Idols made of flowers when immersed in water bodies kill bacteria, viruses
Botany professor G Narender Babu has pointed out that flowers and leaves used for preparing idols of Bathukamma could prevent water borne diseases as they possess various medicinal properties. Speaking to DC Mr. Narendar Babu explained how the flowers and leaves could be beneficial once the idols are immersed in a tank or pond.
Flowers and leaves of forest plants such as thangedu gunugu katla and garden plants namely banthi aster pumpkin ribbed gourd are mostly used in preparing the idol of Bathukamma. “The thangedu gunugu and kotla flowers produce many alkaloids with antibiotic properties. Similarly a dense layer of white and fine glandular hairs growing on the leaves of pumpkin and ribbed gourd synthesise antibiotic chemicals. Many studies have found that these chemicals are capable of killing pathogenic bacteria fungi and viruses that cause various diseases in human beings” he said.
When several hundreds of idols are immersed in a tank or pond during the festival these chemicals dissolve in the water leading to death of the bacteria fungi and viruses.
Thus water borne diseases such as typhoid cholera diarrhea pneumonia and tuberculosis can be prevented. Some respiratory and skin diseases can also be checked when water does not contain fungi. Generally these diseases increase due to presence of various types of micro organisms such as the bacteria fungi and viruses in the water bodies.
In order to prevent diseases our forefathers introduced a custom among people of Telangana in the form of Bathukamma festival he stated.
According to Web MD.Com an American website which provides health information Cassia Auriculata is used for diabetes eye infections joint and muscle pain constipation jaundice liver disease and urinary tract disorders.
Flowers used in Bathukamma
1.Tangedu [senna/cassia] Cassa species are well known for their laxative and purgative constituents.
- Gunugu [ Celosia Argentia] Leaves of celosia bruised and applied as poultice are used for treating of infected sores
- Banthi [Tagetes errecta] Used for its nematocide cosmetic medicinal properties. The flower oil contains antioxidants.
- Katla [pomoea] a valuable medicinal plant having anti cancer anti diabatic anti inflammatory properties.
5.Gummadi [ cucurbital] Used as an anti diabetic anti tumour anti hypertensive anti inflammatory and an anti bacterial agent.
- Beera [Luffa] Roots is used for dropsy and as a lazative. The leaves are used to treat jaundice.
- Aster [ calendula] Used to prevent muscle spasms. The flowers are used for treating sore throat.