasons.
It is a practice to offer prayers with 21 different kind of herbs and leaves (Eka Vimsanthi Patra Pooja) and Ayurveda vouches by the therapeutic benefits of these herbs, especially in fighting common cold, cough and flu, in rainy season.
Here are the top 5 herbs or leaves used during Ganesh Chaturthi puja and the medicinal values.
Tulasi or Tulsi is a wonder plant that is a powerhouse of disease-fighting antioxidants. It contains orientin and viceninare the water-soluble flavonoids, that help in lowering inflammation. Chew on tulsi leaves or steep them in to hot water to make tulsi tea to fight sore throat, cough, cold and fever. The antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory properties of this herbal wonder act against stubborn fungal infections that are quite common in this season.
A fistful of fresh Dadima or pomegranate leaves is all you need, if you want to lose weight. Boil pomegranate leaves in hot water and drink it on empty stomach to increase metabolism, suppress appetite and to aid in weight loss. Pomegranate leaves exhibit strong anti-cancerous, antioxidant, anti-inflammatory properties and are ample source of Vitamins A, C, E besides folic acid. Various studies reveal that Pomegranate leaf extract fights against hyperlipidemia – a condition under which high levels of fat get accumulated in the blood.
Arka that goes with the botanical name Calotropis procera is a plant that is extensively used in treating digestive disorders. Ancient Ayurveda recommends Arka leaves for treating constipation, stomach ulcers, abdominal cramps besides fever, toothache, leprosy and various skin disorders. The leaves of Arka are prized for analgesic, antidiabetic, antimalarial, hepatoprotective properties. The leaves and especially flowers of Arka are important during Lord Ganesha puja on the festive day.
Call it bilva or bael, the leaves of the Aegle marmelos not only look quite unique, trifoliate in shape with 4 to 12 side veins but also exhibit a great deal of therapeutic properties. Known as the favourite tree of Lord Shiva, the leaves of bilva are a must-have in Lord Ganesh puja too. Chew on these fresh leaves to cure bleeding gums, asthma, dysentery, anemia. Loaded with tannin, a polyphenolic compound with an astringent taste it cures cholera and diarrhea, fights against gastric ulcers. The antiviral and antimicrobial properties of these leaves keep viral infections at a bay.
Arugampul or couch grass occupies a prominent place in the list of herbs that are offered to Lord Ganesha. A perennial grass, it is known for its healing benefits for thousands of years. A diuretic, this grass works wonders in treating urinary infections, water retention and clears kidney stones. It is also recommended for those fighting symptoms related to menopause. Crouch grass powder can be mixed into making rotis and it serves as an instant energy booster.
Netmeds.com wishes all its customers a Happy Ganesh Chaturthi