Manjanathi may appear to be a plant or tree, not as familiar as other common plants or trees. But in the botanical area, it is a plant that grows commonly in all places, surrounding our living area and on the roadside. It will grow automatically as a tree. However, it is a fact that its medicinal benefits are immense to mankind. To put it in a nutshell, it is a gift given by nature to us. Dr.Jeeva Sekar, (homeopathy and naturopathy) elaborates the medicinal benefits of this manjanathi plant in a succinct manner.
Manjanathi’s botanical name is Morinda Tinctoria. It is known as Manjano, Manjal neerati, Nuna or Noni. Its history goes back to the period of Sangam literature wherein the heroine and her friends used this flower also as one of the 99 flowers during their song and dance. Precisely, this flower is referred to as ‘thanakkam flower’ in that song.
Manjathi is a tender plant but its fiber part is hard and strong. In the past, the hand plow structure used to be of this tree only. Cots were also made of this tree and it is recommended for good slumber. Further, handicrafts items including tiny articles and God’s idols are also made of this tree.
Its leaves would resemble mango leaves (mavilai) and the flowers would be pure white in color. The fruits would appear to be knotted ones and once they ripen, it would become black in color. When it grows to be a tree, it will measure 15 ft. approximately and inside part of this tree would be yellow in color which is why this tree takes the nomenclature, ‘manjanathi’. It contains the minerals such as selenium and zinc. Its fruits are edible but it would darken our tongue.
The uses of this plant are aplenty as under:-
It will reduce heat in the body
Inflammation in any part will be reduced
Gastric condition will be removed
Intestinal problems will be addressed
Will improve appetite
Dermatological issues will be resolved
In villages, its essence is being used for children suffering from gastric stomach or pursuing. The essence is prepared by mixing the leaves with Tulasi, karisilankanni, pepper and ginger and after due filtering, it is given to the babies with the help of conch or feeding device
External wounds and muscular catch or pain can be healed with the paste of these leaves.
The paste of this fruit is also used for throat ulcer
We must mix one measure of manjanathi leaf essence with equal measure of nochi, uthamani and poduthalai leaves essence and if we take this extract thrice or four times a day, all kinds of gastric problems will be totally solved. This also cures shivering cold and fever.
Again, if we take a piece of manjanathi pattai with ½ teaspoon of cumin, brown sugar(palm candy) and boil them in water for oral consumption after filtering, it will prevent fever and solve all kinds of stomach-related ailments. The dosage should be 50 ml.each in the morning and night to be taken before food.
The leaf and fruit are used to cure menstruation problems. We have to grind the leaves and the fruit to become like a paste. Additionally, we must take a little bit of pepper powder, ¼ spoon cumin and a tumbler water and boil the same along with the paste of manjanathi leaf and fruit. Those who have menstruation problems like irregular periods and excessive bleeding can take 50 ml. to 100 ml. for 48 days for a complete cure.
Similarly, the same essence can be taken by the diabetes patients to keep the sugar level in blood normal.
Further, the unriped fruit and salt in equal measure should be ground firmly and the powder becomes a good tooth powder. If one uses this powder for cleaning his/her teeth daily, tooth-related problems will be completely prevented.
The essence of this root will cure constipation and facilitate normal motion
Last but not the least is that 1 kg. manjanathi pattai should be ground and mix it in water measuring 4 times more of this quantity. Then it must be boiled until it becomes 1/8th of the total quantity. With this equal amount of lime juice and 1 lt.gingely oil should be mixed and boiled again until it reaches a degree of consistency. This can be smeared on head and body and get cooled for half an hour before taking head bath. This will cure boils, fever and dermatological problems also.
Of all the curative properties, Manjanathi plant is most useful in taking care of constipation and menstruation issues.
(This article written in Tamil by Maria Belsin has been reproduced in English by P.S.Ramamurthy)