Kulekhara leaves
Spread the love

If you are struggling to increase your hemoglobin level and looking for more information on kulekhara leaves, you are on the right page.

Here in this article, we are going to take a dip in –

  • Nutrition of Kulekhara leaves
  • How kulekhara leaves help to improve the haemoglobin level within weeks?
  • What are the other benefits of kulekhara leaves?
  • How to take kulekhara leaves?
  • Who should not consider this leaves?

Kulekhara  –  The other names

  • Scientific name –  Hygrophila auriculata
  • Synonyms – Hygrophila spinosa T., Asteracantha longifolia (L.) (6)
  • Other names – Gokanta (Sanskrit) , Kokilaksha, Gokulakanta, Vayalchulli (Malyali), Neermulli (Tamil), Talimkhana (Hindi), Koilekha (Odiya), Kulekhara (Bengali)

In Ayurveda, all the 5 parts of kulekhara plant – that is roots, stem, leaves, fruit, and flower are used for making medicines.

However this article focus on kulekhara leaves.

Kulekhara leaves 1

Kulekhara leaves: Nutrition

It is neglected, not so popular. However, kulekhara has multiple health benefits. The nutritional profile of the fresh leaves is quite impressive. Table 1 and Table 3 below will give you details of its nutrients.

Table 1: Macronutrient content of fresh Kulekhara leaves

MacronutrientsContent (per 100g)
Carbohydrate12.2 g
Protein4.69 g
Fat0.13 g
Fiber1.80 g
Energy58.80 kcal

Source – (1

Now this table will tell you nothing unless you compare kulekhara with few other common green leafy vegetables. It has been seen the carbohydrate, protein, and fiber content of this leaves are high compared to spinach, amaranth, fenugreek leaves, mustard leaves.

Table 2: Comparison of nutrient content with common greens

Common greensCarbohydrate (g/100g)Protein (g/100g)Fibre (g/100g)
Spinach2.920.6
Amaranth2.03.01.0
Fenugreek leaves6.04.41.1
Mustard leaves3.34.00.8
Kulekhara12.24.691.80

Source – (1

Kulekhara becomes exclusive for health because of the balance in its micronutrient content. It is rich in iron as well as in vitamin C. It is also a rich source of potassium.

Kulekhara

Table 3: Micronutrient content of fresh kulekhara leaves

MicronutrientsContent (per 100g)
Sodium56.1 mg
Potassium266 mg
Copper4.87 mg
Calcium27.93 mg
Iron7.03 mg
B carotene2500 ug
Vitamin C50.08 mg
Riboflavin102 ug
Folic acid<1.0 ug

Source – (1

Not only for macronutrients, the vitamins and minerals specifically iron and vitamin C contents are very high compared to common greens.

Table 4: Comparison of iron and vitamin C content with common greens

Common greensIron (mg/100g)Vitamin C (mg/100g)
Fenugreek leaves1.9352
Coriander leaves1.42
lettuce2.410
Spinach1.1428
Kulekhara7.0350.08

Source –  C. Gopalan, Nutritive value of Indian foods,2016

Besides these nutrients, the study suggests the leaves also contain many phytochemicals – alkaloids, steroids, glycosides, flavonoids, tannins, phenolic compounds, oils, etc – which provide the medicinal properties of the leaves.

How kulekhara leaves help to improve the haemoglobin level within weeks?

Kulekhara leaf extract

As per our National Family Health Survey in India, more than 60% of women and children are anemic. That means they lack enough healthy red blood cells to carry oxygen all over the body.

Therefore most of the time they experience fatigue, tiredness, sometimes difficulty in breathing, become pale, etc.

The formation of healthy blood is a complex process like any other biological function. Only an iron-rich diet often does not help to improve the situation.

You need a good supply of vitamin C, copper, cobalt, protein along with dietary iron. Most importantly even if you supply the entire ingredients essential for blood formation through diet, you still need clean proper utensils to cook the dish. That means you also need healthy organs for carrying out the reactions and nutrients available in the body when they are needed.

Here in this aspect kulekhara leaves even surprised the scientists. Studies have shown, how giving this leaf extract for 3-4 weeks has improved the health of anemic test animals in the lab.

Many studies have suggested that the leaf extract has significantly increased the hemoglobin level and red blood cell count in lab test animals within 1-3 weeks’ time.

It was noticed that within 2 weeks of giving kulekhara leaf extract –

  • iron availability,
  • iron circulation,
  • total iron binding capacity,
  • transferring (a protein that binds the iron to transport in blood) saturation,
  • serum copper, cobalt concentration,  
  • all these major indicators were significantly improved.

In fact, the total process of formation of new blood cells was stimulated, all the growth factors needed this time were activated. .(2, 3, 4)

Kulekhara was used to treat anemia traditionally. Now studies have backed up this with scientific evidence.

What are the other benefits?

  • Kulekhara leaf extract helps to reduce the blood glucose level. Therefore if you are diabetic you may consider taking this on a regular basis. Studies showed that kulekhara extract increases the level of glutathione –  a chemical that improves insulin sensitivity –  in the body. (5, 6)
  • These leaves have anti-inflammation properties. It helps to prevent and cure inflammation in our bodies. (5)
  • Regular consumption of leaves helps to destroy parasitic worms. The leaf extract has strong antihelminthic activity. (7)
  • The study suggests kulekhara leaves also have antibacterial properties. It can prevent bacterial infestation. (7)
  • It also relieves pain because of its strong analgesic properties. So next time you suffer from any pain, try having some kulekhara leaves.
  • Traditionally kulekhara leaf extract was used to cure diarrhea and dysentery. This has also been proved scientifically. (8)
  • The leaf extract has been shown to possess significant antioxidant properties. Various studies have been conducted with different parts of kulekhara plant. However, it is clear that the leaf extract can be very effective in diseases where free radicals play a crucial role. (9)

How to consume?

Don’t expect that the leaves will taste nice. The leaves are bitter in taste. Therefore be prepared for it and keep no expectations for the taste.

Knowing the endless list of benefits is not enough. If you are actually interested to make a difference, here are 3 easy ways to incorporate these fantastic leaves into your diet.

Kulekhara leave juice –

Kulekhara leaves juice

Items required –

  • Kulekhara leaves
  • Honey
  • Electric mixer/ Mortar pestle
  • Strainer
  • Glass
  • Spoon

How to make?

  • Take one bunch of leaves.
  • Separate it from the branch
  • Wash thoroughly under running water
  • Discard the leaves having white spots at any side
  • Chop the leaves
  • Take a clean electric mixer and put the chopped leaves in it.
  • Add little water to it and grind well
  • Strain the green juice
  • Add 1 tablespoon of the juice in a cup of water
  • Add a tsp of honey to it and serve

How much to kulekhara juice to consume daily?

Take 15-20 ml (1 tablespoon) of this juice twice a day for 2-3 weeks.

Advantage

Fresh juice therefore very effective to ensure the benefits

Disadvantage –

Time-consuming. It may not be possible to prepare every day.

Have no time? Not getting Kulekhara in the market? Buy Kulekhara juice online following the link –

https://amzn.to/3D2QvI8

Kulekhara tea –

Kulekhara tea

Items required –

  • Kulekhara leaves
  • Water
  • Pot
  • Honey
  • Stove/ gas

How to make?

  • Take one bunch of leaves.
  • Separate it from the branch
  • Wash thoroughly under running water
  • Discard the leaves having white spots at any side
  • Boil a glass of water
  • Add the cleaned leaves to it (3-4 leaves)
  • Boil for few minutes until the water volume reduced to half
  • Strain the water
  • Add 1 tsp of honey to it and serve

How much kulekhara tea to consume daily?

Drink a small cup of tea twice a day.

Advantage

It is easy to prepare. It will take a maximum of 5 minutes.

Disadvantage –

Vitamin C is heat sensitive. So little nutrient loss is obvious.

Kulekhara leave powder

Kulekhara powder

Items required –

  • Kulekhara leave
  • Clean cloth
  • Pot
  • Gas/ stove
  • Electric mixer

How to make?

  • Take one bunch of leaves.
  • Separate it from the branch
  • Wash thoroughly under running water
  • Discard the leaves having white spots at any side
  • Keep the leaves on a clean cloth for sun dry
  • Allow the leaves to dry for 2-3 days
  • Roast the dry leaves (optional) during monsoon
  • Grind the dry leaves using a mixer.
  • Sieve well  and repeat the grinding process for large leaf particles
  • Collect the powder and store in a clean glass jar

How to use kulekhara leaf powder?

Add half tsp of leaf powder to a cup of water. Add half a teaspoon of honey and drink twice a day.

Advantage

It is a onetime work then you can have it any time. It can be stored for more than 2 months.

Disadvantage –

It takes some time and patience to prepare a batch of powder.

  • Boiled leaves
  • Leaf powder

When not to have Kulekhara ?

Ayurveda suggests, not consuming kulekhara during pregnancy and lactation period.

Bottom line

Local herbs have many nutritional as well as medicinal benefits. Therefore don’t underestimate them. Consider consuming kulekhara leaves for fixing anemia, diabetes, preventing worm infestation, and many more. Try any of the recipes mentioned above at your convenience.

Footnote

Photo courtesy – Ms. Chitralekha Mukherjee, Ph.D. Scholar, University of Calcutta

administrator
Dr. Soma Chakrabarty has done her Ph.D. in Food and Nutrition in 2017. She is based in Hyderabad. She has 12 yrs of working experience in nutrition. Dr. Soma guides people to modify eating behavior and achieve the goal of wellness. She believes in a sustainable diet that helps people to live rather than survive.

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: