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26 Feb 2024, Edition - 3149, Monday

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These bright and beautiful flowers can be fatal!

Prasath Selvaraj


A few years ago, an 18-year-old girl, while taking a stroll in a garden at the backyard of her house, plucked a few petals of a pink Rose from the plant and chewed them. Within few minutes she fainted. Her parents rushed her to the nearby hospital, where doctors declared her ‘brought dead’.

The post-mortem report stated that she had consumed pesticide to kill herself. Little did the parents realise that the pesticide they had sprayed on the plants a few hours ago could kill their daughter.

Those were the times pesticides were sprayed for higher yield. But now the situation is different. Pesiticides are being used not only for better yield but also to get better and brighter colours. This is the main reason, why flower sellers advice people not to use flowers (without proper guidance) in the making of traditional medicines.

A.D. Alavudeen, a third generation flower seller in the Coimbatore Corporation Flower Market, also known as ‘Poo Market’ told The Covai Post that pesticides are being used to get rid of pests and to increase yield. They also enhance the colours to the flowers. “Also chemicals are used during packing before they are exported,” he said.

“Flowers coming to market are very bright and attractive. They are used for decorations. Using such attractive flowers to make medicines or consume them as part of “paatti vaidhyam” is not advisable. They dont cure, they could be detrimental to health. People should refrain from using such flowers for medicinal use,” he cautioned.

According to T. Kanagaraj, Director of Bio-Blooms Agro India Pvt Ltd, most of the flowers available in the market are only for decorative purposes. “Only a few flowering plants have medicinal values. People can grow them in their houses organically. Hibiscus is an example. It can be easily grown at homes. If people want to buy flowers to make medicines, they can buy dried flowers from Siddha shops,” he added.

Dr. V. Indulal of Arya Vaidya Pharmacy said not only flowers, people should also be careful while buying food products from the market. “People should be careful before consuming or preparing traditional medicines,” he said.

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