Drumstick Leaves Release Toxins during Karkidaka Masam (July – Aug)

Many among you might have heard that you should avoid eating drumstick leaves during Karkadamasam which falls between mid July and August.

To know more about this, let’s first understand what’s so special about this month.

In Kerala the rains go on and on without an end in sight. Starting with south west monsoon followed by the north east.

There is a pattern for each month’s rains. However there are times when it’s not following its traditional seasonal schedule.

Karkada masam is the month when rains don’t seem to stop at all. Sky is dark throughout. This is also the time when sun starts its southward journey dakshinayanan. It is also this time when there are cloud bursts, drizzle followed by yet another cloud burst. Because of the heavy rains accompanied with no sunlight nothing grows well or blooms during this time.

Mud roads, houses, trees all collapse. Landslides are common too. The modern structures of concrete and tarmac roads hold their own. Houses have extra light, good storage and excess food, so there are no issues with pest and other common problems unlike in olden days.

Most of the stored grains and food would be on the verge of exhaustion by the time karkadamasam arrives. This was the case until the late 70s. You had to seek out every alternate source o f nourishment. Pumpkins, ash gourds, bottle gourds, vellaris (golden cucumber) all would be stored exactly with this timeframe in mind.

There are also inedible and foul tasting sources which could be cooked into good food.

There will be no shortage for greens during this time. However, caution must be exercised since our bodies are not well adjusted to digest cellulose. Consider greens as an extension of fiber with respect to our ability to digest.

Traditional Marunnu Kanji or Karkidaka Kanji

Thunder and lightning strikes generate compression waves which are beyond normal. This dissipates over land in the surrounding areas. If you are close by then you will feel the shock waves, pressure change and also the heat.

It is advised to stay almost 10 km away from thunder and lightning. This in case of Kerala and many other parts of Western Ghats is near impossible.

The wave ripples earth and all things, living as well as inert,  causing trees and humans to be very weak during this phase. This is exactly why most people would not leave their house during this time of the year.

Because of the above reason body is very weak during Karkada masam; so rest and extra nutrition is required.

Medicinal Porridge (Karkada Kanji)
Medicinal Porridge (Karkada Kanji)

Drumstick Release Toxins during Karkidaka Masam

Drumstick or Moringa trees were traditionally planted near open wells. It has the ability to suck lot of water along with other toxins and store it in its trunk. Chances are that during karkada masam, the toxins would be released into its leaves.

Which is why traditional seers and ayurvedic practioners would suggest not consuming moringa leaves during this time of the year.

Moringa or also know as drumstick leaves
Fresh Drumstick Leaves
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