Rhododendron- the king of shrubs

July 18, 2016

The name Rhododendron comes from the greek words “rodon” which means “rose” and “dendron” which means “tree”, hence Rose Tree. Rhododendron flowers are usually produced in trusses. Come spring the Himalayas – home to the largest variety of rhododendrons – breakout in a rash of colour.

The brilliant red, closer to the foothills turns gradually, as they ascend to higher altitudes, to a pristine white.

While their beauty inspires unbridled rapture in the tourist, the local is privy to its inner core.  Partho, a character in Sampurna Chattarji’s novel Rupture, reminisces his childhood thus: “Fat slices of bread, butter so cold we ate it in chunks, tea so hot we skinned our tongues… Eat the stem of this tender green shoot, suck the juice from the rhododendron flower. … Here is treasure, immeasurable”.

Prolonging the joy of the short-lived season, the luscious rhododendrons are turned into syrups and cordials as an effective coolant for the heat of the summers.

This Brilliant flower apart from being delicious also packs a punch of healthfulness, being useful in containing Type I & Type II diabetes apart from being anti-inflammatory, and anti-diarrheal.

It contains anti-oxidants and iron and has also proved useful in rheumatoid arthritis, weight control & bronchitis.

Rhododendron, due to its cardioprotective and hepatoprotective activities has been a favoured natural heart & liver healer known for ages.

 

Theo Organics rhododendron are handpicked from the pristine Himalayan forests in the spring and processed entirely by hand in preparation for the sweetened and sweetened Rhododendron cordial.

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