The petals are natural painkillers. One of the best examples of this is the amazing health benefits of the rhododendron flower.
The national flower of Nepal and the state flower of Himachal Pradesh in India, the flower is not only an attraction in springtime but a natural cure for diarrhea, inflammations, headaches, and bacterial and fungal infections.
According to WHO (2000), about 65% of the global population utilizes the medicinal properties of the plant for treatment and up to 80% of the Indian population uses it for curing several diseases.
Traditionally, rhododendron flowers are used to make dried powders, pastes, pickles, and chutneys (dips mixed with mint leaves, salt, and anardana).
A mine of phytochemicals, the health benefits of Rhododendron are due to its antifungal, antioxidant, and antimicrobial properties, especially the Rhododendron honey.
Depending on the season you might get your hands on a drink made from this legendary stock, it’s mostly made in small batches and is available for a limited time only. To know more about it, please Click Here.
For ages, the homeopathic medicine system use rhododendron flowers and leaves to make medicines to cure various diseases. To know what wonders it does to your body, read on:
1. A Natural Pain Killer
Applying the leave paste of the rhododendron tree on the forehead cures the headaches. On top of that, the paste is used as a poultice on wounds and inflamed skin due to its potent astringent properties.
And juice extract from the flowers of the tree helps relieve stomach aches. Animal studies found that rhododendron extracts pacify stimuli of pain in rats.
2. Has Anti-Inflammatory Properties
Numerous homeopathic and Ayurveda medicines utilize rhododendron petals and leave them to cure inflammations, especially gout, arthritis, and bronchitis.
Packed with phytochemicals such as saponin, flavonoid, tannins, and more, the plant extract soothes inflammation immediately.
Moreover, rhododendron flowers contain two anti-inflammatory chemicals ‘Quercetin’ and ‘Rutin’. Where quercetin provides effective relief from inflammation in the kidney, prostate and urinary bladder and Rutin treats mouth ulcers, gastrointestinal tract infections, and osteoarthritis.
3. Heart-Healthy Petals
The juice of rhododendron flowers lowers blood pressure and bad cholesterol. Its antioxidant properties reduce the risk of stroke and heart disease.
Quercetin is highly effective in treating hypertension, atherosclerosis, and other factors leading to heart ailments. Whereas Rutin prevents the formation of blood clots increasing the chances of a heart attack.
Know more about Rhododendron Chutney (Buransh)
4. Anti-Diabetic Properties
Rhododendron’s petals contain an antioxidant ‘hyper in’ that inhibits action of various glucose enzymes, causing a drop in blood sugar and cholesterol levels.
In an animal study on rats with diabetes mellitus, Rhododendron honey effectively helped in lowering blood glucose and lipid levels.
In fact, rhododendron honey (also known as wild, mad, and toxic honey) is being used since ancient times to treat several disorders. However, beware that it’s may be toxic because an excess of this honey can cause vertigo and arterial hypotension.
5. Antimicrobial Properties
Rhododendrons contain bioactive steroids and phytochemicals that have antimicrobial properties. Lab studies of the flowers concluded their effectiveness against different strains of bacteria.
Moreover, it contains two powerful flavonoids ‘Quercetin’ and ‘P-coumaric’ that maintain healthy gut flora against the foreign microbial activity.
6. Boosts Immunity
Locals consume rhododendron petals as it strengthens their immune response preventing allergic responses due to changes in weather. They experience a lower risk of asthma, allergies, hives, and hay fever, thanks again to Quercetin.
Moreover, if you mix these dried leaves with tobacco and inhale the smoke, it helps cure respiratory diseases naturally.
Used in Ayurveda medicine as a liver tonic, it reduces the risk of liver damage. The hepatoprotective properties of rhododendron flowers comes from Quercetin and other phytochemicals which have powerful antioxidant properties.
Have a look at Rhododendron Squash (Buransh ka Sharbat)
8. Prevents Cancer
Quercetin and Rutin in rhododendron prevent oxidative damage to normal cells that leads to mutation and then cancer. Moreover, these antioxidants also inhibit the growth of existing cancer cells and, ultimately, lower the risk of cancer.
The ayurvedic medicine system has been using rhododendron flowers since ancient times to make medicine. But nowadays, several studies are being done proving the benefits of these seasonal flowers that are not just a treat for the eyes but for the body too.
They make amazing Chutnies out of it in the Himalayas, one of the variants made from fresh batches every year is listed on Masala Monk’s store, availability might vary on stock, to check the current status, Click Here.
Interested in a drink made out of Rhodo – Click Here.