Also known as agati or hummingbird tree/scarlet wisteria. Katuray as we call it here in the Philippines.
Origin and Distribution
Indigenous from Malaysia to North Australia; Cultivated in many parts of India. It has a large number of traditional uses. It grows where there is good soil and hot humid temperature. Die in snow, cold weather. It’s a tropical plant.
It contain arginine, cysteine, histidine, isolcucine, phenylalanine, tryptophan, valine, threonine, alanine, aspargine, aspartic acid, oleanolic acid, galactose, Rhamnose & glucuronic acid.
Properties and Uses of different Parts
Leaves used as tonic, diuretic, laxative, antipyretic, chewed to disinfect mouth and throat. Flower in headache, dimness of vision, Catarrh, Headache, cooling and improving appetite, bitter, astringent, acrid, antipyretic. Bark is used for cooling (ayurvedha and siddha medicinal terms), bitter tonic, anthelmintic, febrifuge, diarrhea, Small pox, Astringent. Fruits in Bitter & acrid, laxative, fever, pain, bronchitis, anemia, tumors, colic, jaundice, poisoning. Root used in Rheumatism, Expectorant, Painful swelling, Catarrh.
The young pods are also eaten, along with the leaves. In Sri Lanka, agati leaves, known as Katura murunga in Sinhala language, are sometimes added to sudhu hodhi or white curry, a widely eaten, thin coconut gravy and is believed locally to be a cure for canker sores. In India this plant is known asagati (Hindi), agastya (Kannada), agise (Telugu), and both the leaves and the flowers have culinary uses.
When I was a kid our neighbors used to make fun of me and would call me “Lalay Katuray“. I never knew why, but probably because it rhymes with my nickname. I didn’t know what “Katuray” was until my mom showed them to me from one of our trips to the market. I didn’t believe her when she said that it could be eaten. It looks like a flower to me, and as a kid my perception for flowers are only for design and display. Up to this time, I haven’t tried eating them. Today I decide to look it up on the web to familiarize and educate myself and hopefully be convinced on trying it out soon. We are so privileged that this plant only grows in tropical countries like ours. So might as well enjoy it 🙂
This pictures sure look appetizing right? I would love to try it out soon 😉