Significance of 21 Patri-leaves used in Ganesh Archana – An Ayurveda Perspective.
Ganesh Chaturthi is celebrated with great devotion all over India. People bring and welcome the Idols of Ganapati at home or in pandals. The special chant of Mantras, Pooja, and Aarati always enhances the energetic, and lively atmosphere of the festival.
One of the major rituals of the pooja on the Ganesh Chaturthi is the “Patri pooja”. At least 21 different Patri’s, that is leaves of plants are typically used.
The list of plants used may differ slightly from one region to another. Locally available medicinal plants are supposed to be used for pooja. It is observed that every plant leaf from Pooja has unique medicinal values and health benefits. They all are used as medicines for various diseases. The broad spectrum uses of these plants make them unique and hence included in the special pooja of Ganapati. Apart from this, it is ecologically beneficial to cut down the leaves of fully grown plants after the rainy season (Shravan) for better propagation.
Let us first understand the medicinal values associated with these 21 different types of leaves.
Let us start with the number 21 itself. What is the special significance of the number 21?
The logical reason behind this number 21 is that our body is believed to be made up of Panchamahabhuta and 16 Indriya (5 basic constituents and 16 main organs). Hence 21 Patri puja is believed to be a symbolic offering of our complete self to Ganapati – an act to remind us to keep our ego in check.
Let’s have a look at 21 Patri and its medicinal uses in general. Common names are mentioned in brackets.
1. Machi Patram – (Davana)
Treats skin diseases such as leprosy, and leucoderma, various gastrointestinal (abdominal) diseases such as stomach pain, diarrhea, intestinal colic, and gynecological diseases. It has anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial properties.
2. Bruhati Patram – (Dorali)
It relieves joint pains, reduces lumps, and treats asthma, and coughs. It is good for the heart. It removes bad odor from the mouth. It increases sperm count. It works as a diuretic.
3. Bilva Patram – (Bela)
All parts of this tree’s leaves, fruit, stem, and roots are used as medicine to cure various diseases such as dysentery, asthma, fractures, healing of wounds, swollen joints, high blood pressure, jaundice, and typhoid, and for the management of diabetes. Bela fruit pulp is used to cure chronic diarrhea, dysentery, and gastric problems.
4. Doorvayugmam - (Doorva)
Doorva helps to arrest bleeding and anemia. It cures skin diseases and dandruff. It reduces nightmares/bad dreams. It acts as a diuretic and is useful in many gynecological disorders.
5. Dhattura Patram – (Dhotara)
It works as an anti-microbial, and anti-inflammatory. It treats asthma, fever, wounds, dandruff, and joint disorders such as stiffness, locked jaw, lower back pain, itching, and pain. Note – Dhattura is a toxic plant and is not advised for children and pregnant women. It causes hallucinations, and convulsions.
6. Badari Patram – (Bora)
It treats Laryngitis, cough, digestive disorders, wounds, and injuries.
7. Apamarga Patram – (Aaghada)
It treats digestive disorders, poisonous bites, asthma, and leucoderma Improves digestion and metabolism.
8. Tulasi Patram - (Tulas)
It is one of the best antiviral herbs. It is an antimicrobial and anti-toxic. it treats asthma, chronic disorders, psychiatric disorders, kidney/bladder stones, and skin diseases with pain, and itchiness.
9. Chootha Patram - (Aamba)
It treats diabetes, heartburn, stomach pain, diarrhea, vomiting, and skin discoloration. It also acts as a good energizer and stimulant.
10. Karaveera Patram - (Kanheri)
This is a toxic herb and it is used for external applications. It treats Leprosy, wounds and injuries, lice, itching, fast movement of eyes, and eye inflammation.
11. Vishnukranta Patram - (Shankhapushpi)
Used to treat brain and nervous system-related disorders, blood vomiting, bleeding disorders, ulcers, gastric irritation, and memory loss. It increases memory power and intellect. It enhances the self-healing potency of the body.
12. Daadimee Patram – (Dalimb)
It treats dysentery, food poisoning, diarrhea, and acidity-related disorders.
13. Devadaru Patram - (Devadar)
It treats skin diseases, wounds, injuries, headaches, arthritis, breast pain, mastitis, and stiffness.
14. Maruvaka Patram - (Murva)
It treats skin diseases, gastrointestinal diseases, sore throat, cough, scorpion bite, and bad breath. It is considered a good cardio-protective, liver tonic, and stops abnormal menstrual flow.
15. Sindhuvara Patram - (Nirgundi)
It treats Vata-related problems, used as anti-poisonous drugs, rheumatoid and osteoarthritis, vaginal inflammation, and grey hair.
16. Jaati Patram – (Chameli)
It treats skin diseases, wounds, mouth-related problems, indigestion, erectile dysfunction, gingivitis, and eye diseases.
17. Gandaki Patram – (Kanchanar)
Used to treat heart-related diseases, piles, skin diseases, and cervical lymphadenitis.
18. Shamee Patram - (Shami)
It treats mouth ulcers, joint pains, diarrhea, itching skin diseases, scorpion bites, wounds, bleeding disorders, and repeated abortion.
19. Ashwathha Patram - (Pimpal)
It treats impotence, joint swelling, pain, pimples, bleeding and wounds, and skin diseases. Its bark is used in the preparation of many medicines, it is also used in abnormal bleeding disorders, and in strengthening uterine muscles.
20. Arjuna Patram - (Arjun)
It treats joint pains, heart diseases, wound and septic conditions, bleeding disorders, fractures, chronic respiratory disorders, and tuberculosis.
21. Arka / Mandar patram - (Rui)
It treats poisonous bites, wounds, and injuries, leprosy, tumors, joint pains.
There is some variation in 21 patris described for pooja. In the above information, we tried to focus on common medicinal uses of plants. Do include the above patri in pooja and spread awareness about its uses by sharing this article. May the high spirits of Ganesh Festival stay with us forever just like the blessings of Ganpati Bappa!!
Dr. Gayatri Kulkarni – Mulye (MD Ayurveda),
Vaidya Tejaswini Bhale – Borse (Ayurveda Physician)