Thursday, September 14, 2017

Costus Igneus - Insulin Plant - Medicinal plant for diabetes treatment

Name - Costus Igneus - Insulin Plant - Spiral Flag
Family - Costaceae

In India Costus Igneus is also called Insulin Plant . It is treated in Ayurveda as a natural remedy for diabetes, hence the name Insulin Plant.

It is a perennial plant. It usually grows around two feet tall. The leaves are spirally arranged and fleshy looking. The plant spreads quiet fast without much care. It grows very fast. Though it needs sunlight it can grow in partly shady areas also.

In south India it is used in the treatment of diabetes. Mostly the leaves are used in diabetes treatment. There are many reports of the usage of this herb reduce blood glucose level. There are many other medicinal uses too.

This herb is cultivated in certain areas for its root. It can be grown as an ornamental plant too.

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Jackfruit Tree - Artocarpus heterophyllus

Name - Jackfruit tree / Jack-fruit Tree / Jack Tree
Scientific name ( Botanical Name ) of Jackfruit tree is Artocarpus heterophyllus
Family - Moraceae

                                 Jackfruit known as world's largest fruit is a tropical fruit which grows mainly in South-east Asia. It is very much liked by the people due to it's delicious taste and aroma.
                                 The tree grows very tall and is evergreen. But the fruit is seasonal. The fruit as you can see in the videos and photos, grows very big. Now a days there are lot of varieties of jackfruit trees available which does not grow much tall so that we can pluck the fruit easily.

                                In Kerala ( a state in India ) the fruit before ripening is used to make a very popular and delicious dish called chakka puzhukku. One average sized fruit would be enough to make chakka puzhukku for a small family. In Kerala Jack fruit ( called Chakka ) is mainly divided into two types - Varikka Chakka and Koozha Chakka. The flesh of ripen Varikka Chakka is harder compared to ripen Koozha Chakka. Jackfruit is also used in Kerala to make different types of fries which can be stored for a long time. Another food in Kerala made from Jack Fruit is Chakka Varatiyathu which looks like a jam which is very tasty.

The following video shows a Jackfruit which is not ripen plucked for making a dish called Chakka Puzhukku

                                         A fully ripen cut jackfruit ready to eat

Jackfruit flesh

Unripe Jackfruits
Unripe Jackfruits
                                                        How to cut a jackfruit and eat it

                                The hardest part of eating a jackfruit is the opening of the outer rind which is pretty hard. You can use a  knife to open the outer ring which needs a little bit effort ! Another thing which you should take care while cutting and eating a jackfuit
is a white sticky fluid which comes out. You can wipe it of f with some paper or cloth. If by chance it sticks on your body or cloth you can remove the white jack fruit fluid by applying some oil. In Kerala we use Cocunut oil which we use to cook foods to remove the white sticky jackfruit fluid if it sticks on the body or cloth. So I hope the same type of oils will work as well.

                                 The sweet yellow tasty flesh has a very good aroma. Anyone would love to it this fruit and will become a fan if you eat it once. Note -Different varieties have different tastes.
                                 Each and every flesh contains a seed which should be removed before eating. The seed is also used to make variety dishes.

Almost all parts of jackfruit are usable ! Yes the outer rind can be given to your cows. The cows loves it very much. If you don't have cows you can use it make bio-fertilizer.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Passion Fruit - Passiflora edulis

Name - Passion Fruit/Passion Fruit
Family - Passifloraceae
Genus - Passiflora

Passion fruit plant  is a vine plant which needs support to climb on. The plant grows easily without much care and attention.

 The fruits are either yellow or purple in color when they are fully ripen.The juicy interior of the passion fruit contains a tasty pulp with lot of seeds. Health benefits of passion fruits are numerous. Nowadays it is cultivated in many countries.

How to grow passion fruit

One of the easiest method to grow passion fruit is to grow from seeds. In my case I have collected the ripen fruits from one of my friends passion fruit plant. The fruit should be fully ripen. There are plenty of seeds in every fruit. Collect those seeds and put it under soil in a pot. The fact is that even though you through the fruit/seed away it will grow its own without much care. The photo provided here is a passion fruit plant which climbed on a tree. Nobody had planted it there but somehow the seed came there and grew !

Passiflora Edulis
Passion Fruit Plant and Fruits
                     The plant will sprout after around one week. When the plant grows up to 15 -20 centimeters you can replant it . The ideal place to plant the passion fruit is near to a fence or a small tree where the plant can climb. Why I am a suggesting a 'small' tree and not a 'big tree is that if the passion fruit plant climbs on a big tree you wont be able to pluck the ripen fruits easily and may have to wait till the fruit falls on earth which is not a good idea !

                     Even though passion fruit plant does not need extra care it is advisable to water it properly especially in first one month after planting. You can see a Purple Passion Fruit plant growing / climbing on a plastic net in the below video.


                                                           Passion fruit seedlings

passion fruit saplings
Passion fruit seedlings

                       The below picture shows passion fruits in growing stage

Passiflora Edulis
Passion fruits in growing stage

How to make passion fruit juice ( Video )

For more plant videos, please visit

Monday, February 4, 2013

Ayurvedic Medicinal Plant - Adhatoda beddome - Vasaka - Adalodakam - Malabar Nut - Justicia adhatoda

Names - Adhatoda beddome -  Vasaka - Adalodakam - Malabar Nut - Adusa - Justicia adhatoda
Family - Acanthaceae                   

Adhatoda beddome is an ayurvedic medicinal plant which is used to cure different type of diseases. It is an ayurvedic medicine for diseases such as cough, asthma, vomiting, mouth diseases, fever, bronchitis etc. I had seen people giving the omelette which contains egg mixed with adhatoda beddome leaves to children having fever and cough.

These plants are mainly seen in Southeast Asia. The plant may grow up to 2 - 4 meters.The leaves, seeds , roots and flowers can be used as medicine. The plant can be cultivated by using either the seed or stem. The stem of the plant is pretty soft.

There are basically two type of plants - Adhatoda beddomei Clark ( Small Vasaka ) & Adhatoda Vasica Nees ( Big Vasaka ).

For more plant videos please visit -

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Caryota urens - Wine palm - Toddy palm - Jaggery palm

Name  : Caryota Urens
Family : Arecaceae
Genus  : Caryota

 Caryota Urens or Solitary fishtail palm is a palm which grows very tall.It is common in India, Sri Lanka and some other Asian countries.
  An alcoholic drink  is produced from this palm by fermenting the sap tapped from the inflorescence.In Kerala (a state in South India) the drink is sold through shops called 'Toddy Shops'.

 Fibers can be produced from the leaves which can be used to make baskets, brushes etc. The big leaves are a major food given to elephants.
 It usually grows up to 15 to 20 meters.It is not preferred as an indoor plant as it grows very tall.

Other Names : Wine Palm, Toddy Palm, Jaggery Palm

For more plant videos please visit

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Clove Bean - Ipomoea Muricata

Name : Clove Bean
Scientific Name : Ipomoea Muricata
Family  :  Convolvulaceae

                  Clove bean is vine plant which gives crops throughout the year. In Kerala where it is pretty common it is called 'Nithya Vazhuthana' / Nithyavazhuthina നിത്യ വഴുതന which means that it provides the crop always throughout the year. The fruits which look like a bulb is used for cooking.

                          This plant can grow without having much care and attention. It will even grow in partial sunlight. The fruits are very small and a large number of fruits grow on the plant. It starts flowering by around 50 days after planting. The plant is grown from the seeds inside the fruit itself.The fruits can be used for cooking very tasty and nutritious dishes.

Clove bean harvesting ( Video)

For more plant videos, please visit my Youtube channel

Coconut Tree - Cocos Nucifera

Coconut Tree

Name : Coconut Tree, Coconut Palm
Scientific Name : Cocos Nucifera
Family : Arecaceae 

Coconut tree belongs to the palm family. It grows very tall (even up to 30 meters). Almost all parts of the coconut tree are usable. The leaves are very long. And the fruits are grown on the top of it.

Coconut Fruit

Coconut fruit is a very large heavy fruit. It comprises of Husk, Shell , White flesh (Solid endosperm) and Coconut water (Liquid endosperm). The husk is used to making coir. The shell which is veryhard can be used for making various crafts. The white flesh is used in cooking in various parts of the world. The coconut water is very delicious and healthy.
                                                 The dried white flesh is used to make coconut oil which is used for both cooking and apply on hair.

Tender coconut
                  Tender coconut is the coconut before it is fully ripen. It includes more quantity of juice and is very tasty and is having a lot of health benefits.

For more plant videos, please visit my Youtube channel

Costus Igneus - Insulin Plant - Medicinal plant for diabetes treatment

Name - Costus Igneus - Insulin Plant - Spiral Flag Family - Costaceae In India Costus Igneus is also called Insulin Plant . It is t...