Dashapushpam: The month of Karkkidakam has started today as per the Malayalam calendar.
This is the wettest month of the season and the ten sacred flowers, ‘Dashapushpam’, are given a lot of importance in rituals. This is because it is also the season when a lot of illnesses surface due to the damp
weather.

Even though they are termed as flowers, in reality it is the whole plant and the leaves that are medicinal. The flowers in most cases are small and inconspicuous.

Many of these can also be used as pot herbs and added to batters or Dhals to make healthy and tasty dishes. The leaves of of the Mukkutti are crushed and the greenish black juice is used by the women to make a bindi during this month. It is supposed to attract ‘Shree’ , prosperity.

*Dashapushpam* *
1. Karuka Cynodon dactylon
2. Valli uzhinja Cardiospermum halicacabum
3. Poovankurunnela Vernonia cinerea
4. Muyalchevian Emilia sonchifolia
5. Kayyonni Eclipta alba
6. Nilappana Curculigo orchioides
7. Vishnukranti Evolvulus alsinoides
8. Mukkutti Biophytum sensitivum
9. Cherula Aerva lanata
10. Thirutali Ipomoea sepiaria


May I share my experience in connection with dasapushpam and nakshthra marangal (trees of zodiac signs)?
I have been involved in planting dasapushpam, trees of zodiac signs (http://thenmala.info/trees.html) in collaboration with forest department and different temple authorities in different parts of Kerala. It was a good experience as people from different corners (school & College) students, teachers, involved in the program to
restore a Kavu (sacred forest) last month in Central Kerala (Nagapuzha, near Thodupuzha in Idukki district of Kerala). Here people have realized the fact that they have lost the natural habitat near the pristine Kavu by the activity of different authorities handled the temple for the last 30-40 years. During this period they have
renovated and temple (which was just a small idol beneath a tree when the kavu was there) and build new temple and expanded the existing one. Now they realize that unless they get the kavu back, the divinity of the area would not be complete. Now they are planting trees and other plants with local importance. I am in the restoration committee along with experts from different fields. We insisted them plants (only indigenous/endemics) of ethnic and medicinal importance. We suggested trees of zodiac signs (Nakshathra marangal), Dasapushpangal,
Dasamoolangal (major plants used in the preparation of Dasamoolarishtam, an ayurvedic preparation). Kerala Forest department and Devaswam Board are showing keen interest in generating awareness by planting trees in such places in collaboration with local people or interested public bodies towards conservation.
MS Swaminathan Research Foundation regional station (MSSRF, Waynad, Kerala) is involved in such kind of activities in Kerala. They distribute seedlings of these trees/plants as well!


I can give the translation of the following plants names to Marathi.

1. Karuka – Dhruva grass it is offered to Ganesha.
2. Kayyonni – Brigaraj – it is used in hair oil
3. Nilappana – Kali Musali – used in tonics
4. Mukkutti – Lajwanti


Most of the Kavus in Kerala are getting destroyed as properties get split up and sold. I have a copy of the book on Star trees brought out by Thenmala and have planted several of the trees.


My attempt at gathering names …

No. Vernacular Botanical Marathi
1. Karuka Cynodon dactylon दुरवा durva, हरळी harali
2. Valli uzhinja Cardiospermum halicacabum पिंगवी pingavi
3. Poovankurunnela Vernonia cinerea
सहदेवी sahadevi
4. Muyalchevian Emilia sonchifolia सदामंदी
5. Kayyonni Eclipta alba
भृंगराज bhringaraj, माका maka
6. Nilappana Curculigo orchioides
काळी मुसळी kali musali, तालमूली tal-muli
7. Vishnukranti Evolvulus alsinoides शंखवेल shankhavel, विष्णुक्रांत vishnukranta
8. Mukkutti Biophytum sensitivum झरेरा jharera, लाजवंती lajwanti
9. Cherula Aerva lanata
कापूरमाधुरी kapurmadhuri
10. Thirutali Ipomoea sepiaria आमटी वेल amti-vel


Here are the Tamil names, in the same order.
Ref.: http://envis.frlht.org/botanical_search.php

Sl.No. Tamil name
1. அருகம்புல் (Arugampul)
2. முடக்கற்றான் (Mudakkatraan)
3. சீதேவி செங்கழுநீர் (Citevi cenkalunir)
4. முயல்செவி (Muyalchevi)
5. கரிசாலை (Karisaalai)
6. நிலப்பனை (Nilappanai)
7. விஷ்ணுகிரந்தி (Vishnukiranthi)
8. நிலசுருங்கி (Nilachurungi)
9. சிறு பீளை (Siru peelai)
10. தாலிக்கொடி (Thalikkodi)


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