Homes and gardens

Don’t cut and throw them away

Arugampul or Bermuda greass

Arugampul or Bermuda greass  

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Many plants that are often considered weeds have many beneficial qualities. Let’s take a look at five such common varieties.

Arugampul (Cynodon doctylon)

Also known as Bermuda Grass, this sturdy grass is used in golf courses and sports fields because of its tough nature. Its juice is said to have great medicinal value. A concoction of one measure of grass with half measure of betel leaves and a quarter measure of pepper is an excellent blood purifier.

Mookiratai or spreading hogweed

Mookiratai or spreading hogweed  

Mookiratai (Boerhavia diffusa)

Spreading hogweed is a crawling weed belonging to the four o’ clock family. It is rich in amino acids and possesses anti-oxidant, anti-inflammatory and anti diabetic properties. A curry made of this leaf and lentils makes a very tasty dish.

Puliyarai or Indian sorel

Puliyarai or Indian sorel  

Puliyarai (Oxalis corniculata)

The Indian sorel is widely found in moist places. The leaves are used to make a chutney along with fried thuvar and channa dhal spiced with pepper and coriander seeds. Its medicinal properties are said to treat stomach ulcers and amoebiosis. A paste of the leaves and shallots helps reduce pimples and acne.

Brahma thandu or Mexican poppy

Brahma thandu or Mexican poppy  

Brahma thandu (Argemone maxicana)

Mexican poppy is a prickly plant with whitish-grey foliage and beautiful yellow flowers. It exudes an unpleasant smelling sap when cut. The leaves are a good sedative and also have anti-allergic properties. In Mexico, the roots are used in cocktails. Oil from the seeds are used to treat skin problems.

Nal velai or the dog mustard

Nal velai or the dog mustard  

Nal velai (Cleome Gynandra)

The Dog Mustard is seen along the roadside and on waste lands. It has fragrant leaves that are used to treat oedema. Sinus-related head aches are treated by inhaling the steam of water in which these leaves have been boiled. The leaves are usually cooked with mixed greens, green chillies, jeera and garlic. Once the water evaporates, the cooked leaves are churned with butter and eaten with chappathis or rice.

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Printable version | Jan 20, 2020 12:46:26 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/life-and-style/homes-and-gardens/plants-that-are-considered-weeds-are-actually-useful/article17769551.ece

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