Wednesday, 2 November 2011

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 now increasingly cultivated in other hilly regions of the country. Its intoxicating fragrance and 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, including Ayurveda and Unani.
It is also known as Karchura in Sanskrit and ginger lily or garland flower in English. It has a number of medicinal properties, the most important being its ability to fight cholesterol in the arteries and keep the blood flowing to the heart, and other vital organs 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 medicinal property of dilating or opening up of the blood vessels.
Gulbakawali is also prescribed for problems relating to digestive system and fighting local inflammation. It controls nausea and vomiting. Its antioxidant properties prevent formation of cancerous cells while its antibacterial effect has been established against a number of bacterial species. Some herbal doctors prescribe extract from Gulbakawali for eye infection and dandruff. In case of dandruff Gulbakawali oil can be gently rubbed against the scalp.
Home remedies
Those suffering from painful tonsils may try decoction obtained from the stems of Gulbakawali. Take a small quantity of fresh or dried stems, clean them properly and boil them in a cup of water. Filter it to obtain decoction. Gargle with the Gulbakawali decoction for relief from tonsillitis
Gulbakawali extract is available in herbal stores and this can be used for eye infections. Herbal doctors believe that extract obtained from Gulbakawali improves eyesight.
For relief from joint pains, take a few leaves of Gulbakawali plant, wash them properly and 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 in case of their clogging with cholesterol. It is considered good for the heart and body as it improves blood circulation and overall functioning of the cardiac system. Since it is difficult to find Gulbakawali plant in the plains, one may try readymade herbal preparations from a licensed manufacturer or a reputed herbal store. Research studies 
have shown its effectiveness as a vasodilator, particularly of coronary arteries.

1 comment:

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