Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Adenanthera pavonia L.


Family : Mimosaceae

English Name : Coral Wood, red beadtree, barbados pride, beadtree, circassian bean, coral bean tree, false wiliwili, peacock flower-fence, Polynesian peanut, red sandalwood tree, red sanderswood, sandalwood-tree.

Origin : India

Description
Slender, medium-size tree, with rather wide-spreading branches, fine feathery foliage, small inconspicuous yellow flowers and thin shelled pods, brown outside but of a satiny straw colour inside, which when mature twist snake like and split to disclose small, lens-shaped, bright red bead like seeds.

Habitat
Forests; eastern subHimalayan region to West Bengal, Gujarat, Meghalaya, Assam, Maharashtra and southern India.

Parts Used : Seed, leaf and wood

Herb Effects
Inhibits trypsin and chymotrypsin (seed); emetic (root)

Active Ingredients
Stigmasterol and its glucosides and a polysaccharide (seed); stigmasterol, beta-sitosterol, octacosanol and a glucoside (leaf); dulcitol (seed and leaf).

Medicinal Use
Curing eye diseases (wood paste) and in rheumatism, gout, haematuria and haematemesis (leaf decoction).

Reference

Acorus calamus Linn.


Family : Araceae

Synonym(s) : Acorus griffithii Schott., Acorus belangeii Schott, Acorus casia Bertol.

English Name : Sweetflag, Calamus, Grass myrtle, Myrtleflag, Rat root, Sweet grass, Sweet myrtle, Sweet rush and Cinnamon Sedge

Origin : Europe, Asia, North America

Description
A strongly aromatic semi-aquatic perennial herb; rhizomes creeping, jointed, somewhat vertically compressed, 1.3 to 2.5 cm thick, pale to dark brown and spongy inside. Leaves narrow, up to 80 cm long, linear to narrowly ensiform, glossy bright green, apex acute, base amplexicaul; petioles sheathing for 20 to 50 cm. Flowers pale green, fragrant, arranged compactly on a sessile, cylindrical, stumpy spadix 5 to 7 cm long. Fruits (berries) green, angular, 3-celled, fleshy, containing 1 to 3 oblong seeds.

Habitat
Wetlands of Europe, Asia, Asia Minor, India and North America.

Parts Used : Rhizome, leaves, shoot and fruit

Herb Effects
Analgesic, sedative, anthelmintic, antispasmodic, anticonvulsant, antidiarrheal, antirheumatic, antiseptic, aphrodisiac, purifies the blood, carminative, diaphoretic, diuretic, emetic, expectorant, reduces fever, hemostatic, laxative, kills fleas and lice.

Active Ingredients
1-8,Cineole, alpha-asarone, alpha-pinene, alpha-terpineol, azulene, beta-asarone, beta-elemene, beta-pinene, camphene, camphor, choline, delta-cadinene, elemicin, ethanol, eugenol, furfural, isoeugenol, limonene, menthol, menthone, methyl-eugenol, methyl-isoeugenol, p-cymene, terpinen-4-ol, terpinolene (rhizome); alpha-humulene, acoric acid, alpha-terpinene, ascorbic acid, borneol, butyric acid, gamma-terpinene, methyl-chavicol, myrcene, ocimene, oxalic acid, palmitic acid, tannin, trans-anethole (plant).

Medicinal Use
Asthma, bronchitis, for burns, cancer, catarrh, colds, cough, sore throat, colic, constipation, diarrhea, dysentery, indigestion, epilepsy, fever, flatulence, gangrene poisoning, headache, hemorrhages, nerve problems, odontosis and in parturition.

Contraindication
Caution should be used with concomitant use of benzodiazepines, barbituates, MAO inhibitors and anticonvulsants (Opdyke 1977). Acorus is emetic in large doses. Avoid the use of the Asian (3n, 4n) species in clients with liver dysfunction due to the beta-asarone content (Weiss 1988). Acorus calamus should probably not be used in pregnancy.


Reference


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Tectona grandis L.F.


Family : Verbenaceae

Synonym(s) : Jatus grandis (L.f.) Kuntze, Tectona theka Lour., Theka grandis (L.f.) Lam

English Name : Teak Tree

Description
Teak is a medium to large-sized tree, which shed off its leaves at least once a year. It reaches to about 50 m high with irregularly formed crown and with low buttresses. In natural stand, the trunk is generally straight and branchless up to 20 m with up 250 cm diameter at breast height. Sometimes small branches sprout on the main trunk. The bark is light brown to grey, the dead outer bark greyish black and drop off in short longitudinal flakes. The ultimate young twigs are four-angled in cross section. The leaves are simple oppositely in pairs and alternately at right angles with each pair which form four rows termed decussate and some are in three (ternate). The leaf blade is egg to lance-shaped, sometimes broadly egg-shaped, big, about 36 cm broad and 54 cm long, the base is wedged-shape, the top abruptly pointed, leathery, the surfaces hairy, rather rough to the touch on the above surface. The young leaves are more or less purplish. Cluster of flowers are terminal and sometimes axillary. The flowers are bisexual, i.e. both pistil and stamens are in one flower. The flowers are loosely set in the flower clusters. The fruits are somewhat fleshy when green, more or less rounded, slightly four-angled, when dry woody. The seeds are without albumen (nutritive material stored in seed), i.e., endosperm.

Parts Used : Root, heartwood, wood, bark and leaf

Herb Effects
Acrid, cooling, laxative, sedative and possess anthelmintic and expectorant (wood).

Active Ingredients
Tectoquinine (leaf and heartwood); tactole and lepachol (heartwood); betulin (stem bark); betulinic acid (root, stem bark, wood).

Medicinal Use
In bronchitis (bark decoction), inflamed eye lids (ash from wood) and anuresis (root); to relieve the swelling of eyelids (charred wood); as a hair tonic (wood oil).

Reference

Saraca asoca (ROXB.) DE WILDE


Family : Caesalpiniaceae

Synonym(s) : Saraca indica auct. non Linn. Jonesia asoca Roxb. Jonesia pinnata Willd.

English Name : Ashoka Tree

Origin : India, Sri Lanka, Burma and Malaysia

Description
A small evergreen tree. The leaves are paripinnate and the leaflets 6 to 12, oblong and rigidly sub-coriaceous. The flowers are orange or orange-yellow, eventually turning vermillion, very fragrant, in dense axillary corymbs; the pods, flat, leathery, the seeds, 4 to 8, ellipsoid-oblong and compressed.

Habitat
India (except the northwestern part)

Parts Used : Bark, seed, flower and aerial part

Herb Effects
Hypothermic, depresses the central nervous system and diuretic (aerial part), stimulates the ovary and endometrium, cardiotonic and anticancer (bark), antifungal (seed), stops bleeding and secretions and induces a sedative effect on the uterus.

Active Ingredients
Leucopelargonidin, leucocyanidin, catechol and sterols (bark), palmitic, linoleic and stearic acids and beta-sitosterol (flower), tannins and calcium salts.

Medicinal Use
For urinary discharges (seeds); in indigestion, dysppepsia, dysentery, piles and sores, irregular menstruation and in internal hemorrhaging (“where ergot is indicated”) (bark); for syphilis and hemorrhagic dysentery (dried flowers).

Contraindication
Do not take during pregnancy.

Reference

Rhinacanthus nasuta (L.) KURZ.


Family : Acanthaceae

English Name : Snake Jasmine

Origin : Africa to Indo-Malaysia

Description
A diffuse subshrub; branchlets hirsute. Leaves elliptic to oblanceolate, base acute, apex acute; petiole 2 cm. Panicles terminal or in upper axils, divaricate, ending in cymes, peduncle 15 cm; bracts and bracteoles lanceolate. Calyx lobes 5, linear-lanceolate, basally connate. Corolla white, upper lip linear and lower one broader. Stamens 2. Ovary pubescent. Fruit capsule, ellipsoid, with a basal beak. Seeds 4, orbicular, rugose.

Habitat
Forests of India

Parts Used : Root, leaf and flower

Herb Effects
Revulsive, depurative, anthelmintic, antiseptic, aphrodisiac, antiparasitic, and anticancerous (plant); antiseptic (root and leaf) and antiparasitic (root).

Active Ingredients
Rhinacanthin (root) and rutin (flower)

Medicinal Use
For skin diseases and as an antiseptic (root and leaf). Used to treat obesity, helminthiasis, septic ulcers, leprosy, eczema, ringworm, prickly heat, herpes, scurvy, inflammation and cancer, goitre.

Reference

Passiflora foetida L.


Family : Passifloraceae

Synonym(s) : Passiflora foetida L. var. arizonica Killip, Passiflora foetida L. var. hastata (Bertol.) Mast., Passiflora foetida L. var. hibiscifolia (Lam.) Killip, Passiflora foetida L. var. hispida (DC.) Killip ex Gleason, Passiflora hastata Bertol., Passiflora hibiscifolia Lam., Passiflora hispida DC. ex Triana & Planch.

English Name : Stinking Passion Flower and Scarlet Fruit Passion Flower

Origin : Tropical America

Description
A climber with coiled tendrils. Leaves ovate to elliptic, glabrous, foetid smell. Flowers at leaf joints with a stalk, showy, white petals with violet coloured slender projection, sepals hairy, green. Fruit berry enclosed in hairy sepals.

Parts Used : Root, leaf, plant and its aerial part

Herb Effects
Diuretic, anticancer and stimulates the cardiovascular system (aerial part); antihysteric (leaf and root); relieves headache (leaf).

Active Ingredients
C-glycosides of luteolin and apigenin and apigenin-8-C-diglucoside (plant); ascorbic acid, beta-carotene, niacin, thiamin (fruit)

Medicinal Use
Fruit is emetic, decoction is used in biliousness and asthma. Leaves are applied on the head in giddiness and headache. Their decoction is reportedly used to treat asthma and biliousness. A decoction of the leaves or roots is said to be an emmenagogue and useful for treating hysteria.

Reference

Operculina turpethum (L.) S. MANSO


Family : Convolvulaceae

Synonym(s) : Ipomoea turpethum R. Br., Convolvulus turpethum. Linn.

English Name : Turpeth, Indian Jalap and St. Thomas Lidpod

Origin : Africa, Tropical Asia and Australia.

Description
A large perennial twiner with milky juice and fleshy branched. The leaves are very variable in shape; the flowers are tubular-campanulate, white, in few flowered cymes; the capsules globose with 4 or less, dull black, glabrous seeds.

Habitat
India, Ceylon, the Pacific Islands, China and Australia.

Parts Used : Root, plant and its resin

Herb Effects
Laxative (resin and root) and antiinflammatory (root); purgative (root-bark)

Active Ingredients
A glycosidic resin, alpha and beta-turpethin, a volatile oil and coumarin (plant).

Medicinal Use
Snakebite antidote and scorpion sting (root); dropsy, gout, chronic constipation, arthritis, jaundice, depression, leprosy and spleen enlargement, for giddiness, vomiting and fainting; for the treatment of piles (leaves).

Dosage
Tincture: one-half to one fluidrachm (1.8-3.75 mils).

Contraindication
Moderate doses can cause loose stools and vomiting.

Reference


Nicotiana tobacum L.


Family : Solanaceae

Synonym(s) : Nicotiana havanensis, Nicotiana virginica C. Agardh, Nicotiana mexicana Schlecht., Nicotiana pilosa Moc. & Sessé ex Dun, Nicotiana persica.

English Name : Tobacco

Origin : Central or South America

Description
Tobacco is an annual, with a long fibrous root, stem erect, round, hairy, and viscid; it branches near the top and is from 3 to 6 feet high. Leaves large, numerous, alternate, sessile, somewhat decurrent, ovate, lanceolate, pointed, entire, slightly viscid and hairy, pale-green colour, brittle, narcotic odour, with a nauseous, bitter acrid taste.

Habitat
Global in warm and temperate parts, including India.

Parts Used : Leaf and seed

Herb Effects
Medicinally it is used as a sedative, diuretic, expectorant, discutient, and sialagogue, and internally only as an emetic, when all other emetics fail. The leaves are antispasmodic, discutient, diuretic, emetic, expectorant, irritant, narcotic, sedative and sialagogue.

Active Ingredients
Nicotine, nor-nicotine, nicotyrine, anabasine and anatabine (leaf).

Medicinal Use
Alleviating spasms, as a sedative, for swolen areas (due to rheumatism) and skin diseases (leaf); toothache (seed); used externally in the treatment of rheumatic swelling, skin diseases and scorpion stings; applied to stings in order to relieve the pain (wet tobacco leaves).

Reference

Maranta arundinacea L.


Family : Marantaceae

English Name : Arrowroot

Origin : Guyana and western Brazil

Description
A herbaceous, tropical perennial plant, has a perennial rhizome, which is fibrous, producing numerous fusiform, fleshy, scaly, pendulous tubers from its crown. The stems are 2 or 3 feet high, much branched, slender, finely hairy, and tumid at the joints. The leaves are alternate, with long, leafy, hairy sheaths, ovate, lanceolate, slightly hairy underneath, and pale-green on both sides. The flowers are white, and disposed in a long, lax, spreading, terminal panicle, with long, linear, sheathing bracts, at the ramifications. The calyx is green and smooth; the corolla white, small, unequal with one of the inner segments in the form of a lip. The ovary is 3-celled and hairy. The fruit is nearly globular, with 3 obsolete angles, and the size of a small currant.

Parts Used : The fecula or starch of the rhizome.

Herb Effects
Alexeteric, antibilious, antipyretic, demulcent, depurative, hypocholesterolemic, rubefacient, vulnerary.

Active Ingredients
Ascorbic acid, beta-carotene, niacin, riboflavin, thiamin (root)

Medicinal Use
For convalescents, especially in bowel complaints, to wounds from poisoned arrows, scorpion and black spider bites, to arrest gangrene, for vegetable poisons, such as Savanna.

Dosage
For dysentery: 15 g starch dissolved in 250 cc sweet water.

Reference

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Lawsonia inermis L.


Family : Lythraceae

Synonym(s) : Lawsonia alba Lam. Lawsonia spinosa L.

English Name : Henna, Henne, Al-Khanna, Al-Henna, Jamaica Mignonette, Mehndi, Mendee, Egyptian Privet and Smooth Lawsonia

Origin : North Africa, Asia and Australia

Description
A much-branched shrub or small tree up to 7 m tall with greyish-brown bark; branches quadrangular, spines (modified branchlets) sometimes present, up to 3.5 cm long. Leaves opposite, sessile, elliptic-ovate or broadly lanceolate, 1 to 8.5 cm long and 0.2 to 3.8 cm wide, apex acute, apiculate or occasionally rounded, base cuneate, margins entire. Flowers numerous, small, white or rose-coloured, fragrant, in terminal, pyramidal, panicled cymes 3 to 25 cm long; pedicels short, slender. Fruit (capsule) globose, purplish-green to brownish when ripe, 6 to 7 mm in diameter, containing numerous, pyramidal, smooth seeds 2.5 mm long.

Habitat
Arid parts of India; Egypt, Kurdistan, Levant, Persia and Syria.

Parts Used : Flower, leaf, bark, fruit and plant

Herb Effects
Antiinflammatory and antibacterial (leaf); antifungal (plant); astringent and sedative.

Active Ingredients
Betulin, xanthones, coumarins (plant); beta-sitosterol, esculetin, gallic acid, glucosides, lawsone, luteolin, laxanthones I and II, scopoletin (leaf); linolenic acid (seed).

Medicinal Use
As an emmenagogue, in aching joints, bee stings, boils, burns, candida, condyloma, dermatosis, fever, headache, herpes, hoarseness, hysteria, jaundice, leucorrhea, myalgia, ophthalmia, parturition, spermatorrhea rheumatism, skin irritation, sores, stomach. The leaves and seeds are used in the form of juice, decoction and powder to treat consumption, diabetes and intrinsic haemorrhage. Paste of the leaves are applied externally in case of skin diseases, fungal infections, cracks on feet. It is employed both internally and locally in jaundice, leprosy, smallpox, and affections of the skin. The fruit has emmenagogue properties. The bark is useful in treating jaundice and enlargement of spleen, calculous affection, as alterative and in skin diseases and leprosy. The leaves are useful in menorrhagia, leucorrhoea and are also applied externally in headache. A decoction of leaves are used as an astringent. The leaf juice mixed with water and sugar is given in spermatorrhoea. The leaves are prophylactic against skin diseases. It is also used for typhoid and haemorrhagic conditions.

Reference

Jatropha curcas L.


Family : Euphorbiaceae

English Name : Common Physic Nut

Origin : Tropical America

Description
A glabrous erect branched shrub, 2 to 5 meters high and has stout cylindrical green branches with viscid milky or reddish sap. Leaves are orbicular-ovate, angular or somewhat three-or five lobed, 10 to 15 cm long, acuminate, base cordate with long petioles. Cymes are axillary, peduncled, the flowers greenish or greenish-white, 6 to 8 mm in diameter. The petals are reflexed, stamens 10, the filaments of the inner five, connate. Capsules at first fleshy, becoming dry, of two or three cocci, subspherical, 2.5 to 4.0 cm diameter with seeds blackish.

Habitat
Forests of India

Parts Used : Seed, plant and its aerial part

Herb Effects
Very toxic (seed); diuretic and depresses the central nervous system (aerial part).

Active Ingredients
Alpha-amyrin, stigmasterol, vitexin (leaf); beta-amyrin, taraxasterol (bark); beta-sitosterol, linoleic acid, oleic acid, palmitic acid, stearic acid (seed); tannin (resin)

Medicinal Use
Skin diseases (plant); as a toothbrush for gingivitis (aerial part).

Dosage
Oil: 10 or 12 minims.

Reference

Inula racemosa HOOK. F.


Family : Asteraceae

Synonym(s) : Saussurea lappa Clarke, Aucklandia costus. Falk.

English Name : Elecampane, Indian elecampane

Origin : Hindu-Kush Himalayan region

Description
A stout herb, 50 - 150 cm, stem groved; leaves coriaceous, radical, narrowed into a petiole as long, cauline often deeply lobed at the base; heads many outer involucral, bracts broad, with recurved triangular tips, ligules slender, 1.5 cm achenes 0.4 cm, glabrous, slender, pappus 0.6 cm, reddish.

Habitat
Mainly found on hills; temperate and alpine Himalayas.

Parts Used : Root

Herb Effects
Anti-inflammatory, antipyretic, antihistaminic, expectorant, anthelmintic, carminative, diuretic and febrifuge.

Active Ingredients
Inunolide, dihydroinunolide and alantolactone.

Medicinal Use
As an expectorant, increasing the secretion of gastric juices and as a tonic. Used in anaemia, catarrah, coryza, cough, dysmenorrhea, loss of appetite, ischaemic heart disease and skin diseases. The rhizome is used in the treatment of contagious fevers that have not fully ripened and pain in the upper body, especially between the neck and the shoulders.

Reference

Helicteres isora L.


Family : Sterculiaceae

English Name : East Indian Screw Tree

Origin : Australia

Description
It is a sub-deciduous small tree or shrub of about 1.5 to 3.0 ml height. Young branches are rough with scattered stellate hairs. Leaves are serrate obliquely cordate or obovate, shortly acuminate and rough above and pubescent beneath. The flowers are solitary or in sparse clusters with red reflexed petals, becoming pale blue when old. The fruits are 5.0 cm long, greenish - brown, beaked and cylindrical with 5 spirally twisted carpels. Seeds are tubercled and many.

Habitat
Scrub jungles and forests of India.

Parts Used : Root, fruit, bark, seed and aerial part

Herb Effects
Alleviates spasms (aerial part); cytotoxic, astringent, demulcent, diuretic and antigalactagogue (root); stimulates the uterus, demulcent and astringent(fruit); astringent (root and bark).

Active Ingredients
Cucurbitacin and iso-cucurbitacin (root); diosgenin (seed).

Medicinal Use
Snakebite antidote, diabetes and infections in the abdomen (root); stomachache(fruit); dysentery and diarrhea (fruit and bark); in dysentery and diarrhoea (bark); in otorrhoea (seed powder and mixed with pure castor oil or coconut oil); diarrhoea, dysentery, and gripping pain in the bowels, flatulence and in diabetes (root decoction); to children to kill intestinal worms (fried fruits). Besides, a decoction of its fruits with Achyranthes aspera plant also prescribed to give in fever.

Reference

Ginkgo biloba L


Family : Ginkgoaceae

Synonym(s) : Salisburia adiantifolia - Sm.

English Name : Ginkgo, Maidenhair Tree

Origin : China

Description
These are yellow-pink, about inch in diameter. The ginkgo has unique fan-shaped leaves that are 2 to 3 inches long. Leaf veins radiate out from the petiole (leaf stem), and the center of the fan is notched, dividing the leaf into two lobes inspiring the species name biloba.

Habitat
Cultivated in Indian gardens, particularly on hills.

Parts Used : Leaf, fruits, seeds and roots

Active Ingredients
Ginkgolides A, B, C & M (Root-bark); bilobalide, bilobanone sesquiterpene (Plant); acacetin, amentoflavone, apigenin, flavonols, biflavonoids, bilobalide, diterpenes, sesquiterpene bilobalide A, β-sitosterol, ginkgolides A, B & C, kaempferol, luteolin, shikimic acid, sequoyitol, quercetin, 1,5-MeO­bilobetin (Leaf); anacardic acids, ginnol, bilobols, cardanols (Fruit); alanine, alpha-linolenic acid, arginine, ascorbic acid, beta-carotene (seed).

Medicinal Use
It reduces migraine and vertigo. It may be useful in mental disorders, including Alzheimer's disease. Extracts from Ginkgo eliminate excess fat (cellulite) in women. It is useful for disturbed brain functions, which result in dizziness, tinnitus, and headache with emotional lability and anxiety. Ginkgo has also been demonstrated to improve concentration and memory deficits as a result of peripheral arterial occlusive disease.

Dosage
120 and 240 mg of GBE (standardized to contain 6% terpene lactones and 24% flavone glycosides) per day.
Tincture (1:5): 2 to 4 mL three times a day.

Contraindication
Pregnant and breastfeeding women should avoid using ginkgo preparations. In addition, ginkgo use should be discontinued at least 36 hours prior to surgery due to the risk of bleeding complications.

Reference

Ficus carica L.


Family : Moraceae

Synonym(s) : Fructus caricae, Ficus passa, Caricae

English Name : Common Fig; syconus (fruit)

Description
Ficus carica is a bush or small tree, rarely more than 18 to 20 feet high, with broad, rough, deciduous, deeply-lobed leaves in the cultivated varieties, though in wild forms the leaves are often almost entire. It is actually neither fruit nor flower, though partaking of both, being really a hollow, fleshy receptacle, enclosing a multitude of flowers, which never see the light, yet come to full perfection and ripen their seeds In the Fig, the inflorescence, or position of the flowers is concealed within the body of the 'fruit.' The Fig stands alone in this peculiar arrangement of its flowers. The edge of the pear-shaped receptacle curves inwards, so as to form a nearly closed cavity, bearing the numerous fertile and sterile flowers mingled on its surface, the male flowers mostly in the upper part of the cavity and generally few in number. As it ripens, the receptacle enlarges greatly and the numerous one-seeded fruits become embedded in it. The fruit of the wild kind never attains the succulence of the cultivated kinds. The Figs are borne in the axils of the leaves, singly. Figs are usually pear-shaped and up to 5cm in diameter.

Habitat
Southern and northwestern India and throughout warmer and temperate parts of both hemispheres.

Parts Used : Fruit, leaf and aerial part

Herb Effects
It is considered that the laxative property resides in the saccharine juice of the fresh fruit and in the dried fruit is probably due to the indigestible seeds and skin. The fruit is mildly laxative, demulcent, digestive and pectoral. The unripe green fruits are cooked with other foods as a galactogogue and tonic. The roasted fruit is emollient and stimulates the cardiovascular system (aerial part).

Active Ingredients
Arginine, ascorbic acid, bergapten, beta-amyrin, betabeta-carotene, beta-sitosterol, caffeic acid, ferulic acid, kaempferol, liferone, linolenic acid, lupeol, lutein, syringic and vanillic acids (wood); psoralen, quercetin and rutin.

Medicinal Use
In leucoderma (leaf); removing kidney stones (fruit); as a poultice (in boils) (roasted fruit); catarrhal affections of the nose and throat; as a poultice in the treatment of mouth sores, dental abscesses etc.

Contraindication
In several patients the effect of a phototoxic reaction to the juice of fresh figs (Ficus carica) was observed as a striped pigmentation on the arms (after rubbing in the fruit juice followed by exposure to the sun), or as a patchy pigmentation of the face after eating fresh figs.

Reference

Embelia ribes BURM.F.


Family : Myrsinaceae

Synonym(s) : Embelia glandulifera Wight, Samara ribes Kurz

English Name : False or Black False Pepper

Origin : India

Description
A straggling shrub, almost a climber. The plant possesses petiolate leaves and has small, whity-pink flowers in racemes at ends of the branches. The berries (the drug) are minute, round, spherical fruits (not unlike peppercorns) and vary in colour from red to black - those of E. ribes have ovate, lanceolate smooth leaves and warty fruits. The reddish seed, enclosed in a brittle pericarp, is covered by a thin membrane; when this is taken off, the seed is seen covered with light spots which disappear after immersion in water. The seed is horny, depressed at the base and has a ruminated endosperm. Taste, aromatic and astringent, with a slight pungency, owing to a resinous substance present in them.

Habitat
Forests, within the hills of India.

Parts Used : Fruit, root and seed

Herb Effects
Fights diarrhea (root), spermicidal, stimulates uterine contractions and diuretic (seed), contraceptive, astringent, stimulant, anthelmintic (kills Ascaris lumbricoides), antibacterial and carminative (fruit)alterative, stimulant.

Active Ingredients
Repanone, embelin, homoembelin, homorapanone and vilangin (fruit), quercitol, fats, christembine, a resinoid, tannins and a small amount of volatile oil.

Medicinal Use
Snakebite antidote, skin and chest diseases and fever (dried fruit decoction), for diarrhea (root); to expel tape worms (seeds).

Contraindication
Due to the strength of its active properties, using Vidanga past 3 months can eventually cause infertility. Safety in pregnant or nursing women, or those with severe liver or kidney diseases is not known.

Reference

Elephantopus scaber L.


Family : Asteraceae

English Name : Prickly-Leaved Elephant's Foot

Origin : West Indies and tropical America.

Description
Herb, branching into two parts. Stems forked, and the branches few and stiff.It has a basal rosette of leaves with very short and white hairy leaf stalks close to ground. The flowering heads many-crowded in each cluster. Each head comprises about 4 flowers. Involucral bracts 8 to 10 mm long.

Habitat
Wastelands and forests of the warmer regions of India.

Parts Used : Leaf, shoot and plant

Herb Effects
Antibiotic (shoot) and anticancer (plant)

Active Ingredients
Elephantopin, deoxyelephantopin, elephantol, lupeol, stigmasterol, epifriedelinol, methacrylate and triacontane (plant).

Medicinal Use
Skin diseases and wounds (leaf), jaundice (rhizome) and as a snakebite antidote (plant). Decoction of the root and leaves with cumin and buttermilk is given in dysuria and other urethral discharges or complaints. The drug is used in snake-bite also.

Dosage
15 to 30 gms dried material in decoction.


Contraindication
This herb should not be used in pregnant or lactating women unless recommended by physician.

Reference

Daucus carota L.


Family : Apiaceae

Synonym(s) : Daucus maritimus

English Name : Carrot

Origin : Europe, Africa and Asia

Description
The stems are erect and branched, generally about 2, feet high, tough and furrowed. Both stems and leaves are more or less clothed with stout, coarse hairs. The leaves are very finely divided, the lowest leaves considerably larger than the upper; their arrangement on the stem is alternate, and all the leaves embrace the stem with the sheathing base, which is so characteristic of this group of plants, the Umbelliferae, to which the Carrot belongs. The blossoms are densely clustered together in terminal umbels, or flattened heads, in which the flower-bearing stalks of the head all arise from one point in rays, like the ribs of an umbrella, each ray again dividing in the case of the Carrot, to form a secondary umbel, or umbellule of white flowers, the outer ones of which are irregular and larger than the others.

Herb Effects
Effect on coronary blood vessels (50% EtOH root extract); protects the liver (aqueous extract of carrot); antiimplantation and diuretic (seed alcohol extract) and carminative, stimulant and antifertility (seed); carminative, aromatic and stimulant (fruit and seed); antifungal (essential oil). The wild carrot is an aromatic herb that acts as a diuretic, soothes the digestive tract and stimulates the uterus.

Habitat
Worldwide including India.

Parts Used : Root, seed, fruit, leaf and essential plant oil

Active Ingredients
Alpha and beta-carotene (pigments); daucol, carotol, myrcene, pinene, camphene, "car-3-ene", limonene, beta-selinene and beta-caryophellene (plant oil); beta-bisabolene, cis and trans-asarene, asarone aldehyde and phenols (including vanillin) (seed oil).

Medicinal Use
Hemorrhoids, leprosy, tumors, eye diseases, burns, to encourage delayed menstruation, can induce uterine contractions and jaundice (root); poultice for sores (root decoction); kidney diseases and dropsy (fruit and seed); colic (fruit); for lithic acid or gouty disposition, in gravel and stone, and is good against flatulence, windy colic, hiccough, dysentery, chronic coughs, etc (tea); to mitigate the pain of cancerous ulcers (root poultice); cleanse running sores and ulcers (leaves wth honey); used to counter cystitis and kidney stone formation, and to diminish stones that have already formed (leaf infusion); in the treatment of diabetes (flower infusion); for threadworms (grated raw root); used in the treatment of oedema, flatulent indigestion and menstrual problems (root infusion); a traditional 'morning after' contraceptive (seed).

Dosage
Infusion: 2 to 4 fluid ounces, 3 or 4 times daily.
Powdered seeds: 20 to 60 grains.

Reference

Calotropis gigantea (L.) W.T.Aiton


Family : Asclepiadaceae

Synonym(s) : Asclepias gigantea Linnaeus, Periploca cochinchinensis Loureiro, Streptocaulon cochinchinense (Loureiro) G. Don.

English Name : Giant Milk Weed, bowstring hemp, calotrope, crown flower, crownplant, madar

Origin : India

Description
Large, milky shrub,1-5 m in height. Stems woody and round; bark thick, light yellow or ash-grey, soft, corky, eeply fissured. Leaves fleshy, cuneate- obovate or obovate-oblong, 10.0-20.0 cm x 2.5-7.5 cm, smooth above, cottony below. Flowers purplish-lilac or white and are borne in axillary pedunculate - corymbs; corolla lobes spreading or reflexed. The follicles are 8.0 to 10.0 cm long, recurved and turgid. Seeds are numerous and broadly ovate.

Habitat
Wastelands and fallow land on Indian plains; also in Java and Ceylon. It is found growing up to an altitude of 900 m.

Parts Used : Root and its bark, leaf, flower, stem and latex

Herb Effects
Antiarrhythmic and alleviates spasms (root); anticancer (root and leaf); hypotensive (latex); laxative (plant juice); digestive, stomachic and tonic(flower); emetic, diaphoretic, alternative and purgative (root- bark and juice).

Active Ingredients
Giganteol and iso-giganteol (root bark); sapogenins (leaf); calotropins DI. DII. FI and FII (latex).

Medicinal Use
Toothache and laxative (plant juice); altering secretion of stomach acids, in the treatment of skin diseases, asthma, elephantiasis and leprosy (flowers); paralysis, arthralgia, swellings and intermittent fevers (leaves). The tribals of South Rajasthan apply latex in the treatment of Guinea worm disease (Joshi, 1991).

Contraindication
Do not use while pregnant.

Reference

Bauhinia tomentosa L.


Family : Fabaceae

Synonym(s) : Bauhinia binata Naves., Bauhinia taitensis Taub., Bauhinia hookeri F. Muell, Bauhinia picta DC.

English Name : Yellow Bauhinia, Bell bauhinia, Hairy bauhinia, Mountain ebony, Orchid tree, St. Thomas tree, Variegated bauhinia, Yellow tree bauhinia

Origin : Tropical Asia and Africa

Description
An erect, branched shrub attaining a height of 1.5 to 3 meters. The branchlets, lower surfaces of the leaves, and pods are somewhat hairy. Leaves are 4 to 7 centimeters long, about as wide, and split about one-third to the base, into two, with oval, rounded lobes. Flowers are pale lemon yellow, usually in pairs on axillary peduncles. Pods are 9 to 11 centimeters long, about 1.5 centimeters wide, flattened, and contain 6 to 10 small seeds.

Habitat
Found in woodland, riverine bush and coastal dune bush.

Parts Used : Stem-bark, root-bark, flower, fruit and seed

Herb Effects
Vermifuge (decoction of the root-bark); used as an astringent gargle (infusion of bark); diuretic (fruit); tonic and aphrodisiac (seeds).

Medicinal Use
The bruised bark is applied externally to tumors and wounds. A decoction of the root bark is used for abdominal troubles and for inflammation of the liver. An infusion of the root bark is used as an external application to inflamed glands, abscesses and skin conditions. The leaf is an ingredient in a plaster applied to abscesses. The flower is used as a remedy for dysentery and diarrhoea. A paste of the seed made with vinegar is used as a local application to the wounds produced by venomous animals.

Reference

Bauhinia purpurea L.


Family : Fabaceae

Synonym(s) : Bauhinia triandra Roxb.

English Name : Purple Orchid-Tree

Origin : South East Asia

Description
A small or medium sized tree with ashy grey or brown nearly smooth bark. Leaves cleft about half-way down with 9 to 11 strong nerves from the top of the stalk. The leaf consists of two leaflets joined together thus making the characteristic leaf by which the Bauhinias are recognized. Flowers usually rosy purple, large and showy, the flower buds 5-angled, appearing when the tree is in leaf. Calyx consisting of a lower tubular portion less than ½ inch long an upper portion twice as long as the tube which usually splits into two reflexed segments, one notched at the tip, the other 3-toothed. Petals 1½ - 2 in. long. Stamens 3 or occasionally 4 fully developed. Pod 6 to 10 in. long ¾ inch wide, bursting suddenly when dry, the valves spirally twisting owing to the unequal tension within which occurs during drying and ultimately causes the pod to burst and throws the seeds away from the tree.

Habitat
Commonly cultivated near sea level, or possibly sparingly naturalized along roadsides.

Parts Used : Bark, Root and Flower.

Herb Effects
Astringent, anthelmintic, carminative, laxative.

Medicinal Use
Used to treat gastric ulcer, swellings, leprosy, cough, menstrual disorders, glandular diseases and prolapse of the rectum, haemorrhagic diseases, leucorrhoea and coughs.

Reference

Barleria prionitis L.


Family : Acanthaceae

English Name : Barleria, Lobed needle grass

Origin : Tropical Asia, Africa and India

Description
A much-branched, usually prickly shrub up to 3 m tall, with whitish stems and rounded branches. Leaves opposite, elliptic, acuminate, lineolate, bristle-tipped, entire, 9-18 cm long and 2.5 to 5.7 cm wide, glabrous above, young leaves often pubescent beneath. Flowers orange-yellow or cream-coloured, sessile, borne in axillary foliaceous bristle-tipped bracts. Fruits ovoid, 1.8 to 2.5 cm long with a tapering beak, 2-seeded.

Habitat
Rocky slopes of foothills in Garhwal (Himalayas) and tropical areas in India.

Parts Used : Flower, leaf, bark., stem, whole plant and root.

Herb Effects
Induces perspiration (bark juice); antiseptic (plant); expectorant (bark juice).

Active Ingredients
Barlerin and acetylbarlerin (leaf and stem); scutellarein-7-neohesperidoside (flower).

Medicinal Use
As an expectorant (bark juice) and in catarrh (of children) (plant juice); in whooping cough and bronchitis (plant decoction); for wounds (leaf). as a poultice to promote healing of wounds and to relieve rheumatic pains, scabies and itches (crushed leaves); as a gargle to relieve toothache (leaf decoction).

Reference

Achyranthes bidentata Blume


Family : Amaranthaceae

English Name : Niu Xi

Description
Herbs perennial, 70-120 cm tall. Stem green or tinged purple, angulate or quadrangular, appressed or spreading pubescent, or nearly glabrous; branches opposite. Petioles 0.5-3 cm, hairy; leaf blade elliptic or elliptic-lanceolate, rarely oblanceolate, 4.5-12 × 2-7.5 cm, both surfaces annexed or spreading pubescent, base cuneate or broadly cuneate, caudate. Spikes terminal or axillary, 3-5 cm; rachis 1-2 cm, white hairy. Flowers dense, ca. 5 mm. Bracts reflexed after anthesis, broadly ovate, 2-3 mm, apex acuminate; bracteoles 2.5-3 mm, spiny, base 2-parted, apex curved. Tepals shiny, lanceolate, 3-5 mm, with a midvein, apex acute. Stamens 2-2.5 mm; pseudostaminodes slightly serrulate, apex rounded. Utricles yellowish brown, shiny, oblong, 2-2.5 mm, smooth. Seeds light brown, oblong, ca. 1 mm.

Habitat
Forest edges, the sides of streams and shrubberies

Parts Used : Stem, herb, roots

Herb Effects
Anodyne, antiinflammatory, antirheumatic, bitter, digestive, diuretic, emmenagogue and vasodilator (roots).

Medicinal Use
In the treatment of aching back and knees and pain of the lower limbs (roots); to treat hypertension, back pains, urine in the blood, menstrual pain, bleeding, lowers blood cholesterol levels and so is used in the treatment of atherosclerosis(herb); toothache, indigestion and asthma (root juice); for pyorrhoea (stem).

Reference

Taxus baccata L.


Family : Taxaceae

English Name : Yew

Origin : Central and Southern Europe

Description
It is a small evergreen or medium sized tree with fluted stem and reddish grey bark. Leaves are 2.5 to 3.5 cm long, linear, flattened, distchious, acute and narrowed into a short petiole. Male cones are subglobose and solitary in leaf axis and females are also solitary, axillary with a single erect ovule. The fruits are red coloured with woody testa. The fruit is a fleshy berry about 10mm in diameter and containing a single seed.

Habitat
Kashmir to Khasi hills (in the temperate Himalayas. from 1800 to 3000 m); also in Europe. Asia Minor and northern Africa.

Parts Used : Bark, wood, leaf, fruit and aerial part

Herb Effects
All parts of the plant, except the fleshy fruit, are antispasmodic, cardiotonic, diaphoretic, emmenagogue, expectorant, narcotic and purgative; cardiotonic and abortifacient (leaf); anticancer (bark); “hypothesmic activity” (aerial part); antispasmodic and sedative (fruit and leaf); narcotic and toxic (leaf. young aerial part and shoot).

Active Ingredients
Beta-carotene, lycopene, zeaxanthin (fruit); beta-sitosterol, ephedrine, formic acid, gallic acid, ginkgetin, millosine, HCN, tannic acid, taxine A and B4, taxol (leaf); taxol, ecdysterone, campesterol and beta-sitosterol (bark).

Medicinal Use
The leaves have been used internally in the treatment of asthma, bronchitis, hiccup, indigestion, rheumatism and epilepsy. Externally, the leaves have been used in a steam bath as a treatment for rheumatism. A homeopathic remedy is made from the young shoots and the berries. It is used in the treatment of cystitis, eruptions, headaches, heart and kidney problems, rheumatism etc.

Dosage
Powder: 3 to 5 g
Leaves: 1 to 5 grains.

Contraindication
All parts of the plant, except the flesh of the fruit, are highly poisonous, having a paralyzing affect on the heart.

Reference

Monday, December 15, 2008

Sapindus laurifolius Vahl

Family : Sapindaceae

Synonym(s) : Sapindus trifoliatus L

English Name : Soap Nut Tree of South India

Origin : Peninsular India

Description
Big tree. Leaves up to 30 cm long; leaflets elliptic-lanceolate, acute. Petals without scales


Habitat
Forests of India

Parts Used : Fruit (including the pericarp and rind).,seed and root bark

Herb Effects
Laxative and anthelmintic (fruit and root bark); androgenic (fruit); contraceptive (seed and fruit); stimulates the central nervous system (fruit rind).

Active Ingredients
Methylhederagenate, sapindic acid, oleanolate and a saponin (pericarp).

Medicinal Use
As a tonic, laxative, anthelmintic, in hysteria and asthma (fruit and root bark).

Reference

Rauvolfia tetraphylla L.



Family : Apocynaceae

Synonym(s) : Rauvolfia canescens L., Rauvolfia tomentosa

English Name : Be-still tree (USA), Devil-pepper, Four-leaf devil-pepper, Four-leaved devil pepper, Milkbush.

Origin : West Indies

Description
A small, much-branched woody shrub, 0.6 to 1.2 m high. Leaves whorled, ovate-elliptic. Flowers greenish-white or creamy white in umbellate cymes. Fruits (drupes) ovoid, deep red or purple when ripe; seeds oblong, rugose.

Habitat
Forests of warm and wet parts of India.

Parts Used : Root and plant

Herb Effects
Hypotensive and sedative (root); stimulates the central nervous and cardiovascular systems (plant).

Active Ingredients
Canescine, rauvollscine, reserpine, recanescine, yohimbine (root alkaloids); ajmalicine, ajmaline, corynanthine, serpentine (plant)

Medicinal Use
The roots are hypotensive and sedative. An extract of the plant mixed with castor oil is prescribed as a liniment to treat certain chronic and refractory skin ailments.

Reference

Papaver somniferum L.


Family : Papaveraceae

Synonym(s) : Papaver officinale, Gmel., Papaver hortense, Huss. Papaver setigerum DC.

English Name : Poppy Seed. Opium. White Poppy and Mawseed

Origin : Mediterranean region

Description
The plant is an erect, herbaceous annual, varying much in the colourof its flowers, as well as in the shape of the fruit and colour of the seeds. All parts of the plant, particularly the walls of the capsules, or seed-vessels, contain a system of laticiferous vessels, filled with a white latex. The flowers vary in colour from pure white to reddish purple. In the wild plant, they are pale lilac with a purple spot at the base of each petal. The capsules vary much in shape and size. They are usually hemispherical, but depressed at the top, where the many-rayed stigma occupies the centre; they have a swollen ring below where the capsule joins the stalk. Some varieties are ovoid, others again depressed both at summit and base. The small kidney-shaped seeds, minute and very numerous, are attached to lateral projections from the inner walls of the capsule and vary in colour from whitish to slate. The heads are of a pale glaucous green when young. As they mature and ripen they change to a yellowish brown, and are then cut from the stem if the dried poppy heads are required.

Habitat
Often found on wastelands; Asia Minor, parts of Europe, India, Turkey, Persia, northwestern Africa, China and North America.

Parts Used : Latex, seed, flower, fruit and plant

Herb Effects
Analgesic, aphrodisiac, astringent, narcotic, hypothermic and lowers blood pressure (latex); alleviates spasms and stimulates the cardiovascular system (fruit); laxative (seed); increases nerve strength, sedative, relieves pain, anticonvulsive, emollient.

Active Ingredients
Allocryptopine, apomorphine, berberine, papaverine, thebaine, narceine, morphine, reticuline, rhoeadine, sanguinarine (plant); alpha-linolenic acid, arginine, ascorbic acid, beta-carotene, glutamic acid, glycine, histidine, lecithin, linoleic acid, methionine, niacin, oleic acid, oxalic acid, palmitic acid, phenylalanine, riboflavin, squalene, stearic acid, thiamin, tryptophan, tyrosine (seed); citric acid, codeine, magnoflorine, malic acid, narcotine, (latex exudate); papaverine (fruit).

Medicinal Use
Bruises, sprains, toothache, cancer, tumors of the abdomen, catarrh, colds, conjunctivitis, ophthalmia fever, headache, diarrhea, dysentery, dysmenorrhea, hypertension, insomnia, leprosy, malaria, mania, nausea, stomach ache, neuralgia, whooping cough. It is administered to relieve pain and calm excitement.

Contraindication
In its primary influence it is a brain and nerve stimulant. It, is, therefore, contra-indicated where there is an irritated and overstimulated nervous system, with flushed face, bright eyes with contracted pupils, dry, hot skin, dry, coated tongue and inactivity of the excretory functions. Administered under these circumstances, it will increase the restlessness and induce general distress and painful wakefulness.


Reference

Onosma bracteatum WALL


Family : Boraginaceae

English Name : Cow's Tongue Plant

Origin : India and Nepal

Description
The stem is simple, hairy, arising from a cluster of radical leaves, which are lanceolate and with conspicuous hairy pallid bases. The leaves are with evident veins. The cauline leaves are lanceolate. The flowers are blue or purple, trumpet-shaped, in dense, silky, glomaerate clusters. The nut-lets are grey, coarsely rugose and tuberculate.

Habitat
Found abundantly in the Nortwestern Himalayas.

Parts Used : Flowers and leaf (dried)

Herb Effects
The plant is alterative, demulcent, refrigerant, tonic, diuretic, reduces fever and alleviates spasms.

Medicinal Use
For reducing fever and alleviating spasms. A decoction is used in the treatment of rheumatism, syphilis and leprosy. The plant is considered to be useful in relieving excessive thirst and restlessness in febrile excitement, and also to be useful in relieving functional palpitation of the heart, irritation of the bladder and stomach, and strangury.

Reference

Nepeta hindostana (Roth) Haines


Family : Lamiaceae

Synonym(s) : Nepeta ruderalis Buch. Ham.

English Name : Cal Mint

Description
An erect or ascending herb, 15-40 cm. high. Leaves broadly ovate or orbicular, crenate; flowers blue-purple; nutlets broadly oblong, brown with white dots.

Habitat
Ravines and wastelands.

Parts Used : Plant, leaf and flower

Herb Effects
Antiinflammatory and stimulates the heart (plant); carminative and stimulant (leaf and flower).

Active Ingredients
Nepehinal (a triterpenoid aldehyde), nepedinol, nepetidone, triterpenic acid, beta-sitosterol, stigmasterol and flavonoids (including nepitrin) (plant).

Medicinal Use
Sore throat (decoction), reducing fever, antigonorrheic, syncope, anxiety and a cardiotonic for several heart problems, such as Angina pectoris (plant).

Reference

Mangifera indica L.


Family : Anacardiaceae

Synonym(s) : Mangifera amba Forsk., Mangifera domestica Gaertn., Mangifera gladiata Boj., Mangifera racemosa Boj., Mangifera rubra Boj.

English Name : Mango

Origin : Southern Asia, especially eastern India, Burma, and the Andaman Islands

Description
A large, evergreen tree, 10 to 45 m tall, with a heavy, dome-shaped crown and a straight, stout bole. Bark thick, rough, dark grey, flaking off when old. Leaves linear-oblong or elliptic-lanceolate, 10 to 30 cm long and 2 to 9 cm wide, with an aromatic, resinous odour. Inflorescence a large panicle, containing up to 3000 flowers; flowers tiny, reddish-white or yellowish-green, with a pungent odour; staminate and hermaphrodite flowers borne in the same panicle. Fruit a large drupe, highly variable in form and size; fruit skin thick or thin, leathery, green, yelowish or red, often dotted with numerous glands; flesh (mesocarp) whitish-yellow, yellow or orange, firm, soft or juicy, slightly acidic to sweet, richly aromatic; fibres throughout the flesh in some varieties, absent or few in others; seed solitary, ovoid-oblique, encased in a hard, compressed, fibrous endocarp.

Habitat
Grows from sea level to 1200 m (3950 ft) in tropical latitudes; however, most commercial varieties are grown below 600 m (1950 ft); rainfall 400–3600 mm (16–140 in), fruits best with a well defined winter dry period.

Parts Used : Bark, fruit, flower and plant

Herb Effects
Astringent (bark and flower); restores and invigorates mucous membranes (bark); Diuretic, antiinflammatory, cardiotonic, promotes the formation and/or secretion of bile and antibacterial (against gram-positive strains).

Active Ingredients
Mangiferine (plant extract, leaf and bark); catechin, friedelin, butin, beta-sitosterol, leucocyanidin, fisetin and quercetin (plant extract); citric, oxalic, malic and succinic acids (unripe fruit); vitamins A and C beta-carotene and xanthophyll (ripe fruit).

Medicinal Use
In rheumatism, diphtheria and diarrhea (bark and flower); diabetes, scalds and burns (leaf); for severe bleeding, catarrh, hemoptysis, external ulcers, toothache and for preventing plaques of the teeth; in cases of diarrhea, chronic dysentery, catarrh of the bladder and chronic urethritis resulting from gonorrhea (dried mango flowers); on cracks in the feet and on scabies, and is used to treat syphilis (resinous gum from the trunk); as vermifuges and as astringents in diarrhea, hemorrhages and bleeding hemorrhoids (kernel decoction and powder); for diarrhea, fever, chest complaints, diabetes, hypertension etc (leaf decoction); scurvy and sthomachache (fruit).

Reference

Lavandula stoechas L.


Family : Lamiaceae

Synonym(s) : Stoechas officinarum Mill.

English Name : French lavender

Description
A perennial shrub, it usually grows to 30-100 cm tall and wide. The leaves are 1-4 cm long, greyish tomentose. The flowers are pinkish-purple (lavender-coloured), produced on spikes 2-3 cm long at the top of slender leafless stems 10-30 cm long; each flower is subtended by a bract 4-8 mm long. At the top of the spike are a number of much larger, sterile bracts (no flowers between them), 10-50 mm long and bright lavender purple (rarely white).

Habitat
Dry hills, garigue and open woods on limestone and granite soils.

Parts Used : Flowers

Herb Effects
Antiasthmatic, antiseptic, antispasmodic, digestive and expectorant (flowers, and the essential oil)

Active Ingredients
d-Camphor

Medicinal Use
For wounds, ulcers, sores etc and as a relaxing oil for massage (essential oil); used in teas to soothe headaches and relax the nerves.

Reference

Jasminum sambac (L.) AIT.


Family : Oleaceae

English Name : Arabian jasmine, Mohle flowers, Zambac

Origin : India, Bengal to Ceylon and Burma

Description
It is a scandent shrub with pubescent young shoots. Leaves are opposite, ovate or elliptic, obtuse or acute and glabrous or pubescent. Flowers are 3 to many flowered and are borne in terminal cymes or solitary. The berries are globose and blue-black.

Habitat
0-600 m in its native habitat; widely cultivated

Parts Used : Fruit, leaves and flowers

Herb Effects
Galactagogue (fruit, leaves and flowers)

Active Ingredients
Betulinic acid (leaf)

Medicinal Use
A poultice of the bruised root or leaves or flowers unmoistened applied to the breasts to arrest the secretion of milk in the puerperal state in cases of threatened abscess.

Contraindication
Avoid during pregnancy

Reference

Indigofera tinctoria L.


Family : Fabaceae

Synonym(s) : Indigofera leptostachys DC., Indigofera pulchella sensu Baker

English Name : True or Indian Indigo, black henna

Origin : Probably tropical west Africa (including Senegal)

Description
A small shrub, 4 to 6 feet high, with slender, spreading, rather angular branches, rough with short adpressed white hairs. Leaves alternate, 3 or 4 inches long, shortly stalked, unequally pinnate, with small, setaceous stipules, rachis stiff, tapering, hairy; leaflets in 4 to 6 opposite pairs and an odd one, very shortly stalked, each with a minute stipella at the base, oval-or obovate-oblong, entire, ½ to ¾ inch long, glabrous and bluish green above, silky with white adpressed hairs and paler beneath.

Habitat
Forests, rocky areas and along roads in India; also in Great Britain and the tropics of America and Africa.

Parts Used : Leaf, plant and its aerial part.

Herb Effects
Depresses the central nervous system and hypoglycemic (aerial part); irritates the mucosa of the alimentary canal.

Active Ingredients
Indigotin, indican, phosphoric acid (leaf); from an alcohol extract of plant.

Medicinal Use
Epilepsy, lumbago, asthma, leucoderma, hemorrhoids and enlargement of the liver and spleen (plant); in damage to the liver (alcohol extract from plant); convulsions in infants, hysteria, chorea and amenorrhea.

Dosage
1 to 20 grains.

Reference