Pirandai is a creeper that has wonderful medicinal uses and health benefits. It is called "Adamant Creeper | Devil's Back Bone | Veldt Grape" in English and it's botanical name is Cissus quadrangularris and it is called Hadjot in Hindi. This creeper grows easily everywhere and can be very easily grown in pots at home. Pirandi has multiple health benefits: It treats indigestion, fractures and sprains, is a best worming medicine, treats piles, menstrual problems and is also the best home remedy for ear pain. Many hesitate to use pirandai because of it's itchy nature, but if we properly handle pirandai, we can prevent itchiness in our hands. First always try to pick tender pirandai, young pirandai can be easily broken with hands and as the pirandai ages it thickens. To prevent itching in the hands, smear your hands with a bit of sesame oil before handling pirandai. After collecting pirandai, wash it well and break it at the nodes and remove the nodes too. If the pirandai is tender, you can break it with hands easily into two and pull the fibers apart, like we do for peeling drumsticks. If the pirandai is a bit aged, after breaking at the nodes, take a peeler and remove the sharp edges like we do for ridged gourd, now the prandai is ready to be used. Pirandai chutney or thogayal is very famous in my place and if you have young children at home who don't eat well, try giving this pirandai chutney weekly twice. Even people who complain of indigestion often can include pirandai at least weekly twice in their diet. Poultice made of pirandai is also used extensively for treating sprains in my place. I don't grow pirandai in my garden, as it is found plenty in the farm, I always collect fresh, tender pirandai which easily breaks for using. My elders have always followed the famous adage that prevention is better than cure, so if we include these kind of medicinal plants weekly once or twice in our diet, we can prevent many diseases. In my experience, if we make it tasty, even young children will eat these medicinal plants easily. I have given all the ways that pirandai can be used to the best of my knowledge, hope you will benefit from using this wonderful plant.
1. Pirandai Thogayal | Chutney benefits: for Gastritis, Indigestion & Lack of Appetite:
Pirandai thogayal treats all digestion related problems like gastritis, indigestion and lack of appetite. Pirandai thogayal can be made in matter of minutes and tastes really good. To make the thogayal, take around a cup of cleaned, finely chopped pirandai. Heat around 1.5 tbsps of sesame oil in a pan and roast 3 tbsp urad dhal, 3 dry red chillies, a small piece of asafoetida separately till golden and remove from the pan. Now take the cut pirandai pieces in the same pan and fry well till the color of pirandai changes to pale color. Grind the fried spices first to a coarse powder in a blender, now add fried pirandai, 1 tsp of tamarind, salt, a pinch of jaggery and grind to thick coarse paste with very little water. You can season with mustard and curry leaves, if you prefer. This thogayal gives best results if consumed weekly twice, especially if you suffer from indigestion, gastritis or if you are a person who eats out a lot. It is also good home remedy for piles. To eat, mix the thogayal/ chutney with hot rice and little bit of ghee. This pirandai thogayal tastes wonderful, but make sure to fry the pirandai very well till the color changes.
2. Pirandai For Sprains:
Pirandai poultice is very good for treating sprains and swollen joints (suluku in Tamil). It is also one home remedy that many people in our village use often for minor injuries, as it heals the minor sprains and fractures very fast. Take pirandai and clean like I mentioned above, now take a cup of pirandai and grind it in a mixer with very little water and extract the juice. Take the juice along with a tbsp of tamarind paste, a tsp of salt, tsp of pure turmeric powder and warm it in a pan. Now test the temperature of the mixture and if it's hot wait for it to come to lukewarm temperature, apply this mixture over sprains, just like we apply sprain creams. Some people grind the pirandai pieces as such without extracting the juice before heating it, you can try both methods...
3. Pirandai Appalams:
There is also an easy and delicious way to consume pirandai, without any effort on our part and that is by consuming pappads. Sounds good right? Traditional urad dal appalams were always made with pirandai. I will just give the general instructons for making the appalams: Water is added to stone ground urad dal flour along with pirandai juice, pepper powder, salt and little bit of pickling lime. It is pounded well to make it into a soft pliable dough and then made into appalams. If you can buy traditional appalams made with pirandai juice, it will be very good, you can also order these appalams online. Here in Tamil Nadu, the famous Kallidaikurichi appalams known for it's taste and quality were always made with pirandai juice, which gives it's unique wonderful taste.
4. Pirandai For Children:
It is difficult to make young children eat pirandai thogayal, so try giving pirandai in the form of vathal. Regularly including pirandai vathal in their diet will prevent them from getting stomach disorders. Clean the pirandai and cut into small pieces, now take a cup of thick buttermilk and add required amount of salt. Soak the pirandai in the butter milk for 4 to 5 days. On the fifth day, remove from the butter milk and sun dry till crisp and store it in a air tight box. Whenever necessary, fry the vadams in little oil till crisp. These crisps are perfect accompaniments for any rice. Pirandai can also be ground and added to dosa batter to make pirandai dosais.
5. Pirandai for Bleeding Piles & Deworming:
This treatment for bleeding piles has to done continuously for at least 7 to 10 days to see results. For the treatment take pirandai and cut into small pieces after cleaning and scrapping. Now take little bit of homemade ghee in a pan and fry the pirandai pieces well, till the color changes. If you don't fry pirandai well, you will have the itchiness in your throat after eating it. After frying it well, grind it to a paste well in a blender, by adding very very little boiled water to a paste. Store this in a bottle in the refrigerator and consume a 1/4 tsp of this paste daily for about 10 days to get relief from anal itching, deworming and for piles. Make sure to fry the pirandai in ghee well, as we need to store the ground paste for almost 10 days. This treatment also gets rid of intestinal worms.