Friday, March 27, 2009

Ammi majus Linn.


English Name : Greater Ammi

Family : Apiaceae

Origin : Northeastern Africa, Eurasia

Description
An erect, branching annual herb, up to 1.5 m in height, sometimes grown as a winter ornamental. Leaves oblong, 6-20 cm long (excluding petiole), broad ternate or pinnate: leaflets lanceolate, obtuse to acute; flowers white in loose compound umbels; fruits oblong, 1.5-2.0 mm long and 1 mm or less broad.

Habitat
Almost any soil, heavy or light, is ok. Minimal water requirements once established.

Parts Used : Fruit, essential seed oil and plant

Herb Effects
Induces photosensitization (fruit); Contraceptive, diuretic and tonic (Seed)

Active Ingredients
Ammoidin, ammedin and majudin (fruit); quercetin (leaves); 5-methoxy-psoralen, 8-methoxy-psoralen, angelicin, furocoumarin, isorhamnetin, khellin, luteolin, luteolin-7-glucoside, oleic acid, palmitic acid, pimpinellin, umbelliferone, xanthotoxol (plant); bergapten, heraclenin, imperatorin, isoimperatorin, isopimpinellin, isoquercetin, oxupeucedanin, tannin, xanthotoxin (seed).

Medicinal Use
In leukoderma and psoriasis (plant decoction); in asthma and angina (Seed infusion); in toothache (Seed decoction)

Dosage
50 mg three times daily or applied externally as one per cent liniment followed by exposure of affected areas to sunlight or ultravoilet light for 2-4 hours.

Reference

Pueraria tuberosa (ROXB. EX. WILLD.) DC.

English Name : Indian Kudze

Family :Fabaceae

Origin : Southern and Eastern India

Description
A large perennial climber with a woody, tubercled stem up to 12 cm in diameter and very large tuberous roots. Leaves trifoliate; rachis 10 to 15 cm long; stipules 4 mm long, ovate-oblong, cordate; leaflets subcoriaceous, ovate, 13 to 20 cm long and nearly as wide, apex acuminate, base cuneate or truncate, glabrescent above, pubescent beneath, lateral leaflets unequal-sided; petiolules 4.5 to 6 mm long. Flowers bluish-white to purplish blue, borne in lax, leafless racemes 15 to 30 cm long; pedicels 2 to 3 mm long, silky-pubescent, fascicled along the rachis. Fruits (pods) membranous, flat, linear, 5 to 7.5 cm long, constricted between seeds, densely covered with long, silky, bristly brown hairs; seeds 3 to 6.

Habitat
Forests and fields of India (except for dry and extremely humid areas)

Parts Used : Root and tuber

Herb Effects
Emetic, demulcent, antirheumatic, stimulates the secretion and/or flow of milk (root); lowers blood sugar and antiimplantation (tuber).

Active Ingredients
Puerarin, tuberosin, stigmasterol, beta-sitosterol and daidzin (root and tuber).

Medicinal Use
The root is used as a demulcent and in the treatment of fevers. It is peeled and bruised into a cataplasm for swelling of joints. It is crushed and rubbed externally in the treatment of fevers, headaches and rheumatism.

Reference

Pterocarpus santalinusLinn.f.

English Name : Red Sandal, Red Sanders, Ruby Wood

Family : Fabaceae

Origin : India and East Indies

Description
Tree standing as high as 25 ft (it is different from Pterocarpus marsupium because it has wider leaflets. which are always trifoliate). Bark is blackish-brown, deeply cleft into rectangular plates, and exudes a deep red juice when cut; leaves are usually imparipinnate; leaflets are 3 but rarely 5; flowers are yellow and are arranged in simple or sparingly branched racemes; pods are 5 cm in diameter including the wing, the central hard and long portion containing the seed; seeds are reddish brown, smooth and leathery.


Habitat
Grows typically on dry, hilly, often rocky ground and is occasionally found growing on precipitous hillsides.


Parts Used : Heartwood, wood, bark and fruit

Herb Effects
Coagulates semen (stem bark); alleviates spasms (stem); astringent, tonic, diuretic and diaphoretic

Active Ingredients
Beta-amyrin, beta-sitosterol, liquiritigenin, stigmasterol (plant); pterocarpolone, cryptomeridiol, pterocarpol and eudesmol (heartwood); betulin, lupenone, lupeol, epilupeol (bark); beta-eusdesmol, gallic acid, pterostilbene (wood).

Medicinal Use
For skin diseases, boils and scorpion stings (heartwood); dysentery (fruit); as an astringent, for bleeding piles and to eyes in ophthalmia and to sour eyes (powder), used in cephalalgia, odontalgia, hemicrania, vomiting, diarrhea and dysentery.

Dosage
Oil: 1–1.5 grams daily in enteric-coated form for supportive treatment of urinary tract infections.
For external use in skin conditions, a few drops of the oil are added to a cup of water.

Reference

Pterocarpus marsupium ROXB.

English Name : Indian Kino Tree

Family : Fabaceae

Description
A moderate-sized to large deciduous tree. The bark is grey, rough, longitudinally fissured and scaly. The older trees exude a blood red gum-resin. The leaves are imparipinnate: the leaflets are oblong; the flowers occur in large panicles, they are yellowish and fragrant; the pods are orbicular, flat, winged.

Habitat
Forests of arid parts of central and southern India; also in Orissa. Bihar and Ceylon.


Parts Used : Wood, bark and plant juice

Herb Effects
On the nictating membrane and stimulates the cardiovascular system (stem bark); hypoglycemic (bark and heartwood); antidiarrheal and astringent (bark); lowers blood cholesterol; regenerates beta cells and increases insulin and proinsulin levels.

Active Ingredients
Beta-eudesmol, p-hydroxybenzaldehyde, pterostilbene (root); catechol, gallic acid, isoliquiritigenin, liquiritigenin, marsupinol, protocatechuic acid (wood)

Medicinal Use
In diabetes (wood infusion); diarrhea, leucorrhea, heartburn and indolent ulcers (plant juice). The heartwood is useful in skin diseases, diabetes, anaemia, and obesity. It is an astringent. It is administered for diarrhoea, dysentery, pyrosis and as an injection for leucorrhoea. An aqueous infusion of the wood is used in diabetes.

Dosage
Powder: from five to fifteen or more grains, every six, four, or three hours.

Reference

Psoralea corylifolia L.

English Name : Bawchan seed, Babachi

Family : Fabaceae

Description
An erect annual 30 to 180 cm high. Leaves broadly-elliptic, incisodentate; flowers yellow or bluish purple, in dense axillary, long-peduncled heads; fruits in the form of pods small, 3.5-4.5 mm. x 2.0-3.0 mm., ovoid-oblong; seed one, smooth, adhering to the pericarp.

Habitat
It is found throughout India in waste places as a weed.


Parts Used : Seeds, root and leaves.

Herb Effects
Anthelmintic, antibacterial, aphrodisiac, astringent, cardiac, cytotoxic, deobstruent, diaphoretic, diuretic, infertility, kidney, odontalgic, skin, stimulant, stomachic, tonic.

Active Ingredients
(+)-Bakuchiol (seed), Psoralen, Bavachinin-A, a flavanone (fruits), triterpene, psoracinol and two phenolic cinnamates, plicatin A and plicatin B and angaelicin.

Medicinal Use
Skin diseases, vitiligo, poisoning, for conception, caries, deafness, filaria, wound, as rejuvinative, febrile diseases, premature ejaculation, impotence, lower back pains, frequent urination, incontinence, bed wetting etc. It is also used externally to treat various skin ailments including leprosy, leucoderma and hair loss.

Dosage
Seed powder: orally with warm water in a dose of 5g/day in cases of eczema.
Five grams powder twice daily before meals with some coriander and honey (to taste).

Contraindication
May increase Pitta when taken alone; do not take with low body fluids; do not use with licorice root.

Reference

Psidium guajava L.

English Name : Common guava, Guava, Round guava, Apple guava

Family : Myrtaceae

Origin : Tropical America

Description
A shrub or small tree to 10 m high, occasionally to as much as 20m, roots are shallow. Bark smooth, light reddish-brown, with pubescent 4-angled young branches, bark peels off in large flakes, exposing greenish layer beneath; trunk normally attains a diameter of about 25cm, but can reach 60cm, has a 'bony' appearance. Leaves opposite, ovate-elliptic or oblong-elliptic, acute-acuminate, pubescent beneath, often rather brittle, prominently nerved, lateral nerves 10-20 pairs; blades mostly 7-15 cm long and 3-5 cm wide, rounded at base, dull green, downy on the underside, aromatic when crushed. Flowers hermaphroditic, solitary or 2-4 together in leaf axils, rather large (2.5 cm wide); peduncle about 1-2 cm long, pubescent; calyx 4-5-lobed (anthesis, not before) about 6-8 mm long, petals white, 10-15 mm long, fugacious, usually 4 or 5, obovate, slightly concave, stamens numerous (c. 200-250), white, about as long as petals; style 10-12 mm long, stigma peltate. Fruits globose, ovoid, or pyriform, whitish-yellow or faintly pink, sweet-sour pulpy, many-seeded (100-500/fruit), 2.5-10 cm long; pulp granular-juicy. Seeds yellowish, reniform.


Parts Used : Plant, leaf, root, shoot, bark and fruit

Herb Effects
Astringent (roots, bark, leaves and immature fruits); taken as an emmenagogue and vermifuge (leaf decoction); febrifuge (decoction of the new shoots)

Active Ingredients
Methionine (plant); alanine, alpha-humulene, alpha-linolenic acid, alpha-selinene, arginine, ascorbic-acid, aspartic acid, benzaldehyde, beta-bisabolene, beta-carotene, beta-ionone, beta-pinene, beta-selinene, cinnamyl acetate, citral, citric acid, delta-cadinene, fructose, gallic acid, glutamic acid, glycine, histidine, isoleucine, lactic acid, limonene, linoleic acid, lysine, myristic acid, niacin, oleic acid, oxalic acid, palmitic acid, palmitoleic acid, pantothenic acid, pectin, phenylalanine, riboflavin, stearic acid, thiamin, threonine, tryptophan, tyrosine, valine, xylose (fruit); arjunolic acid (root); aromadendrene, avicularin, beta sitosterol, calcium oxalate, caryophyllene oxide, oleanolic acid, quercetin, ursolic acid, xanthophyll (leaf); ellagic acid, leucoanthocyanin, myricetin, tannin (bark).

Medicinal Use
Commonly employed to halt gastroenteritis, diarrhea and dysentery (roots, bark, leaves and immature fruits); applied on wounds, ulcers and rheumatic places and chewed to relieve toothache (crushed leaves); taken as a remedy for coughs, throat and chest ailments, and leucorrhea, applied on skin diseases, gargled to relieve oral ulcers and inflamed gums, and for halting vomiting and diarrhea in cholera patients (leaf decoction); in cerebral ailments, nephritis and cachexia (leaf infusion); in epilepsy and chorea (leaf extract); given to expel the placenta after childbirth (decoction of bark and leaves).

Reference

Prunus persica BATSCH.

English Name : Peach

Family : Rosaceae

Origin : China

Description
When growing naturally, it is a medium-sized tree, with spreading branches of quick growth and not long-lived. The leaves are lance-shaped, about 4 inches long and 1 1/2 inch broad, tapering to a sharp point, borne on long, slender, relatively unbranched shoots, and with the flowers arranged singly, or in groups of two or more at intervals along the shoots of the previous year's growth. The blossoms come out before the leaves are fully expanded, and are of a delicate, pink colour. They have a hollow tube at the base, bearing at its free edge five sepals, and an equal number of petals, usually concave, and a great number of stamens. They have very little odour. The fruit is a drupe, like the plum, having a delicate, thin outer downy skin enclosing the flesh of the Peach, the inner layers becoming woody to form the large, furrowed, rugged stone, while the ovule ripens into the kernel or seed.

Parts Used : Fruit, leaf and flower

Herb Effects
Demulcent, sedative, diuretic and expectorant action (leaves, bark, flowers and kernels); vermicidal and insecticidal (leaf); diuretic, sedative and vermifuge (flowers); alterative, astringent, demulcent and sedative (gum from the stems); antiasthmatic, antitussive, emollient, haemolytic, laxative and sedative (seeds); demulcent, diuretic, expectorant and sedative (bark).

Active Ingredients
Kaempferol-3-rhamnoside, multiflorins A and B, quercitrin and chlorogenic acid (flower); caffeic acid, kaempferol, hentriacontanol, hentriacontane, ursolic acid and beta-sitosterol (leaf); ascorbic acid, beta-carotene, (fruit); ferulic acid, naringenin, quercetin, (plant)

Medicinal Use
On cattle sores (for killing maggots) (fresh leaf paste); used in whooping cough, ordinary coughs and chronic bronchitis and irritation and congestion of gastritis (plant); possess the power of expelling worms, if applied outwardly to the body as a poultice, to relieve vomiting and morning sickness during pregnancy, in the treatment of constipation and oedema (fresh leaves); used in the treatment of dropsy and jaundice (root bark).

Dosage
Infusion: 1 fluid drachm to 1 fluid ounce.
Specific amygdalus: 1 to 10 drops.

Reference

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Prosopis cineraria (L.) DRUCE

Family : Fabaceae

Origin : Iran to India

Description
It is a small or moderate sized evergreen tree with light foliage and slender branches having conical spines. The bark is rough, exfoliating in thin flakes. Leaves are bipinnate, generally with 2 pairs of pinnae; pinnules 7 to 12 pairs. Flowers are small, yellowish and are borne in slender spikes. The pods are cylindric, torulose or flattish with coriaceous exocarp. Seeds are 10 to 15, compressed, oblong with moderately hard brown testa.

Habitat
Occurs in the dry and arid regions of India.

Parts Used : Pod, bark and flowers

Herb Effects
The pods are considered to possess astringent, demulcent and pectoral properties.

Active Ingredients
Sugars, five flavonones, fatty acids, and tannins

Medicinal Use
In rheumatism and scorpion sting (bark); by women during pregnancy to prevent miscarriage (flowers mixed with sugar); for the treatment of snakebite (plant).

Reference

Premna tomentosa Willd.

English Name : Bastard teak

Family : Lamiaceae

Origin : Tropical Asia

Description
A shrub or small to medium-sized tree up to 20 m tall, with bole up to 30(-50) cm in diameter, often crooked and fluted at base, bark fissured or striate and shaggy, grey or yellowish to pale brown or pale rusty; indumentum consisting of branched or stellate hairs. Leaves ovate or ovate-orbicular to ovate-oblong, (3-)10-35 cm x (2.5-)6-22 cm, entire, densely tomentose beneath, petiolate. Flowers with pedicel 0.5-1 mm long, corolla white, greenish-white or yellowish. Fruit obovoid-globose, 3-6 mm long, green turning black.

Habitat
Occurs frequently in open forest and deciduous forest, in Java up to 800 m altitude.


Parts Used : Whole plant, leaf, bark and root

Herb Effects
Used as a diuretic (leaves)

Medicinal Use
A decoction of the roots and leaves is used as a tonic in mixtures after childbirth. The bark is used to treat diarrhoea. The leaves are crushed and applied to sores, and used externally to treat dropsy. The dried entire plant is used to soothe skin irritation caused by caterpillars.

Reference

Premna latifolia Roxb.

English Name : Dusky Fire Brand Bark

Family : Verbenaceae

Description
A small bushy tree or a shrub. Bark ash-coloured, smooth; leaves cordate or oval, downy, odorous when crushcd; flowers small, dirty yellow, in compound corymbs; drupes wrinkled, 4-celled.

Habitat
Forests of West Bengal, Bihar and northeastern and peninsular India; also in lower altitudes in the Garhwal (Himalayas) area.

Parts Used : Bark (from root and stem) and leaf

Herb Effects
Diuretic and alleviates spasms (leaf); hypoglycemic and stimulates the cardiovascular system (stem bark).

Active Ingredients
Premnalatin (leaf); premnaspiral, premnaspirodiene, pimaradienols and sandarocopimars (root bark); geniposidic and 7-deoxyloganic acids (stem bark).

Medicinal Use
For boils (bark paste) and in dropsy (leaf).

Reference

Premna integrifolia L.


Family : Verbenaceae

Description
A shrub or small tree up to 10 m tall, bole up to 30 cm in diameter, much-branched and sometimes spiny, bark fissured-flaky, brownish-grey. Leaves broadly ovate, obovate to suborbicular, sometimes oblong, (2-)8-15(-21) cm x (1-)5-10(-16) cm, mostly entire, sometimes serrate, crenate or dentate, glabrous, petiolate. Flowers with pedicel 0.5-1 mm long, corolla greenish-white. Fruit obovoid-globose, 3-6 mm long, green turning black.

Habitat
Grows in brushwood and hedges, often near the sea.

Parts Used : Root and leaves.

Herb Effects
The leaves are carminative and said to have a galactagogue property.

Active Ingredients
Betulin

Medicinal Use
The decoction of the root is said to be a cordial, stomachic and useful in liver disorders. It forms an ingredient of Dasamoola. A decoction of the leaves is used in the treatment of colic and flatulence while that of the tender plants is used for rheumatism and neuralgia. The leaves are rubbed along with pepper and administered in cold and fever, also in gonorrhoea and during convalescence from fevers.

Reference

Portulaca oleracea L.


English Name : Indian Purslane

Family : Portulacaceae

Origin : India and the Middle East

Description
An annual, prostrate or spreading, succulent, branched herb; quite glabrous; 10 to 50 cm long. The stems are often purplish. Leaves are fleshy and flat, obtuse, oblong-obovate, base cuneate, 1 to 2.5 cm long. Flowers is sessile, axillary and terminal, few-flowered heads, the heads solitary or cymose, the buds compressed. Petals five; yellow; about as long as the sepals. Stamens 8 to 12.

Habitat
Cultivated fields (and is also cultivated) in India.

Parts Used : Seed, stem, plant and its aerial part

Herb Effects
Diuretic, tonic, vermifuge and contraceptive (seed); antigonorrheic, purifies blood, antibacterial, antiscorbutic, depurative, diuretic and febrifuge (plant); analgesic, anthelmintic, gently laxative, astringent, tonic (to the heart), demulcent, emollient, hemostatic, reduces fever and diaphoretic.

Active Ingredients
Nicotinic acid and tocopherol (aerial part); adrenaline, alpha-linolenic acid, ascorbic acid, beta-carotene, caffeic acid, dopamine, eicosapentaenoic-acid, ferulic acid, tocopherol (plant); oleracins I and II (stem); beta-sitosterol (seed); betulinic acid (stem bark).

Medicinal Use
For maladies of the ear, spleen, kidney and liver, anitgonorrheic and purifying blood (plant); burns, diabetes, diarrhea, dysentery, indigestion, hypotension, insomnia, ophthalmia, heart palpitations, scurvy, skin ailments (plant); in preventing heart attacks and strengthening the immune system, applied to burns (leaves); in the treatment of strangury, coughs, sores etc and are particularly effective in the treatment of skin diseases and insect stings (plant juice); to earaches, to alleviate insect stings (leaf juice); in dyspepsia, worm troubles and opacities of the cornea (seed).

Dosage
Tincture: 1 - 4 ml daily.
Decoction: 1 cup 1-3 times daily.

Reference

Pongamia pinnata (L.) Pierre


English Name : Indian Beach

Family : Fabaceae

Origin : Western Ghats of India

Description
A medium-sized, semi-evergreen up to 18 m tall with a short bole and spreading crown; bark greyish green or brown, smooth or covered with tubercles. Leaves alternate, imparipinnate, 5 to 9 foliate, dark green, shining; leaflets opposite, ovate to elliptic, shortly acuminate, glabrous, to 15 cm long and 8 cm broad. Flowers small, lilac or white tinged with pink or violet, fragrant, borne in fascicles of 2 to 4 flowers in axillary racemes to 15 cm long; calyx campanulate, truncate; corolla much exserted, standard suborbicular with curved folds above the claw, wings obliquely oblong, Fruit (pod) compressed, woody, glabrous, indehiscent, yellowish-grey when mature, varying in size and shape, elliptic to obliquely oblong, to 7.5 cm long and 3.5 cm wide, with a curved beak, usually 1 seeded; seed elliptical or kidney-shaped, to 2 cm long and 1.8 cm wide, wrinkled, reddish-brown.

Habitat
Forests and along the roadsides of India.

Parts Used : Leaf, seed (and their oils) and bark

Herb Effects
Carminative (leaf), antifungal and antibacterial (essential leaf oil), kills roaches (seed oil), insects (seed and leaf) and nematodes (leaf).

Active Ingredients
Pongapin and pongamol (seed and its oil), glabrachromenes I and II (leaf), karanjin and kanjone (leaf, seed and its oil); betulinic acid (stem bark)

Medicinal Use
As a tonic (seed) and in hemorrhoids (stem bark); chronic fevers, rheumatism, lumbago, herpes, scabies, leucoderma and other skin diseases, flatulence, dyspepsia, diarrhoea, cough, leprosy and gonorrhoea (plant); on the head to heal ulcers and cure dandruff (leaf paste); used for cleaning sores, as well as for cleaning teeth and strengthening gums (root juice).

Reference

Polypodium vulgare L.

English Name : Common Polypody

Family : Polypodiaceae

Description
Smallish evergreen fern of rock crevices, 10 - 25 cm high; fronds form a network of spreading, mat-like rhizomes. Leaves single; leathery, green, erect or spreading; blade elongated, tapering to a pointed tip, deeply cut almost to the central axis; leaflets almost altemate, hairiess, margins entire or shallowly toothed, blunt-tipped; central axis basically winged; leafstalk lightly scaled near the base. The fruit is borne on the lower surface of the frond, in large, distinct, golden dots, sori, or capsules, without any indusium, round, in a double row, and becoming finally brownish.

Habitat
Dry shaded ledges and crests in ravines, in calcareous or somewhat acid soils.

Parts Used : Roots

Herb Effects
Alterative, anthelmintic, cholagogue, demulcent, diuretic, expectorant, pectoral, purgative, tonic (root).

Active Ingredients
Benzoic acid, citric acid, citrostadienol, malic acid, (root); beta-sitosterol, butyric acid, caffeic acid, catechins, filicin, glycyrrhizin, lauric acid, methyl-salicylate, stearic acid, sucrose (rhizome); salicyclic acid (leaf).

Medicinal Use
For melancholia and also for rheumatic swelling of the joints (fresh roots); in jaundice, dropsy and scurvy, and combined with mallows removes hardness of the spleen, stitches in the side and colic. In the treatment of pleurisy, hives, sore throats and stomach aches and as a mild laxative for children (tea from roots).

Dosage
Powdered plant: from 1 to 4 drachms.
Decoction or syrup: 1 to 4 fluid ounces, 3 or 4 times a day.

Reference

Polygonum glabrum WILLD.

English Name : Denseflower knotweed

Family : Polygonaceae

Origin : Pantropics

Description
An erect, glabrous herb. Leaves lanceolate, acuminate at apex, tapering at base, gland dotted; ochreae 2.0 to 3.5 cm long, glabrous, truncate at mouth. Racemes terminal. Panicled; bracts glabrous. Perianth pink; lobes 5. Stamens 8, styles 2. Fruit nut, biconvex.

Habitat
Marshes of India

Parts Used : Leaf, flower, rhizome and plant

Herb Effects
Antiviral, hypothermic and stimulates the cardiovascular system (plant); antibacterial (leaf).

Active Ingredients
Cyanidin-3 and delphinidin-3 (flower); quercitrin, avicularin, rutin and rhamnetin (leaf); quercetin (leaf and flower).

Medicinal Use
Colic (leaf); in pneumonia and as anthelmintic (plant juice); snakebite antidote (rhizome); for piles, jaundice, debility and consumption (root stocks).

Reference

Polygonum aviculare L.


English Name : Knotgrass

Family : Polygonaceae

Origin : Eurasia

Description
The root is annual, branched and somewhat woody, taking strong hold of the earth; the stems, 1/2 to 6 feet in length, much branched, seldom erect, usually of straggling habit, often quite prostrate and widely spreading. The leaves, alternate and often stalkless, are variable, narrow, lanceshaped or oval, 1/2 to 1 1/2 inch long, issuing from the sheaths of the stipules or ochreae, which are membraneous, white, shining, torn, red at the base and two-lobed. The flowers are minute, in clusters of two to three, in the axils of the stem, barely 1/8 in. long, usually pinkish, sometimes red, green, or dull whitish.

Habitat
Major weed of paddocks and pastures. Occasional weed of pavements, roadsides, gardens and lawns.

Parts Used : Flowering stems

Herb Effects
The leaves are anthelmintic, diuretic and emollient. The whole plant is anthelmintic, antiphlogistic and diuretic. The juice of the plant is weakly diuretic, expectorant and vasoconstrictor. The seeds are emetic and purgative.

Active Ingredients
Avicularin, catechin, delphinidin, hyperin, myricetin, quercetin, quercitrin, rutin, salycylic acid, tannic acid.

Medicinal Use
Maladies of the respiratory tract, such as asthma and bronchitis, useful in diarrhoea, bleeding piles, all haemorrhages, in strangury and as an expellant of stone. The decoction was also administered to kill worms. An alcohol-based preparation has been used with success to treat varicose veins of recent origin. Applied externally, it is an excellent remedy to stay bleeding of the nose and to treat sores.

Dosage
Infusion of 1 tsp of ground drug/cup water or a briefly boiled decoction consumed 2 to 3 times per day.

Contraindication
People with a tendency to rheumatism, arthritis, gout, kidney stones or hyperacidity should take especial caution if including this plant in their diet since it can aggravate their condition.

Reference

Polyalthia longifolia BENTH. & HOOK. F.


English Name : Mast Tree

Family : Annonaceae

Origin : Southern Deccan Peninsula and Sri Lanka

Description
It is a handsome evergreen tree with a straight trunk and strictly drooping branches. The bark is greyish brown, thick and smooth. Leaves are lanceolate, acuminate shining with undulate margins and 15.0 to 22.0 cm long. The flowers are borne in fascicles and are yellowish or white. Fruits are in clusters and formed of small ovoid, purple and 1 seeded carpels.

Habitat
Warmer areas of India

Parts Used : Bark and leaf

Herb Effects
Febrifuge

Active Ingredients
Leucocyanidin, leucocyanidin trimer and beta-sitosterol (stem bark).

Medicinal Use
Reducing fever (bark). The decoction of the bark is used to treat indigestion, hypertension and fever. It also stimulates respiration.

Reference

Plumbago zeylanica L.


English Name : White Leadwort

Family : Plumbaginaceae

Description
A perennial herb 1.5 m tall. Leaves thin glabrous 4 to 16 cm long and 2.0 to 7.5 cm wide, ovate apex subacute, margins entire, base tapering into amplexicaul petiole, auricles present. Flowers white, borne in elongated spikes up to 30 cm long; sepals green, persistent with membranous margins, corolla tube less than 2.2 cm long, petals 6 to 7 cm long, obovate. Fruit capsule, oblong, sharply pointed with furrows, enclosed with persistent calyx.

Habitat
Found wild in Peninsular India

Parts Used : Bark, root, wood and powder

Herb Effects
Antiperiodic, stimulant, sudorific, stomachic, carminative, astringent, anthelmintic, laxative, expectorant, tonic, alterative, abortifacient, and alexipharmic.

Active Ingredients
Plumbagin

Medicinal Use
For dyspepsia, piles, anasarca, diarrhea, skin disease, obstinate skin diseases, ulcers, for treating laryngitis, rheumatism, diseases of the spleen, ring worm, scabies. The root of the herb is used in cases of enlarged spleen, helps improve digestion and it stimulates the appetite.

Dosage
To improve digestion: 2-3 grams one hour before the main meal of the day with warm water.
Colicky abdominal pain: 0.5 to 2 grams each with warm water.

Contraindication
It causes abortion. Large doses cause death from respiratory failure.

Reference

Plumbago indica L.

English Name : Rosy-flowered leadwort, Officinal leadwort, Scarlet leadwort, Whorled plantain

Family : Plumbaginaceae

Origin : South-East Asia

Description
A shrub up to 1.5 m tall, branched from the base, stems drooping, sometimes rooting. Leaves oblong, 5-15 cm x 2-8 cm, petiole not auriculate. Inflorescence a rather sparsely flowered spike, not corymbose, rachis glabrous, 10-30 cm long; flowers with calyx about 1 cm long, covered in glands, red, corolla tube 2.5-4 cm long, lobes 2-3 cm in diameter, distinctly mucronate, red. Fruit is long, sharp, slimy, which contains a seed in it that is long.


Habitat
Found in the vicinity of (former) anthropogenic localities, locally semi-spontaneous, often persistent in abandoned cultivation, also in teak forest, up to 1000 m elevation.


Parts Used : Leaf, root and bark

Herb Effects
Acts as a counter-irritant and abortifacient (roots); vesicant (root-bark); emmenagogue, stomachic and carminative (dried roots).

Medicinal Use
Used as a poultice for rheumatism, paralysis, tumours, toothache and swollen glands, and cut into thin slices and applied to the head for headache and to the skin for skin diseases (roots); in the treatment of haemorrhoids and for purifying blood and to stimulate digestion (dried roots); in the treatment of rheumatism and headache (leaves); externally applied in the treatment of rheumatism, glandular swellings and leprosy (leaves and roots); against dyspepsia (bark).

Contraindication
Do not use when pregnant.

Reference

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Pluchea lanceolata C. B. Clarke

Family : Asteraceae

Description
An erect undershrub, 30-100 cm tall. Leaves 2-6 cm long, sessile, oblanceolate or oblong, coriaceous; flowers white, yellow, lilac or purple, in many headed compound corymbs.

Habitat
Salty or sandy areas of the Upper Gangetic plains, Rajasthan, Punjab and Gujarat.

Parts Used : Leaf, stem, plant and root

Herb Effects
Cholinergic and relaxes smooth muscles, antipyretic, analgesic, laxative and nervine tonic (plant); antiinflammatory (stem); antiimplantation (aerial part); succulent, aperient (leaves); alexiteric, antipyretic, bitter, laxative and thermogenic (root)

Active Ingredients
Quercetin and iso-rhamnetin (leaf); pluchine, choline, taraxasterol and beta and gamma-sitosterol (plant).

Medicinal Use
For inflammations and bronchitis, psoriasis, cough and piles (Plant) ; To prevent swellings of joint in arthritis, rheumatism and neurological diseases (decoction of plant); is highly effective in sciatica, muscular sprains and joint pains (leaf extract).

Reference

Plantago major L.


English Name : Plantain. Great Plantain

Family : Plantaginaceae

Origin : Eurasia

Description
It grows from a very short rhizome, which bears below a great number of long, straight, yellowish roots, and above, a large, radial rosette of leaves and a few long, slender, densely-flowered spikes. The leaves are ovate, blunt, abruptly contracted at the base into a long, broad, channelled footstalk (petiole). The blade is 4 to 10 inches long and about two-thirds as broad, usually smooth, thickish, five to eleven ribbed, the ribs having a strongly fibrous structure, the margin entire, or coarsely and unevenly toothed. The flower-spikes, erect, on long stalks, are as long as the leaves, 1/4 to 1/3 inch thick and usually blunt. The flowers are somewhat purplish-green, the calyx four-parted, the small corolla bell-shaped and four-lobed, the stamens four, with purple anthers. The fruit is a two-celled capsule, not enclosed in the perianth, and containing four to sixteen seeds.

Habitat
In cultivation lands by the sides of the roads, in rich fields and farms.

Parts Used : Leaves or aerial parts

Herb Effects
The leaves are astringent, demulcent, deobstruent, depurative, diuretic, expectorant, haemostatic and refrigerant.

Active Ingredients
Apigenin, ascorbic acid, asperuloside, aucubin, baicalein, baicalin, benzoic acid, caffeic acid, chlorogenic acid, choline, cinnamic acid, ferulic acid, fumaric acid, geniposidic acid, linoleic acid, luteolin, oleanolic acid, oleic acid, P-coumaric acid, salicylic acid, urosilic acid and vanillic acid.

Medicinal Use
It is used in inflammation of the skin, malignant ulcers, intermittent fever, etc., and as a vulnerary, and externally as a stimulant application to sores. The leaves arrest external haemorrhage. The fresh leaves are applied whole or bruised in the form of a poultice. Rubbed on parts of the body stung by insects, nettles, etc., or as an application to burns and scalds. Internally, they are used in the treatment of a wide range of complaints including diarrhoea, gastritis, peptic ulcers, irritable bowel syndrome, haemorrhage, haemorrhoids, cystitis, bronchitis, catarrh, sinusitis, asthma and hay fever. They are used externally in treating skin inflammations, malignant ulcers, cuts, stings etc. The heated leaves are used as a wet dressing for wounds, swellings etc. The root is a remedy for the bite of rattlesnakes. The seeds are used in the treatment of parasitic worms. Plantain seeds contain up to 30% mucilage which swells up in the gut, acting as a bulk laxative and soothing irritated membranes. A distilled water made from the plant makes an excellent eye lotion.

Dosage
Infusion: pour a cup of boiling water onto 2teaspoonfuls of the dried herb and leave to infuse for l0 minutes. This shouldbe drunk three times a day.
Ointment: an ointment can be made that will aid the treatment of haemorrhoidsand cuts.
Tincture: take 2-3ml of the tincture three times a day.

Reference

Pistacia vera L.

English Name : Pistache, Pistachio

Family : Anacardiaceae


Origin : Central Asia

Description
Deciduous tree, growing slowly to 30 feet tall and wide (9 m). The flowers are apetalous and unisexual, and borne in panicles. The fruit is a drupe, containing an elongated seed (a nut in the culinary sense, but not a true botanical nut) with a hard, whitish shell and a striking light green kernel, having a very characteristic flavour.

Habitat
Hilly and mountainous regions, especially on sandstone soils, with a temperature range from -10°c in the winter to 40°c in the summer, to 1500 metres.

Parts Used : Plant, seed

Herb Effects
Sedative and tonic (seed)

Active Ingredients
Alanine, alpha-linolenic acid, alpha-tocopherol, arginine, arsenic, aspartic acid, beta-carotene, beta-sitosterol, cystine, folacin, glutamic acid, glycine, histidine, isoleucine, leucine, linoleic acid, lysine, methionine, mufa, myristic acid, niacin, oleic acid, palmitic acid, palmitoleic acid, phenylalanine, squalene, stearic acid, stigmasterol, succinic acid, threonine, tryptophan, tyrosine (seed); shikimic acid (leaf); tannin (plant)

Medicinal Use
For the treatment of abdominal ailments, abscesses, amenorrhoea, bruises, chest ailments, circulation, dysentery, gynecopathy, pruritus, rheumatism, sclerosis of the liver, sores and trauma (plant)

Reference

Pistacia lentiscus L.

English Name : Mastic

Family : Anacardiaceae

Origin : Mediterranean, from sea level to 2500 feet elevation

Description
An evergreen shrub or small tree growing to 3–4 m tall and wide (4.5-7.5 m); leaves even-pinnately compound, leathery, 3 to 5 pairs of 1 inch leaflets. The flowers are very small, in axillary panicles, and dioecious; the raceme of the males is amentaceous with 1-flowered bracts; calyx 5-cleft; stamens 5; anthers subsessile and 4-cornered ; the females' raceme more lax; calyx 3-cleft; ovary 1 to 3-celled; stigmas 3, and rather thick. The fruit is a very small, pea-shaped drupe, reddish when ripe, with a smooth, somewhat bony nut.

Habitat
Open woods and scrub on dry hillsides, usually by the coast

Parts Used : Resin

Herb Effects
Analgesic, antitussive, carminative, diuretic, expectorant, odontalgic, sedative and stimulant (resin).

Active Ingredients
Alpha-pinene (resin, exudate, sap); aucubin, choline (seed); cycloartenol, kaempferol, lupeol, myricetin, quercetin, shikimic acid, tannin (leaf).

Medicinal Use
Can reduce bacterial plaque in the mouth, heal peptic ulcers, for bronchial troubles and coughs and as a treatment for diarrhoea, to boils, ulcers, ringworm and muscular stiffness.

Dosage
1 to 3 grammes (15 to 45 grains).

Reference

Piper nigrum L.


English Name : Black Pepper, Madagascar pepper, Pepper, White pepper

Family : Piperaceae

Origin : Southern India

Description
It is a perennial with a round, smooth, woody stem, with articulations, swelling near the joints and branched; the leaves are entire, broadly ovate, acuminate, coriaceous, smooth, with seven nerves; colour dark green and attached by strong sheath-like foot-stalks to joints of branches. Flowers small, white, sessile, covering a tubular spadix; fruits globular, red berries when ripe, and surface coarsely wrinkled.

Habitat
Wet and warm parts of India, South Vietnam and the East and West Indies; also it has been introduced into many tropical parts of the world. It prefers shade and fertile soils.

Parts Used : Dried, unripe fruit, leaf and plant

Herb Effects
Diuretic, stimulant, carminative, antifungal, antibacterial, kills certain larvae and tapeworms and stimulates the secretion of gastric juices (fruit); lowers blood pressure (leaf), abortifacient, antiinflammatory and rubefacient.

Active Ingredients
Piperine, hentriacontanol, hentriacontane and beta-sitosterol (stem), sabinene, alpha and beta-pinene, myrcene and limonene (fruit's essential oil), chavicin (a resin); 1,8-cineole, alpha-linolenic acid, alpha-pinene, alpha-terpinene, alpha-terpeniol, ascorbic acid, benzoic acid, beta-bisabolene, beta-carotene, beta-pinene, borneol, camphene, camphor, carvacrol, carvone, cinnamic acid, citral, citronellal, d-limonene, delta-3-carene, delta-cadinene, eugenol, gamma-terpinene, lauric acid, linalyl-acetate, linoleic acid, methyl-eugenol, myrcene, myristicin, nerolidol, niacin, oleic acid, oxalic acid, p-cymene, palmitic acid, piperine, safrole, terpinen-4-ol, terpinolene, thiamin, ubiquinone (fruit).

Medicinal Use
In malaria, as a diuretic and in various gastrointestinal problems (fruit), cancer (especially that of the nose), corns, gonorrhea, headache, sores, swellings, cholera, craw-craw and dhobey itch, as an aromatic stimulant for disorders such as coma, good for constipation, also on the urinary organs; externally it is a rubefacient, useful in relaxed conditions of the rectum when prolapsed.

Dosage
5 to 15 grains in powder; B.P. dose of Pepper. 1 to 2 drachms; Oleoresin. U.S.P. dose. 1/2 grain.

Reference

Piper cubeba L. F.


English Name : Tailed Pepper

Family : Piperaceae

Origin : Indonesia

Description
A climbing shrub with cylindrical, smooth, zigzag, striate stems, somewhat thickened at the nodes. Leaves alternate, on short stout petioles, blade about 6 inches long, lanceolate or oval-oblong, tapering to the acute apex, usually somewhat unequal at the base, quite entire, slightly wavy, glabrous on both surfaces, somewhat coriaceous, deep green, rather paler and with prominent veins beneath. Flowers unisexual, dioecious, minute, sessile, each with a bract at the base, densely crowded in small, cylindrical, stalked, solid spikes coming off opposite the leaves. Fruit globular, smooth, about ¼ inch long, with a blunt apiculus and tapering below into a stalk-like base.

Parts Used : Fruit, Seed and Essential Oil

Herb Effects
Kills mosquito larvae, anthelmintic and antiviral (essential oil); antibacterial (seed); antiasthmatic, irritant, carminative, sedative, diuretic and antidysenteric (fruit)

Active Ingredients
Linolic, palmitic, linolenic, oleic, arachidic, stearic, behenic and hexadecenoic acids (seed); sesquiterpenes (essential oil); 1,8-cineole, alpha-pinene, alpha-terpinene, alpha-terpineol, apiole, asarone, azulene, beta-bisabolene, beta-elemene, beta-pinene, caryophyllene, delta-cadinene, gamma-terpinene, limonene, myrcene, nerolidol, safrole (fruit); alpha-phellandrene (plant).

Medicinal Use
Asthma (fruit); in gonorrhea, gleet and inflammation of the bladder.

Dosage
Tea (add 1 tsp. Cubebs to 1 cup of boiling water cover and steep for 10 min): hot or cold, a mouthful 3 times a day or 1/2 cup at bedtime.
Oil:5 to 15 drops.
Powder:1/2 to 2 tsp.

Reference

Piper betle L.


English Name : Betel Vine

Family : Piperaceae

Origin : Malaysia

Description
A perennial dioecious creeper. Stems semi-woody, climbing by short, adventitious roots; leaves 5-20 cm long, broadly ovate, slightly cordate and often unequal at the base, shortly acuminate, acute, entire, with often an undulate margin, glabrous, yellowish or bright green, shining on both sides; petiole stout, 2.0-2.5 cm long; male spikes dense, cylindrical; female spikes 2.5-5.0 cm long, pendulous; fruits rarely produced, often sunk in the fleshy spike, forming nodule-like structures.

Parts Used : Root, leaf and essential oil

Herb Effects
Carminative, stimulant, antibacterial and inhibits tumor growth (leaf); anthelmintic, respiratory and cardiac depressant, alleviates spasms and antiseptic (essential oil); contraceptive (root); aphrodisiac and astringent.

Active Ingredients
Hentriacontane, beta and gamma-sitosterols, pentatriacontane and chavicol (leaf); eugenol, carvacrol, allyl catechol, cadinine, tannins, chavibetol and arakene.

Medicinal Use
Increasing the secretion of gastric juices (leaf); alleviating spasms and as an antiseptic (essential oil); abscesses, sores and cuts, asthma, bronchitis, cancer, catarrh, colic, cough, diphtheria, dysentery, earache and nose.

Dosage : Betel oil: 1 to 2 minims.

Reference

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Myristica fragrans HOUTT

English Name : Nutmeg

Family : Myristicaceae

Origin : Eastern Moluccas (Indonesia)

Description
Nutmeg is an evergreen, small, dioecious tree attaining from 5 to 20 meters tall, crown is conical in shape. Bark is greyish-brown and when cut, it exudes a light red sap, a generic character for all species of Myristica. Leaves are alternate, simple, without stipules, papery thin; the stalk is about 1 centimeter long; leaf blades are elliptic to lanceolate, base acute, margin entire, top acuminate, aromatic when crushed. The inflorescences are axillary, in umbrella-like grouped flowers, male usually many-flowered, female 1 to 3 flowers only; flowers are fragrant, with fine hairs becoming smooth, pale yellow, floral envelopes 3-lobed; male flowers with slender stalk of less than 1 mm thick, usually narrowed at the base and with 8 to 12 stamens; female flowers with superior stalkless 1- celled ovary. Fruits are peach-shaped berry or drupe-like, fleshy, yellowish, splitting open into halves when ripe, containing only one ovoid seed, with a shiny dark brown, hard and stony furrowed and longitudinally wrinkled shell, enveloped by an aril cut into narrow parts that is attached to its base, the kernel with a small embryo and a chewed-up endosperm that contains many veins containing essential oils.

Habitat
Grows wild on rich volcanic soils in lowland tropical rain forests. Its cultivation as a crop is largely confined to islands in the hot, humid tropics at altitudes up to 4,500 metres.


Parts Used : Powder, aril, fruit and leaves

Herb Effects
Stimulant, carminative, astringent and aphrodisiac

Active Ingredients
1,8-cineole, acetic acid, alpha-phellandrene, alpha-terpinene, alpha-terpineol, butyric acid, camphene, caprylic acid, elemicin, eugenol, formic acid, furfural, gamma-terpinene, geraniol, geranyl-acetate, isoeugenol, lauric acid, limonene, linoleic acid, methyl-eugenol, methyl-isoeugenol, myrcene, myristic acid, oleanolic acid, oleic acid, p-cymene, palmitic acid, safrole, stearic acid, terpinen-4-ol, terpineol, terpinolene (seed); myristicin (leaf); kaempferol, quercetin (plant)

Medicinal Use
Used in treatment of pestilential and putrid fevers, asthma and heart disease, digestive disorders, kidney disease and lymphatic ailments. It stimulates the appetite and improves digestion and calms nausea and vomiting. The nutmeg oil is used to dispel flatulence.

Dosage
The dosage given was 9 tablespoons orally per day but it may vary between patients to avoid toxic symptoms.
Powdered dry seed, 0.3-1g three times a day.
Oil: Dilute 10 drops in 10ml almond oil and use for muscular pains associated with rheumatism or over-exertion.

Contraindication
Eating nutmegs produces stomach pain, double vision, delirium, and other symptoms of poisoning. Contraindicated in pregnancy. Do not use as a treatment on young children.

Reference

Musa paradisiaca Linn.

English Name : Edible Banana, Plantain

Family : Musaceae

Description
A tropical tree-like herb, with large leaves of which the overlapping bases form the so-called false trunk. Fully grown, the stem reaches a height of 10 - to 30 feet. From the center of the crown spring the flowers. Only female flowers develop into a banana fruit that vary in length from about 4 - 12 inches.

Habitat
Warmer areas of India


Parts Used : Root, fruit, stem and plant

Herb Effects
Laxative (fruit)

Active Ingredients
Arginine, histidine, isoleucine, leucine, lysine, methionine, phenylalanine, threonine, tryptophan, valine, serotonin, dopamine, norepinepherine, malic acid and catecholamine (plant)

Medicinal Use
Blood disorders (stem juice and root); in dysentery and diarrhea,promotes the healing of intestinal lesion in ulcerative colitis (fruit); useful in diabetes, uremia, nephritis, gout, hypertension and cardiac diseases (ripe fruit); for dysentery (flower juice).

Reference

Mucuna pruriens Linn.


English Name : Bengal bean, cow itch, florida velvet bean, velvet bean

Family : Fabaceae

Origin : India

Description
M.pruriens is an herbaceous twining annual. The leaves are trifoliolate; the leaflets, broadly ovate, elliptic or rhomboid ovate and unequal at the base; the flowers, purple and in axillary, pendulous racemes; the pods, curved, longitudinally ribbed, turgid and densely clothed with persistent pale brown or grey, irritant bristles; the seeds, black, 4 to 6 in a pod and ovoid.

Habitat
The plant can grow in a range of habitats and could become naturalised in grasslands, bushland, riverine forest and forest edges throughout tropical and subtropical regions.

Parts Used : Roots, seeds and fruits.

Herb Effects
Anabolic, androgenic, analgesic (pain-reliever), anti-inflammatory, anti-Parkinson's, antispasmodic, antivenin, aphrodisiac, febrifuge, hormonal, hypocholesterolemic (lowers cholesterol), hypoglycemic, immunomodulator, nervine (balances/calms nerves), anti-neurasthenic.

Active Ingredients
L-DOPA (plant); mucunine, mucunadine, mucuadinine, pruriendine and nicotine, besides ß-sitosterol, glutathione, lecithin, oils, venolic and gallic acids (plant/seeds); tryptamine, alkylamines, steroids, flavonoids, coumarins, cardenolides, etc (seed with seed coat).

Medicinal Use
To treat roundworm, sterility, difficult urination and emaciation (seed and root);useful in increasing sperm count, ovulation in women, etc.; in leucorrhoea, menorrhagia, spermatorrhoea, Parkinson's (seed); in facial paralysis and nervous disorders (root); purifies the blood, cures rheumatism, asthma, cough, stone in the bladder and improves vitality (root decoction). Leaf paste is applied to ulcers. This herb is being investigated as a possible remedy for AIDS.

Dosage
For seeds as 3 - 6 gm and 10 % L-dopa extract 300 - 600 mg

Contraindication
Contraindicated during Pregnancy.

Reference

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Morinda citrifolia L.

English Name : Indian mulberry

Family : Rubiaceae

Origin : Malaysia, Australia and Polynesia

Description
An evergreen shrub or small crooked tree with a conical crown, 3—8(—10) m tall, with a deep taproot; bark greyish or yellowish-brown, shallowly fissured, glabrous; branchlets quadrangular. Leaves opposite and simple, elliptic-lanceolate, (10—)15—50 cm x 5—17 cm, entire, acute to shortly acuminate at apex, cuneate at base, pinnately nerved, glabrous; petioles 0.5—2.5 cm long; stipules variable in size and shape, broadly triangular. Inflorescences globose heads, 1—4 cm long peduncled, in axils of stipules opposite normally developed leaves; flowers bisexual, fragrant; corolla funnel-shaped, up to 1.5 cm long, white; stamens inserted on the mouth of the corolla; stigma bilobed. Fruit an ovoid syncarp of red-brown, pyramidal, 2-seeded drupes, 3—10 cm x 2—3 cm, yellow-white. Seeds black, with hard albumen and distinct air chamber.

Habitat
Grows in shady forests as well as on open rocky or sandy shores.

Parts Used : Bark, root, leaf anf fruit

Herb Effects
Febrifuge and tonic (roots); tonic and antiseptic (bark); febrifuge, tonic and antiseptic (leaves); diuretic, laxative, emollient and as an emmenagogue (fruit); anthelmintic (roots, leaves and fruits).

Active Ingredients
Anthraquinone, asperuloside (root); ascorbic acid, niacin, riboflavin, thiamin (leaf); damnacanthal, lucidin (tissue culture).

Medicinal Use
Used to treat stiffness and tetanus, and to combat arterial tension (roots); as antiseptic on skin lesions, ulcers and wounds (bark); to treat dysentery, diarrhoea, colic, nausea and convulsions (leaves); for asthma and other respiratory problems, as a treatment for arthritic and comparable inflammations, in cases of leucorrhoea and sapraemia and for maladies of inner organs (fruits).

Reference

Momordica dioica ROXB. EX WILLD


English Name : Small Bitter Gourd

Family : Cucurbitaceae

Description
A climber, roots tuberous; tendril simple, leaf-opposed. Leaves alternate, membranous, broadly ovate, 3 to 5 lobed, base cordate; lobes triangular, distantly denticulate; petiole 2 to 7 cm long, channelled above. Male flowers; 2.5 to 3.0 cm long, yellowish, axillary, solitary; pedicels 3 to 5 cm long; bracts spathaceous, enclosing the flower. Calyx 5-lobed. Corolla deeply 5-lobed, or campanulate. Stamens 3, inserted at the mouth of calyx; filaments free, erect; 2 anthers 2-celled and 1 anther 1-celled. Fruit 6 x 3 cm, ovoid, fleshy, 3-valved, muricate; seeds flattened, sculptured.

Parts Used : Tuber, root and seed oil

Herb Effects
Anthelmintic and kills sperm (tuber); as an astringent and antidote, reduces fever and astringent (root).

Active Ingredients
Alpha-eleostearic acid (seed oil)

Medicinal Use
Hemorrhoids, reducing fever, stimulant and astringent. Juice of root is antiseptic. The root is used in piles, urinary complaints, as asedative in high fever, in snake-bite and scorpion-sting.

Reference

Momordica charantia L.


English Name : Balsam-Pear, Bitter Gourd, Bitter cucumber, Karela, Leprosy gourd, Bitter cucumber.

Family : Cucurbitaceae

Origin : Old world tropics

Description
Monoecious and annual vine which reach 5 meters long. The stem is 5-ridged and climbs to the trellises and other structures. The leaves are palmately and deeply 5-to-6 -lobed, the base deeply cordate, margin tooth, blade smooth or with fine hairs. The flowers are solitary; the male and female flowers are found in the same plant with a corolla about 2 to 3.5 cm in diameter across, both having apical bracts which are longer in mallet than in female ones, but the flower stalks are longer in females than in male ones, The fruits are variable in length depending on the cultivar but all are narrower towards the stalk, outside is warty, without hairs, green, when ripe orange yellow, the pulp inside orange when ripe, with bright red seed covering enclosing the seed. Seeds are numerous, flattish, brown, the seed coat ornamented. Propagated by seed and underground stems.

Parts Used : Seed, fruit, leaf and aerial part

Herb Effects
Abortifacient, anthelmintic, contraceptive, emmenagogue, galactagogue, laxative, purgative, tonic, laxative and emetic (leaf), cytotoxic and lowers blood sugar (fruit and seed), lipogenic and antilipolytic (fruit), kills insects (seed oil).

Active Ingredients
Cucurbitacin glycosides and lectins (immature fruit), tetracyclic triterpenes (aerial part and leaf), triterpene glycosides (seed), momordicine and charantin, 5-hydroxytryptamine, ascorbic acid, beta carotene, beta sitosterol, beta sitosterol-D-glucoside, Citrulline, gaba, zeaxanthin (fruit), Linolenic acid, lutein, lycopene.

Medicinal Use
In jaundice and as a laxative (leaf); diabetes. rheumatism and snakebite (fruit), diabetes mellitus, eczema, fat loss, fever (malarial), gout, hydrophobia, hyperglycemia, kidney (stone), leprosy, leucorrhea, liver, piles, pneumonia, psoriasis, rheumatism, scabies and skin diseases. Hot water extract of dried root is taken orally to induce abortion.

Dosage
Decoction: 1 cup of a standard leaf or whole herb, one or two times daily.
Tincture (4:1): 1-3 ml twice daily.

Contraindication
It lowers blood sugar levels and has abortive and contraceptive effects.

Reference

Mollugo pentaphylla L


Family : Molluginaceae

Origin : Australia

Description
A slender, decumbent to erect, much branched, usually annual herb up to 30 cm tall with an angular stem; roots fragrant. Leaves in whorls of 2 to 9 , linear lanceolate to obovate, apex obtuse, acute or apiculate, narrowed at the base; petioles obscure. Flowers white, greenish, orange or pink in lax, corymbose, terminal cymes; peduncles and pedicels filiform; bracts lanceolate. Fruit (capsule) subglobose, about as long as sepals, with thin walls; seeds numerous, dark reddish-brown, covered with raised points.

Habitat
Forests and fields of India.

Parts Used : Plant , leaves

Herb Effects
Antiseptic and induces immobility of sperm; bitter, stomachic, antiperiodic and aperient (leaves); emmenagogue (plant infusion).

Active Ingredients
Mollugogenols A, B and D

Medicinal Use
For eye sores, as an antiseptic and stimulating the secretion of gastric juices; promotes digestion; also promotes menses and suppressed lochia (leaves); to relieve sore legs (poultice); applied to relieve earache (oil).

Reference

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Mollugo cerviana SER.


English Name : Three-Stem Carpetweed, Parpadagam

Family : Molluginaceae

Description
An erect slender annual herb up to 20 cm tall, with slender, cylindrical stems, branches umbellate, the nodes thickened; roots aromatic. Leaves in dense whorls of 4 to 8 at each node, sessile or subsessile, often glaucous; radical leaves 6 to 13 mm long, spathulate or linear - spathulate. Flowers numerous, on stiff filiform pedicels to 1.2 cm long, usually in groups of 3 on long filiform axillary and terminal peduncles; sepals 2.5 mm long, elliptic-oblong, obtuse, with white membranous margins. Fruit (capsule) rounded, equaling the sepals, dehiscing into 3 broadly ovate emarginate valves; seeds numerous smooth, yellowish-brown, without tubercular points.

Habitat
Forests and fields; Gujarat upper Gangetic plains, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra and southern India.

Parts Used : Root and plant

Herb Effects
The herb is cooling, diuretic, febrifuge, relieves thrist, burning sensation of the body, stomachic, aperient, antiseptic and stimulates the heart. Diaphoretic (flowers and tender shoots).

Active Ingredients
Orientin and vitexin (plant).

Medicinal Use
Reducing fever, as an antiseptic and stimulating the secretion of gastric juices (plant); gout and rheumatism (root); to relieve fevers (flowers and tender shoots). An infusion of the plant promotes lochial discharge and is considered a cure for gonorrhoea.

Dosage
½ to 2 tolas as a decoction with or without sugar or as a compound with other drugs.

Reference

Marsdenia tenacissima Wight & Arn.

English Name : Rajmahal Hemp

Family : Asclepiadaceae

Description
A large, twining shrub. Bark grey or pale brown, corky, deeply furrowed; leaves broadly ovate; flowers in much branched cymes, greenish yellow, with a somewhat offensive odour; follicles ovoid-lanceolate, longitudinally wrinkled; seeds ovate-oblong, flattened.

Habitat
Hedges, waste places and amongst shrubs.

Parts Used
Root

Medicinal Use
For colic (root)


Leptadenia reticulata (RETZ.) WIGHT & ARN.


Family : Asclepiadaceae

Origin : Mauritius, Madagascar, Myanmar, SriLanka, India and Malaysia

Description
It is a much-branched twining shrub. The bark is yellowish brown, corky, deeply cracked; the leaves are ovate-cordate, coriaceous glabrous above, more or less finely pubescent beneath; the flowers are in many-flowered cymes, greenish yellow; the follicles are sub-woody and turgid.

Habitat
Often found on hedges and in forests; Punjab (subHimalayas), peninsular India and Uttar Pradesh.

Parts Used : Leaf, twig, root and plant

Herb Effects
General stimulant, stimulates the secretion and/or flow of milk and antibacterial against gram-positive and gram-negative strains (plant).

Active Ingredients
Leptadenol, leptidin, n-triacontane, cetyl alcohol, lupanol-3-O-diglucoside and beta-sitosterol; alpha and beta-amyrin, stigmasterol, hentriacontanol, flavonoids and gamma-sitosterol (twig and leaf).

Medicinal Use
Skin disorders and wounds (root and leaf).

Reference

Leonotis nepetaefolia R.Br.


English Name : Catnipleaf Lion's-Ear

Family : Lamiaceae

Description
An ornamental herb or shrub, 1.2-1.8 m. Stem stout, puberulous; leaves large, 6.3-15 cm.x 3.8-10 cm., long-petioled, ovate crenate-serrate, membranous; flowers in verticillasters, orange-scarlet, bristly; nutlets oblong-obivoid, 4 mm. long, obliquely truncat. margins ribbed.

Habitat
Mainly forests; warmer areas of India.

Parts Used : Flower and plant

Herb Effects
Anticancer,depurative, emmenagogue, febrifuge, laxative, narcotic and alleviates spasms (plant); anti-malarial (seeds); rheumatic affections (leaves).

Active Ingredients
Leonotinin, nepataefolinol and nepetaefolin (plant); inositol, oleic acid, stearic acid, linoleic acid, palmitic acid (seed).

Medicinal Use
In skin diseases (such as ringworm), burns and scalds (flower).

Reference

Lagenaria siceraria (MOLINA) STANDLEY


English Name : Bottle gourd, calabash gourd

Family : Cucurbitaceae

Origin : Asia or Africa

Description
A large, pubescent, climbing or trailing herb with stout, 5-angled stems and bifid tendrils. Leaves to 15 cm diameter, ovate or orbicular, base cordate, margins dentate, usually 5-lobed; petiole long, with 2 glands at its apex. Flowerslarge, white solitary, monoecious or dioecious, the male long and the female short-peduncled; calyx tube funnel-shaped, subcampanulate, teeth 5, narrow, petals 5, free, obovate, crumpled, hairy on both sides. Fruits of variable size and shape, but usually bottle-shaped, up to 1.8 m long, with a hard, durable, smooth shell. Seeds numerous, white, smooth, horizontally compressed with marginal groove.

Parts Used : Fruit and leaves.

Herb Effects
Antibiotic, antidote, diuretic, emetic, febrifuge, lithontripic, odontalgic, poultice, purgative, vermifuge.

Active Ingredients
Arginine, ascorbic acid, beta-carotene, choline, cucurbitacin B, cucurbitacin D, folacin, histidine, linoleic acid, lysine, methionine, niacin, oleic acid, palmitic acid, phenylalanine, riboflavin, stearic acid, thiamin, threonine, tryptophan, valine (fruit).

Medicinal Use
To treat headaches, aching teeth and gums, boils etc. It is also used for the treatment for diabetes mellitus.

Reference

Hiptage benghalensis Kurz.


English Name :Hiptage

Family : Malpighiaceae

Origin : Temperate and Tropical Asia

Description
A large, handsome, evergreen climbing shrub. Bark brown, exfoliating in flakes : leaves opposite, 4-6 in. long, elliptic-oblong or ovatelanceolate ; flowers fragrant, silky, in racemes : petals fringed, white, uppermost yellowish ; fruit of 1-3 unequally winged samaras : seeds subglobose.

Habitat
Chiefly in damp places, ascending up to an altitude of 6,000 ft.

Parts Used : Leaf, bark, plant

Herb Effects
Hot, acrid, bitter, insecticidal, vulnerary (leaf and bark)

Active Ingredients
Hiptagin (bark)friedelin, epi-friedelinol, octacosanol, a-amyrin, ß-sitosterol its -ß-D-glucoside and traces of alkaloid (stem and its bark)

Medicinal Use
In cutaneous diseases, for scabies (leaves); in chronic rheumatism and asthma (plant); biliousness, cough, burning sensation, thirst and inflammation (leaf and bark).

Reference