For the rest of India, summer might be mango season, but for the pahadis, summer means kafals. When the small berries are ready, they turn a dark red colour and taste sweet, tangy, and juicy. The climate in the hilly areas, especially in Nainital, Almora, and Ranikhet, is just right for Kafal to grow. Mangoes can't grow in temperatures that are too low, and kafals can't live in temperatures that are too high. This makes it hard to find both fruits in the same place at the same time. So, Kafal is the best fruit for pahadis to eat in the summer.
Kafal: Plant description
The kafal tree is about the size of a small house. It grows in temperate forests of pine, oak, and rhododendron between 1,000 and 2,200 metres above sea level, where it lives in the shade of other trees. It grows in the Himalayas, from the Khasi, Jaintia, Naga, and Lushi hills in northeastern India to Malaya, Singapore, China, and Japan further east. Soh-phi is what people in the northeast of India call kafal.
Health benefits of kafal
Kafal has a number of health benefits, which makes it popular with tourists. Since the beginning of time, people in Uttarakhand have used this wild fruit to make Ayurvedic medicines. Kafal is good for people with asthma because it helps stop asthma attacks. Due to the high amount of antioxidants in this fruit, Kafals are a natural way to treat a wide range of illnesses, such as ulcers, diarrhoea, anaemia, sore throat, fever, etc. Even the tree's bark has been shown to have uses. The bark is used to treat a number of allergies and can be a good anti-allergy medicine. In addition to being a good antihistamine, the bark of the Kafal tree can help with toothaches by being put between the teeth and chewed for two to three minutes. Gargling with a Kafal mixture can even heal a sore throat or a goitre.
- Kafal is an antioxidant that is found in nature. In folk medicine, it is often used to treat coughs, chronic bronchitis, ulcers, anaemia, fever, diarrhoea, and problems with the ears, nose, and throat.
- The bark of the kafal tree has also been shown to be effective in treating a number of diseases, including mental illnesses and allergies.
- People say that kafal has anti-asthmatic properties and is great for people with asthma.
- Kafal and its bark are used together to make yellow and red dye.
- Cattle can be fed the leaves of the kafal tree.
- Kafal can also be used to make squash or syrup.
Kafal: Part of Pahadi Culture
Kafal is such an important part of Uttarakhand's culture and ecosystem that it's mentioned in some of the most popular songs of Kumaon, like "Bedu pako baarah maasa, Narayani kafal pako chait" (Bedu ripens every month, but kafal only in April and May). This song also shows what the Garhwal Rifles and the Kumaon Regiment are like. This fruit is what most people know about the Kumaon region. The districts of Ranikhet, Almora, and Nainital are known for their kafal. In the language of the people who live there, this fruit is called "kaafo." People buy a lot of this fruit, which is good for the economy of the state and its people.