Summer respite for Delhiites: The enchanting Amaltas tree

Amaltas, also known as the golden shower trees, seen in full bloom in Delhi during the summers.

Neighbourhood News Desk: “Trees are poems that the earth writes upon the sky,” said legendary writer Kahlil Gibran. One such tree which has stood the test of time and has etched its mark on history is the Amaltas tree. With it’s captivating golden flowers on full display during the months of May and June, it’s a stunner. And maybe, this is the reason why Delhiites have always been deeply in love in with the otherworldly Amaltas.

History and culture

Amaltas, whose botanical name is Cassia fistula, is native to the Indian subcontinent and Southeast Asia. The tree has a mention in the ancient epic Ramayana as well. It was found growing near the hermitage of the sage Matanga. It was also mentioned in the epic Mahabharata, as being found in abundance near Kushika country. It’s known as aragvadha:- Disease killer in ayurveda.

The Delhi connect

Have you noticed roads such as Amrita Sher-Gil Marg, Shanti Path and Akbar Road look so yellow during the months of May and June? The reason is: “In early 1920s when British architect Edwin Lutyens planned the architectural layout of Delhi, he made sure that they planted a lot of Amaltas trees in and around Lutyens Delhi,” says Harinder Singh, designer.

Health benefits and culinary usage

The long cylindrical pods of this tree offer various health benefits. “It’s a detoxifier and helps remove harmful toxins and prevent digestive issues like flatulence, colic pain, belching, loss of appetite, heartburn and acidity, and cleanses blood to help keep the skin looking good. It is also known to alleviate symptoms and pain of arthritis and gout”, says Kavita Devgan, nutritionist; adding, “It’s also loaded with nutrients. It’s low in sodium; it is rich in Vitamin K, calcium and is a good source of iron and manganese”.

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