One can find it growing in the backyards of many Tamil households. Growing up, we didn’t have one in our backyard but thousands of them sprawling on the hills nearby. Our school was in a small valley surrounded by these hills and Amma was the one to notice them.Thus entered tasty Pirandai chutneys into our diet. Me and my sis would bring some from school every week. You have to use the tender stems ( usually the top three ) and not the thicker ones if you plan to cook.
My first attempt at growing them from unrooted cuttings failed. So, ordered a live plant online. So far, it’s doing good.
Scientific Name : Cissus Quadrangularis
Other names : Pirandai/Vajravalli (Tamil), Asthisamhaaraka (Sanskrit), Hadjod (Hindi), Nalleru (Telugu), Adamant Creeper/Veldt Grape/Devil’s Backbone (English)
A medicinal climbing succulent plant that grows freely and is native to India/Sri Lanka. It’s mostly used as a poultice for treating bone fractures/sprains in Indian Medicine ( both Siddha and Ayurveda ) from antiquity, earning the name asthisamhaaraka. But, it makes for tasty chutneys and you get strong bones as bonus !! It’s also known to purify air around it
Though edible, it’s recommended not to have more than twice in a week.
It has numerous other benefits :
- Strong Bones & Dental Health
- Heals Broken Bones
- Weight Loss & Heart Health
- Immunity & Wound Healing
- Reduces Inflammation
- Prevents Diabetes
- Relieves Cramps & Pains
The world is yet to go raging about Pirandai the way it is about Moringa ( our humble Murungai – a super food in India from time immemorial). But, I assure you – it will very soon.