BRAHMA KAMAL- A RARE, LEGENDARY AND MYTHOLOGICAL PLANT OF INDIA
By Bhuvaneshwari M
Brahma Kamal is a mighty pure snowy star-like flower with enchanting fragrance to assist their pollinators to locate the blossoms by moon or starlight. It is commonly referred to as Night-blooming Cereus, Queen of the night, Lady of the night as its beautiful Lotus like flower blooms late night. In India, it’s called Brahma Kamal and is treated as a sacred plant. It is also popularly referred to as epiphyllum because the flower has orchid-like beauty and plant resembles cactus inhabit. It is believed to usher in a lot of good luck and prosperity and a home where the flowers bloom is extremely auspicious and lucky. Brahma Kamal may be a sort of cactus; it doesn’t need an excessive amount of water. We must water it once in two to three days unless we are in a really dry place. Never overwater this plant as it will get waterlogged and die
These flowers look gorgeous, but they smell awful, perhaps that explains why we don’t bring them home but are offering them with devotion within the hill temples at Kedarnath and Badrinath.
Planting and Care
Keep in a bright sunny location.
Try to not water the leaves, give water to soil only.
Avoid overwatering as the roots may get rot.
Water the plant in the morning, between 8 to 10 am.
Avoid keeping in suffocated areas or in the darkroom.
While re-potting or propagating try to not disturb the roots.
Religious Importance of Brahma Kamal
Brahma Kamal grows aplenty in the Himalayan regions like Valley of Flowers, Kedarnath, Tungnath, Satopanth Lake, Srikhand Mahadev, etc. Brahma Kamal flowers are offered profusely during the festival of Nanda Ashtami which occurs around the months of September and October.
The flowers that are offered to the deity are distributed as Prasad among the devotees. One can come across the offering of Brahma Kamal flowers practiced in the sacred shrines of Yamunotri, Gangotri, Badrinath and Kedarnath.
Use of Brahma Kamal in traditional medicine
The entire plant of Brahma Kamal is used as a remedy for human diseases and it is not clinically proven though.
It is helpful to treat fevers. The flowers, leaves are used for the treatment of cough, cold, bone ache and intestinal ailments.
The rhizomes are used as antiseptic and for healing.
The plant is used in the paralysis treatment which is known to be the Tibetan system of medicine.
The interesting features are its leaves attached to each other and We know? Just put the one leaf in soil and we can get a new plant from it!! Wow, that is wonderful.
Brahma Kamal is an erect or semi-erect, branching, epiphytic cactus up to six m tall with cylindrical stems, bearing elliptic, leaf-like, scalloped, dark green branches. The large, funnel-shaped, white flowers are up to 28 cm long. This fragrant, nocturnal bloom opens within the late evening and closes again at sunrise. The flowers are followed by small, up to 10 cm long, oblong, purplish-red, angled fruits.
Brahma Kamal has great significance in Indian mythology and is considered lucky. Witnessing the blooming Brahma Kamal is not easy as it’s a rare flower that only blooms during night time, and that too only once a year. This flower is named after the god of creation: Brahma.