Muskmallow - a tasty vegetable as well as medicinal herb
Muskmallow which is called ‘Kasthuri Venda’ in Malayalam is a vegetable commonly found in countryside. The seed of the vegetables smells like musk when it is dried, hence the vegetable was named muskmallow.
The plant grows to a height of 1.5 metres, but the fruit is smaller than okra. The tender fruits are used to make different traditional recipes such as Sambar, Aviyal and Mezhukkupuratti. Some people also make Thoran using tender leaves of muskmallow.
Several fruits emerge on a single plant. It is easy to take care of muskmallow plant. Saplings are produced from seeds. As new plants grow from the roots, more plants will grow from the mother plant, said Payyannur native A V Dhananjayan.
The leaves, stems, root and bark of muskmallow have medicinal properties and are used to treat urinary and pulmonary diseases. Its seeds contain protein and carbohydrates. The oil extracted from muskmallow is used as an alternative for the musk collected from the animals.
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