1188 karkidaka 3
Dasapushpam ( dasa = ten & pushpam = flower ), even though, its called 10 flowers, generally it is intended to mean 10 plants. These are the 10 sacred flowering plants with unique medicinal properties. Dasapushpam is blended into the culture and heritage of kerala and is significant during the karkidaka season. It is a tradition to collect dasapushpam and keep it with water in the courtyard, called ‘seepothi’ for welcoming prosperity. Women pluck and wear these herbs on their head during the month of karkidaka as it is beneficial to health and is also considered sacred. Dasapushpam along with pathira poovu is worn during thiruvathira. In olden days dasapushpam were grown around almost every house and it needed least care. But unfortunately now it is scarce.
The dasapushpam are: karuka, muyalcheviyan, cheroola, mukkutti, nilappana, vishnukranthi, poovamkurunnila, uzhinja, thiruthali and kayyonni.
All these have its own unique medicinal properties and are also used in folklore medicine. Karuka is used for Ganapathi homam ( oblations to Lord Ganapathy ). Karuka, Muyalcheviyan, Cheroola have diuretic properties and hence reduce inflammation and also have anti toxic properties. Cheroola is good for kidney stones and application of the paste of muyalcheviyan is good for tonsillitis. Karuka is used in the treatment of mental disorders and epilepsy. kayyonni is good for hair growth and Uzhinja has anti dandruff properties. Poovamkurunnila is used to manage fever. Nilappana is famous as an aphrodisiac and vishnukranthi is used for stress and is also as a memory booster. Thiruthali is anti toxic and is good for gynecological disorders. Mukkutti helps in arresting bleeding and also is good for headache and indigestion. Mukkutti also plays an important role in the flower carpet during onam.
The above mentioned are only a few properties of the herbs. Adding dasapushpam to karkidaka kanji is advisable for good health. It will be better if everyone can grow the dasapushpam at home.