Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Vanilla planifolia Linn

Botanical name : Vanilla planifolia Linn. (Vanilla fragrans)
Family : Orchidaceae

SANSKRIT SYNONYMS
Sugandhiphala, Vanilla

AYURVEDIC PROPERTIES
Rasa : Katu, Tikta
Guna : Lakhu
Virya : Ushna

PLANT NAME IN DIFFERENT LANGUAGES
English : Vanilla
Hindi : Vanilla
Malayalam : Vanilla

Distribution – Throughout India, cultivated.

PLANT DESCRIPTION
Vanilla is a tropical climbing orchid, with a long green fleshy stem that sprouts roots that cling to trees parasitically. Leaves simple, alternate, fleshy, ovate and acute. Flowers yellowish green, in axillary spikes, which bloom one flower each day, they are only pollinated by Mexican bees and hummingbirds that are capable of penetrating a tough membrane that separates the plant’s pistil and stamen. The pods take about nine months to mature and are harvested when the tips begin to turn from yellow.

MEDICINAL PROPERTIES
Plant pacifies vitiated vata, pitta, inflammation, pain, arthritis, fever, anemia, sickle cell anemia and used as a flavoring agent for food items. Useful part : Pods, Leaves.

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