MEDICINAL HERBS IN INDIA


 MEDICINAL HERBS

ALOE VERA


Botanical Name     - Aloe barbadensis
Common Name      - Aloe vera, Curacao Aloe,
Barbados Aloe       - Lily of the Desert
Plant Family           -  Liliaceae
History                    - The virtues of Aloe vera have been recorded for thousands of years by many ancient civilizations, including Egypt, Persia, Greece, India and Africa. The name was derived from the Arabic alloeh meaning 'bitter' because of the bitter liquid found in the leaves. It is also known as 'lily of the desert', the 'plant of immortality', and the 'medicine plant'.In 1500 B.C. Egyptians recorded use of the herbal plant in treating burns,infections, parasites.The fresh gel was used by Cleopatra to keep her skin soft and young.Aloe was used by the Ancient Greeks, Arabs and Spaniards and is still used by hunters in Africa to reduce perspiration and body scent.The Spanish carried Aloe From Europe to the New World in South America and the Caribbean. Aloe barbadensis was introduced to the West Indies at the beginning of the 16th century. Spanish missionaries in the west always planted Aloe around their settlements and carried it on their journeys to aid the sick Aloe was used extensively by American herbalists in the 18th and 19th centuries.



  
NEEM LEAVES

Family Name        -    Meliaceae
Common Name    -    Lilac, Margosa Tree, Neem, Neem Chal
Part Used              -     Leaves, Flower,Oil,Seed.
Habitat                   -    It is evergreen and grows throughout india    
Product offered    -    Bark,Leaves,Seeds,Fruit,Oil,Flower,Stem
Uses : It acts as vermifuge, insecticide, astringent, tonic and antiseptic. It possess anti diabetic, anti bacterial and anti viral properties and used successfully in cases of stomach, worms and ulcers. Root barks possess astringent, tonic and antiperiodic properties. It is also useful in malarial fever. The oil is used in making neem-based soaps, shampoos and toothpaste. Leaves are used to cure chicken pox. It is also used in the treatment of acne and has blood purifying property






PHYLLANTHUS NIRURI

Commonly known as stonebreaker because of its strong roots, Phyllanthus Niruri is an herb that grows in tropical areas like the rain forests of the Amazon, Bahamas, China and Southern India. It can reach 30-60 centimeters in height and when in bloom displays an array of yellow flowers. It grows freely like a weed spreading abundantly. All parts of the plant exhibit medicinal properties. It is used medically as a diuretic and an astringent.In drier climates like Brazil, India, Florida, and Texas, Phyllanthus amarus and Phyllanthus sellowianus grows. They are similar in appearance and medical application to Phyllanthus Niruri.






OCIMUM SANCTUM

Ocimum sanctum (holy basil), called Tulsi in India, is ubiquitous in Hindu tradition. Perhaps its role as a healing herb was instrumental in its "sacred" implication. Ocimum sanctum(Tulsi) is perhaps the most common and most revered of all household plants in India. Tulsi is an erect sweet -scented pubescent herb, 30-100cm in height , growing in abundance near cultivated field gardens and waste lands. Its leaves, seeds ands whole plant is useful. Properties - Rasa -Katu( sharp) Tikta (bitter) , Virya -Ushna(hot) ,Vipak -Katu (sharp) Ayurvedic practice recommends Tulsi in several formulations to enhance immunity and metabolic functions as well as in the management of respiratory problems





GYMNEMA SYLVESTRE

Gymnema sylvestre a plant used in the Ayurvedic medicine of India for the treatment of Diabetes mellitus has been known from antiquity also to have an antisaccharin taste effect. The active principles are glycosides (several Gymnemic acid) In a study conducted on rats the feeding of powdered leaves of Gymnema sylvestris in the diet for 10days prior and 15 days after the treatment of beryllium nitrate significantly protected the animals from the full fall of blood glucose seen in rats receiving beryllium nitrate alone. The feeding of the leaves for 25 days to normal rats did not alter blood glucose significantly.




ADHATODA VASICA 

MEDICINAL PROPERTIES: Plant pacifies vitiated pitta, kapha, cough, bronchitis, asthma, inflammation, hemorrhage, hemorrhoids, diseases of eyes, and bleeding diarrhea. In medicinal value it is less effective than vasa (Adhatoda beddomei)

PLANT DESCRIPTION : A large shrub grows crowded along waste land, roadsides etc. Leaves simple, opposite, ovate-lanceolate, acute or acuminate and shiny. Flowers arise from auxiliary condensed spikes, white; fruits capsules.

 MEDICINAL PROPERTIES: Plant pacifies vitiated pitta, kapha, cough, bronchitis, asthma, inflammation, hemorrhage, hemorrhoids, diseases of eyes, and bleeding diarrhea. In medicinal value it is less effective than vasa (Adhatoda beddomei)

LIQUORICE ROOT
Botanical Name     :   Glycyrrhiza Glabra
Family Name           :   Papilionaceae
Common Name      :   Calamus, Mulethi,Sweet  Liquorice
Part Used                 :   Root
Habitat                      :   Cultivated in northern and southern india
Product offered      :   Roots
Uses :     Its Tonic, Diuretic, Demulcent, Expectorant, Emmenagogue and Laxative. It is used for allaying coughs and catarrhal infections, useful in irritable conditions of mucous membrane of urinary organs. Useful  in sore throat, cough, anorexia and persistent low fever. It is also used in flavoring of tobacco, confectionery, beverages, jams and marmalades. Roots are used in the treatment of Addison's disease, asthma, bronchitis, coughs, peptic ulcer, arthritis and allergic complaints. Externally, the roots are used in the treatment of herpes, eczema and shingles.


CASSIA ANGUSTIFOLIA (or) SENNA LEAVES
Botanical Name   : Cassia Angustifolia
Family Name         : Caesalpinaceae
Common Name    : Senna, Indian Senna, Tinnervelly Senna,   Cassia Senna.
Part Used                : Pods, Stems And Leaves.
Habitat  : Cultivated in dry lands of southern & western india, and indegenous to arabia.
Product offered      : Leaves, Fruit, Pod
Uses  : It is recognised by British and US pharmacopoeias. It is useful in habitual costiveness. It lowers bowels, increases peristaltic movements of the colon by its local action upon the intestinal wall. It is used as expectorant, wound dresser, antidysentric, carminative and laxative. Useful in loss of appetite, hepatomegaly, spleenomegaly,  indigestion, malaria, skin diseases, jaundice and anaemia. Leaves are made into a paste, and applied to various skin diseases




Curry Leaves


Curry Plant is widely used for its culinary and medicinal properties. It is considered an important ingredient in South Indian and Sri lankan cuisine. It is Fresh and pleasant and enhances the taste of the dish in which they are used.


Botanical Name: Murraya koenigii (L.)
Family Name: Sprengel Rutaceae
Parts Used: Leaf
Habitat: India



Origin :
The curry leaf is native to India and is found nearly everywhere in the Indian subcontinent. It is also found in Srilanka and many parts of south East Asia including Indonesia, Burma, Thailand, etc.


Cultivation:
The curry leaf plant is planted just before the arrival of the monsoon in May. It is cultivated using propagation method. The plants mature after fifteen months after which the leaves are harvested. Fully grown curry tree can yield nearly 100 k.g of leaves each year.

Forms of Curry Plant/Leaf:
Fresh
Dried and powdered
Trade in Curry Leaf/Plant
India is the largest producer and consumer of curry leaf. Burma, Malaysia, South Africa are also the producing curry leaf. The Southern state of Tamil Nadu is one of the major curry leaf producing area. The trade in the spice is limited to few Asian countries. There are no specific trade figures of exports from India.


Use of Curry Leaf/Plant:
Food
The plant is widely used in South Indian states for flavoring various dishes. It is also used for its aroma in Srilanka. The leaves can be taken raw or sauted. The leaves are used in fresh or dried form for flavouring curries, vegetable, fish and meat dishes, soups pickles, butter milk preparations, chutneys.


Medicinal Use:
The spice is said to have many medicinal properties. It is used in the traditional medicinal system for improving the digestive system, skin conditions and as a treatment for diabetes



Valerian root (valeriana officinalis)


Valerian root (valeriana officinalis) is derived from a plant native to Europe and Asia. The root of this plant has been used for thousands of years as a remedy for various ailments including sleep problems, digestive problems, disorders of the nervous system, headaches, and arthritis. It is believed that valerian root has an impact on the availability of the neurotransmitter GABA in the brain.

Despite the use of valerian root for a variety of problems, little research has been done to support the effectiveness of the herb. Use of valerian root as a sleep aid is supported by some evidence from clinical trials, however these studies tend to be small and not rigorously conducted. On the whole, research suggests that valerian root has mild sedative and tranquilizing properties - less than prescription sleep medication.
There isn't yet sufficient research evidence to support the use of valerian root in the treatment of anxiety disorders such as social anxiety disorder (SAD). However, anecdotal reports from those who take the supplement regularly indicate that it promotes feelings of calmness and reduces nervous tension and stress.