Thursday, February 26, 2009

Pinus roxburghii Sarg.


English Name : Chir Tree

Family : Pinaceae

Origin : Himalaya

Description
A tall tree, with a spreading crown. Branches more or less whorled; bark dark grey, often reddish, deeply fissured, rough, exfoliating in longitudinally elongated plates; leaves in clusters of three, 20-30 cm long, triquetrous, finely toothed, light green, persisting on an average for a year and a half; male flowers about 1.5 cm long, arranged in the form of cones; female cones, solitary or 2-5 together, ovoid, 10-20 cm. x 7.5-13.0 cm. when ripe, brown, woody; seeds winged; without wing 7.5-13.0 mm.x 5.0-6.5 mm.; wings long, membranous.

Parts Used : Oil and resin

Herb Effects
Rubefacient, expectorant, antiseptic, diuretic and vermifuge (oil); diaphoretic and stimulant (wood).

Active Ingredients
Alpha-pinene, beta-pinene, camphene, delta-3-carene (resin)

Medicinal Use
In lumbago, rheumatism, in chronic bronchitis, neuralgia, arthritis, skin complaints, wounds, sores, burns, boils etc and is used in the form of liniment plasters, poultices, herbal steam baths and inhalers (oil).

Reference

Pimpinella anisum L


English Name : Aniseed and Anise

Family : Apiaceae

Origin : Eastern Mediterranean region

Description
Anise is a dainty, white-flowered urnbelliferous annual, about 18 inches high, with secondary feather-like leaflets of bright green, hence its name, Pimpinella, from dipinella, or twicepinnate, in allusion to the form of the leaves.

Parts Used : Fruit and its essential oil

Herb Effects
The seed is antiseptic, antispasmodic, aromatic, carminative, digestive, expectorant, pectoral, stimulant, stomachic, tonic, slightly diuretic, stimulates the secretion of gastric juices, antimicrobial and kills certain insects.

Active Ingredients
8-methoxypsoralen and 5-methoxypsoralen (furocoumarins of fruit); anethole (essential fruit oil); alpha-pinene, alpha-terpineol, ascorbic acid, fatty oil, limonene, rutin, sugars, scopoletin and proteins (fruit); caffeic acid, chlorogenic acid, eugenol, myristicin, (plant); imperatorin (leaf).

Medicinal Use
In the treatment of various respiratory problems. It is a sexual stimulant and increases the production of breast-milk. It is used the treatment of asthma, whooping couch, coughs and pectoral affections and digestive disorders such as wind, bloating, colic, nausea and indigestion. Externally it is used to treat infestations of lice and scabies. Anise warms the abdomen, dispels gas and is helpful for belching, vomiting, chronic diarrhea, abdominal pains, sluggish digestion and hernia. Star Anise is used as a sedative, especially for nervousness and to induce sleep.

Dosage
Infusion: 1 tsp of crushed fruit/cup of water taken 3 times per day (mainly for children).
For colic, the dose is 10 to 30 grains of bruised or powdered seeds infused in distilled water, taken in wineglassful doses, or 4 to 20 drops of the essential oil on sugar. For the restlessness of languid digestion, a dose of essence of aniseed in hot water at bedtime is much commended.

Contraindication
Although many herbalists recommend anise as a remedy for morning sickness during pregnancy, it is not recommended for use during pregnancy. If your physician recommend against taking any birth control pills, avoid using anise as it has some estrogen activity. Estrogen may contribute to migraine headaches and abnormal blood clotting and promote the development of certain types of brain tumors.

Reference

Physalis minima L.


English Name : Sunberry

Family : Solanaceae

Origin : Tropical America

Description
A herbaceous annual up to 30 cm. high, with striate stems, often pubescent. Leaves alternate, ovate-soinute, more or less pubescent, apex acute, base cuneate, margins shallowly toothed or lobed; petiole 1.3 to 3.2 cm long. Flowers solitary, pedicels very slender, noding, 3 to 8 mm long. Fruit (berry) round, 8 to 12 mm in diameter, green, many-seeded, entirely enclosed in the enlarged, 5 to 10 ribbed, membranous calyx. Seeds smooth or tuberculate, rugose, compressed, 2 mm in diameter, orange-yellow.

Habitat
Often found on bunds and irrigated fields in India.

Parts Used : Fruit and aerial part

Herb Effects
The fruit is appetizer, bitter, diuretic, laxative and tonic. Extracts from the plant have shown anticancer activity; diuretic (aerial part and fruit); abortifacient (aerial part).

Active Ingredients
Dihydroxyphysalin B2-4 and physalins A. B and X (aerial part)

Medicinal Use
Gonorrhea, as a tonic, diuretic and laxative (fruit). The juice of the leaves is used as a remedy for earache.

Dosage
Use 15 to 30 gms dried material in decoction.

Reference

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Phyllanthus virgatus G.FORSTER


English Name : Seed-under-leaf

Family : Euphorbiaceae

Description
An erect or procumbent, annual or perennial woody herb usually up to 20 cm tall. Leaves distichous, closely placed and often overlapping on branchlets, linear-oblong to obovate, 5 to 20 mm long and 3 to 6 mm side, apex apiculate, base rounded, glaucous beneath; stipules peltate, reddish-brown. Flowers minute, axillary; male flowers brownish-purple, usually 2 to 3 together, sessile; female flowers white, solitary on slender pedicels, usually larger than the male; sepals 0.8 mm long, oblong, obtuse, those of female flowers slightly enlarged in fruit. Fruits (capsules) depressed-globose, slightly 3-lobed, 2.5 mm in diameter, smooth to slightly rough, long stalked, dark brown; seeds 1.2 to 1.5 mm long, trigonous, rounded on the back, with red tubercles.

Habitat
Often found in gardens and fields in India.

Parts Used : Leaf, root, fruit, flower and plant

Herb Effects
Antigonorrheic (fruit and flower) and antiseptic (plant)

Active Ingredients
Ascorbic and alpha-ketoglutaric acids (leaf)

Medicinal Use
The bruised fresh leaves mixed with buttermilk is used to treat ophthalmia and as a wash to relieve itching. The fresh leaves, flowers and fruits are made into an electuary with cumin seed and sugar to treat gonorrhoea. A preparation of the root is applied to promote healing of mammary abscesses.

Reference

Phyllanthus urinaria L.


Family : Euphorbiaceae

Origin : Tropical East Asia

Description
An erect, annual or perennial herb 30 to 60 cm tall. Leaves disticous, closely placed, oblong-elliptic 6 to 13 mm long and 2.5 to 6.0 mm wide, apex apiculate, base rounded, stipules peltate. Flowers minute axillary, yellowish-white; male flowers pedicelled and fascicled, female solitary and sessile; sepals 0.8 to 1.0 mm long. Fruits capsules globose, scarcely lobed, echinate. Seeds 1.5 mm long, trigonous and rounded.

Habitat
Wastelands and in cultivated fields of the Indian plains.

Parts Used : Leaf, stem and plant

Herb Effects
The plant has astringent, deobstruent, stomachic, carminative, diuretic, febrifugal, antiseptic, cooling properties, antidropsical, antigonorrheic and antibacterial (plant).

Active Ingredients
Quercetin, quercitrin, rutin and astragalin (stem and leaf).

Medicinal Use
To treat dropsy, gonorrhoea, frequent menstruation, anemia and diabetes and as a poultice for skin ulcers, sores, swelling and itchiness (whole plant); used in jaundice and gonorrhoea (decoction of leaves); in treating kidney and gall stones, the lowering of viral load in hepatitis disease (Dried leaves).

Dosage
Tincture: 1 - 3 ml / daily.
Infusion: 1 - 2 cups / day (1 - 2 teaspoons / cup) .

Reference

Phyllanthus reticulatus Poir.


English Name : Reticulated leaf-flower, Potato bush

Family : Phyllanthaceae

Description
A monoecious, glabrous to pubescent, bushy shrub or small tree up to 5(-18) m tall with disagreeable scent, with phyllanthoid branching, bark rough, brown or grey, cataphylls lanceolate, with triangular stipules; deciduous branchlets steeply ascending, (8.5-)10-20(-25) cm long, with (10-)13-20(-25) leaves. Leaves elliptical to elliptical-ovate or elliptical-obovate, 10-50 mm x 5-27 mm, cuneate to rounded at base, apex obtuse to emarginate, shortly petiolate, stipules lanceolate. Cymules usually axillary or sometimes on leafless shoots and resembling a raceme, usually bisexual and composed of 1(-2) female flowers and up to 8 male ones; flowers with 5-6 calyx lobes and 5(-6) disk segments; male flowers with 5-6 stamens, in two sets, one with longer filaments fused into a central column and one with shorter, free filaments, anthers free, dehiscing longitudinally; female flowers on a slender pedicel, styles bifid, free but connivent over the top of the ovary. Fruit a berry, globose or oblate, 4-6 mm in diameter, smooth, blueish-black when ripe. Seeds nearly smooth.

Habitat
Frequently grows along watercourses, but also in scrub and hedges, on waste places, and in mixed evergreen forest. It is found in India and Taiwan up to 2000 m altitude. In Malesia it is usually confined to the lowlands, up to 800 m. This species is often common in moist places.

Parts Used : Plant, leaf, stem and bark

Herb Effects
Diuretic, alterative, depurative, refrigerant and odontalgic (decoction of the leaves or bark).

Medicinal Use
Applied to the abdomen as a remedy for pinworms (leaves); rubbed onto the chest to alleviate asthma (stems and leaves); taken internally for asthma (infusion of the roots); to treat a sore throat (decoction of leaves); dusted over wounds to aid the healing process (dried and powdered leaves); a cure for dysentery (infusion of the bark); to treat smallpox and syphilis (plant).

Reference

Phyllanthus maderaspatensis L.


English Name : Madras Leaf-flower

Family : Phyllanthaceae

Origin : Madagascar

Description
A monoecious, annual or perennial, erect to spreading, unbranched to much branched, glabrous herb up to 90(-120) cm tall with unspecialized branching. Leaves arranged spirally, linear to oblanceolate, (5-)10-30(-60) mm x (1-)2-7(-17) mm, cuneate to broadly cuneate at base, acute to rounded at apex, on a petiole about 1 mm long, with ovate-lanceolate stipules. Flowers membranous, in axillary fascicles; proximal axils of branches with solitary female flowers, distal ones with 1-4 male flowers and a single female one; male flowers with 6 calyx lobes, yellowish-green or whitish, disk segments 6, stamens 3, filaments partly united, anthers free, vertically dehiscing; female flowers pedicellate, with 6 calyx lobes, dark green, sometimes flushed with red or pink, margins white, disk with 6 free segments, styles free, shortly bifid. Fruit an oblate capsule, about 3 mm in diameter, smooth. Seeds with longitudinal rows of tubercles on the back.

Habitat
Found in deciduous woodland, wooded savanna, beaches, dunes, also along streams and ponds, in cultivated and disturbed places, on a wide variety of soils, up to 1850 m altitude.

Parts Used : Plant, leaf and seed

Herb Effects
Laxative, carminative and diuretic (seeds).

Medicinal Use
A leaf infusion is used to treat headache. Powder from dried plant material mixed with cow milk is given orally for eight days to treat jaundice.

Reference

Phyllanthus fraternus WEBSTER


English Name : Bhumiamala

Family : Euphorbiaceae

Origin : Indian sub-continent

Description
A herb that grows up to 60 cm. The plant is bitter in taste, the leaves are small, green, and short-petioled with a thin and glaucous under surface. The flowers are unisexual, monoecious, minute, greenish, and inconspicuous, short-stalked and borne in pairs in the axils of the leaves. The fruit is a capsule, globose, slightly depressed at the top with six enervations. In the roots, the secondary growth starts very early and is well pronounced. There is a distinct cambium. No starch grains, mineral crystals or latex vessels are seen both in root and stem.

Parts Used : Plant, fresh leaves and root.

Herb Effects
Bitter in taste, astringent, stomachic, diuretic, febrifuge and antiseptic (plant).

Medicinal Use
Used in gastric complaints including dyspepsia, colic, diarrhoea and dysentery; also employed in dropsy and diseases of urino-genital system, in diabetes (plant); in dysentery (young shoots); for jaundice (fresh roots); as a refrigerant for scalp (leaves decoction); for application on oedematous swellings and ulcers (leaves, roots); to offensive sores and ulcers (latex).

Reference

Phyla nodiflora (L.) GREENE.


Family : Verbenaceae

Origin : Tropics and Subtropics

Description
A creeping annual herb, often rooting at the nodes, with numerous subquadrangular branches. Leaves opposite, subsessile, 2 to 3.2 cm long and 1 to 2 cm wide, spathulate or obovate, base cuneate, apex rounded, margins sharply serrate near the apex appressedly hairy on both sides with white hairs. Flowers sessile, densely packed in long pedunculate axillary heads that are at first globose, becoming elongate and spicate in fruit; peduncles 2.5 to 7.5 cm long; bracts 2.5 mm long, elliptic or obovate, shortly acuminate. Fruits globose-oblong, 1.5 to 2 mm in diameter, dry splitting into two 1-seeded glabrous convex pyrenes.

Habitat
Prefers moist places; in India.

Parts Used : Plant

Herb Effects
The plant is anodyne, antibacterial, deobstruent, diuretic, febrifuge, emmenagogue, parasiticide and refrigerant.

Active Ingredients
Lippiflorins A and B and nodiflorins A and B

Medicinal Use
For boils, reducing fever and as a diuretic. It is used in the treatment of hookworm. The plant is cooling, diuretic, emmenagogue and used in the form of a paste as maturant for boils, swollen cervical glands, erysipelas and chronic indolent ulcers. It is used in lack of bowel movements and pain in knee joints. Infusion of leaves and tender stalks is useful in indigestion in children and also after delivery in women.

Reference

Pergularia daemia (FORSK.) CHOIV.


English Name : Hairknot Plant

Family : Asclepiadaceae

Origin : Tropical Africa to Sri Lanka

Description
A slender, hispid, fetid-smelling perennial climber. Leaves opposite, membranous, 3 to 9 cm long and about as wide broadly ovate, orbicular or deeply cordate, acute or short-acuminate at apex, pubescent beneath. Flowers greenish-yellow or dull white tinged with purple, borne in axillary, long-peduncled, drooping clusters. Fruits (follicles) lanceolate, long, pointed, about 5 cm long, covered with soft spines; seeds pubescent, broadly ovate.

Habitat
Forests; warmer areas of India.

Parts Used : Root bark, seed, leaf and plant

Herb Effects
Laxative (root bark); alleviates spasms, antibacterial, hypothermic, musculotropic, stimulates the central nervous and cardiovascular systems, anthelmintic, emetic, expectorant and stimulates the uterus (plant).

Active Ingredients
Calotropin, calactin and calotropogenin, hentriacontane, betaine, lupeol, beta-sitosterol and alpha and beta-amyrin.

Medicinal Use
Stimulating the uterus, anthelmintic, in infantile diarrhea, expectorant. in catarrh and asthma (plant); laxative (root bark); as a poultice (in carbuncle) (leaf pulp). The plant extract has a stimulatory action on uterine and other involuntary muscles and is used to treat uterine and menstural troubles and to facilitate childbirth. The fresh, pulped leaves are applied as a poultice to relieve carbuncles. The leaf juice is an expectorant in catarrhal affections and is emetic; it is used to treat infantile diarrhoea; mixed with lime or ginger, it is applied externally to relieve rheumatic swellings.

Reference

Pentapetes phoenicea Linn.


English Name : Noon Flower, Midday Flower, Scarlet Mallow, Simine, Flor impia, Copper Cups

Family : Sterculiaceae

Origin : South Asia

Description
A branched herb, 60-150 cm. high. Leaves lanceolate, crenate-serrate; flowers red or scarlet, solitary or in pairs on short peduncles; capsules sub-globose, bristly; seeds 8-12, sub-globose, dotted.

Habitat
Found in rice fields, marshy and wet places throughout the hotter parts of India

Parts Used : Capsules, root

Herb Effects
Emollient (capsules); astringent, antibilious and antiphlegmonous (root)

Medicinal Use
Used for diseases of the bowels (capsules); alleviative of wind and fever (root)

Reference

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Oxalis corniculata L.


English Name : Indian Sorrel

Family : Oxalidaceae

Origin : India

Description
A delicate perennial herb, procumbent, hairy. Leaves alternate, 3 lobed. Inflorescence umbel. Flowers are pale pink or yellow, small, slender axillary peduncles; capsules linear, tomentose. Seeds numerous, dark brown, broadly ovoid.

Habitat
Prefers moist areas; found in gardens fields and wastelands of the warmer areas of India.

Parts Used : Root, leaf and plant

Herb Effects
Stops growth of Staphylococcus typhi (alcohol extract of leaves); reduces fever, antiscorbutic, aids in and stimulates digestion and curbs excessive thirst caused by severe heat or diabetes.Anthelmintic, antiphlogistic, antiscorbutic, astringent, depurative, diuretic, emmenagogue, febrifuge, lithontripic, stomachic and styptic.

Active Ingredients
Citric acid, tartaric acid, vitamins B1 and C and carotene.

Medicinal Use
Indigestion, anemia, swelling of the tympanum and hemorrhoids (fresh plant juice); dysentery and diarrhea (leaf and root); skin and eye disorders (such as warts and opacity of the cornea) and scurvy (plant); insomnia, jaundice and fever.

Contraindication
Contains a high concentration of oxalic acid and should therefore be avoided by persons suffering from gout. rheumatism and stones in the urinary tract. The leaves should not be eaten in large amounts since oxalic acid can bind up the body's supply of calcium leading to nutritional deficiency.

Reference

Oryza sativa L.


English Name : Rice. Brown Rice

Family : Poaceae

Origin : India and Indo-China

Description
The rice plant is an annual grass which is capable of producing rice grain twice a year, reaching a height of 50 to 130 cm or in deep-water varieties up to 2 m, forming small clumps. Roots are fibrous, arising from the base of the shoots. The stems are erect, composed of a series of nodes and internodes, the number of stems depend on the cultivar or variety and growing season; each node with a single leaf, sometimes with a branch (called tiller) or roots arising form the nodes; internodes are short at the base and progressively increasing in length towards the top. The leaves are in two ranks; the leaf sheaths at first enclosing each other forming a pseudostem, then later enclosing only the internode, the blade is linear, smooth to rough to the touch, often with spiny hairs on margin. The inflorescences are in terminal branched flower clusters bearing few or many flowers or spikelets depending on cultivar. The fruits, enclosed by seed covering called palea, are green and turning yellowish-brown to brown when ripe, varying in size and shaped, i.e. egg-shaped, ellipsoid or cylindrical and when dehusked the grain of commerce is usually whitish-yellow, brown or greyish-brown color.

Habitat
Rice fields, sites with shallow, standing or slow-running water.

Parts Used : Seed and grain

Herb Effects
Demulcent, refrigerant.

Active Ingredients
Acetaldehyde, allantoin, alpha-tocopherol, ascorbic acid, beta-carotene, beta-sitosterol, choline, cysteine, ferulic acid, glutamic acid, glycine, isoeugenol, lecithin, linoleic-acid, lutein, methionine, niacin, oleic acid, p-aminobenzoic acid, p-coumaric acid, trigonelline, vanillic acid.

Medicinal Use
The chief consumption of rice is as a food substance, it forms a light and digestible food for those in whom there is any tendency to diarrhoea or dysentery, but it contains less potash and vegetable acids than potatoes. A decoction of rice, is demulcent, refrigerant drink in febrile and inflammatory diseases, and in dysuria and similar affections. It is also be used as an enema in affections of the bowels. A poultice of rice may be used as a substitute for one of linseed meal, and finely powdered rice flour may be used, like that of wheat flour, for erysipelas, burns, scalds, etc. Rice starch may be used medicinally and in other ways in place of wheat starch.

Reference

Oroxylum indicum (L.) VENT.


English Name : Indian Trumpet

Family : Bignoniaceae

Origin : India

Description
It is a small, deciduous and soft wooded tree with few branches and a small open crown. The bark is soft, light, brownish-grey and corky outside. Leaves are opposite, 3-pinnate near base, 2-pinnate about the middle and simply pinnate towards apex, very large upto 150 cm in length, rachis stout and cylindric; leaflets 2 to 4 paired, ovate or elliptic, acuminate, entire and glabrous with a rounded or cordate base. The flowers are white or purplish and numerous in large and erect racemes. The fruits are flat and straight capsules. Seeds are many, and are surrounded by abroad transparent white papery wing.

Habitat
Open forested areas of India (except the more arid parts of western India).

Parts Used : Seed, fruit and bark (from stem and root).

Herb Effects
Laxative (seed); astringent and diaphoretic (root bark); diuretic (bark); alleviates spasms (fruit); anthelmintic, carminative and antiarthritic.

Active Ingredients
Oroxindin (seed); oroxylin-A, baicalein and chrysin (stem and root bark).

Medicinal Use
The root-bark is used as an astringent and tonic and also in diarrhoea and dysentery. The stem bark is used in acute rheumatism. In the form of an infusion, it is used as a diaphoretic. The fruits are used as carminative and stomachic, while the seeds are used as purgative. The roots are used in dropsy and the leaves are reputed as an emollient. Tender fruits are described as carminative and stomachic.

Dosage
1 and 2 grams per day, decocted in water, preferably with meals.

Reference

Nymphaea nouchali BURM. F.


Family : Nymphaeaceae

Description
A large perennial aquatic herb with short, erect, roundish, tuberous rhizome. Leaves floating, peltate, sharply sinnuate-toothed. Flowers large, floating, solitary, variable in colour from pure white to deep red. Fruit berry, spongy. Seeds many, minute, greyish black when dry with longitudinal striations.

Parts Used : Rhizome, flower and seeds

Herb Effects
Flowers are astringent and cardiotonic.

Medicinal Use
The rhizome has cooling and tonic properties. Used to treat diarrhoea, dysentery, dipsia and general debility. Seeds are cooling, constipating, aphrodisiac, stomachic and restorative. Used to treat dipsia, diarrhoea and dermatopathy.

Reference

Mirabilis jalapa L.


English Name : Marvel-of-Peru, Four o' clock

Family : Nyctaginaceae

Origin : South America

Description
It is a perennial plant that reaches a height of 50 to 100 cm from a tuberous root. Some cultivated species also can grow up to a meter in height. It produces beautiful flowers that usually open around 4 o'clock in the afternoon-hence its common name, four o'clocks. It is a popular ornamental plant grown worldwide for the beauty of its flowers (which can be white, red, pink, purple, or multicolored) and their sweet fragrance.

Parts Used : Leaves, root and flowers

Herb Effects
The root is aphrodisiac, diuretic and purgative; abortive, antibacterial, anticandidal, antifungal, antiviral, antispasmodic, uterine stimulant.

Active Ingredients
Beta-amyrin, beta-sitosterol, beta-sitosterol-beta D-glucoside, trigonelline.

Medicinal Use
It is used in the treatment of dropsy. The leaves are used to reduce inflammation. A decoction of them is used to treat abscesses. The leaf juice is used to treat wounds, conjunctivitis, edema, diarrhoea, indigestion,fungal infections, inflammation, pains and swellings.A paste of the root is applied as a poultice to treat scabies and muscular swellings.

Dosage
For viruses and candida generally one-half cup of a standard root infusion or 1-2 ml of a 4:1 tincture is taken twice daily. 1 gram of powdered root in capsules or tablets twice daily can be substituted if desired.

Reference

Mimusops elengi L.


English Name : Bullet Wood, Spanish cherry

Family : Sapotaceae

Origin : India, Sri Lanka, Burma

Description
It is a large evergreen tree with about 16 m in height and dark grey bark. Leaves are coriaceous, shining, elliptic and glabrous with undulate margins. The flowers are white and fragrant in axillary fascicles of 2 to 6 flowers and drooping. Calyx-lobes are 8 and ovate-lanceolate. Corolla lobes are in 2 circles in 2 series, the inner one is consisting of 8 to 10 lobes. Stamens are 8 and the ovary is hairy and 6 to 8 celled. The fruits are ovoid, 1.7 to 2.0 cm long and 1-seeded berries and reddish yellow when ripe.

Habitat
Common along roads, northern and peninsular India and the Andaman Islands.

Parts Used : Seed, root, leaf, bark, fruit and aerial part

Herb Effects
Kills sperm and alleviates spasms (seed), diuretic (aerial part), astringent, tonic, antipyretic.

Active Ingredients
Lauric, myristic, capric, stearic and palmitic acids (seed oil), saponins (seed), taraxerol, lupeol, alpha-spinasterol, quercitol and beta-sitosterol (root, seed and aerial part).

Medicinal Use
In snakebite (leaf), diarrhea and dysentery (fruit pulp) and as a tonic (bark powder), to treat dental disorders and toothache, constipation in children (seeds), for cleaning the teeth (Young twigs).

Dosage
Decoction: Boil the leaves of Mimusops elengi with water. Filter the decoction. Gargle with this lukewarm decoction thrice a day for three days (for toothache).
Juice (leaves): Put two to three drops of this juice inside the nose twice a day until cured (for Ozena).
Powder of flower : 1-2 Masha.
Decoction of bark : 50-100 ml.

Reference

Michelia champaca L.


English Name : Champak

Family : Magnoliaceae

Origin : India

Description
It is a large, graceful and evergreen tree with dark grey bark. Leaves are acuminate, lanceolate, coriaceous, entire, glabrous, dark green and shining above. The flowers are pale-yellow with a strong odour, solitary, axillary, bracteate and 2.5 to 5.0 cm in diameter. The sepals and petals are 15 to 21. Stamens are numerous, free and the carpels are densely packed on a sessile gynophore. The fruits are 7.5 to 10.0 cm long. Seeds are brown and 1 to 4 in each fruit.

Habitat
Lower hills of Assam hilly areas of southern India and the eastern Himalayas.

Parts Used : Root, bark, fruit and flower

Herb Effects
Febrifuge, stimulant, astringent, expectorant (bark); purgative and emmenagogue (root and root bark); stimulant, antispasmodic, tonic, stomachic, carminative, bitter and cooling (flowers and fruits).

Active Ingredients
Micheliolide, parthenolide and costunolide (root bark); liriodenine (root and stem bark).

Medicinal Use
For indigestion, boils, itching, nausea and fever (fruit and flower); as an abortifacient (bark). ; roots and are applied to abscesses; in dyspepsia, nausea and fever (infusion of flower); in vertigo and useful in cephalagia, opthalmia, gout and rheumatism (flower oil); for healing cracks in feet (seeds and fruits).

Contraindication
Avoid using oil during pregnancy.

Reference

Mesua ferrea L


English Name : Ironwood Tree, Ceylon ironwood, Cobra's saffron, Indian rose-chestnut

Family : Clusiaceae

Origin : Tropical Sri Lanka, India, southern Nepal, Indochina, and the Malay Peninsula

Description
A medium-sized to large evergreen tree with short trunk, often buttressed at the base. The bark is greyish or reddish brown; the leaves are lanceolate, coriaceous, generally covered with a waxy bloom underneath, red when young; the flowers are large, white and fragrant; the fruits are ovoid, nearly woody; the seeds are dark brown.

Parts Used : Flower, powder, stem, anthers, flower bud, leaves and seeds

Herb Effects
Astringent, antiinflammatory, antifungal, antibacterial and anthelmintic.

Active Ingredients
Volatile oil, mesuferrone-A and B, mesuaferrol, mesuanic acid, a- and ß-amyrin, betulinic acid and ß-sitosterol.

Medicinal Use
To treat diarrhoea with blood, hiccough, leucorrhoea for conception and bleeding piles (stamens and flowers), the leaves are applied to the head in the form of a poultice for severe colds, for sores, scabies, wounds, and rheumatism (seed oil), antidote for snake poison (roots), for bleeding hemorrhoids and dysentery with mucus (dried flowers), are also prescribed for excessive thirst, excessive perspiration, cough, and for indigestion (fresh flowers).

Contraindication
Abotifacient

Reference

Merremia tridentata (L.) Hallier f.

English Name : African morningvine

Family : Convolvulaceae

Description
An annual twiner, occasionally prostrate, 0.6—2 m long, stems slender, glabrous, root stout. Leaves linear-oblong to narrowly linear, 2.5—10 cm x 0.5—2 cm, more or less contracted above the base, lobes more or less stem-clasping, basal lobes dentate, apex attenuate, acute to obtuse, mucronulate, margin entire or slightly undulate, petiole 1—3 mm long. Flowers in 1—few-flowered cymes, peduncle 1—8 cm long, bracts minute; flower-buds narrowly conical, acute, pedicel 6—8 mm long, in fruit clavate, up to 15 mm long, tips of sepals curved outwards, sepals subequal, 6—7 mm long, ovate-lanceolate, acuminate, corolla funnel-shaped, 12—20 mm long, pale yellow or white, centre purple or dark brown, filaments sparsely hairy at base. Capsule globose to ovoid, pericarp papery, glabrous. Seeds 2.5—3 mm long, dull black, glabrous.

Habitat
Occurs in open grasslands, waste places, teak forests, and along roadsides, from sea-level up to 1200 m altitude.

Parts Used : Whole plant, leaf and seed

Herb Effects
Acts as purgative, astringent and tonic (whole plant); anthelminthic, diuretic and antibilious (roasted seeds).

Medicinal Use
A poultice of the leaves is applied to the head for fever, and on snakebites. A decoction of the roots is used as a mouthwash for toothache. A decoction of the whole plant, together with natron, is taken for gonorrhoea.

Reference

Merremia emarginata (BURM.F.) HALL.F.

English Name : Rats Ear

Family : Convolvulaceae

Description
A prostrate, much-branched, glabrous or sparsely pubescent perennial vine, often rooting at the nodes, Leaves reniform to broadly ovate, base cordate with a broadly rounded sinus and rounded basal lobes, obtuse to broadly rounded or emarginate at apex, margins coarsely crenate or entire, glabrous or sparsely appressed pillose. Inflorescences axillary, solitary or in 2 to 3 flowered cymose groups. Flowers with very short or absent peduncles; sepals obovate to orbicular, the outer to 3 mm long, obtuse with a distinctly mucronate apex, the inner 3 to 4 mm long, deeply emarginate, all pubescent on the back and ciliate; corolla yellow with a paler tube, campanulate, 5 to 9 mm long. Fruits capsular, subglobose, 5 to 6 mm long, longitudinally sulcate, glabrous, brown-black or black; seeds greyish-brown, glabrous, dotted 2.5 mm long.

Parts Used : Whole plant


Medicinal Use
The plant is used as an alterative and diuretic and also in rheumatism and neuralgia. The juice is used externally for sores.

Reference

Mentha piperita STOKES


English Name : Peppermint

Family : Lamiaceae

Description
The leaves of this kind of mint are shortly but distinctly stalked, 2 inches or more in length, and 3/4 to 1 1/2 inches broad, their margins finely toothed, their surfaces smooth, both above and beneath, or only very slightly, hardly visibly, hairy on the principal veins and mid-rib on the underside. The stems, 2 to 4 feet high, are quadrangular, often purplish. The whorled clusters of little reddish-violet flowers are in the axils of the upper leaves, forming loose, interrupted spikes, and rarely bear seeds.

Habitat
Global including Uttar Pradesh (India) and Kashmir

Parts Used : Leaf, flower, plant and its essential oil

Herb Effects
Peppermint and menthol possess carminative, antispasmodic, and choleretic properties, and are also used as an external analgesic and nasal decongestant. antiseptic, relieves flatulence, soothes the stomach stimulant and promotes the flow of bile (plant); alleviates spasms (leaf); antifungal (essential oil); diuretic and expectorant.

Active Ingredients
Menthol, menthone, menthy acetate, phellandrene, pinene, L-limonene, cadinene, terpinene, cineole, acetic acid, amyl alcohol, acetaldehyde, isovaleric acid, isovaleric aldehyde and a lactone (essential oil).

Medicinal Use
Stomach problems (including colic), gall bladder pains, nausea and as a stimulant (plant); headache and local aches (leaf); diuretic, alleviating spasms and as an expectorant (during colds). The anti-spasmodic quality relieves pain arising in the alimentary canal. Due to its stimulating, stomachic and carminative properties, it is effective in treating certain forms of dyspepsia, flatulence and colic. Peppermint tea is used also for palpitation of the heart. In cases of hysteria and nervous disorders, an infusion of Peppermint is administered.

Dosage
Infusion: pour a cup of boiling water onto a heaped teaspoonful of the dried herb and leave to infuse for 10 minutes. This may be drunk as often as desired.
Tincture: l-2ml three times a day.
Tea: 1 and 1/2 to 2 cups a day. for 6 or 7 days in a row.
Oil: 2 or 3 drops on a sugar cube w/ hot (regular) tea; for gas pains, take 1 or 2 drops in half glass of water.

Contraindication
Peppermint is contraindicated for hiatus hernia because of its relaxing effect of the esophageal sphincter.

Reference

Lycopodium clavatum L.

English Name : Stag's-horn Clubmoss or Ground Pine

Family : Lycopodiaceae

Description
A spore-bearing vascular plant, growing mainly prostrate along the ground with stems up to 1 m long; the stems are much branched, and densely clothed with small spirally-arranged leaves. The leaves are 3-5 mm long and 0.7-1 mm broad, tapered to a fine hair-like white point. The branches bearing spore cones turn erect, reaching 5-15 cm above ground, and have fewer leaves than the horizontal branches. The spore cones are yellow-green, 2-3 cm long and 5 mm broad. The horizontal stems produce roots at frequent intervals along their length, allowing the stem to grow indefinitely along the ground.

Habitat
Moorland, fields, pastures and rare in lowland areas.

Parts Used : Plant, spores

Herb Effects
Analgesic, antirheumatic, carminative, mildly diuretic, stomachic and tonic (plant decoction); antipruritic, decongestant, diuretic and stomachic (spores).

Active Ingredients
Alanine, arginine, histidine, linoleic acid, myristic acid, nicotine, oleic acid, palmitic acid (pollen or spore); apigenin, azelaic acid, ferulic acid, vanillic acid (plant).

Medicinal Use
In the treatment of urinary and kidney disorders, rheumatic arthritis, catarrhal cystitis, gastritis, to skin diseases and irritations (plant); as a dusting powder to various skin diseases, to wounds or inhaled to stop bleeding noses (spores).

Dosage
Specific Medicine Lycopodium: one to fifteen minims.
Tincture: one to twenty minims.

Reference

Luffa echinata Roxb.

English Name : Luffa

Family : Cucurbitaceae

Description
A climber with a slender, slightly hairy, furrowed stem and 2-fid tendrils. Leaves orbicular reniform, obscurely 5-angled or more or less deeply 5-lobed; male peduncles normally paired, one being 1-flowered and the other a long raceme of 5-12 flowers at apex; female flower solitary; fruit oblong or globose, 3 cm. long, not ribbed, clothed with ciliate bristles; seeds many, 5 mm. long.

Parts Used : Fruit, plant and its aerial part.

Herb Effects
Hypoglycemic (aerial part), emetic and anthelmintic (plant); purgative (fruit).

Active Ingredients
Chrysoeriol and its glycosides, luteolin, apigenin, echinatin and elaterin (fruit).

Medicinal Use
In jaundice, in phthisis, hiccough and as an anthelmintic (plant); for dropsy, nephritis, chronic bronchitis and lung complaints; biliary and intestinal colic; it is applied to the body in putrid fevers and jaundice (fruit infusion); in jaundice (aqueous extract of fruits).

Reference

Monday, February 23, 2009

Luffa acutangula ROXB.


English Name : Sharp Cornered Cucumber

Family : Cucurbitaceae

Origin : India

Description
A large, annual climber with slender shortly pubescent, 5-angled stems; tendrils usually 3-branched. Leaves alternate, orbicular in outline, 15 to 20 cm long and wide, 5 to 7 angled or lobed, scabrid on both sides, base cordate, lateral lobes usually obtuse, central lobe acute to subacuminate; petioles 5 to 12 cm long, angular scabrid. Plants monoecious; male flowers yellow with 3 stamens, borne in 10 to 20 flowered racemes, 10 to 15 cm long; female flowers yellow, solitary, in same axils as males, on 5 to 10 cm long peduncles. Fruit cylindrical or club-shaped, tapering towards the base, usually 15 to 30 cm long and 5 cm in diameter, smooth, with 10 prominent, narrowly angled, longitudinal ridges. Seeds compressed, slightly corrugated on edges, not winged, black or white when ripe.

Parts Used : Fruit, fruit-juice, seeds, root and leaves.

Herb Effects
Emetic and purgative (seeds); demulcent, diuretic, bitter-tonic and nutritive (fruit); abortifacient, antipyretic, expectorant, hypoglycemic, laxative, tonic and vermifuge.

Active Ingredients
Arginine, glycine, threonine, glutamic acid, leucines, serine, alanine, g-aminobutyric acid and pipecolic acid.

Medicinal Use
In granular conjunctivitis of children, as poultice in haemorrhoids, leprosy and splenic enlargement (leaves); as an antidote for snake poison (plant).

Dosage
As demulcent: 1.5–2 g to 10 seed.
Fruit juice: 5–10 g.
Infusion: 28–56 ml

Reference

Lodoicea maldivica (POIR.) PERS.


English Name : Double coconut palm

Family : Arecaceae

Origin : Seychelles Islands

Description
This is a tall palm with apparently destitute bark, annulate and about 30 cm diameter and upto 18 to 30 m high. Leaves are 12 to 20, large; the youngest rising from the centre, at first folded like a shut fan and then clothed with a downy substance, later on broadly ovate with a central rib and regular folds diverging from it; margins more or less deeply cut, especially at the extremity and yellow green. Spathes are sheathing at the base of the spadices and small. Male and female flowers are on different tree. Male ones are from the axils of the leaves, amentaceous, 60 to 120 cm long, 7.5 to 10.0 cm across in the thickest part, cylindrical, tapering towards the apex and closely covered on all sides with densely imbricated, semicircular and slightly convex scales.

Parts Used : Fruits.

Herb Effects
Its fruits are alexipharmic, preservative and tonic.

Medicinal Use
It is used as tonic and febrifuge and prescribed for diarrhoea and vomiting. The water of its green fruits or of soft kernal is antibilious and antacid.

Reference

Lobelia nicotianifolia ROTH. EX. R. & S.


English Name : Wild Tobacco

Family : Lobeliaceae

Description
An erect herb. Leaves subsessile, oblong, lanceolate, denticulate, narrowed at the base, acuminate; racemes many-flowered; bracts leafy; pedicels longer than the bract, bibracteolate; sepals lanceolate serrated, corolla pubescent purple.

Habitat
Forests of western, tropical India (from Maharashtra to Kerala).

Parts Used
:Leaf, root, plant and its aerial part.

Herb Effects
Antiseptic (leaf) and on the nictating membrane (aerial part).

Active Ingredients
1-lelobanidine and lobeline (plant)

Medicinal Use
Useful in scorpion sting (root); in treating the symptoms of nicotine withdrawal, hangovers and alcoholism (plant).

Reference

Iris germanica L.


English Name : Orris

Family : Iridaceae

Description
A small perennial herb 40-90 cm in height with stout, branched stems. Leaves 30-70 cm x 20-35 mm. Somewhat glaucous; inflorescence, 4-flowered spathes; flowers on the stalk are bent in one over against another and have varied colours for they are white, pale, black, purple or azure. The roots underneath are knotty and strong. The best has a thick stumpy root, hard to break, of a faint yellow colour with an especially good scent and very bitter to the taste.

Habitat
Roadsides, railroads, old homesites.

Parts Used : Leaf, rhizome and plant.

Herb Effects
The root is diuretic, emetic, expectorant and mildly purgative. Induces a decline in smooth muscle activity (in vitro) and alleviates spasms (aqueous plant extract); promotes nasal discharge and reduces fever (rhizome).

Active Ingredients
Iridin, irigenin, irisolidone, beta-sitosterol, alpha and beta-amyrin and acetovanillone (rhizome).

Medicinal Use
Frostbite (leaf extract); to babies to help in teething(dried roots); as a laxative, dropsy, expectorant, reducing fever and halitosis (rhizome). The juice of the fresh root is a strong purge of great efficiency in the treatment of dropsy.

Dosage
Powdered root: 5 to 15 grains.
Tincture: 6 to 12 drops under the tongue 1 to 3 times a day.

Contraindication
Ingesion of irisin, a resinous substance present in leaves especially rhizome can cause severe gastric disturbances.

Reference

Hyssopus officinalis L.

English Name : Hyssop

Family : Lamiaceae

Origin : Mediterranean


Description
A perennial herb. Its stems are quadrangular, woody at the base, spreading, very much branched, and 1 foot or 2 in height; the branches are rod-like. The leaves are opposite, sessile, usually oblong-linear, or lanceolate, sometimes elliptical, sometimes narrower, acute, entire, punctate, green on each side, rather thick, and 1-ribbed underneath. The flowers are bluish-purple, seldom white, and borne in racemose, second whorls, consisting of from 6 to 15 flowers. The floral leaves are like those of the stem, but smaller. Outer bracts lanceolate-linear, acute, scarcely shorter than the calyx. Upper lip of the corolla erect, flat, emarginate; lower lip trifid, spreading, with the middle lobe larger. Stamens 4, protruding, and diverging; anthers with linear divaricating cells.

Habitat
Old walls and buildings, stony places. Dry hills and rock ledges to 2200 metres in Turkey.

Parts Used : Stem, leaves, flowers

Herb Effects
Expectorant and stomach tonic (herb); antiseptic, antitussive, astringent, carminative, diaphoretic, emmenagogue, expectorant, pectoral, sedative, stimulant, stomachic, tonic and vasodilator (leaves and flowering tops).

Active Ingredients
1,8-cineole, alpha-thujone, benzaldehyde, beta-thujone, borneol, cuminaldehyde, methyl-chavicol, myrcene, thymol (shoot); alpha-humulene, alpha-phellandrene, alpha-terpineol, benzyl-alcohol, beta-caryophyllene, beta-ionone, camphor, elemol, estragole, eugenol, geraniol, limonene(leaf, flower); alpha-pinene, alpha-terpinene, camphene, gamma-terpinene, terpinolene (leaf) ; beta-sitosterol, bornyl-acetate, caffeic acid, carvacrol, choline, delta-cadinene, diosmin, ferulic acid, hesperidin, marrubbin, methyl-eugenol, oleanolic acid, p-cymene, rosmarinic acid, tannin, terpinyl-acetate, ursolic acid (plant).

Medicinal Use
In the treatment of flatulence, stomach-aches, upper respiratory tract infections, coughs in children etc (tea from leaves); in gargles for quinsy and ordinary sore throat.

Dosage
Volatile oil: 1 or 2 drops

Contraindication
Plant should not be used by pregnant women, however, since in large quantities it can induce a miscarriage.

Reference

Hypericum perforatum L.


English Name : St. John's Wort

Family : Clusiaceae

Origin : Europe

Description
It is an erect perennial herb that grows up to 32 inches tall. Commonly found in dry, gravelly soils, fields and sunny places in many parts of the world, including eastern North America and the Pacific coast. A woody branched root produces many round stems which put out runners from the base. The opposite, oblong to linear leaves are covered with transparent oil glands that look like holes. Flat topped cymes of yellow flowers, petals are dotted with black along the margins. The fruit is a three celled capsule containing small, dark brown seeds. The whole plant has turpentine-like odor.

Habitat
Prefers open areas; throughout the United States but most predominant in California, Oregon and Washington; also in many other parts of the globe.

Parts Used : Top of plant including the flowers, unopened buds and leaves.

Herb Effects
Sedative, antiinflammatory, antibacterial (against gram-positive types), antiviral, antioxidant, vasodilating, antidepressant, diuretic and cardiotonic, stimulates the immune system, inhibits tumors; inhibits the breakdown of CNS neurotransmitters.

Active Ingredients
Ascorbic acid, caryophyllene, choline, epicatechin, hyperforin, hyperin, hyperoside, isoquercitrin, limonene, lutein, mannitol, myrcene, palmitic acid, pinene, pyrogallol, quercetin, quercitrin, rutin.

Medicinal Use

As an antidepressant, in mania, apathy, hypersomnia, and insomnia, anorexia, psychomotor retardation, depression feelings of worthlessness, anxiety disorders and aids in healing wounds and ulcers (for nervous disorders. the drug may take as long as a month before any effects are noticed). It is also used for menopausal changes triggering irritability and anxiety. In addition to neuralgic pain, it will ease fibrositis, sciatica and rheumatic pain.

Externally it is a healing and anti-inflammatory remedy. As a lotion it will speed the healing of wounds and bruises, varicose veins and mild burns. The oil is especially useful for the healing of sunburn. It has the calming properties, useful in treating bedwetting, insomnia, and other nervous conditions, as well as some form of melancholy. An oil extract of the herb can be taken for stomach ache, colic, intestinal problems, and as an expectorant for the congestion in the lungs. A tea made from the flowers is good for anemia, headache, insomnia, jaundice, chest congestion, and catarrh. A tea made from the herb has been used for uterine cramping and menstrual difficulties. The oil extract also make a good external application for burns, wounds, sores, bruises, and other skin problems.

Contraindication

Photosensitization may occur while taking this herb; pregnant or lactating women and people taking prescribed antidepressant medications should consult a physician before using this herb.

Reference




Hyoscyamus niger L.


English Name : Black or Egyptian Henbane and Henbane

Family : Solanaceae

Origin : Great Britain

Description
It is an erect, annual or biennial, hairy and viscid herb with bad odour. Stem robust and grows up to few meters in high. Radical leaves are smaller, sessile, ovate, pinnatifid and passing in to bracts. Flowers appear from August- September, lower ones are in the forks of the branches, upper solitary in the axis of the leaf like bract, forming inside spikes roller back at the top before flowering, which ultimately forming elongated and straight. Calyx is urn shaped, shortly 5 lobed, limb funnel shaped and in fruit it is elongated. Corolla funnel shaped lobes 5, short, slightly unequal, purple in base, limb lurid green, purple veined and darker in the centre. Stamens are protruding out. Ovary 2 celled. Capsule globose. Seeds are compressed, many and scrobuculate.

Habitat
Hills of northwestern Himalayas (up to 3700 m). Europe, the Mediterranean, Siberia and America.

Parts Used : Leaf and plant (including the flowers)

Herb Effects
Analgesic and alleviates spasms (leaf); dilates the eye pupil (plant juice); stimulates heart, followed by a sedative effect (in moderate doses); small doses act as a heart sedative and a tonic; induces sleep; induces delirium (in large enough doses).

Active Ingredients
Atropine, chlorogenic acid, gaba, hyoscine, hyposcyamine, tropine, rutin and cuscohygrine (leaf); choline, coumarin, esculetin, (plant); scopalamine (leaf).

Medicinal Use
Rheumatism (plant); diabetes and as an analgesic specifically used for pain affecting the urinary tract, especially when due to kidney stones(leaf); dilating the pupil of the eye (plant juice); alleviating spasms (including in the urinary tract), in treating Parkinson's disease, anxiety disorders, asthma, whooping cough, motion sickness, Meniere's syndrome and for inducing sleep. Externally, it is used as an oil to relieve painful conditions such as neuralgia, dental and rheumatic pains. Hyoscyamus has anodyne, narcotic, sedative and mydriatic properties.

Dosage
Extract: one to two grains.
Powdered leaves: 2 to 10 grains.
Fluid extract: 2 to 10 drops.
Tincture: B.P. and U.S.P., 1/2 to 1 drachm.
Juice: B.P., 1/2 to 1 drachm.
Solid extract: 2 to 8 grains.
Hyoscyamine, 1/8 to 1 grain.

Reference

Hyoscyamus muticus L.

English Name : Egyptian Henbane

Family : Solanaceae

Habitat
Hilly areas of India.

Parts Used : Leaf and plant

Herb Effects
Anticholinesterase activity (leaf); anticholinergic and alleviates spasms (plant).

Active Ingredients
Hyoscine, atropine and hyoscyamine (leaf).

Medicinal Use
As an anticholinergic agent and alleviating spasms (plant).

Reference

Hygrophila auriculataEnglish Name (K.Schum) Heine


English Name : Hydrophilia

Family : Acanthaceae

Description
A stout herb up to 1.5 m high, more or less hispid with long hairs; stems numerous, erect, usually unbranched, subquadrangular, thickened at the nodes. Leaves in whorls of 6, the outer 2 the larges, oblong-lanceolate or oblanceolate, up to 18 cm long and 3.2 cm wide, with sharp, yellow, axillary spines; the two outer leaves of each whorl larger and others much smaller. Flowers bluish-purple, in sessle axillary whorls. Fruits (capsules) 0.8 cm long, linear-oblong, pointed, containing 4 to 8 orbicular seeds.

Habitat
Along roads and in moist fields in India

Parts Used : Seed, plant and its aerial part

Herb Effects
Lowers blood pressure and alleviates spasms (50% EtOH plant extract); aphrodisiac (seed), hypnotic.

Active Ingredients
Itigmasterol, lupeol and hydrocarbons (plant); sterols and an alkaloid (aerial part); betulin (root)

Medicinal Use
As an aphrodisiac and a tonic (seed); in cancer and tubercular fistula (plant); in urogenital disorders (such as spermatorrhea) and impotence, as a uterine sedative for pregnant women and for treating diseases of the blood and biliousness, to treat rheumatism, gonorrhoea, jaundice, anasarca, diarrhoea, dysentery, thirst, urinary calculi and urinary discharges, inflammations, biliousness, diseases of the eyes, pains, high blood pressure, ascites and abdominal troubles, anaemia, constipation and anuria.

Dosage
Decoction: two ounces of the root with three pints of water boiled to a pint, is given in doses of one-half to two fluid-ounces (15-60 mils).

Reference

Hordeum vulgare L.


English Name : Barley

Family : Poaceae

Origin : Southern Caucasus region

Description
It is an annual plant that is widely cultivated as a food grain. It is stout, simple stem is hollow and jointed and grows from 11/2 to 3 feet high. The narrow, tapering leaves ascend the stem In two ranks, the third leaf over the first; and their bases form loose sheaths around the stem. The flowers grow in bristly-bearded terminal spikes, producing eventually the elliptic, furrowed barley grains.

Parts Used : Seed, stem, leaf and plant

Herb Effects
The shoots are diuretic. The seed sprouts are demulcent, expectorant, galactofuge, lenitive and stomachic. They are sometimes abortifacient; antiviral and antiprotozoal (50% EtOH plant extract). The seed is digestive, emollient, nutritive, febrifuge and stomachic.

Active Ingredients
Flavones (leaf and stem); proanthocyanidins and biflavonoids (seed extract); from 50% EtOH plant extract, ascorbic acid, caffeic acid, chlorogenic acid, choline, ferulic acid, folacin, (seed); beta-carotene, beta-sitosterol, coumarin, esculetin, esculin, herniarin, scopoletin, tryptophan, (plant); catechin (leaf),

Medicinal Use
Cholera (plant); as an emollient for inflammations of the skin, a demulcent and in fever (seed decoction). They are used in the treatment of dyspepsia caused by cereals, infantile lacto-dyspepsia, regurgitation of milk and breast distension. It is taken internally as a nutritious food or as barley water and is of special use for babies and invalids, to reduce excessive lactation. Barley is also used as a poultice for burns and wounds.

Dosage
Decoction: Wash 2 oz. barley with cold water and ball in 1 cup water for a few minutes. Discard this water and boil the barley in 4 pints of water until the total volume is 2 pints. Strain and use as required.
Barley Water: Wash pearl barley in cold water. Boil 1 part pearl barley in 9 parts water for 20 minutes and strain. A dose is from 1 to 4 oz.

Contraindication
Contraindicated during lactation.

Reference

Holoptelea integrifolia (ROXB.) PLANCHON


English Name : Indian Elm

Family : Ulmaceae

Description
A large spreading, deciduous tree up to 18 m tall, with grey, pustular bark that is smooth when young, exfoliating in corky scales on older trees. Leaves alternate, elliptic-ovate, 8 to 13 cm long and 3.2 to 6.3 cm wide, glabrous, margins entire, apex acute or acuminate, base rounded or cordate, main nerves 5 to 7 pairs; stipules lanceolate. Flowers usually male and hermaphrodite mixed, small, greenish-yellow to brownish, pubescent, borne in short racemes or fascicles at the scars of fallen leaves; sepals often 4, pubescent. Fruit an orbicular samara, 2.5 cm in diameter, with membranous, reticulately veined wings; seed flat. The crushed bark and leaves emit an unpleasant odour.


Parts Used : Bark, leaf and seed

Herb Effects
Antirheumatic (bark)

Active Ingredients
Friedelin, friedelan-2-beta-ol and beta-sitosterol (bark); hexacosanol, beta-amyrin and octacosanol (leaf).

Medicinal Use
In rheumatism (stem bark) and ringworm (seed and paste of stem bark); for treating oedema, diabetes, leprosy and other skin diseases, dyspepsia, intestinal disorders, piles and sprue (bark and leaves).

Reference

Grewia asiatica L.


English Name : Phalsa, Phassa

Family : Tiliaceae

Origin : India and Nepal

Description
A middle-sized tree, bark greyish-white or greyish-brown, sapwood whitish, heartwood small, irregularly shaped, dark brown. Branchlets and underside of leaves varying from glabrous to densely and softly tomentose. Leaves varying from broad-cordate to obliquely ovate. Stipules varying from linear to foliaceous and broadly falcate. Peduncles axillary, in fascicles of 2-10, varying in length from 1/2-2 inches, each bearing 3-5 flowers. Sepals 1/4-1/2, petals 1/8-1/4 inch, yellow or red and yellow, blade as long as or longer than claw. Fruit globose, with pleasantly acid pulp, indistinctly lobed.

Habitat
Drier woodlands and on most soils as well as drier vine thickets and coastal regions.

Parts Used : Fruit, leaves, bark

Herb Effects
Astringent and stomachic (fruit); demulcent, febrifuge (bark)

Active Ingredients
Betulin (bark)

Medicinal Use
In respiratory, cardiac and blood disorders, as well as in fever. For diarrhea (bark); in treating rheumatism (root bark); for strangury and gonorrhoea (roots); applied on skin eruptions and they are known to have antibiotic action (leaves).

Reference

Equisetum arvense L.


English Name : Common Horsetail. Shave-grass. Bottle-brush. Paddock-pipes. Dutch Rushes and Pewterwort

Family : Equisetaceae

Description
The stems spring from a creeping rhizome, or root-stock, which produces at its joints a number of roots, they are erect, jointed, brittle and grooved, hollow except at the joints and with air-cells in their walls under the grooves. There are no leaves, the joints terminating in toothed sheathes, the teeth corresponding with the ridges and representing leaves. Branches, if present, arise from the sheathbases and are solid. It bears a terminal cone-like catkin, consisting of numerous closely-packed peltae, upon the under margins of which are the sporanges, containing microscopic spores, attached to elastic threads, which are coiled round the spore when moist and uncoil when dry.

Habitat
Wet areas of many parts of the globe including Great Britain, the Arctic, Sicily, Iran and China.

Parts Used : Barren, summer stems

Herb Effects
The plant is anodyne, antihaemorrhagic, antiseptic, astringent, carminative, diaphoretic, diuretic, galactogogue, haemostatic, vulnerary, improves elasticity of and strengthens ligaments, antiiaging and promotes blood coagulation.

Active Ingredients
Ascorbic acid, beta-carotene, bita-sitosterol, caffeic acid, ferulic acid, gallic acid, isoquercitrin, kaempferol, luteolin, mallic acid, naringenin, niacin, nicotine, p-coumaric acid, silicic acid, silicone, saponins and flavonoids.

Medicinal Use
Lower back problems (related to the musculoskeleton) and rheumatism. Horsetail is found beneficial in dropsy, gravel and kidney affections. The ashes of the plant are considered very valuable in acidity of the stomach, dyspepsia, etc. Besides being useful in kidney and bladder trouble, a strong decoction acts as an emmenagogue; being cooling and astringent, it is of efficacy for haemorrhage, cystic ulceration and ulcers in the urinary passages. The decoction applied externally will stop the bleeding of wounds and quickly heal them, and will also reduce the swelling of eyelids. Horsetails have an unusual chemistry compared to most other plants.

Contraindication
Contraindicated in cardiac or renal dysfunction. The herb in powdered form is not recommended for children or for prolonged use due to the inorganic silica content though decoctions contain mainly organic silica in colloidal form so are not problematic in this reaged. Toxicity is reported to be similar to nicotene poisoning in children who have chewed the stem.

Dosage
Infusion of 1 tsp of crushed drug/cup boiling water consumed 3 times per day (by itself or with other herbs (below)) (as a diuretic); infusion (up to a few hours) of 2 tbsp of drug/liter waters consumed as 4 to 5 cups per day (for musculoskeletal maladies).
Dried Herb: 1 – 4 gm tds.
Liquid Extract: 1:1 25 % 1 – 4 ml.
Tincture: 1:5 25% 2 – 6 ml.

Reference