26 August 2022

Important (ThursdayTreeLove)

I have previously written about the Moha or Mahua or Madhuca longifolia of the Sapotaceae family. It is a beautiful indigenous species that is a very important forest tree. 

The Moha is a deciduous species. This is a tree on our Vetal Tekdi in Pune.

The flowers, bark, leaves, fruit of the tree are all extremely useful and have huge medicinal properties. There is a new found interest in rural foods and foraging which has revived interest in the Mahua flowers and fruit. Several products like chutneys, energy bars etc are being made to introduce us, city folk, to this great tree. Food historians and Chefs are taking an interest in the Moha. 

Dry flowers on sale in a village market From the book Jungle Trees of Central India by Pradip Krishen

In his book Aple Vruksha, Prof SD Mahajan says that the garland used in Swayamvar used to be made of Moha flowers! This Moha tree is a Kalpvrukshya of the Adivasis he adds.  

Flowering in Feb/March . This image is of a tree in the city.

Moha flowers are edible and dried ones are eaten like raisins or can be added to salads or made into Puran Poli. This year, I managed to source sun dried flowers from the forest and tasted them for the first time. They were sweet of course but had a wonderful earthy caramelly flavour which is quite incomparable. 

Dry flowers

Here is a (long read) article from Scroll.in about the Mahua. It includes a couple of folk songs about the Mahua and describes how the Moha tree is a lifeline and backbone of sustenance of those living in the jungle even in adverse situations like a famine. This is a tree of huge economic importance. 

This is a scholarly article about the medicinal uses of this great tree. 

“For in the true nature of things, if we rightly consider, each green tree is far more glorious than if it were made of gold and silver.”

- Martin Luther King.

Have you seen the Moha? 

I am joining Parul in her ThursdayTreeLove blog hop. Do head over to see trees from around the world. Better still, join in.


https://linsartyblobs.blogspot.com said...

I don't know that tree so thanks for sharing the facts too.

Alana said...

I have never heard this tree or seen it. I may have seen it in our state of Florida in one of my visits, but it isn't hardy enough to grow where I live in the Northeast United States.

Archana said...

@lin Happy to share tree info!! :-) Thanks for stopping by!

Archana said...

@Alana Happy to introduce indigenous tree species!! :-) Thank you!!

Parul said...

I loved the info that you shared. Thank you, Archana! Mahua's healing properties are many and I am seeing many small set ups trying to make things of these natural ingredients.

Archana said...

@Parul. Yes indeed! Its very heartening to see such efforts and we must encourage them as much as possible! Thanks a lot!! :-)

JoAnna said...

You remind me that the earth is full of gifts with trees being among the best. Glad you enjoyed the dried flowers.

Archana said...

@JoAnna Absolutely right!! Thank you so much! :-)