10 Top Health Benefits, Nutrition & Uses Of Gongura | Pulicha Keerai

| Pulicha Keerai is a very popular plant in India grown for it’s green
leaves. The leaves taste sour and there are two varieties of gongura –
green stemmed called Kenaf in English and red stemmed variety is called
Roselle in English. It is especially popular in Andhra Pradesh &
Tamil Nadu and is called Gongura in Telugu, Ambadi in Marathi and
Pulicha Keerai | புளிச்ச கீரை in Tamil, Pitwaa in Hindi, Pandi | Pundi
in Kannada, Taka Bhendi in Oriya, Sankokada in Punjabi, Mathipuli in
Malayalam, Chukor in Bengali and Shougri in Manipur. Green Stemmed
Gongura (Kenaf): The botanical name of green stemmed variety of gongura
is Hibiscus Cannabinus. The green stemmed variety is not as sour as the
red stemmed variety and it grows about 11 feet tall. The leaves of young
plants are usually simple but as the plant grows, they become 3 to 5
lobed. The flowers of green variety are about 8 to 15 cm in diameter and
are white, yellow or purple in color. Another main difference between
kenaf and roselle is the fruit pod, it is a small capsule in kenaf
about 1. 5 to 2 cm in diameter. The leaves are used in cooking and the
stem is used for producing fiber. The fiber got from gongura plants are used in so many industries. The fiber got from gongura stem is white so there is literally no bleaching involved thus reducing the amount of chemicals used. Red Stemmed Gongura (Roselle): The
botanical name of the red stemmed gongura is Hibiscus Sabdariffa. The
red stemmed variety is more sour than the green variety and it grows
about 8 feet tall. The leaves are 3 to 5 lobed and are arranged
alternatively. The flowers are white to pale yellow in color with a
fleshy red calyx. The calyx enlarge as the fruit matures and fully
encloses the velvety capsule which contains the seeds. Both the leaves
and the calyx are used in cooking and for medicinal purposes. The stem
is used for producing fiber. Gongura Nutritional Value: The leaves
contain around 3.3 grams of protein, .3 grams of fat, 9.2 grams of
carbohydrate. It is rich in phosphorus, iron, carotene, riboflavin and
vitamin C. The major fatty acid present in the gongura seed oil are palmitic
acid followed by stearic acid. The main unsaturated fatty acids found
are linoleic acid and oleic acid. Chemical Constituents: The main bio
active constituents present in gongura are anthocyanins, organic acids,
polysaccharides and flavonoids. Traditional Uses: Traditionally the
calyx of roselle is boiled in water and made into syrups and drinks and
consumed all over the world. The seeds are roasted and consumed in
certain countries. Oil extracted for gongura seeds are used in cooking and the
roasted seeds are also used as a coffee substitute. In India we use the
leaves of both varieties in cooking extensively. Medicinally the calyx
has been used for treating fever, lowering blood pressure, constipation,
sore throat and cough. The seeds are used for improving the lactation
and the leaf paste is used for treating wounds. Gongura Recipes: Gongura
is used to make Andhra gongura pickle, gongura pappu, gongura chutney, gongura
chicken curry and gongura mutton. Here at home, we make gongura chutney
also called pulicha keerai thuvaiyal | Pulicha keerai chutney (thokku)
in Tamil : For the chutney, separate the leaves from the stem, wash and
drain. Heat 2 tsp of oil in a pan and add 1 tbsp of urad dal, 2 red
chillies and a small piece of asafoetida and fry till urad dal turns
golden brown and remove from fire. Now add some more oil and add 1 cup
of the chopped leaves along 2 cut garlic pods and fry in medium flame
till gongura wilts and changes color. Now grind everything together along with
required salt and tiny bit of jaggery without adding any water to a
thick chutney. Gongura Pickle: To make gongura pickle, grind gongura
leaves along with red chilli, tiny piece of jaggery and salt. Now heat
sesame oil in a pan, season with mustard and then add in the ground
paste. Fry well till the oil oozes out, switch and store. Gongura Pappu:
To make gongura pappu, boil 1/2 cup of moong dal along with little
turmeric powder for 2 to 3 whistles in cooker. Heat 1 tsp of oil in a
pan, add in 1/4 cup of sliced onions, 2 finely cut green chillies and
the cut gongura leaves and fry for few minutes. Now add in little water
and salt and boil till the gongura leaves are cooked. Once cooked, add
in the boiled dal and cook for few minutes more and switch off. To
season, heat ghee in a pan, add in mustard, jeera, curry leaves and 1
red chilli. Once the mustard splutters add to the dal and serve with hot
rice. Roselle Tea: To make roselle tea, take 2 dried calyxes and a cup
of water in a pan and bring to a rolling boil and switch off. Let it
steep for 10 minutes, strain and add few drops of lemon juice and honey
to taste. This tea has wonderful health benefits and can be used by both
diabetic and pressure patients. It also has wonderful anti spasmodic
properties. When buying gongura, try to buy fresh leaves and use them
while still fresh for best results. Gongura Side Effects: Gongura if had in moderation rarely causes any side effects. Pregnant women also can enjoy gongura in moderation… 

10 Top Medicinal Uses & Health Benefits Of Gongura | Pulicha Keerai:

1. Reduces Cholesterol:

studies have proven that gongura has lipid lowering properties which
could greatly prevent cardio vascular diseases. The water extract of the
plant reduces LDL, triglyceride and total cholesterol levels. This is
due to it’s wonderful anti oxidant properties. Roselle tea can also be used for reducing cholesterol levels.

2. Anti Spasmodic Properties:

flower extract has wonderful anti spasmodic properties and the tea made
using the calyx can be used for treating menstrual pain. The anti
spasmodic properties is due to the presence of polyphenols. If you are
suffering from menstrual pain, try drinking a cup of dried roselle calyx

3. Anti Bacterial, Anti Fungal Properties:

plant extract has wonderful anti bacterial and anti fungal properties.
The water extract got by boiling the dried plant with water showed
powerful anti microbial activity against bacterial strains like
Escherichia Coli, S. Aureus, Micrococcus Luteus, etc

4. Improves Immunity: 

varieties of gongura have wonderful antioxidant properties and regular
consumption prevents free radicals which are the main cause of premature
ageing of the skin and hair. It also improves immunity, try to include
gongura leaves in your diet often to improve immunity.

5. Prevents Anemia: 

which is caused due to the decreased levels of hemoglobin in our blood
is very common in Indian women and can be the reason for hair loss,
fatigue, weakness and shortage of breath. Gongura is rich in iron and
consuming it often is the one of the best home remedies for treating
anemia easily at home.

6. For Skin & Hair:

gongura regularly has wonderful hair and skin benefits. Since it is
rich in iron, it is great for people who are suffering from hair loss
due to anemia. Also since gongura is rich in antioxidants, it will
greatly prevent premature ageing of the skin and hair. We can also apply
gongura extract externally as it has wonderful anti bacterial
properties. To use, grind fresh gongura leaves along with little water
and extract the juice. You can use this juice in face packs.

7. For Weight Loss:

leaves have very few calories, 100 grams of gongura has just got 24
calories. Since it is rich in fiber, it is very satiating and keeps us
fuller for long periods of time. Also gongura extract has been proven to
have anti obesity properties, polyphenols present is gongura have been
proven to help with all obesity related problems, you can read the study
that proves it here. 

8. Lowers Blood Pressure:

tea made from the dried calyx have been consumed in many parts of the
world for treating various diseases and one of the most popular
traditional use is for lowering high blood pressure. This traditional
use has been backed by research and you can read the study that proves
it here. 

9.  For Digestive Health:

leaves are rich in dietary fiber. Consuming foods rich in dietary fiber
has multiple benefits, they keep us fuller for long periods of time,
reduces cholesterol levels and and consuming them on a regular basis
also prevents constipation which is the main reason for so many
digestive problems. 

10. Prevents Cancer:

is rich in antioxidants and greatly helps fight off free radicals which
are the main reason for converting normal cells to cancer cells.
Gongura contains many antioxidant rich compounds like polyphenols,
anthocyanins and flavonoids. Compounds like anthocyanins present in
gongura are responsible for apoptosis (death of cancer cells).


1 Comment

  1. Anonymous
    October 1, 2017 / 6:58 am

    Hi,Could you please suggest some home remedies for stretch marks and body hair reduction?Thank you.

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