Thursday, June 2, 2011
SMALL CALTROPS - GOKSHURA
Two weeks ago, while visiting our son in Tel Aviv, my husband noticed a small plant, a weed he thought, trailing along on the ground in the court yard. It had very little, fingernail size again, rather pretty yellow flowers, so he got his camera and took some beautiful photos.At home we checked that plant at the Internet and - WOW - what a surprise awaited us! It is called kotev mazui קוטב מצוי in Hebrew, its scientific name is tribulus terrestris and in English it is called Small Caltrops and Goatshead. As it turns out this plant, its fruit actually, has a lot of medicinal properties. Urinary disorders, kidney problems, diseases of the heart can be treated with it. Caltrops is widely used in Ayurvedic Medicine, which originates in India, and which is a "system of complementary and alternative medicine" (Wikipedia). Ayurvedia is a Sanskrit word and means "the complete knowledge for long life" (Wikipedia) and there this plant is called Gokshura, which is a Sanskrit word as well.
The meaning of the name Gokshura is explained in this website I found: "As it pricks the feet of the cattle grazing in the grounds", and indeed there are tiny bristles on its leaves. A lot more information can be found here.
In any case, this is a pretty and interesting and useful "weed", not to be underestimated at all - and as often in life, it was worth to pay attention to a small thing, and investigate further!http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/
Photographs by Uri Eshkar.