Family: Pandanaceae
Genus: Pandanus
Botanical name: Pandanus odoratissimus Linn / Pandanus furcatus
Sanskrit: Ketak, Chamarapushpaka, Deerkhapatra
English: Thatch screw pine / Himalayan Screw Pine
Hindi: Kewda
Malayalam: Tazha
Fragrant Screw Pine is a small branched tree or shrub with fragrant flowers, found wild in southern India, Burma and the Andamans. it is a small, slender, branching tree with a flexuous trunk supported by brace roots. With rosettes of long-pointed, stiffly leathery, spiny, bluish-green, fragrant leaves, it bears in summer very fragrant flowers. It is used as perfume. aromatic oil (kevda oil) and fragrant distillation (otto) called "keorra-ka-arak". Used plant part - male flowers. They are almost exclusively used in the form of a watery distillate called kewra water. Flowers have a sweet, perfumed odor that has a pleasant quality similar to rose flowers, but kewra is more fruity. The distillate (kewra water, pandanus flower water) is quite diluted; it can be used by the teaspoon, often even by the tablespoon. Most delightful, richest, and powerful of perfumes even when dried.
It is a shrub with fragrant flowers. They are used to extract perfume, aromatic oil (kevda oil) and fragrant distillations (otto) called "keorra-ka-arak". These are stimulant and antispasmodic and are used against headache and rheumatism. The flowers are also used to flavour food; kewda essenc is used in numerous Indian sweets like rasgulla, petha (candied gourd or winter squash), rasmalai and burfi, especially in Rajasthan. The flower, however, is reputed to attract snakes. .
The flower is an important flower in ancient Indian tradition. It is mentioned in Brahma's story as a cursed flower. Tazha is used to reduce the pain of Centipedel bites.
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