Last time we posted about Aiselu and now, it is time for another tasty wild fruit, Kafal.
Kafal, a very popular wild fruit of the Central Himalayas. Tasting sour-sweet, the all-season trees are considered uncultivable. Botanists call it Myrica Nagi and it grows in the range of 1300 to 2100 m elevation and is common in Nepal and India. A typical Kafal tree is 12 to 15 m high and the trunk diameter ranges from 90-95 cm.
A popular folk song "kafal gedi kutukai, bhaiyo bhutukai …"
Kafal trees have dioecious flowers (individual plants having only one sex of flowers) and they have a symbiotic relationship with certain types of soil micro-organisms.
The micro-organisms form nodules on the roots of the kafal tree and fix atmospheric nitrogen.
In Ayurveda and Susruta mention kafal as:
- vedanasthapaka – a pain killer
- sita prasamana – medicine to relieve cold sensation on the skin
- samjna sthapana – restores consciousness
- kanthya – beneficial for the throat
- sandhaniya – a healing herb
- sukra sodhana – purifies seminal fluids.
- visaghna – detoxifier
- stambhana- astringent.
The stone of kafal fruit and bark of the tree are also claimed to being beneficial in cardiac debility, edema and haemoptysis. Locals extract wax covering of the fruit by scalding the fruit in boiling water, also used for ulcer healing apart from making special candles. (photo credits – friends in Facebook)