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Agathi Keerai

Sesbania grandiflora / West Indian pea, Jayanti

Agathi keerai is the Tamil name for this plant, also known as the Hummingbird tree or Flamingo Bill because of the characteristic shape of its flowers. It is a fast growing tree which thrives in plenty of sunlight.

Insulin Plant

In Asia, this tree’s leaves are used in cooking, and it is especially famous in Tamil Nadu where they are incorporated into the diet with the recognition that it is really a natural medicine. Hence it is not used daily or even weekly, but only once every two weeks, as a wonderful way to keep the gut clean and free of parasites, among other things. 

Agathi keerai contains all the essential amino acids, which make it very strong in antibacterial and antimicrobial properties that detoxify the system. It is beneficial in treating diarrhea, dysentery, and inflammatory diseases. Agathi leaves are said to have the highest levels of vitamin A, phosphorus and calcium among all green leafy vegetables! Ayurveda indicates that these leaves promote healthy bones and boost immunity too. 

The seeds of the Sesbania Grandiflora plant are also edible and are used extensively in several cuisines because they are so rich in nutrients. The flowers and bark feature in various remedies too. 

Insulin Plant

Make an agathi keerai Sambhar and eat it with rice! The recipe is quite simple too. For every one cup of agathi keerai, add two cups of toor dal to a cooker, with some water and turmeric, and cook until the leaves are tender. Continue with your usual recipe for Sambhar! We make it with toor dal, onions, tomatoes, ginger and chillies! 

However, it should be noted that Ayurveda strongly advises that the leaves should not be consumed more frequently than once every two months. Yet, considering the highly impressive properties of this plant, it would be well worth incorporating it into one’s diet!

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