Hedychium spicatum or Karchura: Gulbakawali (ginger lily) removes cholesterol from arteries
By Syed Akbar Hedychium spicatum or Gulbakawali is a scented herb found in the Himalayas, but nowincreasingly cultivated in other hilly regions of the country. Its intoxicating fragranceand beautiful flowers make it a garden favourite. Belonging to the ginger family,Hedychium has been used in a number of traditional medicines the world over, includingAyurveda and Unani.
It is also known as Karchura in Sanskrit and ginger lily or garland flower in English. Ithas a number of medicinal properties, the most important being its ability to fightcholesterol in the arteries and keep the blood flowing to the heart, and other vitalorgans including the brain. It thus prevents heart and brain stroke, as also paralysis.Ayurvedic and Unani doctors hail it as a natural vasodilator thanks to its medicinalproperty of dilating or opening up of the blood vessels. Gulbakawali is also prescribed for problems relating to digestive system and fightinglocal inflammation. It controls nausea and vomiting. Its antioxidant properties preventformation of cancerous cells while its antibacterial effect has been established againsta number of bacterial species. Some herbal doctors prescribe extract from Gulbakawali foreye infection and dandruff. In case of dandruff Gulbakawali oil can be gently rubbedagainst the scalp. ------------------- Home remedies ------------------- Those suffering from painful tonsils may try decoction obtained from the stems ofGulbakawali. Take a small quantity of fresh or dried stems, clean them properly and boilthem in a cup of water. Filter it to obtain decoction. Gargle with the Gulbakawalidecoction for relief from tonsillitis Gulbakawali extract is available in herbal stores and this can be used for eyeinfections. Herbal doctors believe that extract obtained from Gulbakawali improveseyesight. For relief from joint pains, take a few leaves of Gulbakawali plant, wash them properlyand boil the leaves in water. Remove the leaves and apply them on the affected portion.Its analgesic activity starts working and you will find relief from nagging joint pains. Gulbakawali tonic or extract is prescribed as a vasodilator to widen the blood vessels incase of their clogging with cholesterol. It is considered good for the heart and body asit improves blood circulation and overall functioning of the cardiac system. Since it isdifficult to find Gulbakawali plant in the plains, one may try readymade herbalpreparations from a licensed manufacturer or a reputed herbal store. Research studies have shown its effectiveness as a vasodilator, particularly of coronary arteries.