Drumstick Leaves! The Newfound ‘Jadibooti’ In Gujarat To Fight Malnutrition!
Health is the most pressing concern both for individuals and the government of any society. Scientists and doctors are constantly looking for innovative ways to prevent or tackle dangerous diseases. Medical achievements and discoveries are regarded with utmost importance. The direct implication of such success is saving life, and there is hardly any cause more noble than that. India boasts of some extremely reputed medical colleges, but one can’t deny that multiple diseases plague the rural regions of the country.
The students of MS University have made a very interesting discovery. It has been found out that the leaves of the drumsticks plant are very helpful in improving immunity and fighting cancer causing inflammatory disorders.
(Picture source - IndiaMart)
The magic of Drumstick leaves
Clinical trials were carried out by team of Department of Foods and Nutrition, led by Dr. Vanisha Nambiar. The results were highly encouraging. It was found that drumstick leaves are rich in beta carotene, which is a precursor of Vitamin A. Trials were carried out on rats, and they showed a good improvement in their nutritional level. Hence, the drumstick leaves can be used as a cheaper, and natural substitute to the otherwise used pills and synthetic medicines for Vitamin A deficiency.
The discovery hasn’t happened in few days or months. The team has been working to find the nutritional potential of drumstick leaves for the last 20 years. Finally, the latest revelations have led the scientists to believe that they can leverage this amazing potential to cure and prevent a number of deadly diseases.
(Picture source - MSU Baroda)
Doctors are excited about putting these leaves to use
The National Health Mission (NHM) in Gujarat has started promoting the consumption of drumstick leaves, fruits and bark in the state. This will help in fighting malnutrition. In fact, Dr. Gaurav Dahiya, mission director of NHM, recently addresses the district and municipal health officials and district panchayats to take new initiatives such as beginning a public movement to create awareness about the health benefits of drumsticks.
Drumstick leaves are also found to be rich in anti-oxidants like polyphenols, flavonoids and phenolic acid. All these can reduce the chances of diseases like heart ailments, diabetes and cancer. It is said that just 20 grams of fresh leaves or 5 grams of dried powder can help improve immune system and reduce malnutrition. The effort is also in the direction of making drumsticks tasty. Dr. Vanisha says that 2-5 grams of dried powder of drumsticks can be used just like turmeric powder while preparing ‘khichdi’, ‘raab’ or the most wanted Gujarati dish ‘thepla’. Despite being a vegetarian dish, drumstick leaves have characteristics similar to that of red meat.
(Picture source - Vegrecipes4u)
The government will also benefit from this discovery as there is expected to be a decrease in Vitamin A deficient patients, and hence, government’s expenditure on the National Prophylaxis Programme will reduce. It is easy to grow drumsticks in Gujarat’s soil and the trees can be grown in public places as well.
The hard work of the scientists, doctors and practitioners for over 20 years has given India a new medicine that is natural, cheap and very effective. Their efforts will directly or indirectly save many lives and hopefully help in reducing the malnutrition in the country.
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