As the clear blue skies and warm tropical air engulf all parts of India this time of year, with the sun shining in all its glory, it also heralds the festivities of the Hindu New Year in many parts of the subcontinent. While it is known as Vishu in Kerala and Puthandu in Tamil Nadu, the occasion is called Pahela Baisakh in West Bengal and Bohag Bihu/Rongali Bihu in Assam.
This day, which usually falls on April 14 or 15 every year, is considered to be a very auspicious day to embark upon new ventures in education, business and career. Moreover, households are cleaned the day before and revelries on festival day comprise waking up early, taking a traditional oil bath, dressing up in bright new clothes, decorating the entrance to homes with beautiful intricate patterns using rice flour. A sumptuous banquet of customary Indian recipes is prepared using wholesome nutritious ingredients, based on the specific practices in each state and language. Following this, families pray to the Almighty, visit temples to seek God’s blessings for good health and prosperity, then sit down together to enjoy the delicious spread for lunch.
While a host of vegetables, fruits, spices and nuts are incorporated into the holy puja ceremonies and traditional festival dishes, vivid flowers are also an integral part of Hindu New Year celebrations. Moreover, distinct blossoms in each state of India form an important cultural aspect of the traditional Hindu New Year festivities, while conferring excellent wellness incentives for overall health. Browse through this feature, to discover the astounding health merits of these traditional Indian flowers.
Festival Season Flowers And Their Spectacular Health Benefits:
1. Konna Poo (Indian Laburnum)
Scientifically termed Cassia fistula, the Konna Poo is a unique feature of Malayalam New Year or Vishu celebrations in the southern state of Kerala. People seek to view the vibrant flowers that sprout during the festival, a practice called Kani Konna, to harbour good fortune for all members of their family.
Cassia fistula possesses strong antipyretic i.e. temperature-lowering and decongestive meaning phlegm-clearing properties, which effectively lower body heat, besides treating cough, cold and other respiratory complaints.
2. Veppam Poo (Neem Flower)
On the fortuitous occasion of Puthandu i.e. Tamil New Year in the south Indian state of Tamil Nadu, a rather bitter rasam is prepared with neem flowers, called Veppam Poo Rasam, as part of the traditional festival delicacies.
Not just the leaves, even the flowers of the neem plant, with the botanical nomenclature Azadirachta indica, bestow superb wellness incentives, being a natural detoxifying agent packed with antibacterial compounds. It purifies the blood of food wastes, harmful toxins and also cures stomach infections, to promote digestion and gut health.
3. Kopou Phul (Foxtail Orchid)
During Bohag Bihu or Rongali Bihu, which is the Assamese New Year festival observed in the north-eastern state of Assam, the Kopou Phul, known scientifically as Rhynchostylis retusa blossoms ubiquitously in the region. Young women adorn their hair with these pretty floral blooms while performing traditional dances on an auspicious occasion.
Laden with anti-inflammatory and wound-healing attributes, the foxtail orchid delivers numerous therapeutic benefits including mitigating joint pain in arthritis and mending cuts, bruises, rashes on the skin.
4. Gamda Phula (Marigold Flower)
Amidst the revelry during Pahela Baisakh or the Bengali New Year observed in the eastern state of West Bengal, elaborate prayer ceremonies are carried out to seek the blessings of the Lord while chanting holy hymns and offering Gamda Phula, scientifically called Tagetes erecta.
Aside from being a gorgeous ornamental flower, marigold also supplies splendid health benefits when used topically, by enriching skin texture and stimulating hair growth. Packed with antioxidants, these floral extracts reverse the age clock, diminish wrinkles, fine lines, remedy acne, scars, dark spots, to reveal blemish-free, luminous complexion and also ensure a strong, thick, lustrous mane.
Netmeds.com Wishes All Its Customers A Very Happy, Prosperous And Healthy Vishu, Puthandu, Bohag Bihu and Pahela Baisakh!