Synonyms: Buddleja asiatica Buddleja arfakensis, Buddleja discolor, Buddleja neemda
Common Name: White Dog Tail, White Butterfly bush, Chinese White Butterfly bush.
Local Name: Neemda (नीमदा).
Neemda is an evergreen,1to 3 m tall shrub of Western Himalayas bearing flowers with a pleasant odour. It is commonly seen growing upto an altitude of 1500m along roadsides, pathways, shrublands and ravines on open slopes. Neemda requires a well drained sunny habitat with loamy soil for optimum growth. It can easily propogate with seeds or cuttings. Plant being dioecious. must have male and female plants grown nearby if seeds are required. Neemda grows very fast and has an extensive root support, so it is very helpful in preventing soil erosion. It is usually grown as second growth in sandy river banks, landslips and deserted village sites where it helps in preventing soil erosion.
All the parts of Neemda the buds, leaves, flowers, seeds, roots, bark, and wood have medicinal value and used In traditional medicine to cure a wide spectrum of diseases. Leaves and flower of this plant are taken as food supplement to harness its rich medicinal value. Flowers are an excellant addition to a number of traditional dishes like pakoras,kachouri, parantha, kachru etc. Flowers having pleasant fragrance can also be used as garnishing agent in variety of food preparation.They can be also be cooked in omlatte. Flowers and leaves are also used as an addition to local alcoholic drinks due to their medicinal and aromatic value.
It is considered as a sacred plant by some local communities and use it during various religious ceremonies.Neemda is iusually harvested from wild habitat as a source of food,fodder,fuel and medicine for local personal uses. Sometime it is grown as an ornamental in garden, home and temples. It can also be cultivated along roadside for its beautiful fragrant flowes. Flowers being fragrant make this plant a very good butterfly attractant.
Plant is evergreen ,1-3 m tall shrubs,
Branches,underside of leaves and inflorecence covered with a dense grey felt of star-shaped hairs.
Leaves opposite,lanceolate, 6-15cm long, minutely toothed and narrowed at the base, they are glabrous and dark green above, grey or white -tomentose beneath.
Flowers white, fragrant,5-6mm across,4-merous, crowded in 1-15cm long, terminal or axillary, solitary or panicled spikes. Corolla tube at least twice as long as the densely hairy calyx.
Capsules ellipsoid,glabrous,5 mm long.
Neemda leaves can be collected round the year, it is in flowering in summers months, although some cultivars flower later up to early winters.
Neemda is profuse in medicinal value. Its leaves can be taken as a herbal tea both fresh and dried. Flowers both fresh and dried are used to prepare various food items like pakoras, pakora curry, Kachru etc. A local alcoholic drink of its leaves with rice called as Neemda Lugadi in local dielect is also prepared sometime for local personal uses as follow.
Neemda flowers fresh or dried , 250 g; besan (black gram flour) or corn flour,1/2 kg; mustard oil, 10-12 table spoon; 1 cup fresh coriander plus curry and mint leaves (chopped), 5-6 green chilies, ½ table spoon turmeric powder, 2-3 medium sized chopped onions, 2-3 medium sized finely chopped potato and salt according to taste.
Make a paste of flowers, chopped potatoes, basen and spices listed above. Mix well and make small ball of this paste. Put mustard oil in a fry pan and give these balls a deep fry. Repeat this process till whole paste is over. Pakoras are now ready to serve. Serve these hot with chutney or tomato ketchup.
Kachru or sosaru:
Kachru is a traditional dish of Western Himalaya usually taken as a morning breakfast or evening snack with tea / chutney or tomato ketchup.
For preparing a kachru, ingredients required are 250 g fresh or dried Neemda flowers , 1/2 kg besan (black gram powder) or corn flour. 1 cup amount fresh coriander leaves/ curry leaves/ mint leaves,1/2 table spoon ajwain, 3-5 green chillies, ½ table spoon turmeric powder, 2-3 chopped onions and salt according to taste
Make a paste of flowers, besan or corn flour and spices. Heat some oil on a flat heating pan. Put this paste over a pan and cook for 15 to 20 minutes then kachru will be ready. Repeat the process till whole paste is over and serve hot with chutney/ tea or tomato ketchup.
Herbal Neemda Tea:
Neemda leaves, 6-8; water, 2 cup amount; sugar/honey/natural sweetner/jeggery, 2 table spoons; lemon juice, 2 tea spoons.
Mince leaves and boil with water. Add sugar or some natural sweetner to it and simmer in low flame for 10 minutes. Strain into tea cups. Add lemon juice to each and serve.
Local alcoholic drink Neemda Lugadi
Rice, 5 cup amount; yeast,25g; Neemda leaves, 250-300g.
Cook 5 cups of rice. Spread these well for a while in a sheet then add
25gms of yeast and Neemda leaves to it. Mix all ingredients well and transfer to a air tight container. Store this container in a closed place for atleast 6 days. Now add to it 2lit. of water and mix well. Store it for another 2-5 days in a closed or shaded place. Strain the liquid lugadi in a ceramic bottle or jar. Now Neemda lugadi is ready to use.
Seek professional advice before treating this plant medicinally.
Plant (mainly leaves and flowers) is locally used in the form of decoction to cure common cold cough and skin diaeases. Recent studies shows that this plant is rich in antioxidents and shows antibacterial, antifungal , hypotensive and cytotoxic activities so useful to treat wide spectrum of ailments such as fever, cough, cold, asthma, diabetes, hypertension, arthritis, skin diseases, and even cancer. Young leaves are crushed with a piece of turmeric which is applied externally to cure scabies 1.Neemda seeds are used externally to treat skin diseases. It has been used for skin complaints 2 and as an abortifacient 3. A paste of its roots is used as a tonic when mixed with rice water4 . This plant is also used as a cure for loss of weight 5. Roots and leaves of this plant are employed to treat head tumor 6. A fusion of roots is used in the treatment of malaria 7. Essential oil of the 8leaves has in-vitro antifungal activities 8. The flowers are used in the treatment of cystitis and cold 9 and to treat edema 10.
Chemical consequent: The flowers of Buddeja asiaficawer found to contain Hes- peritin and Hesperitin its glycoside -7 – O – rutinoside. Hesperitin -7 – O – rutinoside can act as a strong antioxi- dant drug 1. The essential oil contains sabinene, which has sedative properties. Sabinene also helps reduce pain and inflammation.
Green foliage of this plant are used as fodder and left over hard branches are dried to be used as fuel. Walking sticks are also prepared from this plant which are used by aged people and saints. Dried stem and leaves are burn to repell mosquitoes. Neemda is considered a sacred plant and its flower laden branches are used in various religious ceremonies.This plant is also grown as an ornamental along roadside and in gardens.
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