Gulbel is a native plant from India, also known to be found in Far East,
primarily in rainforests. The plant is climbing shrub with heart-shaped
leaves. It has stems about 6 cm in diameter, with light grey, papery bark.
The leaves are 7.5-14 cm long, 9-17 cm broad, broadly ovate or orbicular,
deeply heart shaped at the base. Tiny greenish yellow flowers occur in
racemes 7-14 cm long. Flowers have 3+3 sepals in 2 layers, the outer ones
are small, the inner large large. Six stamens prominently protrude out. The
plant flowers during the summer and fruits during the winter. Gulbel
prefers acid, neutral or basic alkaline soil. It can grow in semi-shade or
no shade. Requiring moist soil. Gulbel grows easily without chemical
fertilizers, and use of pesticides.
Medicinal uses: The herb has a long history in use by
practitioners of Ayurved. Known by its practitioners to treat convalescence
from severe illness, arthritis (or joint diseases), liver disease, eye
diseases, urinary problems, anemia, cancer, diarrhea, and diabetes. Also,
help remove toxins from the body. The plant is cultivated by stem cutting
in the month of May-June and used in Tibetan medicine. The herb is known to
have a sweet, bitter and acid taste. Extracted from the stem and root is a
nutrient starch used to treat chronic diarrhea and dysentery. According to
a legend, the herb is known locally as giloya or "heavenly elixir": Kept
the angels eternally young.
Identification credit: Jitendra Jawale
Photographed in Delhi.
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The flower labeled Gulbel is ...