Toxic legacy of US assault on Fallujah worse than Hiroshima

Toxic legacy of US assault on Fallujah ‘worse than Hiroshima’ – Middle East – World – The Independent 

The shocking rates of infant mortality and cancer in Iraqi city raise new questions about battle

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Dramatic increases in infant mortality, cancer and leukaemia in the Iraqi city of Fallujah, which was bombarded by US Marines in 2004, exceed those reported by survivors of the atomic bombs that were dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945, according to a new study.

Iraqi doctors in Fallujah have complained since 2005 of being overwhelmed by the number of babies with serious birth defects, ranging from a girl born with two heads to paralysis of the lower limbs. They said they were also seeing far more cancers than they did before the battle for Fallujah between US troops and insurgents.

Their claims have been supported by a survey showing a four-fold increase in all cancers and a 12-fold increase in childhood cancer in under-14s. Infant mortality in the city is more than four times higher than in neighbouring Jordan and eight times higher than in Kuwait.

Dr Chris Busby, a visiting professor at the University of Ulster and one of the authors of the survey of 4,800 individuals in Fallujah, said it is difficult to pin down the exact cause of the cancers and birth defects. He added that “to produce an effect like this, some very major mutagenic exposure must have occurred in 2004 when the attacks happened”.

US Marines first besieged and bombarded Fallujah, 30 miles west of Baghdad, in April 2004 after four employees of the American security company Blackwater were killed and their bodies burned. After an eight-month stand-off, the Marines stormed the city in November using artillery and aerial bombing against rebel positions. US forces later admitted that they had employed white phosphorus as well as other munitions.

In the assault US commanders largely treated Fallujah as a free-fire zone to try to reduce casualties among their own troops. British officers were appalled by the lack of concern for civilian casualties. “During preparatory operations in the November 2004 Fallujah clearance operation, on one night over 40 155mm artillery rounds were fired into a small sector of the city,” recalled Brigadier Nigel Aylwin-Foster, a British commander serving with the American forces in Baghdad.

He added that the US commander who ordered this devastating use of firepower did not consider it significant enough to mention it in his daily report to the US general in command. Dr Busby says that while he cannot identify the type of armaments used by the Marines, the extent of genetic damage suffered by inhabitants suggests the use of uranium in some form. He said: “My guess is that they used a new weapon against buildings to break through walls and kill those inside.”

The survey was carried out by a team of 11 researchers in January and February this year who visited 711 houses in Fallujah. A questionnaire was filled in by householders giving details of cancers, birth outcomes and infant mortality. Hitherto the Iraqi government has been loath to respond to complaints from civilians about damage to their health during military operations.

Researchers were initially regarded with some suspicion by locals, particularly after a Baghdad television station broadcast a report saying a survey was being carried out by terrorists and anybody conducting it or answering questions would be arrested. Those organising the survey subsequently arranged to be accompanied by a person of standing in the community to allay suspicions.

The study, entitled “Cancer, Infant Mortality and Birth Sex-Ratio in Fallujah, Iraq 2005-2009”, is by Dr Busby, Malak Hamdan and Entesar Ariabi, and concludes that anecdotal evidence of a sharp rise in cancer and congenital birth defects is correct. Infant mortality was found to be 80 per 1,000 births compared to 19 in Egypt, 17 in Jordan and 9.7 in Kuwait. The report says that the types of cancer are “similar to that in the Hiroshima survivors who were exposed to ionising radiation from the bomb and uranium in the fallout”.

Researchers found a 38-fold increase in leukaemia, a ten-fold increase in female breast cancer and significant increases in lymphoma and brain tumours in adults. At Hiroshima survivors showed a 17-fold increase in leukaemia, but in Fallujah Dr Busby says what is striking is not only the greater prevalence of cancer but the speed with which it was affecting people.

Of particular significance was the finding that the sex ratio between newborn boys and girls had changed. In a normal population this is 1,050 boys born to 1,000 girls, but for those born from 2005 there was an 18 per cent drop in male births, so the ratio was 850 males to 1,000 females. The sex-ratio is an indicator of genetic damage that affects boys more than girls. A similar change in the sex-ratio was discovered after Hiroshima.

The US cut back on its use of firepower in Iraq from 2007 because of the anger it provoked among civilians. But at the same time there has been a decline in healthcare and sanitary conditions in Iraq since 2003. The impact of war on civilians was more severe in Fallujah than anywhere else in Iraq because the city continued to be blockaded and cut off from the rest of the country long after 2004. War damage was only slowly repaired and people from the city were frightened to go to hospitals in Baghdad because of military checkpoints on the road into the capital.

Blame the Muslims

The police and the media’s deep prejudice against Muslims lives on.

The bomb blasts in Hyderabad on 21 February were meant to cause maximum terror among the people of the city as they apparently had no target other than the ordinary citizens going about their daily lives. In their randomness these bomb blasts have successfully sowed insecurity and misgivings in the minds of the city’s residents.

The bomb blasts and their aftermath have only helped deepen communal divides in a city which has seen aggressive communal mobilisations and conspiracies over the past few years. As this journal had noted in earlier editorials (“Witches’ Brew in Hyderabad”, EPW, 1 December 2012; “Fifteen Minutes of Infamy”, EPW, 19 January 2013), there has been a concerted effort to reignite communal violence in Hyderabad, which has largely been free from it since L K Advani’s infamous Rath Yatra of 1990. The Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh’s (RSS) affiliates like the Vishwa Hindu Parishad and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) have been in the forefront of stoking communal fires. Hindutva forces have been caught throwing beef into temples, attacking Muslims before Eid-ul Azha and trying to expand the illegal temple at Charminar’s base. The Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen, which had kept a relatively low profile over the past decade and more, has also adopted a shrill communal tone, as the recent speech by its leader Akbaruddin Owaisi illustrates. All these attempts to create communal divisions and spark violence have taken place in anticipation of a separate Telangana state which has kept the city and its surrounding regions in the throes of political uncertainty.

In such a context, these bombs had the potential to reopen deep communal wounds on all sides. That this has been averted is largely the result of the good sense of the average citizen and not because of any sense of responsibility on the part of either the police or the media, particularly television news. Even a fortnight later, the union home ministry or the Andhra Pradesh government have refused to go on record on who could have committed this terrible act. However, the security agencies and the police – both in Hyderabad and elsewhere – as well as the media have shown no such restraint.

Much can be said about the incompetence of the police and intelligence agencies which allow such incidents to take place. What is far worse is that most of the terror attacks remain unsolved and the perpetrators go unpunished. That, however, has never prevented our worthies in uniform from spinning a fancy yarn and lining up a veritable army of suspects and perpetrators, who invariably are Muslims. There have been reports that often the police force these “suspects” to wear the Keffiyeh or skullcap, so that their chums in the media can helpfully identify them as “Jihadi” to the country at large!

Even in this instance, within less than two hours of the blast, a “leak” from Delhi police claimed that the “Indian Mujahideen”, whose very existence is something of a mystery, has been behind these attacks with enviable details being regurgitated by breathless television anchors. Before the night was out, this “theory” – based entirely on anonymous police leaks – was now presented as “fact”, leading the president of the BJP to demand that the Indian government take punitive action against Pakistan! What was astounding was that not a single police source or, worse, a single journalist asked questions about the Mecca Masjid blasts of 2007 in this same city.

In that instance, scores of Muslim men were picked up by the police who extracted detailed confessions from them and built up an elaborate story of how “modules” from Maharashtra, Hyderabad and Bihar had worked with their handlers in Bangladesh and Karachi to carry out this explosion. As we all know, this entire “story” was a fabrication, which these criminals in uniform had concocted. The Mecca Masjid blast was, as is now prima facie proved, carried out by Hindutva terrorists of Abhinav Bharat and Sanatan Sanstha with links to the RSS. Yet, not a single journalist or security agency thought it worthwhile to mention this basic fact. Not one media-person thought it necessary to mention that close to the site of the bomb blasts, Hindutva activists had been caught throwing beef into temples. Rather, within 30 minutes of the bomb blasts taking place, when even the top police officers had not reached the site, television media was already speaking of “old city” links and “communal” politics, which as any Indian knows, are code words for “Muslim”.

It just got worse in the days which followed. The police picked up for questioning, without any legal warrant, six of the men falsely accused for the Mecca Masjid blast and who have been acquitted of all charges. The courts have said that those arrested and tortured in that instance were entirely innocent, and the fabrications of the police have been exposed. Yet, the officers involved in foisting these fake cases faced no action, far less any prosecution; in fact, they were promoted in due course and some of them could even be involved in the “investigations” of the present case.

It is the political shield for such criminal, incompetent conduct by the police provided by governments, both at the centre and in the states, which has allowed the communal targeting of Muslims by the police and the media to continue. Shedding crocodile tears, as the top Congress leadership is inclined to do, will not reduce the communal bias in the police and intelligence agencies, nor will it, perhaps more importantly, help make our cities safer. Unfortunately, the fourth estate, rather than being a check on the excesses of the powers, has become a partner in crime.

Medicinal Plants and Their Malayalam Names




Name in English : Queen sago
Latin Name : Cycas Circinalis
Group :
Name in Malayalam : EANTH
Name in Sanskrit :
Name in different Indian language : EANTH,

This plant is famous for its long life span-  more than 2000 years. Its origin dates back to dinosaurs.
The first generation plant & its fruits considered to be the food of dinosaurs. The fruit contains good sort of vitamins & minerals.

The old-age peoples of  Kerala used the fruit as food. The fruit contains poison. They refines the fruit &   They produced  a kind of sago from this fruits. The use of this sago helps to maintain the health.      


Plant Medicine- Immune sago

Immune Sago is the First Food Supplement in the world based on Cycas kernels. It has been used in Malabar for centuries by Brahmins and Kalari warriors with beneficial effects. Immune Sago contains the kernels of Cycas Circinalis and Cycas Revoluta, the selected best variety of the species.The longevity of these plants (more than 1000 years) are miraculous and it’s origin dates back (200 million years) to dinosaurs. When all it’s counterparts, both plants and animals are extinct, cycas is still alive. Now we are presenting Immune Sago, the natural and traditional food supplement to suit modern life style and is the traditional answer for present day ailments. Immune Sago is purified form of Cycas Circinalis and Revoluta to fine tune it’s medical properties for the benefit of infants and invalids, sports persons and acutely and chronically ill Convalescents. It has been traditionally established that Immune Sago has excellent medical properties like

Maintaining steady-state control of Metabolism,Restoring normal body functions Improving immunity to resist diseases, Reducing obesity and LDL cholesterol, Curing Ulcer and Acidity, Controlling Arthritis, Controlling white discharge, Increasing sexual Power, An ideal food supplement & Rejuvenator, Helping Diabetes
Ayurveda Identifies Cycas Circinalis & Revoluta as an ideal food supplement and rejuvenatory.
It is easy to digest for any age groups, It has no artificial coloring agents or flavoring, It is 100% natural & Environment friendly


Name in English : Giloe, Hear- Leaved Moon seed
Latin Name : Tinospora cordifolia Hook.f. & Thoms.
Group : Menispermaceae

Name in Malayalam : Chittamrith, AmrUth

Name in Sanskrit : Amritha, gudooji, amritha sambhava

Name in different Indian language : Indian Koyinav ( Indian kinaine), Vayastha, Jevanthi, Bishkpriya, Gulooji, Chinnarooham, Amrithavalli, Somavalli, Madhuparni.

This plant seen everywhere in the village. It is mainly used to control Fever. It reduce the heavy fever and maintain and control the heat of the body. It is good medicine against blood cancer. It is good for the treatment of AIDS. The use of the plant develope the immune power of AIDS patient.

The plant is known as the Paracetamol of Ayurveda. The name “Amruth” means it defeat the death. It is a main content of ayurvedic medicine “Amritharishtam”.

The plant seen in two varieties. One is Small leaf variety( Tylophora cordifolia), It has Assimilatary roots, the flower is yellow and fruits are red. . Another is wild variety ( Tylophora Malabarica) and the wild one have the bigger leaf. Normally the small leaf variety is used in medicinal purpose.

It is also a good Rejuvenator & good to control Blood sugar.

Other References: –

Chittamrithu (Tinospora cordifolia)

Chittamrithu (Tinospora cordifolia) is a climber with fleshy stem, aerial roots and heart shaped leaves. The heart shaped leaves are also juicy. Chittamrith produces tiny y
ellow flowers after the leaves are shed in summer.
The plant is used in the preparation of several decoction medicines and Ayurvedic jams known as rasayana. It has different properties such as antispasmodic and anti-inflammatory. It is used in the treatment of different kinds of fevers and diseases affecting urinary track.
Tinospora cardifolia belongs to the family menispermaceae.




Name in English : Indian PENNYwort.

Latin Name : Centella asiatica Urban
Group : Umbelliaferae.

Name in Malayalam : Kudangal, Muthil,

Name in Sanskrit : Jalolbhava, Mandookaparni, Swaraswathi

Name in different Indian language : Karinthakali, Karimuthil, Kudangal, Centella , Pindari, Chandaki, Yochanavalli, Arthaniyaieyanthi, Tholkuri, Thankuni, Brahmamandhooki, Kurivana.

This plant seen every where in the paddy Field in my village. It is the best natural tonic for boost the memory power. Take two leaf daily in empty stomach. The green leaf smell as fresh carrot. This also good for Heart health. . It help to cure Hypattatis B +ve to -Ve. It is a main content of “Mandookaparnyadi Rasayanam”- an Ayurveda medicine for developing memory power & brain power – in Ashtangahridayam.

In SiddaVaidya there is a book published especially for Indian PENNYwort. The entire book -Vallareprabhavabodhini- explains the miracle properties of this plant.

The leaf extract of this plant strengthen the nerve system of the brain.

Other Reference :

Muthil or Kudangal (centella_asiatica)
The stems are slender, creeping stolons, green to reddish green in color, interconnecting one plant to another. It has long-stalked, green, reniform leaves with rounded apices which have smooth texture with palmately netted veins. The leaves are borne on pericladial petioles, around 2 cm. The rootstock consists of rhizomes, growing vertically down. They are creamish in color and covered with root hairs.

The flowers are pinkish to red in color, born in small, rounded bunches (umbels) near the surface of the soil. Each flower is partly enclosed in two green bracts. The hermaphrodite flowers are minute in size (less than 3 mm), with 5-6 corolla lobes per flower. Each flower bears five stamens and two styles. The fruit are densely reticulate, distinguishing it from species of Hydrocotyle which have smooth, ribbed or warty fruit.
The crop matures in three months and the whole plant, including the roots, is harvested manually.



CHEROOLAName in English : Wool Plant

Latin Name : Aerva lanata Juss.

Group : Amaranthaceae

Name in Malayalam : CHEROOLA

Name in Sanskrit : Bhadra

Name in different Indian language : Cherupoola.

One of the main plant in “Dasapushapa” in Ayurveda.

The plant grow up to 50 cm heights. It has small leafs. Used in treatment of urinal system. It destroy the urine stone. It is used in the treatment of blood-sugar. The paste made with the entire plant diluted in curd cure blood sugar.


Name in English : Elephant’s Foot

Latin Name : Elephantopus scaber Linn.
Group : Asteraceae

Name in Malayalam : Anachuvadi

Name in Sanskrit : Gojihwa

Name in different Indian language : Anayadian, Kuchirikka

As the plant leaf is likely to be the elephant foot print , the plant is called as Elephant’s Foot.
The plant is locally called as “ Anayadian”, “Kuchirikka” etc..
It has the properties of reducing human body heat. It is used in the treatment of heart diseases, and cough.

Mainly used in treatment of Tonsillitis.

The leaf used as a shampoo for removing dandruff and hair falling



Name in English : AFRICAN MALLI

Latin Name : Eryngium foetidum Linn.
Group : Apiaceae

Name in Malayalam : African malli

Name in Sankrit : ………………………….

It is Known as African Malli, But originated from America. It smell as Cori enter leaf and the leaf is used in curry’s and soups. The use of the root is increase the digestion. The plant is used as cattle feed in Java.

It is a good garden plant.

Medicinal parts : Root & Leaf



Name in English :. GREAT CHIRATA,

Latin Name : Andrographis paniculata Nees
Group : Acanthaceae

Name in Malayalam : Kiriyatha, Chirayatha, Nilavep


Name in different Indian language : Kalmegh, Boonimba, Mahathiktha, Kiratha

This plant grow very well in our village at all the season. It flowered in August- September months.

This is one of the great plant in Ayurveda. It uses mainly in the bloodsugar treatment. Eating of the raw leaf helps the digestion system.

It is a main content of famous Ayurveda Medicine- Sudershanachoornam.


Name in English : Sensitive plant

Latin Name : Biophytum sensitivum D.C.

Group : Oxalidaceae

Name in Malayalam : MUKKUTTI

Name in Sanskrit : Alambusha, Jalapushpa, Peethapushpa, Samanga, Krithanjali.

Name in different Indian language :
Theendanazhi, Nilaccurunki, Tintanali, lajalu, lajalu, lajjalu, lakhshana, laksmana, zarer.

A small plant with Yellow Flower. It has yearly life cycle. It grow up to 10 to 20 cm heights.

The plant is one among the ten plants of “Dashapushapa” in Ayurveda.

The paste made of the leaf can cure the fresh wounds.

Consume the paste made of the entire plant mixed with butter reduce excess menstrual bleeding of women.

White flowered plant also found in some other nations.

The flower of Mukkutti



Name in English : Climbing lily, The Glorry Lily
Latin Name : Gloriosa superba Linn.
Group : Liliaceae
Name in Malayalam : METHONI, Malathamara, Menthoni
Name in Sankrit : Haripriya, Agnishiga

Name in different indian language : Bisha, Bishalankuri, Dhudiyo vachanath, Kalihari, kadari, intha, karinag, kalappe kizhank, Karthikai, Agni shikai, Ranthakari

Name in Siddha Medicine :

The flower of this plant is very attractive. As the name in English the plant climbing up to 2 meter heights. The all parts of the plant is very poisonous.

It has several uses in Ayurveda. It is mainly used against the snake poison.

Invisible Journey: In ancient India the small capsule made from this plant used to Invisibility for human-body. The capsule prepared with Honey, Gold, Silver, Copper, Saffron and some other herbs. The one who put the capsule below his tong get invisibility from others vision.

Other references:

aScientific Name: Gloriosa superbaCommon Name: Menthonni
Description of the Plant: Gloriosa superba, tender, tuberous rooted deciduous perennials, Belongs to the plant family Liliaceae. Leaves simple, subsessile, alternate, lanceolate, with acuminate tips, extended to tendrils. Flowers handsome, solitary, first yellow colored then changes to scarlet red. Fruits oblong capsules, with many small round seeds.
Medicinal Properties: Plant pacifies vitiated kapha, indigestion, fever, arthritis, obstructed labor, cardio-myopathy, skin diseases, in higher dose or without purification, it is highly poisonous.
Useful Part: Rhizome.


Name in English :

Latin Name : Amaranthus polygamus

Group :

Name in Malayalam : Cherucheera

Name in Sankrit : Thandulia

Name in different indian language : chulae koshak, thanjalajo, tharuuja, kamudenade, bakuleyamania, melakure, chirukkire, kappakeere

This plant is used to make “swarna basma” in Ayurveda. The extract of the plant is used to liquefy the small parts of the gold to make the Ayurveda medicine.

This plant is a good vegetable in kitchen garden and also used as a garden plant to make border for garden.

The continuous use of this plant as a vegetable removes all poison in human body.


Adalodakam ( Vasaka)

Name in English : Malabar Nut Tree
LaCHERUCHEERAdhatoda vasica Nees
Group : Acanthaceae

Name in Malayalam : Adalodakam ( Vasaka)
Name in Sankrit : Vasa, Ashoka, Vishnu

Name in different indian language : Aduso, Vasa, Adalodakam, Chittadalodakam etc…

Name in Siddha Medicine : Adathodai

This plant grow up to 2 meter heights. Mainly two varieties in this plant.

Adhatoda vasica :- It has full of leafs at all the season. The leaves of the plant shown as big and grow up to 3 meter heights.

Adhatoda bedomia ( Adhatoda beddomei C.S. Clarke.):- It also has full of leafs at all the season. The leaves of the plant shown as small and the plant grow up to 2 meter heights. This palnt has more medicinal values. It is known as- Chittadalodakam- in Malalayam. It is used to make various ayurvedic medicines.

The leaf of Adalodakam is used as a house medicine for Children’s cough & cold problems. The row leaf of the plant half boiled in the steam and take extract and mix with honey is a good medicine for cough and cold especially for children.

The all parts of this plant has been successfully used for the treatment of Chest diseases, phthisis, chronic bronchitis, asthma, diarrhoea, dysentery, malaria fever, fresh wounds, rheumatic joints, inflammatory swellings, scabies, neuralgic pains, nose beeding, diphtheria, gonorrhoea, an antiseptic and arthelmentic.

This plant is also a good bio-insect killer to kill bacteria & small insects.

Main parts used : Leaves, root, bark, flowers and fruits

The Medicine Vacicene prepared form the plant is good to increase the number of Blood platelets.

One of the main content in all kinds cough syrup.

The use of cigarette made from dry leaves reduse the cough of asthma patient.

other References:


Scientific Name: Adathoda beddomei
Common Name: Adalodakam
Description of the Plant: Adathoda beddomei belongs to the familyAcanthaceae and is a large shrub or small tree grows up to 3-4 meters in height. Leaves simple, opposite, ovate-lanceolate, acute or acuminate and shiny. Flowers arise from axillary condensed spikes, white; fruits capsules.
Medicinal Properties: The extraction of leaf is a good medicine for Asthma and cough. It is a good medicine to stop internal and external bleedings like bleeding gums, piles and peptic ulcers. According to Ayurveda, it is a good ingredient in decoctions for all types of fever due to kapha and pitta doshas. It is expectorant, antispasmodic and good blood purifier. It speeds up the child birth.
Useful Part: Whole plant.

Name in English :  
Latin Name :
Group :
Name in Malayalam : Chemparuthy

Name in Sankrit : 

Name in English : Red Hibiscus
Latin Name :
Group :
Name in Malayalam : Chemparuthy

Name in Sankrit : 

 The red hibiscus seems to be the color the average person thinks of a hibiscus flower color. The red blooms are so common throughout the world. Red hibiscus is believed to be first, most ancestral of all hibiscuses. That single red bloom has emerged in modern times as common garden hibiscus displaying many different shades of reds such as the Robert Fleming or Lord Baltimore hibiscus.


Name in English :
Latin Name :
Group :
Name in Malayalam : Appa
Name in Sankrit : 

Name in English : Galanga
Latin Name : Kaempferia galanga L
Group : Zingiberaceae
Name in Malayalam : Kacholam
Name in Sankrit : ………………………………………..

Name in English :………………..
Latin Name : Sida rhombifolia Linn.
Group : Malvaceae
Name in Malayalam : Kurunthotti, Bala
Name in Sankrit : Bala

Name in English :. CURRY LEAVES
Latin Name : Murrya kocigii
Group : Rutaceae
Name in Malayalam : Kariveppila
Name in Sankrit : Kaidoorium, Surabhi, Nimba

Name in English :. Holy Basil, THULSI
Latin Name Ocimum sanctum Linn.
Group : Lamiaceae
Name in Malayalam : KRISHNA THULASI
Name in Sankrit : Surasa, krishna thulasi, devadundhubi

Name in English :. THULSI
Latin Name : ………………………
Group : ………………..
Name in Malayalam : KRISHNA THULASI
Name in Sankrit : ……………………………….

Indian Long PepperIndian Long Pepper, or Pippali, indigenous to North-eastern and Southern India and Sri Lanka, is a powerful stimulant for both the digestive and the respiratory systems and has been shown to have a rejuvenating effect on the lungs. Pippali plays an important role in aiding the thermogenic response, i.e. the release of metabolic heat energy. This effect is the result of increased thyroid hormone level in the body and makes Pippali a typical Ayurvedic complementary component whose benefit is to increase the bioavailability and enhance absorption of the other active ingredients.

Long pepper, which tastes pungent and sweet at the same time, probably came to Europe much before the now dominant black pepper. It is believed that during the Roman Empire, it was priced about three times more than black pepper, as it was perfect for Roman cookery, which especially favored these two taste sensations. Its hot-and-sweet taste goes well with spicy cheese specialties or wine sauces. In India, the long pepper is mainly used in pickles (achar).

Long pepper is also known and popular in parts of Africa, mostly in the Islamic regions of North and East Africa. It can be found in the complex spice mixtures of Morocco. It is an important ingredient in Ethiopia cuisine, where long pepper is usually found in the traditional meat stews (wat) together with black pepper, nut meg, cloves and turmeric. Berebere, a classical Ethiopian spice mixture, which resembles Indian masalas, is used to spice mutton dishes.

A scandent perennial aromatic shrub with jointed branches, the entire plant is pungent. The leaves are many and cordate, while the flowers grow on solitary spikes. The male and female spikes are produced on different plants, and while the male spikes are slender with narrow bracts, the female ones are 1.3-2.5cm, with circular flat peltate bracts. The fruit, which is very small, is sunk inside the fleshy spike, and is blackish green and shining. Long pepper is the unripe spike of the plant. It is that part of the plant that is used in medicines. The root, which is thick and branched, is also medically important and is called modi or pippali-moolam.

Kurumthotty Bala

Common: Bala, Indian Ephedra, Mallow plant

Sida cordifolia, commonly known as bala, is a plant in the family Malvaceae. It is used in Ayurvedic medicine. It has been investigated as an anti-inflammatory, for treating cancer, and for encouraging liver re-growth. It acts as a stimulant within the central nervous system. It is also used as a fat-burning supplement. 
The whole plant contains large quantities of active alkaloids (alkaloidephedrine) and hence has been used as a rejuvenating herb, an aphrodisiac, a wonderful and efficacious in curing those diseases when they are due to inflammation of the nerves.
It grows well through the plains of India, especially, in damp climates.

We crushed it and mix with water to make paste and applied on head as herbal shampoo.

Taken at Kadavoor, Kerala, India.

Krishna Tulasi
Tulsi is considered to be highly sacred in the Hindu religion. Most of the Hindus offer daily prayers to Tulsi Devi. But, not many people are aware about the origin of Tulasi plant. Well, there are many interesting legends about Tulsi. There is a famous legend about Krishna Tulsi, which suggests that Tulsi was the incarnation of a gopi, who was deeply in love with Lord Krishna. She was cursed by Radha, the consort of the Lord. 

The Indian herbal plant Tulsi has a lot of significance in the Hindu religion. The term “Tulsi” is used in the context of one who is absolutely incomparable. Tulsi has a lot of reverence for the Hindus. Infact, people worship Tulsi everyday in the morning as well as evening time. This Indian basil basically grows in the warm and tropical regions. There are two main varieties of this aromatic plant, namely Shyama tulsi and Rama tulsi. Well, out of the two, the former one is of greater medicinal value. Rama Tulsi, on the hand, is primarily used for worship.

In this section, we will cover the following aspects related to the holy basil Tulsi:

Scientific Name: Cyperus rotundusCommon Name: Muthanga
Description of the Plant: Cyperus rotundus is a species of sedge belongs to the family Cyperaceae. The perennial grass grows up to 30 cm of height. Leaves crowded in the base, about 10-20 cm long, linear, acuminate, flat, one nerved; spikelets in compound umbels. Nut grayish black colored. The root system of a young plant initially forms white, fleshy rhizomes. Some rhizomes grow upward in the soil and form a bulb-like structure from which new shoots and roots grow, and from the new roots, new rhizomes grow. Other rhizomes grow horizontally or downward, and form dark reddish-brown tubers or chains of tubers.
Medicinal Properties: In modern ayurvedic medicine uses the plant for treating fevers, digestive system disorders, dysmenorrhea and other maladies.  Plant pacifies vitiated kapha, pitta, diarrhea, indigestion, anorexia, fever, and urinary retention. Increases and purifies breast milk. Recent studies recommend the plant to treat nausea, fever and inflammation; for pain reduction; for muscle relaxation and many other disorders.
Useful parts: Root tuber.
Scientific Name : Acacia catechu 
Common Name: Karingali
Description of the Plant: Acacia catechu belongs to the family Fabaceae and are medium sized thorny deciduous tree grows up to 13 meters in height. Leaves bipinnately compound, leaflets 30-50 paired, main rachis pubescent, with large conspicuous gland near the middle of the rachis. Flowers pale yellow, sessile, found in axillary spikes. Fruits flat brown pods, with triangular beak at the apex, shiny, narrowed at base. Seeds 3-10 per pod. The gummy extract of the wood is called kath or cutch.
Medicinal Properties; The tree’s seeds are a good source of protein. The extract of the plant called catechu is used to treat sore throats and diarrhea. In Ayurveda, plant pacifies vitiated pitta, kapha, skin diseases, cough, pruritus, and obesity. Useful in tooth ache, increases the strength of teeth.
Useful Parts : Bark, Heartwood, Kath.
Scientific Name: Acorus calamus
Common Name: Vayambu
Description of the Plant: Acorus calamus, commonly known as Vayambu, a plant from Acoraceae family. It is a rhizomatous, perennial semi aquatic plant grows up to 40 cm in height. Leaves simple, bright green, distichous, thickened in the middle, ensiform; flowers seen in densely packed spadix inflorescence, fruits oblong berries seeds few suspended from the apex of cells. Underground rhizomes are creeping, branched about 1 cm in diameter.
Medicinal Properties: It is widely employed in modern herbal medicine as an aromatic stimulant and mild tonic. The root has been used as a rejuvenator for the brain and nervous system and as a remedy for digestive disorders. The root is anodyne, aphrodisiac, aromatic, carminative, diaphoretic, emmenagogue, expectorant, febrifuge, hypotensive, sedative, stimulant, stomachic, mildly tonic and vermifuge. It is used internally in the treatment of digestive complaints, bronchitis, sinusitis etc. In Ayurveda, plant pacifies vitiated vata, kapha, insomnia, insanity, other mental diseases, epilepsy, mania, stomatitis, hoarseness of voice, colic, flatulence, amenorrhea, dysmenorrhea, neuropathy, renal calculi, cough, inflammation, arthritis, kidney diseases, hemorrhoids, skin diseases and general debility.
Useful Parts: Underground rhizomes.


Scientific Name: Aegle marmelos 
Common Name: Koovalam
Description of the Plant: Aegle marmelos is a species of tree native to India, belongs to the family Rutaceae. These are medium sized thorny deciduous tree grows up to 10 meters in height. Leaves trifoliate, aromatic, and alternate. Leaflets are ovate-lanceolate. Lateral leaflets are sub sessile and terminal long petioled. Flowers are greenish white, found in axillary panicles. Fruits are globose woody berry with yellow pulp. Seeds are numerous, oblong and embedded in pulp.
Medicinal Properties: The tree is one of the most useful medicinal plants of India. Its medicinal properties have been described in the ancient medical treatise jn Sanskrit, Charaka Samhita. All parts of this tree-stem, bark, root, leaves and fruit at all stages of maturity have medicinal virtues and have been used as medicine for a long time. The fruit’s medicinal value is very high when it just begins to ripen. The fruit is aromatic, cooling and laxative. It arrests secretion or bleeding. The unripe or half-ripe fruit is good for digestion. It is useful in preventing or curing scurvy. It also strengthens the stomach and promotes its action. In Ayurveda, plant pacifies vitiated kapha, vata, body pain, poison, diarrhea, dysentery, vomiting, and intermittent fever. Pulp of unripe fruit is constipating whereas that of ripened fruit is laxative. Leaves cure diabetes, cough, inflammation and asthma. Useful Parts: Leaves, Root, Fruits
Scientific Name: Alpinia galangal
Common Name: Kolinji
Description of the PlantAlpinia galangal, a plant in the family of Zingiberaceae, is an herb used in cooking. The plant grows from rhizomes in clumps of stiff stalks up to two meters in height with abundant long leaves which bears red fruit. It is native to South Asia and Indonesia. The robust rhizome has a sharp, sweet taste and smells like a blend of black pepper and pine needles.
Medicinal Properties: The rhizome has been shown to have antimalarial activity in mice. The rhizome contains the flavonol galangin. It is used against rheumatism, bronchial catarrh, bad breath and ulcers whooping colds in children, throat infections, to control incontinence and fever. Alpinia species show promise as anti-fungals, hypotensives, enhancers of sperm count and motility. Anti-tumor and anti-dementia effects have been observed in rodents. It is a stimulating aromatic and has been successfully employed to aid the digestive process, preventing fermentation and removing flatus. It is useful in case of dyspepsia, preventing vomiting or sickness of the stomach and facilitating digestion. It may be used in all cases in which a stimulating aromatic is indicated. It is used against nausea, flatulence, dyspepsia, rheumatism, catarrh and enteritis. It also possesses tonic and antibacterial qualities and is used for these properties in veterinary and homeopathic medicine.
Useful Parts: Roots
Scientific Name: Anisochilus carnosus 
Common Name: Karimthumba
Description of the Plant: Anisochilus carnosus, is an armatic annual herb belongs to the family Lamiaceae, found in the Western Ghats. Stems are erect, 30-60 cm tall, robust, branched. Leaf stalks are 1.3-5 cm long, densely white velvety. Leaves are ovate-oblong to circular, 5-7 × 5-7 cm, white white-velvety, sparsely red glandular, base heart-shaped to rounded, margin crenulate, tip blunt to rounded. Flower spikes are 2.5-7.5 × 0.9-1.9 cm, long stalked, 4-angled in fruit.
Medicinal Properties: The leaves of Anisochilus carnosus are used traditionally in the treatment of gastric ulcers and stomachache.
Useful Parts: Leaves and aerial parts
Scientific Name: Aphanamixis polystachyaCommon Name: Chemmaram
Description of the Plant: Aphanamixis polystachya, is a medium or large sized tree, 15 to 20 meters in height, belongs to the family Meliaceae. The leaves are large, imparipinnate. The leaflets are opposite, elliptic-oblong, acuminate, glabrous on both the surface. The male flowers are numerous in axillary panicles; female or bisexual flowers are larger than male axillary or supra-axillary solitary spikes. The fruits are globular, smooth, yellow when ripe. The seeds are with scarlet aril.
Medicinal Properties: The plant specially the bark is used as astringent and applied on swelling after a fall. It is also used in spleen, liver diseases, tumour and abdominal complaints. Seed-oil is used in rheumatism. In recent times anti carcinogenic ingredients are found from this plant.
Useful Part: Bark
Scientific Name: Aristolochia indica
Common Name: 
Description of the Plant: Aristolochia indica is a creeper plant, belongs to the family Aristolochiaceae, found in Kerala in India and also Sri Lanka. It reaches a height of several metres on trees and covers the branches with thick foliage. It flowers once a year to produce seeds. It can also be propagated by roots.
Medicinal Properties: The plant has a number of historical medicinal uses. This plant contains Aristolochic acid is a rodent carcinogen found in Aristolochia and Asarum, both in the Aristolochiaceae family of plants. In addition to its carcinogenicity, aristolochic acid is also highly nephrotoxic and may be a causative agent in Balkan nephropathy. However, despite these well-documented dangers, aristolochic acid still is present sometimes in herbal remedies (such as for weight loss), primarily because of substitution of innocuous herbs with Aristolochia species. In Ayurveda, plant pacifies vitiated kapha, vata, poison, skin diseases, intestinal worms, colic, arthritis and ulcers.
Useful Part: Whole plant.
Scientific Name: Asparagus racemosusCommon Name: Sathavari
Description of the Plant: Asparagus racemosus, commonly known as Satavari in India is a climbing plant from Liliaceous family. It widely grows in low forest areas throughout India. It grows one to two meters tall and prefers to take root in gravelly, rocky soils high up in piedmont plains. Satavari has small pine-needle-like leaves that are uniform and shiny green. In July, it produces minute, white flowers on short, spiky stems, and in September it fruits blackish-purple, globular berries.
Medicinal Properties: The healing qualities of Asparagus racemosus are useful to a wide array of ailments. The plant has been used in Ayurveda for various conditions. Its main use has been as a galactagogue to increase milk secretion during lactation. It is known as the Indian ‘Female Rejuvenative’, as it is helpful in cases of low milk production, low sex drive, menopause, PMS, and infertility. It helps to balance hormonal system of women and regulates menstruation and ovulation. It is also useful for decreasing morning sickness, infertility, menopause, leucorrhoea, inflammation of sexual organs, and general sexual debility. The male reproductive system will also benefit from sathavari. It can be used in cases of sexual debility, impotence, spermatorrhoea, and inflammation of sexual organs. The powdered dried root of sathavari is also used in Ayurveda for dyspepsia. The herb is also useful in gastric ulcers, hyperacidity, dysentery, bladder infections, chronic fevers, rheumatism, inflamed membranes of the lungs. It also used as a nervine tonic and is good for heart. It also strengthens and increases muscle tone and increases general body strength and used as an Aphrodisiac in India.
Useful Part:Tuberous Roots
Scientific Name: Cassia fistulaCommon Name: Kanikonna
Description of the Plant: Cassia fistula, known as the ‘Golden Shower Tree’ but see below for other names, is a flowering plant in the family Fabaceae, native to Southern Asia, from Southern Pakistan east through India to Myanmar and South to Sri Lanka. It is the national tree of Thailand and its flower is Thailand’s National flower. It is the ‘Regional Flower’ of Kerala. The Golden Shower Tree is a medium-sized tree growing to 10–20 m (33–66 ft) tall with fast growth. The leaves are deciduous, long, pinnate with 3–8 pairs of leaflets. The flowers are produced in pendulous racemes 20–40 cm (8–15 in) long with five yellow petals of equal size and shape. The fruit is a legume long and broad with a pungent odor and containing several seeds.
Medicinal Properties: It is a popular ornamental plant and is an herbal medicine. In Ayurvedic medicine, it is known as aragvadha, meaning “disease killer”. Its fruit pulp is used as a mild laxative, against fevers, arthritis, vatavyadhi (nervous system diseases), all kinds of rakta-pitta (bleeding, such as hematemesis or hemorrhages), as well as cardiac conditions and stomach problems such as acid reflux. The root is considered a very strong purgative, and self-medication or any use without medical supervision is strongly advised against in Ayurvedic texts.
Useful Part: Whole Plant
Scientific Name: Coscinium fenestratumCommon Name: Maramanjal
Description of the Plant: Coscinium fenestratum, a large woody climber belongs to the family Menispemaceae. It grows with cylindrical and yellowish stem. Leaves simple, oblong, deltoid, alternate, minutely tomentose beneath, smooth above, with yellowish tint. Flowers yellow, unisexual in supra axillary inflorescence. Fruits globose drupes, smooth contains one globose seed.
Medicinal Properties: Eye and skin diseases, inflammation, wounds, ulcers, abdominal disorders, jaundice, diabetes, fever, general debility, skeletal fractures. In Ayurvedic medicine, plant pacifies vitiated kapha, vata, skin diseases, diseases of the eye, inflammations, wounds, jaundice, diabetes, fever and general debility.
Useful Part: Stem.
 Scientific Name: Crateva magnaCommon Name: Neermathalam
Description of the Plant: Crateva magna a deciduous tree belongs to the family  Capparaceae. This grows up to 7-9 m. height, leaves compound, 3-foliate, leaflets ovate, 5-13 cm long, flowers large, greenish white, polygamous, in dense terminal corymbs, stamens are longer than the petals, fruits fleshy, ovoid berry, seeds are embedded in pulp.
Medicinal Properties: Roots, leaves and the skin of the bark are used for edema, cervical adenitis, rheumatism and spleen enlargement. The bark acts as an appetizer, cholegogue, laxative, vermicide, tonic, anti-inflammatory and its decoction is taken internally for the same diseases above, plus tumors, liver disorders, anorexia, fever and also mixed with ghee for flatulence. In Ayurvedic medicine, plant pacifies vitiated vata, kapha, renal and vesical caliculi, asthma and bronchitis.
Useful Parts: Leaves, Bark.
Scientific Name: Curcuma zedoaria
Common Name: 
Description of the Plant:Curcuma zedoaria is a perennial herb and member of the family Zingiberaceae. The plant is native to India and Indonesia. A rhizomatous perennial herb grows up to 1 meter. Leaves elliptic or oblong- lanceolate, about 50 cm long with long petiole; Dark violet streak along the midrib is the classical discriminative property of the plant. Flowers pinkish yellow, seen in inflorescence with pinkish showy bracts. Fruits globose, dehiscent trilobate capsules.
Medicinal Properties: It is used in some traditional eastern medicines, where it is reputed to be an aid to digestion, a relief for colic and an agent for purifying the blood. It is also used as an antivenom for the Indian cobra. This has been used to treat coronary heart disease, liver cancer, anemia, chronic pelvic inflammation and helps prevent leukopenia due to cancer therapies. In Ayurvedic medicine, plant pacifies vitiated pitta, kapha, indigestion, flatulence, dyspepsia, skin diseases, cough, bronchitis, urinary retention, allergy, leucoderma, and as general tonic. The rhizomes are a source of Shoti Starch, used as a food for babies and convalescents, recovering from chronic stomatitis. It is cooling and demulcent.
Useful Part: Rhizome
Scientific Name: Cyperus rotundusCommon Name: Muthanga
Description of the Plant: Cyperus rotundus is a species of sedge belongs to the family Cyperaceae. The perennial grass grows up to 30 cm of height. Leaves crowded in the base, about 10-20 cm long, linear, acuminate, flat, one nerved; spikelets in compound umbels. Nut grayish black colored. The root system of a young plant initially forms white, fleshy rhizomes. Some rhizomes grow upward in the soil and form a bulb-like structure from which new shoots and roots grow, and from the new roots, new rhizomes grow. Other rhizomes grow horizontally or downward, and form dark reddish-brown tubers or chains of tubers.
Medicinal Properties: In modern ayurvedic medicine uses the plant for treating fevers, digestive system disorders, dysmenorrhea and other maladies.  Plant pacifies vitiated kapha, pitta, diarrhea, indigestion, anorexia, fever, and urinary retention. Increases and purifies breast milk. Recent studies recommend the plant to treat nausea, fever and inflammation; for pain reduction; for muscle relaxation and many other disorders.
Useful parts: Root tuber.
Scientific Name: Desmodim gangeticum
Common Name: Orila 
Description of the Plant: Desmodim gangeticum is a plant in the Fabaceae family. The plant is a sub-tropical perennial spreading herb that grows in dry hilly areas. It is found in all over the areas that are upto the height of 5000 feet.
Medicinal Properties: It is a general tonic and aphrodisiac, has a calming, sedative effect and also used control inflammation, fever and neurological imbalances. The plant has unique medicinal value to regulate the function of the nervous system, venous system and arterial system.
Useful Part: Whole Plant
aScientific Name: Emblica officinalisCommon Name: Nelli
Description of the Plant: Emblica officinalis is the the Indian gooseberry, is a deciduous tree of the Phyllanthaceae family. The tree is small to medium sized, reaching 8 to 18 m in height, with a crooked trunk and spreading branches. The branchlets are glabrous or finely pubescent, 10–20 cm long, usually deciduous; the leaves simple, subsessile and closely set along branchlets, light green, resembling pinnate leaves. The flowers are greenish-yellow. The fruit is nearly spherical, light greenish yellow, quite smooth and hard on appearance, with 6 vertical stripes or furrows.
Medicinal Properties: Emblica Officinalis is aperient, carminative, diuretic, aphrodasiac, laxative, astringent and refrigerant. It is the richest known source of vitamin ‘C’. It is useful in anaemia, jaundice, dyspepcia, haemorrhage disorders, diabetes, asthma and bronchitis. It cures insomnia and is healthy for hair. It is considered as one of the most rejuvenating drugs, imparting a long healthy life and weight gain. It also acts as an antacid and antitumorganic agent. All parts of the plant are used in various herbal preparations, including the fruit, seed, leaves, root, bark and flowers. According to Ayurveda, it is specific to pitta due to its sweet taste and cooling energy.
Useful Part: Whole Plant


qScientific Name: Gmelina arboreaCommon name: Kumizhu
Description of the Plant:Gmelina arborea is a fast growing deciduous tree belongs to the family Lamiaceae. It is found scattered in deciduous forests throughout the greater parts of India and the Andamans, up to an altitude of 5,000 ft. It is also planted in gardens and avenues. It is an unarmed tree. The bark is smooth and whitish grey. The leaves are opposite, broadly ovate, cordate and glandular. The flowers are in terminal panicles and brownish yellow in color. The drupe is fleshy, ovoid with 1 or 2 seeds.
Medicinal Properties: The root and bark of Gmelina arborea are stomachic, galactagogue laxative and anthelmintic; improve appetite, useful in hallucination, piles, abdominal pains, burning sensations, fevers, ‘tridosha’ and urinary discharge. Leaf paste is applied to relieve headache and juice is used as wash for ulcers. In Ayurveda it has been observed that the fruit is acrid, sour, bitter, sweet, cooling, diuretic tonic, aphrodisiac, alternative astringent to the bowels, promote growth of hairs, useful in ‘vata’, thirst, anaemia, leprosy, ulcers and vaginal discharge.
Useful Parts: Roots, Fruits, Flowers and Leaves


Narendra Modi Speech Cancelled

Narendra Modi’s keynote address at Wharton India Economic Forum cancelled- Politics News- Politics-IBNLive

New Delhi: Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi’s keynote address at the prestigious Wharton India Economic Forum was cancelled on Sunday under pressure from multiple stakeholders. Modi was invited to deliver the address at the forum, which would be held in Philadelphia on March 22 and 23, via videoconference.

“We do not endorse any political views and do not support any specific ideology. Our goal as a team is only to stimulate valuable dialogue on India’s growth story,” the forum said in a statement on Sunday. The forum is an annual student-run India-centric conference hosted by the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.

A group of Wharton’s professors and students had written a letter to the forum saying they were outraged to learn that the forum has invited Modi as a keynote speaker. “This is the same politician who was refused a diplomatic visa by the United States State Department on March 18, 2005 on the ground that he, as Chief Minister, did nothing to prevent a series of orchestrated riots that targeted Muslims in Gujarat,” the letter noted.

In its statement, the forum said the student body was extremely impressed with Modi’s credentials, governance ideologies, and leadership, which was the primary reason for his invitation. “However, as a responsible student body within the University of Pennsylvania, we must consider the impact on multiple stakeholders in our ecosystem. Our team felt that the potential polarising reactions from sub-segments of the alumni base, student body, and our supporters, might put Modi in a compromising position, which we would like to avoid at all costs, especially in the spirit of our conference’s purpose,” it said.

The forum said even as it stood by its decision to invite Modi “we believe that this course of action (of cancelling his address) would be the most appropriate in the light of reactions of the multiple stakeholders involved”. “Therefore, we as a team, would like to apologise for being a catalyst which may have put Modi and the Wharton School administration in a difficult position,” it said. The forum said it hoped to have Modi speak at a “more appropriate forum where he can interact with students without the distraction of this kind of attention”.

It added it was in the last stages of finalising an additional keynote address that will be delivered by a very prominent Indian leader and it will be announced very soon. Since its inception in 1996, the meet has emerged as one of the largest and most prestigious India-focused business conferences that provides a platform for leaders to discuss the opportunities present in India and the challenges that need to be addressed.

Among other eminent invited guests to the conference include Milind Deora, the Union Minister of State for IT and Communications; Gautam Adani, chairman of the Adani Group; actress Shabana Azmi, poet and scriptwriter Javed Akhtar. Planning Commission Deputy Chairman Montek Singh Ahluwalia is also expected to address the forum on March 23.

Earlier keynote speakers have included former president Dr APJ Abdul Kalam, Union Finance Minister P Chidambaram, BJP leader Varun Gandhi and industrialist Anil Ambani.

(With additional information from PTI)