Some Useful Herbal Plants

1. Abelmoschus moschatus (Latakasturika)
Parts used – Root, seed and leaves
Latakasturika is aphrodisiac, digestive, beneficial for eyes, diuretic,
relieves thirst, useful in diseases of mouth, and bladder. (Bp.
Bad breath
Seeds of latakasturika are chewed in case of tastelessness
and bad breath. (5-10 gms)
Respiratory disorders
In case of excessive phlegm in respiratory disorders,
decoction of the seeds are used. (30 gms for decoction)
2. Abrus precatorius (Gunja )
Parts used – Root, seed and leaves
Uses – The root, seed and leaves of Gunja is used in the form of
powder to treat avabahuka(frozen shoulder), gandamala(scrofula),
dental caries, baldness, dandruff, for promoting growth of ear
lobes, erysipelas and skin diseases.
Dental caries
Root of gunja made into a paste is applied on affected parts
(5-10 gms). It relieves the pain caused by dental caries
Oil cooked with gunja seeds along with bhrngaraja(Eclipta
alba) in case of itching, dandruff and other diseases of scalp
3. Acacia sinuata (saptala)
Parts used: fruits
Useful in skin diseases, ulcers, swelling, stomatitis, and it is
Ghee prepared with the root is used as a laxative in chronic
cases of skin diseases, rheumatic disorders and body swelling.
(10 ml)(
4. Achyranthes aspera (Apamarga )
Parts used – Root, seed and leaf
Uses – The root, seed and leaf of Apamarga is used in the form of
juice and powder to treat excessive hunger, piles, , calculi, wound,
difficult labour, sinus, wound due to accident, eye diseases, ear
diseases, diseases pertaining to head, dog-bite, , abdominal pain,
jaundice, insomnia, pain in vagina.
Apamarga, nagakesara (Mesua ferrea) , satavari (asparagus
racemosus) and vasa (adhatoda vasica) decoction cures
bleeding piles (40-60ml) (VD.5.8)
Apamarga root powder (10-15 gms) taken with milk
overcomes dysuria (VD.7.4)
Accidental wounds
Oil cooked with apamarga root along with water is applied
locally to relieve pain caused by accidental injuries (10-15
gms) (RM.26.7)
Abdominal pain
Ghee cooked with decoction of apamarga and paste of pippali
(piper longum)relieves abdominal pain (10 ml) (SY.ghrta.5)
5. Acorus calamus (Vaca)
Part used – Rhizomes
Uses – The rhizomes of Vaca is use in the form of powder, paste
and decoction to treat diarrhoea, epilepsy, oedema, scrotal
enlargement, skin diseases, headache, alopecia, wound, eye
diseases, colic, piles, indigestion, acid gastritis, heart-diseases, ratpoisoning,
diseases of mouth and as rejuvinative.
One suffering from diarrhoea should take water boiled with
vaca and prativisa (aconitum)(60-120 ml)(CS.Ci.19.22)
a) Old ghee processed with brahmi juice (Bacopa monnieri),
vaca, kustha (sassurea lappa)and snakhapuspi (convolvulus
microphyllus) alleviates insanity, and epilepsy (10-20
ml)(CS.Ci 10.25)
c) By using vaca powder (10-15gms) with honey keeping on diet
of milk and rice overcomes epilepsy, VM.21.9)
In suryavartta and hemicrania pressed snuff of vaca and pippali
(2-5 gms) and honey is useful (SS.U 26.33; also VM 62.38)
Acid gastritis
One should take vaca (5-10 gms) mixed with honey and jaggery
(GN 2.38.25)
6. Adhatoda beddomei (Vasa)
Parts used – Root, leaves and flower
Uses – The root, leaves and flowers of Vasa is used in the form of
juice and decoction to treat fever, intrinsic haemorrhage, cough,
asthma, consumption, skin diseases, obesity, oedema, skin
diseases, leucorrhoea, difficult labour,
vomiting, piles, pox, retention of urine, diseases of mouth and as
Fever and cough
Decoction of vasa. Kantakari (solanum xanthocarpum) and
guduci (tinospora cordifolia )mixed with honey alleviates fever
and cough. (40-60 ml) (S.G 2.2.82)
Decoction of vasa, draksa (Vitis vinifera) and haritaki (Terminalia
chebula)mixed with sugar and honey checks cough, asthma and
intrinsic haemorrhage (40-60 ml) (VM.9.13; also SG2.2.80)
Dry cough
Powder of haridra (curcuma longa) cooked with vasa juice and
taken with fatty layer of milk checks dry cough (10-15 ms)
Jaundice (kamala)
Juice of vasa mixed with honey should be taken. It alleviates
fever, cough, wasting, jaundice, kapha and pitta (10-20 ml)
One should take decoction of vasa, sunthi (zingiber officinale)
and aragvadha (cassia fistula) mixed with castor oil. It is useful
in sciatica (40-60 ml) (BS. 587; BP.Ci.24.140)
7. Aegle marmelos (Bilva)
Parts used – Fruit, leaves and root
Uses – The fruit, leaves and root of Bilva is used in the form of
powder, juice and decoction to treat diarrhoea, sprue, piles,
oedema, jaundice, vomiting, obesity, deafness, eye diseases,
paediatric diseases, fever and as a rejuvinative.
1. To treat diarrhoea by taking tender fruits of bilva with honey or
butter milk (10-20 gms) (CS.Ci.19.113)
2. In case of diarrhoea with blood, tender fruits of bilva mixed with
liquid jaggery, honey and oil should be taken. (10-20 gms) (SS.
3. Decoction of bilva and amra (Mangifera indica) (seed) mixed with
honey and sugar checks vomiting and diarrhoea (10-15
Intake of bilva leaves (juice) mixed with trikatu (piper longum,
piper nigrum, zingiber officinale )alleviates jaundice, (20
1. Cooled decoction of bilva or guduci (Tinospora cordifolia)added
with honey should be taken in case of vomiting (40-60 ml)
(VM.15.15; BP.Ci.17.25)
2. Perched paddy mixed with sugar and dissolved in decoction of
bilva root (bark) should administered to the child. It checks
vomiting and diarrhoea (40 –60ml) (BS balaroga.49)
8. Aloe barbadensis (Kumari )
Parts used – Leaf and root
Uses – The leaf and root of Kumari is used in the form of juice to
treat spleen enlargement, epilepsy, penile wart, difficult micturition,
inflammation in penis, abscess, jaundice, abdominal distensions,
mastitis, headache and amenorrhoea.
Ghee cooked with kumari juice and decoction of madhuka
(Glycyrrhiza glabra) and added with sugar is useful in
epilepsy and palpitation of heart (10-15 ml) (SB.4.453)
Kumari decocted with tila (gingly oil) and sour gruel or alone
ripens the abscess (10-20 gms)(VD.16.101)
Abdominal distention/
One suffering from gulma should swallow the pulp of kumari
(aloe vera) 5gm mixed with cow-ghee and added with fine
powder of trikatu,(piper longum, piper nigrum, zingiber
officinale) haritaki (Terminalia chebula) and saindhava (rock
salt) (10-15 gms) (BP.Ci.32.44)
Kumari root mixed with haridra (curcuma longa) is applied as
paste on breast to relieve pain ( 10-15 gms) (GN.6.8.23)
9. Andrographis paniculata (Bhunimba )
Parts used – Whole plant
Uses – The whole plant of Kiratatikta is used in the form of powder
and decoction to treat fever, sprue, oedema, for purifying breastmilk,
intrinsic haemorrhage, vomiting.
Hot infusion of kiratatikta mixed with dhanyaka(Coriandrum
sativum) leaves alleviates fever immediately (40-60ml)
Paste of kiratatikta and sunthi (zingiber officinale) destroys
chronic oedema (10-15 gms) (CS.Ci.12.42)
10. Anogeissus latifolia (dhava)
Parts used. Bark, resin
useful in diabetes, piles anaemia, digestive, improves taste.
Skin diseases
Bark is made into a paste and applied on affected parts ( as
Ear inflammation
Oil prepared with the bark is used as an ear drop in case of
ear inflammation (3-5 drops) (su.ut.21)
Part used – Root
Uses – The root of Satavari is used in the form of juice, paste,
decoction and powder to treat intrinsic haemorrhage, diarrhoea,
piles, hoarseness of voice, cough, arthritis, poisoning, diseases of
female genital tract, erysipelas, fever, as aphrodisiac and as
As rejuvinative/ Rasayana
Ghee cooked with paste and decoction of satavari and added
with sugar is used as a rejuvinative (AH.U.39.157)
As galactagogue / increases breast milk
Satavari pounded and taken with milk increases the flow of
breast-milk (10-20 gms) (YR.P.427)

Parts used – All parts
Uses – The all parts of Nimba are used in the form of juice and
decoction to treat fever, intrinsic haemorrhage, bleeding piles,
wound, oedema, , arthritis, skin diseases, diabetes, eye diseases,
leucorrhoea, as, poisons, jaundice, for fumigation, diseases of
teeth, heart diseases, as specific digestive and diseases of vagina.
Skin diseases (Kustha)
1. The decoction of nimba and patola (Trichosanthes cucumerina)is
efficacious in skin diseases (40-60 ml) (CS.Ci.7.97-99)
2. Intake of haritaki (terminalia chebula)and nimba or nimba and
amalaka (Phyllanthus emblica) for a month overcomes all types
of skin diseases (40-60 ml) (GN.2.36.87)
3.Local application of the juice of dhattura (Datura metal) , nimba
and betel leaves separately destroys skin diseases such as eczema,
ring worms etc. (10-20 gms) (SG.3.11.52-53)
Diabetes (Prameha)
1. Decoction of bark, leaves, root fruit and flowers of nimba
aragvadha, (cassia fistula) saptaparna,(Alstonia scholaris)
murva (Maerua arenaria) kutaja (Holarrhena antidysenterica) ,
katphala (Gmelina arborea) and palasa (Butea monosperma)
destroys all types of diabetes (40-60 ml) (SS.Ci.11.8)
1. Decoction of nimba leaves cleans the wound (120 ml)(CS.CS.
2. Nimba leaf mixed with honey acts as cleansing agent. Both of
them added with ghee promote healing (10-15 gms)
3. Paste of nimba leaves and sesamum mixed with honey cleanses
wound while mixed with ghee it acts as healing agent. (10-15
4. The paste of nimba leaves, by external application, cleanses and
heals wound while it intake it alleviated vomiting, skin diseases
disorders of pitta and kapha and worms (10-15 gms) (SG.2.5.5)

13. Bacopa monnieri (Brahmi)
Parts used – whole plant
Uses – The whole plant of Brahmi is used in the form of juice to
treat insanity,
epilepsy, paediatric diseases, pox and as a rejuvinative.
Mental disorders
Brahmi, kusmanda(Benincasa hispida ) and sankhapuspi
((convolvulus microphyllus ) separately mixed with kustha
(Saussurea lappa) and honey is used in mental disorders (10-15
gms) (VM.20.3; SG.2.1.18)
1. Old ghee processed with brahmi juice, vaca(Acorus calamus) ,
kustha (Saussurea lappa) and sankhapuspi (convolvulus
microphyllus )alleviate insanity, inauspiciousness, and
epilepsy (10-15 gms) (CS.Ci.10.25)
To promote intellect
Juice of Brahmi, or mandukaparni(Centella asiatica) are be
taken with honey and ghee to promote intellect (10-15 ml)
14. Baliospermum montanum (Danti)
Parts used – Root, leaves, seed and oil
Uses – The root, leaves, seed and seed oil is used in the form of
powder, seed and oil to treat piles, anaemia, jaundice, skin
diseases, cyst, as purgative, wound and conjunctivitis.
Piles (arasa)
Leaves of trivrt(ipomoea turpethum), danti(Baliospermum
montanum), cangeri(oxalis corniculata) and citraka(Plumbago
indica) fried in oil and ghee (mixed) and added with fatty
layer of curd should be given as vegetable (10-15 gms)
Skin diseases (Kustha)
Danti (Baliospermum montanum), trivrt (ipomoea
turpethum)and brahmi (Bacopa monnieri) powder together
should be taken with honey and ghee. It is beneficial for skin
diseases, diabetes and numbness (10-15 gms) (AH.Ci.19.34)

15. Bixa orellana (Sinduri)
Parts used – Root, bark, seeds
Uses – The root, bark and seeds of Sinduri is used to treat
intermittent fever, gonorrhoea, as mosquito repellent, dysentery
and for colouring edible materials.

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Holarrhena pubescence

Holarrhena pubescence (Buch.-Ham.) Wall ex DC. (Apocynaceae)

(2n = 22)

Syn : Holarrhena antidysenterica (L.) Wall., Echites pubescens Buch.-Ham.

English names: Bitter oleander, Conessi bark, Dysentery rosebay, Easter tree, Ivory tree, Tellichery bark.

Sanskrit names: Girimallika, Indrayava, Kalinga(ka), Kalingyava, Katuka, Katuja, Mahagandha, Mallikapushpa, Panduradruama, Pravrishya, Sangrahi, Shakrapadapa, Vatsika, Vrikshaka, Yavaphala.

Vernacular names: Asm : Dhurkhuri, Ducikhuri; Ben: Kurchi, Katuraj, Kuteswar, Indrajava; Guj : Dhowda, Kuda, Kari; Hin : Kurchi, Karchi, Karra; Kan : Beppale coodsaloo, Korchie; Lep : Fajeerip; Mal: Kodagapala; Mar: Kura, Kala-kura, Kear, Kewar, Kodago, Kuda, Dola-kuda, Pandhrakura;'Mun : Ludu-ba, Toa-ba; Nep : Khuria; Ori : Kherwa, Pita, Korwa, Patru kurwa; Orn : Koraia; Pun: Kawar, Kura, Kear, Kewar; Sad: Koraia; San: Hat; Tam: Kuda-sappalai, Veppalei, Kodagapalei, Indrabam; Tel: Kodisepala, Palakodsa, Pala, Kodaga.

Trade name: Kurchi.

Traditional use: MANIPURI : Bark (boiled extract) : in diarrhoea, dysentery; GARO : Bark and Leaf: in dysentery; ETHNIC COMMUNITIES AROUND GUAHATI: Seed: as anthelmintic; BODO (of Assam) : Bark: in diarrhoea, dysentery, piles; Flower: as appetiser and in intestinal worms; Seed.. in leprosy; ASUR (of Bihar) : Bark: in snake bite; Seed: diarrhoea, fever, intestinal worms; MUNDA : Root and Leaf: in diarrhoea, bleeding from nose, haemorrhage after childbirth; SANTAL : Root: in bite of dog or jackal, blood and mucous in bowel excretion, diarrhoea, dysentery, hematuria, spermatorrhoea, spleen complaints; Bark.. in bronchitis, chameleon's bite, cholera, cold, colic, fever, menorrhagia; Fruit: in anaemia, colic, constip5ltion, diarrhoea, dry cough, epilepsy, gravel, postnatal complaints, stomachache; TRIBAL SOCIETIES OF HAZARIBAGH AND RANCHI : Bark: in gastric disorder, to revive taste in tongue; ETHNIC COMMUNITIES OF ORISSA: Latex: in eczema and other skin diseases; ETHNIC COMMUNITIES OF ABUJH-MARH (Madhya Pradesh) : Bark: in menstrual complaints; TRIBAL COMMUNITIES OF SAGAR (Madhya Pradesh) : Seed: in dysentery; THARU (of Uttar Pradesh) : Bark: in fever; Bark and Seed (together) : in dysentery; KOL (of Uttar Pradesh) : Seed: in digestive complaints; ETHNIC COMMUNITIES OF DEHRA DUN AND SIWALIK: Seed: in diarrhoea, dysentery, fever; ETHNIC COMMUNITIES OF EAST RAJASTHAN: Bark and Seed (together) : in dysentery; ETHNIC COMMUNITIES OF MOUNT ABU: Bark: as antidote to snake bite; DANG: (of Gujarat ): Bark: in diarrhoea; VASAVA (of Gujarat ) : Root: in fever; Root and Bark (together) : in gout; ETHNIC COMMUNITIES OF SAURASHTRA: Bark: in bronchitis; ETHNIC COMMUNITIES OF DAHANU FOREST DIVISION (Maharashtra) : Bark and Leaf (together) : in dysentery; Latex: as antidote to snake bite, Seed: in asthma, colic.

ATHARVAVEDA : increases semen, tightens the slackened muscles; CHARAKA SAMHITA : Bark (paste) : good for skin diseases, leprosy, ringworm, piles, fistula, adenitis; Fruit: in vomiting, beneficial in disorders caused by vitiated phlegm and bile, as galactagogue; Seed: in piles; SUSHRUTA SAMHITA: Flower: beneficial in deranged phlegm and bile, and a good remedy for leprosy; CHAKRADATTA: Bark: in diarrhoea; BHAVAPRAKASHA: pungent, drying, refrigerant, excitant, cures piles, diarrhoea, phlegm, bile, leprosy, alleviates thirst; RAJANIGHANTU : pungent, bitter, thermogenic, astringent, cures diarrhoea, vitiated bile, skin diseases and piles; DHANVANTARINIGHANTU: pungent, bitter, astringent, drying, cooling, cures skin diseases, gastroenteritis, vitiated bile; MADANANIGHANTU : excitant, digestive, astringent, beneficial in bleeding tendency, worms, skin diseases; SALIGRAMNIGHANTU : appetising, beneficial in vitiated phlegm, cures diarrhoea, skin diseases, worms; KAIYADEVANIGHANTU : astringent, cooling, drying, excitant, pungent, beneficial in vitiated phlegm, bile, skin diseases, diarrhoea, piles; Flower: refrigerant, bitter, astringent, excitant.

AYURVEDA: Bark and Seed: acrid, anthelmintic, antiperiodic, aphrodisiac, astringent, bitter, carminative, expectorant, febrifuge, stimulating, beneficial in asthma, bronchitis! blood dysentery, diarrhoea, dropsy, dysentery, fever, haemorrhages, haemorrhoides, hepatopathy, malaria, piles, rheumatism, skin diseases, urinary troubles, verminosis, vomiting; Leaf: useful in boils, bronchitis, dysentery and wounds.

SIDDHA: Root and Bark: used as constituents for the preparation of Kutacap patai.

UNANI : in the preparation of Sufuf Habis and Majnum Bawasir.

Modern use: Bark (50% EtOH extract) : hypotensive; Bark-powder: in abdominal and glandular tumours; Fruit (50% EtOH extract) : anticancer, anti protozoa, hypoglycaemic, astringent, febrifuge, useful in diarrhoea, intestinal worms, and to regulate menstruation.

Phytography : Deciduous tree or large shrub; leaves sessile or subsessile, broadly ovate to elliptic-oblong, abruptly acuminate, often unequal, rounded or obtuse at base, lateral nerves 10-15 pairs, arching near the margin; flowers white, bracts small, follicles 20-42 by 0.8-1.2 cm; seeds up to 1 cm long, linear-oblong, coma about twice as long as seeds, seeds brown.

Phenology: Flowering and Fruiting: May-January.

Distribution: Major parts of India up to 1500 m in the Himalaya; Bangladesh, also in Africa-mostly in drier regions.

Ecology and cultivation: Common in village surroundings; sometimes in private gardens. Chemical contents: Root-bark: holacetine; Stem-bark: L-quebrachitol, dihydroisoconessimine, kurcholessine, 3-a-aminoconan-5-ene, 7-a-OH-conessine, holonamine; Leaf: aminoglycosteroids, aminode-oxyglycosteroids, kurchiphylline, kurchiphyllamine, kurchaline, holadysine, holadysamine, holantosines A, B, C & D, holarosine A, B, E & F.

Remarks: Tribals of East Rajasthan give root to cattle in a disease in which tongue ejects out and gets swollen. Tribals of Maharashtra eat flower and seed as vegetables. Ethnic communities of Ratan Mahal Hills use latex to curdle milk. Santal women use flowers to decorate their hairdos. Tribals of Madhya Pradesh use wood to make combs and many household articles.

Garcinia xanthochymus

Garcinia xanthochymus Hook. f. ex T. Anders (Clusiaceae)

(2n = 80)

Syn : Xanthochymus tinctorius DC., Garcinia tinctoria Dunn.

English name: Egg tree.

Sanskrit names: Tamala, Tapinjha.

Vernacular names: Ben: Tamal, Chalta; Hin : Dampel, Tamal, Tumul; Guj : Kasamala, Ota; Kan:Deva-garige; Mal: Anavaya; Man: Heilbung; Mar: Jharambi, Dampel, Ota; Nep : Chunyel; Ori : Cheoro, Sitambu; Tam: Kulavi, Malaippachai, Mukki, Tamalam; Tel: Sitakamraku, Evarumidi, Tamalamu.

Trade name: Tamala.

Traditional use: Fruit: antiscorbutic, cooling, digestive, emollient, demulcent and cholagogue. Sherbet made from dried fruit is used in billiousness.

AYURVEOA : Young branch: paste as ointment on boils; Bark: astringent; Leaf: decoction useful in diarrhoea; Young leaves (roasted in a special method) : used in dysentery; Seed: butter made from seeds useful in pulmonary affections, dysentery, goitre.

Modern use: Xanthochymol : antibacterial against Streptococcus faecallis and Klebsiella pneumoniae.

Phytography : Evergreen tree, trunk straight; branches arising in tiers, drooping, angular; leaves opposite, coriaceous, bright green, shining, 22.5-45.0 cm by 5-10 cm; flowers polygamous, male flowers from axils of fallen leaves, fascicled with 4-8 flowers, white, thick, rough, hermaphrodites like male flowers, ovary ovoid, usually 5:chambered; fruits subglobose, pointed, dark yellow; seeds 1-4, oblong, yields a large quantity of gamboge.

Phenology: Flowering: Spring; Fruiting: Summer.

Distribution: Native to India and Myanmar; distributed widely in the lower hill forests of eastern Himalaya, Meghalaya, Sikkim, West Bengal, Maharashtra, Gujarat, Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Andhra Pradesh, the Andamans; Bangladesh, Myanmar.

Ecology and cultivation: Tropical forest; wild.

Chemical contents: Fruit: xanthochymol, isoxanthochymol, maclurin, euxanthone, 1,5-dihydroxy- and 1,3,5-trihydroxy-xanthones, methoxyxanthones, cambogin, volkensiflavone, morello-flavone, biflavones.

Remark: In South India, fruits of this species are used in lieu of tamarind.

Ginkgo biloba

Ginkgo biloba L. (Ginkgoaceae)

English name: Maiden hair tree.

Vernacular name: Hin : Balkuwari.

Trade name: Ginkgo.

Traditional use: Seeds: expectorant and sedative.

Modern use: Tanakan (active principle of plant extract) : effective in induced cerebral ischemia in rats; Tebonin (a preparation containing leaf extract) : used in cardiovascular disorders, increased cerebral blood circulation, Parkinson's disease; Nut (extract) : antibacterial against Mycobacterium smegmatis.

Recently Ginkgo is rapidly gaining recognition as a brain tonic that increases memory and boosts oxygen level in brain. It regulates neurotransmitters, increases blood flow and metabolism. It reduces migraine and vertigo. It may be useful in mental disorders, including Alzheimer's disease. Recently a pill containing extracts from Ginkgo has been launched for eliminating excess fat (cellulite) in women.

Phytography : Tree with pyramidal form, reaching a height of 30 m; leaves petiolar, lamina fan-shaped, bilobed; dioecious; mature seeds orange-coloured and are about the size of an apricot.

Phenology: Flowering and Fruiting: Summer.

Distribution: Darjeeling (West Bengal).

Ecology and cultivation: Native of China, cultivated in Indian gardens, particularly on hills.

Chemical contents: Root-bark: Ginkgolides A, B, C & M; Plant: bilobalide, bilobanone sesquiterpene; Leaf: flavonols, biflavonoids, diterpenes, sesquiterpene bilobalide A, β-sitosterol, ginkgolides A, B & C, shikimic acid, sequoyitol, 1,5-MeO­bilobetin; Fruit: anacardic acids, ginnol, bilobols, cardanols.

Remarks: Chinese consume Ginkgo seeds. Endosperm of roasted seed is edible and kernel is highly nutritious. It is believed that regular consumption of Ginkgo preparation staves of ravages of age and checks senility.Ginkgo is a contemporary of dinosaurs of the Jurassic period. Because of its primitive characters, it is known as living fossil. It is a native of Chekiang in East China. It is grown by the Buddhist monasteries of China and Japan as a sacred tree. The plant was introduced into Europe in early 18th Century and later in America. Only a few trees occur in India. Perhaps it does not exist in the wild today. Because of its nutritional and medicinal properties, it is receiving increased attention. Commercial cultivation of this species should be endeavoured in India. If appropriate measures for conservation of this important medicinal species are not taken, it is destined to be extinct in the near future.

Gloriosa superba

Gloriosa superba L. (Liliaceae)

Syn : Methonica superba Lamk., Gloriosa simplex Don.

English names: Malabar glory lily, Glory lily.

Sanskrit names: Agninukhi, Agnisikha, Ailni, Garbhaghatini, Kalikari, Lanyli, Vishalya.

Vernacular names: Asm : Utatchandal; Ben: Bishalanguli, Ulatchandal; Guj : Dudhiovachnay, Varhvareli; Hin : Kalihari, Kaliari, Kulhari, Languli; Kan : Agnisikha, Akkatangaballi, Karadikanninagadde, Kolikuttuma, Sivasaktiballi, Mal: Kantal, Medoni, Mattamara, Mettonsi, Mentonni; Mar: Bachnag, Indai, Kariannag, Khadyanag, Nagharia, Nag karia; Mun : Bulung chukuru; Orn : Jhagrahi; Ori : Agnisikha, Garbhhoghhatono panjanyulia, Meherlaphulo, Panchaangula; Pun: Kariari, Mulim; Sad: Jhagar; San: Siricsamano; Tam: Akkinichilam, Kalappaikkilanku, Kalaippaikkishangu, Kannuvalikkodi, Nabhikkodi, Tel: Adabhinabhi, Agnisikha, Gangeri, Kalappagadda.

Traditional use: ETHNIC COMMUNITIES OF NORTH-EAST INDIA: Root: in gout, stomachache and as tonic; MUNDA AND ORAON: Tuber: for antifertility purpose; SANTAL : (i) Tuberous root: for abortion purpose, in intermittent fevers, wounds; (ii) Plant: in spleen complaints, syphilis, tumours; (ii) Leaf: in asthma; ETHNIC COMMUNITIES OF BIHAR: Root: in cholera, to facilitate childbirth; ETHNIC COMMUNITIES OF ORISSA: Tuber : as abortifacient; TRIBES OF VARANASI : Root: in gout; TRIBES OF PITHORAGARH: Tuber: in gonorrhoea, leprosy, piles; ETHNIC COMMUNITIES OF DEHRA DUN AND SIWALIK: Root: as anthelmintic; ETHNIC COMMUNITIES OF GARHWAL : Tuberous root: for abortion;

CHARAKA SAMHITA : useful in itching, skin diseases including wounds and ailments caused by vitiated kapha (phlegm) and vata (wind); SUSHRUTA SAMHITA: can be administered to a delivered mother along with spirituous drink to give relieve to her postnatal complaints, roots are poisonous; RAJANIGHANTU: it is pungent, thermogenic, eliminates deranged kapha (phlegm) and vata (wind), terminates pregnancy; DHANVANTARI NIGHANTU: in addition to the above, it is also useful in dropsy, labour pain, wounds, and as a purgative; MADANADI NIGHANTU : it is bitter, pungent, thermogenic, abortifacient, removes abdominal pain, expels the placenta, cures phlegm, skin diseases; BHAVAPRAKASHA : it is apperient, alkaline, astringent, pungent, bitter, highly potent, light, abortifacient, helps storing up energy, excites pitta (bile), it cures dropsy, piles, wounds, acute spasmodic pain, and removes worms; CHAKRADATTA : Root-paste: if smeared over' the palms and feet of a pregnant woman, delivery of child becomes easier.

AYURVEDA : (i) roots are abortifacient, acrid, alexiteric, anthelmintic, antipyretic, bitter, depurative, digestive, emetic, expectorant, gastrointestinal irritant, highly poisonous, purgative, rejuvenating, stomachic, thermogenic, tonic, beneficial in vitiated conditions of kapha (phlegm) and vata (wind), debility, dyspepsia, flatulence, haemorrhoids, helminthiasis, inflammations, in promoting labour pain and expulsion of the placenta; (ii) root-paste is effective against paralysis, rheumatism, snake bite, insect bites; (iii) leaf-juice effective against lice.

Modern use: Root (aq. extract) : ecbolic in humans and other animals; Plant (50% EtOH extract) : spasmolytic, Central Nervous System depressant; Leaf-juice: piscicide. Phytography : Herbaceous tendril climber; rootstock tuberous, naked; stem 3-6 m long, sparingly branched; leaves sessile or nearly so, opposite or 3-nately whorled, tip tendrillar; flowers axillary, solitary, nearly 10 cm, at first greenish, becoming yellow and finally scarlet or red; capsules nearly 5 cm long.

Phenology: Flowering: October; Fruiting: throughout the year.

Distribution: Throughout tropical India ascending up to 2000 m on the hills; Indo-China, Malaysia.

Ecology and cultivation: Plains from the coast on thickets; wild.

Chemical contents: Root: colchicine, b-sitosterol and its glucoside, band t-Iumicolchicine, 2-0H-6-MeO benzoic acid; Young leaf: cholidonic acid; Flower: luterlin and its glucosides, N-formyl-de-Ac-colchicine, lumicolchicine; Seed: colchicine.

Remarks: It is getting less attention in India, though extensive researches are on abroad.

Gmelina arborea

Gmelina arborea Roxb. (Verbenaceae)

(2n = 36, 38)

Syn : Premna arborea Roth

English names: Cashmeri tree, Coomb teak, Malay bush beech, White teak. Sanskrit names: Ashveta, Bahdraparni, Gambhari, Gandhari, Kakodumbari, Kassmari, Katphala, Nandivriksha, Sharubhadra, Shriparni, Subhadra, Vataha, Vidarini.

Vernacular names: Asm : Gomari; Ben: Gamar, Gamari, Gambar; Guj : Shewan; Hin: Gamari, Gambhari, Jugani chukur, Khambheri; Kan : Kashmirimara, Kumbalamara, Shivani; Lcd: Kashmar daru; Mal: Kambil, Kumil, Kumilu, Kumpil; Mar: Shewan; Mun : Kasambar daru, Kasmar daru; Orn : Gambhair; Ori : Bhodroparni, Gambari; Pun: Gumhar; Sad: Gambhair; San: Kashmar daru; Tam: Gumudu-taku, Kattanam, Kumadi, Kumala maram, Perumkumbil, Umithekku; Tel: Gumar-tek, Gummadi.

Trade names: Gamar, Gamari, Gumhar.

Traditional use: MIKIR: Root: as blood purifier, Leaf: as carminative; BIRHORE : Leaf: in headache; SANTAL : in anasarca, asthma, bronchitis, cholera, colic pain, diarrhoea, dropsy, dyspepsia, epilepsy, fever, phthisis, rheumatism, small pox, sore, spleen complaints, syphilis, throat swelling, urticaria, as antidote to snake bite and some other poisons; MUNDA : Bark: to cure wounds; SORA (Orissa) : Root: in catarrh of bladder; Decoction of root: as tonic; Bark: in stomach disorder; ETHNIC COMMUNITIES OF ARAKU VALLEY (Andhra Pradesh) : Root: in malarial fever; ETHNIC COMMUNITIES OF GODAVARI (Andhra Pradesh) : Bark-paste: on bone fracture, Leaf: in cough, gonorrhoea; ETHNIC COMMUNITIES OF DEHRA DUN (Uttar Pradesh): Leaf-paste: on wounds.

ATHARVAVEDA : blood purifier; CHARAKA SAMHITA : useful in vomiting, dropsy and in burning sensation of the body; SUSHRUTA SAMHITA : energiser like grape, can be used as substitute of sweet date palm; BHAVAPRAKASHA : it is bitter, appetiser, brain tonic, energiser, digestive, subdues vata and kapha, removes dropsy, alleviates thirst, useful in colic pain, burning sensation of body, fever, urinary complaints, wastage; RAJANIGHANTU : it is pungent, bitter, heavy (guru), thermogenic, removes oedema, phlegm, tridosha, burning sensation, fever, thirst, poisons; DHANVANTARINIGHANTU : bitter, thermogenic, removes bleeding tendency, tridosha, fatigue, burning sensation of body, fever, thirst; KAIYAOEVANIGHANTU : it is sweet, bitter, thermogenic, heavy, appetiser, digestive, brain tonic, removes dropsy, giddiness, colic pain, toxins, burning sensation of body, fever, alleviates thirst; flowers sweet, cooling, bitter, astringent, beneficial for the diseases caused by pitta and kapha; fruits unctuous, heavy, cooling, astringent, brain tonic, cardiotonic, removes giddiness, acidity, urinary troubles, burning sensation of body, wounds, wastage and troubles caused by vata; RAJAVALLABHAM: fruits seizing, bitter, sweet, heavy, cooling, good for hair, brain, removes burning sensation of body and diseases caused by pitta; roots are too hot; NIGHANTU RATNAKARAM: it is pungent, bitter, hot, astringent, heavy, sweet, appetiser, digestive, brain tonic, cardiotonic, removes thirst, colic pain, oedema, phlegm, toxins, burning sensation of body, fever, impurities of blood, piles, giddiness; fruits aphrodisiac, heavy, increases semen, cooling, unctuous, increases intelligence, removes urinary troubles, impurities of blood, thirst, burning sensation of body, good for urticaria, consumption, wounds, leucorrhoea.

AYURVEDA : Root: acrid, bitter, anthelmintic, galactogogue, laxative, stomachic, tonic, useful in burning sensation, dyspepsia, fever, haemorrhoids, hallucination, hyperdisia and stomachalgia; Bark: bitter, tonic, stomachic, useful in dyspepsia, fever; Leaf-paste: useful in cephalalgia, Leaf-extract: good wash for foul ulcer; Flower: acrid, astringent, bitter, refrigerant, sweet, useful in skin diseases including leprosy; Fruits: acrid, alterant, aphrodisiac, astringent, bitter, diuretic, refrigerant, sour, sweet, tonic, trichogenous, useful in anaemia, blood dysentery, constipation, leprosy, leucorrhoea, malnutrition of child and embryo, strangury and wounds.

Modern use: 50% EtOH extract of bark (and also of stem) : antiviral, hypoglycaemic. Phytography : Unarmed deciduous tree, 15-20 m in height; stem-bark whitish grey, lenticellate, young branches covered with fine white soft hairs; leaves .opposite, simple, petioles ±7.5 cm long, lamina broadly ovate, usually 22.5 by 15.0 cm, more or less acuminate, glabrous above but stellately hairy beneath; panicles terminal, often 30 cm long, many-flowered; flowers bucciniform, brownish yellow, ±3.7 cm long, tomentose at least when young; drupes ±1.8 cm 1000g, fleshy, ovoid, orange-yellow when ripe; seeds hard, oblong.

Phenology: Flowering: January-April; Fruiting: May-June. Distribution: Throughout India; Bangladesh (Chittagong), Sri Lanka. Ecology and cultivation: Grows in moist deciduous forests; wild.

Chemical contents: Root: ceryl alcohol, gmelofuran, gmelinol, hentriacontanol-I, n-octacosanol, β-sitosterol, sesquiterpene; Stem: arboreok, bromoisoarboreol, cluytyl ferulate, gmelanone, gmelinol, gummidiol, lignans, lignan hemiacetal, n-hentriacontanol-I, n-octacosanol, β-sitosterol; Leaf: apigenin, hentriacontanol, luteoHn, quercetin, quercetogenin, β-sitosterol.

Remarks: Ethnic communities of India use the plant in the treatment of rinderpest of cattle.

. In Sri Lanka, it is used in skeletal fracture.

It is one of the best and most reliable timber-yielding trees of India. The plant is a fast grower.

Gymnema sylvestre

Gymnema sylvestre R. Br. ex Schult (Asclepiadaceae)

(2n = 22)

Syn : Periploca sylvestris Willd., Gymnema melicida Edgew.

English names: Vine, Periploca of the the woods.

Sanskrit names: Ajaballi, Ajagandini, Ajashringi, Bahalchakshu, Chakshurabahala, Grihadruma, Karnika, Kshinavartta, Madhunasini, Medhasingi, Meshashringi, Meshavishanika, Netaushadhi, Putrashringi, Sarpadanshtrika, Tiktadughdha, Vishani.

Vernacular names: Ben: Meshashringi; Guj : Dhuleti, Mardashing; Hin : Gurmar, Gumar, Merashinghi; Kan : Karhasige, Sannagera-shehumbr; Mal: Cakkarakkolli, Madhunashini; Mar: Kavali, Kalikardor, Vakundi; Tam: Adigam, Cheorukurinja, Kannuminayamkodi, Pasaani, Sakkaraikkolli, Shirukurinja, Sirukurumkay; Tel: Podapatra.

Trade names: Gurmar, Merasingi.

Traditional use: KOL : Leaf: in gastric troubles; ETHNIC COMMUNITIES OF RAJASTHAN and DHASAN VALLEY: Leaf: in diabetes; ETHNIC COMMUNITIES OF KANDALA (Maharashtra) : Leaf: in urinary complaints; GOND: Leaf: in diabetes, stomachache; ETHNIC COMMUNITIES OF MADHYA PRADESH: Leaf: in cornea opacity and other eye diseases; ETHNIC COMMUNITIES OF GODAVARI DISTRICT (Andhra Pradesh) : Leaf: in diabetes, glycosuria; IRULAR : Leaf: in diabetes; CHARAKA SAMHITA: removes bad odour from breast milk, aperitive; SUSHRUTA SAMHITA : plant useful as purgative, in eye troubles; leaf extract and also the same of flower beneficial for eyes; bark useful in the diseases caused by vitiated kapha (phlegm); BAGBHAT : rootbark useful in piles; BHAVAPRAKASHA: it is bitter, appetiser, gastric stimulant, removes cough, alleviates breathing troubles, useful in curing phlegm, eyetroubles, wounds; RAJA NIGHANTU : appetiser, removes phlegm, piles, colic pain, cures dropsy, useful in eye troubles, cardiotonic, beneficial in respiratory diseases, wounds, detoxicant; fruits are bitter, sialagogue, thermogenic, cures the diseases caused by vitiated kapha (phlegm) or vata (wind); NIGHANTU RATNAKARAM : removes cough, vitiated wind, detoxicant, appetiser, useful in eye troubles. AYURVEDA : acrid, alexipharmic, anodyne, anthelmintic, antipyretic, astringent, bitter, cardiotonic, digestive, diuretic, emetic,expectorant, laxative, stimulant, stomachic, uterine tonic; useful in amennorrhoea, asthma, bronchitis, cardiopathy, conjunctivitis, constipation, cough, dyspepsia, haemorroids, hepatosplenomegaly, inflammations, intermittant fever, jaundice and leucoderma; root emetic and removes phlegm; external application is useful in insectbite;

SIDDHA : an ingredient of 'Cirukuricinver'; UNANI : an ingredient of ‘Gurmarbuti’.

The fresh leaves, when chewed, paralyse the sense of sweet for sometime; for this reason it is called gur-mar, thereby meaning sugar-killer and impression has become prevalent in some parts of the country that it is useful in diabetes mellitus. Chewing fresh leaves also paralyse the taste of bitter for a while.

Modern use: Aerial parts (50% EtOH extract) : spasmolytic, hypyoglycaemic, in vitro antiviral against influenza A2 virus.

Phytography : Stout, woody, large climber; young branches slender and pubescent; leaves opposite, simple, petioles 0.6-1.2 cm, stout or slender, lamina 2.5-6.25 cm in length, elliptic or ovate, thinly coriaceous, upper surface rarely pubescent; cymes subglobose, ± 1.25 cm in diameter; flowers yellow, ±0.2 cm in diameter; follicles slender, ±5-7.5 by 0.8 cm; seeds pale brown, flat, ±1.25 cm long.

Phenology: Flowering: August-March; Fruiting: Winter.

Distribution: Mainly in Deccan peninsula, also found in Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Rajasthan; Sri Lanka.

Ecology and Cultivation: Grows in the plains from the coast, in scrub jungles and in thickets; wild.

Chemical contents: Leaf: conduritol A, gymnestrogenin, gymnamine, hentriacontane, nonacosane, penta-OH-triterpene.

Remark: In Sri Lanka, plant used in bone fractures.

Ficus racemosa

Ficus racemosa L. (Moraceae)

(2n = 22, 26)

Syn : Ficus glomerata Roxb.

English names: Cluster fig, Country fig, Gular fig.

Sanskrit names: Apushpaphalasambandha, Audumbaram, Brahmavriksha, Haritaksha, Hemadugdha, Shetavalkala, Udumbara, Yajnaphala.

Vernacular names: Asm : Dimoree; Ben: Dumur, Jajna-dumur, Jaya dumur; Guj : Gudar, Umar, Umbara; Hin: Gulav, Umar; Kan: Atti; Mal: Atti, Athimaram; Man: Heibong; Mar: Umbar(a); Mun : Loa daru; Orn : Dumbari, Ori : Dimburi; Sad: Dumbair; San: Dumbari-hesa, Loa-dare; Tam: Atti, Aththi; Tel: Bodda, Paidi, Udumbaramu.

Trade name: Common fig.

Traditional use: MANIPURI : (i) Root-extract: in diabetes, dysentery; (ii) Latex: on boils; (Hi) Fruit: in pulmonary diseases; SANTAL : (i) Bark-juice: on boils, in adenitis axillaris, epidydimitis, hydrocele, orchitis; (ii) Latex: on adenitis, muscular pain, pimps, scabies; (iii) Juice of pith: in menorrahgia, spermatorrhoea; (iv) Warts on leaves: in small pOX; (v) Leaf gall (decoction) : for washing septic wounds; BHOXA : Latex: in piles; ETHNIC COMMUNITIES OF NORTHERN INDIA: (i) Latex: in piles, pulmonary diseases; (ii) Bark and Fruit (together) : in urinary complaints; (iii) Fruit: as carminative; GARHWALI: (i) Root: in dysentery; (ii) Bark: as astringent; ETHNIC COMMUNITIES OF MOUNT ABU (Rajasthan) : Leaf: in pneumonia; ETHNIC COMMUNITIES OF CHANDRAPURA (Maharashtra) : Leaf: in bronchitis; ETHNIC COMMUNITIESOFKHEDTALUKA(Maharashtra): (i) Barkand Fruit(together): in leprosy, urinary complaints; (ii) Fruit: in diabetes; ETHNIC COMMUNITIES OF CHHINDWARA (Madhya Pradesh) : (i) Latex: in diarrhoea; (ii) Fruit: as carminative; ETHNIC COMMUNITIES OF BANDA (Madhya Pradesh) : Latex: in dysentery, skin cracks in heels and lips.

RIGVEDA : cures piles, internal wounds, removes impurities from blood, worms from alimentary canal; YAJURVEDA : bark kills worms; ATHARVAVEDA: useful in skin diseases, including leprosy, sinus, oedema, impurities of blood and in piles; MADANADINIGHANTU : useful in antifertility, pimples and wounds; BHAVAPRAKASHA : useful in treatment of pimples and wounds; DHANVANTARINIGHANTU : removes worms, cures thrombophlebitis, syncope, burning sensation and unusual thirst; KAIYADEVANIGHANTU : astringent, sweet and heavy, cures pimples and wounds, diseases caused by deranged phlegm and deranged bile; fruits are tasteful, invigorating, astringent, cooling, cardiac tonic, useful in urinary diseases, bile disorders, menstrual disorders. .

AYURVEDA: Latex: external application useful in cuts, insect bites, boils, bruises, swellings, while internal application is beneficial in haemoptysis, bleeding piles and menstrual problems.

SIDDHA : (i) Bark: used to prepare the drug atti pattai, (ii) Latex: for atti pal, and (Hi) Leaf: an ingredient of atti ilai.

Modern use: Stem-bark (50% EtOH extract) : anti-inflammatory, anti protozoal, hypoglycaemic; Leaf-powder: useful in bilious affections; Leaf-gall: beneficial in small pox.

Phytography : Spreading laticiferous tree, 9.0-12.2 m tall, bark reddish grey, smooth; leaves alternate, stipules ovate-Ianceolate, pubescent, 1.25-2.5 cm long, petioles 2.5-5.0 cm long, lamina simple membranous, ovate to obovate-oblong or lanceolate, 10-18 cm long, dark green, glabrous or softly pubescent above while lower surface pubescent or glabrous; fruits borne in clusters on the main trunk and leafless short branches, subglobose or pyriform, 2.5-5.0 cm in diameter, red when ripe.

Phenology: Flowering: Spring; Fruiting: Rainy season.

Distribution: Throughout India; Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka.

Ecology and cultivation: Tropical plant; grows on the banks of streams, sides of ravines, on rocky slopes, up to 1500 m; wild.

Chemical contents: Bark: ceryl behenati gluanol-OAc, lupeol and its α-OAc, β-amyrin, β-sitosterol; Leaf: β-amyrin, β-sitosterol, gluanol-OAc; Fruit: lupeol-OAc, gluanol-OAc, glucose, hentriacontane, β-sitosterol, a sterol, ester of taraxasterol, tiglic acid.

Remarks: Some ethnic communities of Rajasthan use leaves as a galactogogue for cattle. Rural folks of Bengal, Bihar and Orissa use bark in treatment of domestic animals. Unripe fruits are eaten as a vegetable by most of the Indians, while ripe fruits are consumed by Bhoxas, Garhwalis, tribes of North-East India, hill people of Maharashtra, tribes of eastern Rajasthan, Kerala and Madhya Pradesh (Bastar).

Tribes of Chhindwara (Madhya Pradesh) use young stem as toothbrush.

This tree is considered as a constituent of the sacred panchavata and as kalpataru by the Hindus. They keep a piece of stem of this plant, as a part of rite, in the labour room and also use the wood as samidh (sacrificial wood) in all yajnas.

The wood is also used by the Hindus to make effigy if the corpse is lost or not available.

Euphorbia tirucalli

Euphorbia tirucalli L. (Euphorbiaceae)

(2n = 20)

English name : Milk bush, Indian tree spurge.

Sanskrit names : Shatala, Trikantaka.

Vernacular names: Ben: Ganderi, Lankasij, Latadoona; Guj : Thor dandalio; Hin : Konpol, Sehund; Kan : Bantakalli; Mar: Shera; Tam: Tirukalli, Kalli; Tel: Chemudu.

Trade name: Tirukalli.

Traditional use: IRULAR: Latex: in body pain, eczema, scabies; ETHNIC COMMUNITIES OF CHAMPAKARAI and DHOOMANOOR (Tamil Nadu): Latex: on wounds; NAYADI : Latex: in rheumatism; ETHNIC COMMUNITIES OF MADHYA PRADESH: Latex: in earache, rheumatism, warts; ETHNIC COMMUNITIES OF CHHOTANAGPUR : Latex: in earache.

BHAVAPRAKASHA: Itis pungent, bitter, helps digestion, beneficial in oedema, deranged phlegm, epistasis, deranged bile, constipation and dyscrasia.

AYURVEDA : Root: beneficial in colic; Latex of stem and leaf: cures cough, earache, emetic, laxative and rubefacient.

Modern use: Stem-extract: antifungal; Aerial parts (50% EtOH extract) : antiprotozoal.

Phytography : Erect tree, 3-6 m high, branches thin, cylindrical, spreading, scattered, clustered, whorled, latex extraordinarily abundant, sticky and acrid; leaves alternate, linear, caducous, petioles modified to phylloclade; involucres clustered in the forks of branches, inconspicuous, flowers shortly pedicelled, bracteoles numerous; cocci dark brown, velvety, compressed; seeds ovoid, smooth.

Phenology: Flowering: very scarce, mainly in June-July; Fruiting: July-October.

Distribution: Introduced from tropical Africa, naturalised in the drier parts of India; elsewhere largely cultivated as hedges and fuel plants.

Ecology and cultivation: Xerophytic.

Chemical contents: Root: cycloartenol, euphorbol and its hexacosanoate, taraxerone, tinyatoxin; Bark: euphorbol and its hexacosanate, euphorginol=taraxer­14-en-6-01, ingenol and its triacetate, taraxerone; Latex: a-amyrin, β-sitosterol, cycloartenol, cycloeuphordenol, 4-deoxyphorbol and its esters, euphol, euphorbinol, isoeuphorbol, palmitic acid, taraxerol, tinyatoxin, tirucallol, trimethyl ellagic acid; it may be noted that there are differences in chemical contents of latex of plant growing in differenet countries; Stem: campesterol, hentriacontane, hentriacontanol, kaempferol, stigmasterol, methyl ellagic acid.

Remark: The plant is worshipped as a sacred one.

Emblica officinalis

Emblica officinalis Gaertn. (Euphorbiaceae)

(2n = 28, 98, 104, 196)

Read: Phyllanthus emblica L.

English name: Emblica myrobalan.

Sanskrit names: Adiphala, Amlaka, Amritaphala, Dhatri, Hatha, Nellikka.

Vernacular names: Asm : Amluki; Ben: Amla, Amlaki; Guj : Amali; Hin : Amla, Aon, Aonala; Kan : Amalaka; Mal: Amalakam, Nelli; Man: Heikru; Mar: Anvala; Mun : Meral daru; Orn : Amra; Ori : Amla; Pun: Ambli, Ambuli; Sad: Aonra; San: Aohal; Tam: Nelli, Toppunelli; Tel: Amlakamu, Usirika.

Trade name: Amla, Amlaki.

Traditional use: ETHNIC COMMUNITIES OF SAGAR DISTRICT (Madhya Pradesh) : Fruit: antiemitic, used in fever, indigestion; ETHNIC COMMUNIT/ES OF DEHRA DUN and SIWALIK DISTRICTS (Uttar Pradesh) : Fruit: in bronchitis, indigestion; Seed: in asthma; DANG (Gujarat) : Bark: on burn, wounds, stomach complaint; IRULAR (Tamil Nadu) : Leaf: against cold; BIRHoRE(West Bengal) : Fruit: in constipation, headache, liver complaint, madness; THANES (Uttar Pradesh) : Fruit: in constipation; ETHNIC COMMUNIT/ES OF GARHWAL : Fruit: laxative, cooling, in diabetes, dysentery, and as diuretic; ETHNIC COMMUNIES OF TIRAP (Arunachal Pradesh) : Fruit: in diabetes; NAGA: Fruit: in eye complaint; KHASI and JAINTIA : Fruit: in eye complaint; TRIBES OF MIRZA PUR DISTRICT (Uttar Pradesh) : Fruit: in eye complaint; TRIBES OF HAZARIBAGH DISTRICT (Bihar) : Fruit: used to revive taste; KOL (Uttar Pradesh): Fruit: on scorpion sting; ETHNIC COMMUNIT/ES OF MAYURBHANJ (Orissa) : Fruit: against thirst; ORAON : (i) Fruit: in cough; (ii) Juice of fresh fruit and (ii) Infusion of seed: in inflammation of eyes; (iv) Crushed fruit with fruit of Terminalia citrin a and Terminalia belerica macerated in a tumbler of water in the evening: a very good stomachic and tonic; MANIPURI: (i) Boiled extract of leaf: in controlling high blood sugar; (ij) Fruit: in constipation, bleeding gum, piles, blood diseases and also as brain and nerve tonic; SANTAL: (i) Leaf: in anaemia, diarrhoea, dysentery, fever, gravel, sores (agya ghao, rokoc ghao); (ii) Stem-bark: in cholera, profuse diarrhoea (haga sitka) , fistula, sores (bonga khoda, nason

ghao, pachiari ghao, palania ghao); (iii) Powder of male inflorescence: in nasal haemorrhage; (iv) Infusion of green fruit: in gripe; (v) Ripe fruit: in cystitis and diarrhoea.

RAJAN/GHANTU: it is acidic (amla) , astringent (kashaya) , pleasant(madhura), cooling and light, beneficial in burning sensation caused by deranged bile, vomiting, oedema and is rejuvenating; the fruit is appetising, antiemetic and removes fatigue, useful in constipation and flatulence.

AYURVEOA : Fruit is useful in acidity, urinary trouble, hiccup, vomiting, leucorrhoea, biliary colic, urticaria, conjunctivitis and dysentery.

SIOOHA : Root-bark, fruit-juice and dried fruit are used to prepare a medicine named Nelli.

Modern use: Fruit: pronounced expectorant, antioxidant, anticancerous; EtOH (50%) extract of fruit: antiviral, carminative, stomachic; Aqueous extract of fruit: increases cardiac glycogen level and decreases serum GOT, GPT and LDH in rats; Fruit-juice: (i) mixed with turmeric powder and honey: cures diabetes insipidus; (ii) in ghee: used for abdominal and glandular tumours; a constituent of the medicine SG-1-Switradilepa used against vitiligo, and of an antibiotic drug Septilin.

Phytography : Deciduous tree with flaky bark, greenish, grey or red; leaves distichously closely set, bipinnate, dark green, leaflets linear-oblong; flowers densely fascicled, yellowish, unisexual, males on slender pedicels while females subsessile; fruits light green when young, yellowish when mature, globose, depressed, succulent, obscurely six-lobed, one-seeded; seed trigonous.

Phenology: Flowering: February-May; Fruiting: May onwards.

Distribution: Common in the mixed deciduous forests of India, ascending up to 1500 m, often cultivated in gardens and homeyards; Bangladesh, Pakistan. Ecology and cultivation: Plant of tropical climate; predominantly wild, cultivated in Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh.

Chemical contents: Root: ellagic acid, oleanolic acid, oleanolic aldehyde, lupeol; Stem-bark: lelucodel-phinidin, procyanidin, 3-0-gallated prodelphinidin and tannin; Stem and Leaf: lupeol, β-sitosterol; Fruit: vitamin C, carotene, riboflavine, D-glucose, D-fructose, myoinositol, nicotinic acid, D-galacturoniaacid, phyllemblic acid, mucic acid, fatty acids, D-arabinosyl, D-xylosyl, L-rhamnosyl, D-glucosyl, D-mannosyl,

D-galactosyl. .

Remarks: Santals use bark in rinderpest, anthrax and convulsion of cattle. Fruits are eaten raw or as pickle and used to make ink. Wood is not attacked by insects.

Embelia ribes

Embelia ribes Burm. f. (Myrsinaceae)

Syn : Embelia glandulifera Wight, Samara ribes Kurz

English names: Embelia, Embelia fruit.

Sanskrit names: Jantughna, Krimighna, Krimiripu, Vella, Vidanga.

Vernacular names: Ben: Biranga; Guj : Vaivarang, Vavading; Hin : Baberang, Vayvidang; Kan : Vayuvilanga; Mar: Vaivarang, Vavadinga; Mal: Vizhal; Pun: Baburung; Tam and Tel: Vayuvilanga.

Traditional use: GARHWALI and TRIBES OF NORTH-EAST INDIA: Seed: in skin diseases, ringworms, leprosy; ETHNIC COMMUNITIES OF KAMRUP (Assam) : Fruit: in stomach complaints.

MATSYA PURANA : important medicinal plant; AGNI PURANA : beneficial for gastroenteritis, cirrhosis of liver, oedema, skin diseases including leprosy and effective in killing worms in alimentary canal; VIJACINTAMANITANTRA: consumption of powdered fruit along with fruits of Emblica officinalis, honey and sesame-oil improves quality of sperms; BHAVAPRAKASHA: it is pungent, removes morbidity, improves blood circulation, stimulates appetite, acts against phlegm, makes the body light, kills worms of all types; RAJANIGHANTU: it is pungent, hot, light, enhances balance between wind and phlegm, beneficial in anorexia and improves digestive power.

AYURVEDA : (a) Root: acrid, astringent, useful in colic, dyspepsia, flatulence, odontalgia, stomach pain and increases exothermic metabolism; (b) Leaf: astringent, demulcent, depurative, thermogenic, useful in skin diseases including leprosy; (c) Fruit: acrid, alexeteric, alterant, anodyne, anthelmintic, astringent, bitter, brain tonic, carminative, contraceptive, depurative, digestive, diuretic, febrifuge, laxative, rejuvenating, stimulant, tonic, vulnerary, and useful in amnetia, asthma, colic, constipation, cardiopathy, dental caries, dyspepsia, dyspnoea, fever, flatulence, general debility, hemicramia, odontalgia, psychopathy, respiratory troubles and ring­worms; (d) Seed: a constituent of Vidangadi Yoga, an antifertility drug.

SIDDHA : dried fruits are used to prepare the drug Vaivitankam.

Modern use : Plant: cures abdominal tumours, and aenemeas, cystic tumours, pyorrhoea, useful against tape- worms; EtOH extract of plant: slightly active against Ecoli; one of the constituents of 'Gasex', and some oral contraceptives; Fruit: cures dental, oral, throat troubles except cancer of lips and ptyslism, constituent of some quick aboriticide; Aqueous extract of fruit: pronounced antifertility activity, anthelmintic against earthworms; Fruit-powder: expels tapeworms within 6-24 hours, if taken with curd in empty stomach, effective against giardia; Seed: antibiotic, anthelmintic, antituberculosis, alterative and stimulative.

Phytography : Large scandent shrub; branches long, slender, flexible, bark with many lenticels; leaves simple, alternate, petioles ±0.8 cm, lamina elliptic, leathery, glabrous, shining above, silvery beneath, glandular pits present on the lower surface near the midrib; racemes axillary and terminal, laxly panicled; flowers white, may be greenish, ±0.2 cm long; berries dull red to black, globular, small, 1- or 2-seeded; seeds globose, hollowed at the base, white spotted, albuminous.

Phenology: Flowering: peak in March-April; Fruiting: August.

Distribution: Throughout India up to 1750 m in hilly regions; common in lower hills; Sri Lanka, Malaya.

Ecology and cultivation: Grows in shola border, thickets; wild.

Chemical contents: Fruit: embelin.

Remark: Ethnic communities of Cannanore (Kerala) make bowstring with the bark.

Elettaria cardamomum

Elettaria cardamomum (L.) Maton (Zingiberaceae)

(2n = 48, 52)

Syn : Cardamum officinale Salisb.; (non-Ammomum cardamum L. 1753); Alpinia cardamum Roxb.

English names: Cardomum, Lesser cardamum.

Sanskrit names: Ela, Trutih.

Vernacular names: Ben: Chhoto elach; Guj : Elachi; Hin : Chhoti elaichi; Kan : Yellaki; Mal: Cittelum, Elam; Mar: Elachi veldodi; Tam: Elam; Tel: Yelakkayalu.

Trade name: Chhoti elaichi.

Traditional use: MATSYA PURANA : a constituent of an antivenom drug.

AYURVEDA : seeds abortifacient, alexiteric, aromatic, acrid, sweet, cooling, carminative, cardiac tonic, digestive, diuretic, expectorant,stimulant, and tonic, beneficial in asthma, bronchitis, strangury, haemorrhoids, renal and vesical calculi, halitosis, anorexia, dyspepsia, gastropathy and burning sensation.

SIDDHA : dried fruit, seed and stem-bark are used to prepare drugs cell 'Elam', 'Elarici' .

UNANI: preparations used as antidote to poison, astringent, exhilarant and in nausea.

Modern use: Essential oil from seed: antimicrobial; oil is used in several pharmaceutical preparations.

Phytography : Perennial leafy herb, 1.5-3.0 m high; rootstock thick, horizontal; leaves 30-65 cm by 5-10 cm, distichous, elliptic or elliptic-Ianceolate, glabrous above, softly pubescent below, acuminate at apex, narrowed or obtuse at base; flowers white, striped with violet, in elongated, flexuous, bracts, panicles arising from the rootstock; capsules oblong or subindehiscent, marked with fine vertical ribs; seeds black, arillate.

Phenology: Flowering and Fruiting: throughout the year, mainly in late autumn and winter.

Distribution: Found in rich, moist forests of the hilly tracts, up to 2000 m; commercially cultivated in Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Gujarat. Ecology and cultivation: Plant of tropical moist climate; wild and cultivated.

Chemical contents: Seed : essential oil, terpenoids.

Remark: Fruits and seeds are used as masticator.

Eclipta alba

Eclipta alba (L.) Roxb. (Asteraceae)

(2n = 18, 20, 22)

Syn : Eclipta prostrata (L.) Hassk.

English name: Trailing eclipta.

Sanskrit names: Bhringa, Bhringaraja, Kesaraja, Kayyonni, Markava, Tekarajah. Vernacular names: Asm : Kehoraji; Ben: Bhringaraj, Keshurti, Kesuria, Keshurey; Guj : Bhengra; Hin : Babri, Bhangra, Mocakand, Safed bhannra; Kan : Garga; Mal : Kannunni, Kaiyanni, Kayyonni; Man: Oochisumbal; Mar: Maka; Mun : Bhengaj, Piri kesari; Om : Bhengraj; Ori :Kesarda; Sad: Bhengrait; San: Banda-kansa; Tam: Garuga, Kaikesi, Karipan, Kayyantakara; Tel: Galagara, Guntagalyeru.

Trade name: Kesuth

Traditional use: GARO: Leaf: in gastric troubles, hepatic disorders; MANIPURI : (i) Stem-decoction: in liver enlargement; (ii) Leaf-extract: in fever and cough; TOTO: (i) Whole plant: in hepatic problems, spleen troubles; (ii) Root: in ulcers and wounds; (iii) Leaf: as antidote to scorpion sting; ETHNIC COMMUNITIES OF ORISSA: (i) Plant: in itching; (ii) Leaf: in conjunctivitis and other eye problems, in promoting hairgrowth; SANTAL : (i) Plant-decoction with paste of black pepper: in fever; (ii) Leaf-juice: on wounds; ETHNIC COMMUNITIES OF BIHAR: (i) Plant: against antifertility, (ii) Root: as antidote to snake bite; (iii) Leaf: in malaria and other fevers; ETHNIC COMMUNITIES OF ARAKU VALLEY (Madhya Pradesh) : Leaf: in conjunctivitis, eye troubles; IRULAR: Leaf: in jaundice; TRIBAL SOCIETIES OF ANAIKATTY HILLS (Tamil Nadu): Flower bud: in fever, headache; ETHNIC COMMUNITIES OF SALSETTE ISLAND: Leaf: as cooling; TRIBAL SOCIETIES OF SAURASHTRA (Gujarat): Whole Plant: in asthma, bronchitis, leucoderma; TRIBAL SOCIETIES OF EASTERN RAJASTHAN: Leaf: in sores, ulcers, wounds, spleen disorders; TRIBES OF KURUKSHETRA (Haryana) : Leaf: as antiseptic; GARHWALI: (i) Whole plant: in jaundice, spleen disorders; (ii) Leaf: in leucoderma, skin diseases; KOL : Leaf: in malaria; TRIBES OF BASTAR (Madhya Pradesh) : Whole plant: in liver complaints; TRIBES OF CHHINDWARA (Madhya Pradesh) : Leaf: for promoting hair growth; TRIBES OF SAGAR (Madhya Pradesh) : Plant: in toothache, headache, gland swelling, elephantiasis.

ATHARVAVEDA : it affects intelligence and memory, cures bile (pitta) disorders, prevents graying and falling of hairs.

BHAVAPRAKASHA : cures problems caused by phlegm and wind, beneficial for hair, skin, teeth and eyes, removes worms, and also effective in jaundice and oedema; RAJANIGHANTU: beneficial for hairs, eyes, oedema and phlegm; KAIYADEVANIGHANTU : it removes the problems caused by phlegm and wind and worms, beneficial for hair, teeth, skin, cures cough, jaundice and oedema; NIGHANTURATNAKARAM: in addition to the above qualities, this plant invigorates sex; VAIDYAMANORAMA : drinking juice of the plant strengthens the body and secures the foetus in womb.

AYURVEDA : cures headache, migraine; leaves are beneficial for hairs, they remove lice, blacken skin, cure pyorrhoea, chronic dysentery, oedema, nervous weakness, jaundice, anorexia, gum troubles and remove intestinal worms.

Modern use: Herb: in skin diseases; Gum resin (from herb) : anticancerous against Ehrlich ascites carcinoma; Plant(50% EtOH extract) : antiviral, spasmogenic; Plant (aqueous extract) : ovicidal against Sitotroga cereale//a eggs, nematicidal, haemostatic, beneficial in body inflammation, protective against hepatotoxic action of carbon tetrachloride in female guineapigs; Plant (powder) : curative of infective hepatitis, jaundice and viral hepi1titis; Leaf(aqueous extract) : myocardial depressant, hypotensive; Leaf-juice: cures shoulder pain caused by heavy load.

Phytography : Erect or prostrate diffused annual herb with roots at each node; leaves opposite, sessile, oblong-Ianceolate, ±2.5-1 0 cm long, very variable in form and width; heads subglobose, ±1.25 cm broad; flowers white and compressed.

Phenology: Flowering and Fruiting: throughout the year, peak period - August­-February.

Distribution: Throughout India, ascending up to 2000 m; Bangladesh and Pakistan. Ecology and cultivation: Common on damp wastelands, low waterlogged areas, roadsides, grassy humid localities, prefers warm climate; wild.

Chemical contents: Leaf: stigmasterol, a-terthienyl methanol, wedelolactone, de-Me-wedelolactone, small amount of 2-formyl-terthienyl.

Adulterants: In Sanskrit literature, three types of Bhringaraja have been mentioned - white-flowered (E. alba), yellow-flowered (Wede/ia calandulacea) and blue­-flowered (not yet identified).

Remarks: Tribals use juice of leaves for tattooing purpose.

Dolichos biflorus

Dolichos biflorus L. (Fabaceae)

Syn : Dolichos uniflorus Lam., Glycine uniflora Dalz.

English name: Horsegram.

Sanskrit name: Kulattha.

Vernacular names: Ben: Kurti-kalai; Hin and Mar: Kutthi; Kan : Hurali; Mal: Muthiva; Man: Nagakrijon; Mun : Kurthi; Orn : Anrsga; Sad: Kurthi; San: Horec; Tam: Kollu; Tel: Ulavalu.

Traditional use: SANTAL : (i) plant: dysuria, sores, tumours; (ii) leaf: in burns; (iii) seed: in adenitis, fistula ani, intercostal neuralgia, pleurisy, pneumonia, prolapsus ani; MUNOA : aqueous extract of seed: to women after childbirth; IRULA, KOTA, TOOA (Nilgiri) : seed: in menstrual complaints; RURAL FOLKS: Aqueous extract of seed: in urinary troubles and kidney stone.

CHARAKA SAMHITA : seed: useful in piles, hiccup, abdominal lump, bronchial asthma, in causing and regulating perspiration; SUSHRUTA SAMHITA . seed powder: useful in stopping excessive perspiration; BAGBHATTA: seed: useful in spermatocalcali (Shukrashman); CHAKRADATTA : decoction of seed: beneficial in urticaria; RAJANIGHANTU : beneficial in piles, colic, epistasis, flatulence, ophthalmia, ulcer.

AYURVEDA : decoction of seed: useful in leucorrhoea, menstrual troubles, bleeding during pregnancy, colic caused by wind, piles, rheumatism, heamorrhagic disease, intestinal worms; seed powder: antidiaphoretic; seed (in combination with milk): work as anthelmintic, soup prepared from seeds is beneficial in enlarged liver and spleen.

SIDDHA : seed: used in preparing a medicine named Kollu.

Modern use: Plant extract: radiolabel reagent in ABa blood grouping of human hair; EtOH (50%) extract of Seed: spasmolytic.

Phytography : Annual herb, trailing or suberect, branched; leaves alternate, stipulate, trifoliate, leaflets membranous, ovate, ±2.5-5.0 cm long, young ones finely pilose; flowers axillary, may be more than one together but without a common peduncle, papilionaceous, usually yellow - may be white, ±1.25-1.8 cm long; pods ±3.7-5.0 cm by 0.6-0.8 cm, recurved, tipped with a persistent style; seeds 5-6 per pod, ellipsoid, flattened.

Phenology: Flowering: August-November; Fruiting: September-December.

Distribution: Widely distributed in India, ascending up to 1000 m in Sikkim; cultivated mainly in Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka.

Ecology and cultivation: Mesophyte; wild and cultivated.

Chemical contents: Stem and Leaf: coumesterol, a lectin-like glycoproticin, psoraliding; Leaf (bacteria treated): dolichin A and dolichin B; Seed : β-sitosterol, coumesterol, delbergiodin, genistein, 2-hydroxy-genistein, isoferreirin, keivitone, phaseollidin, pyranoside.

Adulterant: Cassia abrus L. is sometimes confused with this plant.

Remarks: Santals use the plant in treatment of rinderpest of domestic animals. Seeds are often consumed as pulse. Santals consider eating this pulse is good for patients of dysentery and leprosy, but they prohibit eating this by the patients of measles and small pox.

Diospyros peregrina

Diospyros peregrina (Gaertn.) Gurke (Ebenaceae)

(2n = 30)

Syn : Diospyros embryoteris Pers., D malabarica (Oeser.) Kost.

English names: Gaub Persimmon, Wild Mangostein.

Sanskrit names: Kalaskardha, Krishnasara, Tinduka.

Vernacular names: Ben and Hin : Gab, Kata Gab; Kan : Holetupari; Mal: Panachi; Mar: Tender; Ori : Dhusarokendu, Kendu; San: Makar kenda; Tam: Katlati, Tumbi; Tel : Tinduki.

Traditional use: SANTAL : (i) Root: in gravel; (ii) Bark: in cholera; (iii) Fruit: in dysentery and menorrhagia; TRIBES OF ABUJH-MARH RESERVE AREA (Madhya Pradesh) : Fruit: in dysentery and as tonic; TRIBES OF BASTAR (Madhya Pradesh) : Fruit: in blister in mouth, diarrhoea.

HARIT SAMHITA : Bark: in gastro-enteritis; BAGBHATTA : Juice of unripe fruit: in restoring normal skin colour after burn; BHABAPRAKASA : Aqueous extract of green fruit: in healing burn-wound; BANGASENA : Powder of dried fruit with honey: licking is beneficial in hiccup in children.

AYURVEDA : (i) Bark extract: in chronic dysentery; (ii) Aqueous extract of green fruit: in menorrhagia, excessive salivation.

Modern Use: EtOH (50%) extract of stem and leaf: anticancer, diuretic; EtOH (50%) extract of stem bark: antiprotozoal, antiviral, hypoglycaemic.

Phytography : Middle­sized, profusely branched tree; stem and branches black, branchlets glabrous; leaves alternate, petioles ±0.6 to ±0.8 cm long, lamina thick, leathery, oblong, veines slightly elevated above; male flowers in few or many-flowered short cymes, flowers tubular, 0.8 cm long, lobed, calyx black, silky; female flowers solitary or few together, subsessile or cymose, larger than male flowers, ovary 8-celled; fruits usually solitary, subglobose, 2.5-5.0 cm in diameter, brick­coloured when young, yellowish when mature, persistent calyx lobed, accrescent 4- to 8 ­seeded.

Phenology: Flowering and Fruiting: Summer to rainy season, fruits take 4-5 months to mature.

Distribution Throughout India; Bangladesh, Malaysia and other South-East Asian countries, also in Australia.

Ecology and cultivation: Throughout India, abundant in Bengal; cultivated near habitational sites; occasionally found as ferals; Sri Lanka.

Chemical contents: Root: glycerides; Bark: myricyle alcohol, saponin, triterpenes; Stem: β-sitosterol, α leuconanthocyanin; Leaf: triterpenes; Fruit pulp: alkenes, triterpenes; Seed: betulinic acid, β-amyrin, fatty oil, unsaponified matter.

Adulterants: Often it is confused with Garcinia mangostana and Strychnos nux-vomica. Remarks: Santals use bark in treatment of rinderpest.

Rural people of North Bengal and Bangladesh consume the leaves as vegetable. Fruits are eaten by Bhoxas, Lodhas, Monpas, Santals and Bengalees.

Tribes of Bastar consume the seeds.

Boatmen rub the fruit-juice on the undersurface of boats to protect the wood from rotting, and fishermen use the same in their fishing net for the same purpose.