Hi! I am Rashmi Nandgaonkar, presenting plenty of benefits of drumsticks.
There would be hardly anybody especially in India, who has not yet relished the most popular delicacy of Southern India, the spicy sour curry called ‘Saambar’ and of course the most popular ingredient of the curry, the drumsticks.
But few of us are actually aware of the benefits of drumstick.
Apart from the benefits one of the amazing facts is that the drumstick plant is almost 80% edible from roots to the fruits, and a 100% therapeutic value.
The drumstick tree is perennial, erect, slender, and medium sized with many arching branches.
It is mostly grown as a backyard tree in most of the South Indian homes, though it is native to the southern Himalayas.
The fruit is a long thin pod resembling a drumstick. The fruit itself is called drumstick in India.
Besides the great nutritional values, drumstick has traditional medicinal values and parts of it are used for water cleaning purposes too!
Following are the benefits I would like to present before you.
1.Drumstick juice when consumed with milk helps in strengthening of bones, especially beneficial for children. Drumsticks are believed to contain more calcium than milk (the leaves have the calcium equivalent of 4 glasses of milk).
2.The leaves also serve as a good enhancing tonic for the skeletal system.
3.It also acts a great blood purifier agent. This property proves useful in combating various infections.
4.During pregnancy, drumsticks help in controlling the sluggishness of the uterus thus ensuring a smooth progress of the delivery process. This helps in prevention of most of the pre and post natal complications. Since it is rich in calcium it is highly recommended during the lactation period also.
5.Drumstick soup eases chest congestion due to cold and cough. Nothing like a warm plain drumstick soup in flu conditions.
6.Steam inhalation with drumstick added to the boiling water relieves asthma and lung ailments.
7.Drumsticks and lime juice mixture works wonders on your skin, makes it glow with health.
8.A soup made from the plant prevents lot of skin infections. This plant has vital antibacterial property similar to penicillin, and is a natural antibiotic.
9.The leaves of drumstick plant are best known for their potential herbal properties, and are used in the treatment of diarrhea, cholera, dysentery, jaundice and other digestive disorders.
10.The juice of the leaves when rubbed on the scalp regularly proves to be a good antidandruff. It cures as well as prevents dandruff.
11.Leaves of drumstick also help in the treating mouth ulcers. A decoction of these leaves can be taken twice a day to get relief from hiccups and breathing disorders.
12.Interestingly, leaves contain 4 times more Vitamin A than in a carrot. Needless to say a great weapon against the eye and skin diseases.
13.It contains 3 times more potassium than bananas and is very useful in maintaining a healthy nervous system.
14.It is a great source of Vitamin C and carotene also along with calcium and thus provides relief from arthritis and rheumatism.
15.In the Philippines, the leaves are used in making "polvoron", which is a milky and powdered snack, bio-fuel, and moringa oil.
16.The bark of the drumstick plant is also very therapeutic. A decoction of the bark is added to the warm water in sitz bath to prevent bleeding piles.
17.The powder of the dark bark is useful in treating premature ejaculation and impotency.
18.The sap from the bark is used to prepare dye.
19.The flowers are known to cure the sexual debility and are also useful in the functional sterility of both males and females.
20.The oil obtained from the seeds is clear, odorless, and resists oxidation at least as well as any other botanical oil. The seed cake remaining after oil extraction may be used as a fertilizer.
21.The seeds of drumstick are traditionally used as water purifying agent. It acts as a flocculent. The seeds are powdered coarsely (or the seed cake left over after oil extraction could also be used) and wrapped up in muslin cloth. This cloth pouch is kept dipped in the jars or containers with water.
Moreover, a drumstick tree can be grown as a backyard tree without any expensive irrigation techniques. Also I would like to add here that besides their therapeutic and nutritional benefits, the other edible parts of drumstick are leaves, flowers and seeds. These are equally good to taste and at the same time absolutely distinct too. Leaves can be eaten fresh, cooked, or stored as dried powder for many months without refrigeration, and reportedly without loss of nutritional value.
Three non-governmental organizations in particular — Trees for Life, Church World Service, and Educational Concerns for Hunger Organization — have advocated Drumstick as “natural nutrition for the tropics.” It is indeed a complete nutrition.
The author of this article, Rashmi Nandgaonkar, is a registered nurse and midwife and manages her own hospital. She is pursuing a diploma in counseling, and attends workshops on special education for special kids, and Ayurvedic cooking. She is an avid reader, and loves traveling, music, cooking, spending spare time with her kids. She has won many awards during her nursing education including the Mayors award.