Sunday, May 13, 2012

Abutilon indicum (Linn.) Sweet

Family: Malvaceae
Synonym(s): Sida indica L.
English name: Indian Mallow
A herbaceous or shrubby, softly tomentose plant. Stem is round, often tinged with purple color. The leaves are petiolate, ovate to orbicular-cordate, acuminate and toothed. Flowers are borne solitary in long, jointed and axillary pedicels. Calyx lobes divided in the middle, ovate and apiculate. Corolla is yellow or orange-yellow and opens in the evening. Carpels are 15-20 in number. Fruits are hispid, scarcely longer than the calyx and the awns are erect. Seeds are three to five, kidney-shaped, dark brown or black, tubercled or with minutely stellate hairs.   
Found abundantly in wastelands from the seashore to 1,200 meters high in India and in the sub-Himalayan tracts.
Parts Used: Whole plant
Herb Effects
Aphrodesiac,anti-inflammatory,anthelmintic, analgesic, expectorant,laxative, diuretic, demulcent 
Active Ingredients
Alantolactone, isoalantolactone2 and gallic acid, Helenin (a mixture of alantolactone and isoalantolactone, q.v.)
Medicinal Uses
To treat ulcers, headaches, gonorrhea & bladder infection,for pile complaints,to increase semen in men, deafness, ringing in the ears, eye problems, colds, high fever, mumps, hives, pulmonary tuberculosis, cough, bronchitis (decocted), difficult/painful urination, painful menses.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

WHO Monograhs of Selected medicinal Plants- Volume 1

During the fourth International Conference of Drug Regulatory Authorities (ICDRA) held in Tokyo in 1986, WHO was requested to compile a list of medicinal plants and to establish international specifications for the most widely used medicinal plants and simple preparations. Guidelines for the assessment of herbal medicines were subsequently prepared by WHO and adopted by the sixth ICDRA in Ottawa, Canada, in 1991.1 As a result of ICDRA’s recommendations and in response to requests from WHO’s Member States for assistance in providing safe and effective herbal medicines for use in national health-care systems, WHO is now publishing this first volume of 28 monographs on selected medicinal plants; a second volume is in preparation.


WHO Monographs on Selected Plants- Volume 3

WHO published Volume 1 of the WHO monographs on selected medicinal plants, containing 28 monographs, in 1999, and Volume  including 30 monographs in 2002. This third volume contains an additional collection of 32 monographs describing the quality control and use of selected medicinal plants.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Abrus precatorius Linn.

Family: Fabaceae
Synonym(s) : Rhynchosia precatoria
English name: Jequirity bean, rosary pea, prayer bean, precatory bean, Indian liquorice
A perennial, twinning shrub. Leaves 9-12 cm long, leaves have rachis bristle-tipped ; leaflet 10-20 pairs, 1-2 x 0.5-0.8 cm, oblong. Flowers pink, born in fascicles on swollen nodes of axillary racemes. Calyx campanulate, corolla 8-9 mm long, stamens 9, pods oblong, beaked, pubescent and turgid. Seeds ovate, elliptic, shinning smooth, scarlet red colour with black hilum and 3-8 mm long.
Herb Effects
Anti-spasmodic,anthelmintic, anti-diarrhoeal,  anti-convulsant,anti-bacterial,alexiteric,astringent,abortifacient,  anti-septic, diuretic, emetic, diuretic, febrifuge,insecticide,inhibits intestinal motility,purgative, toxic, trichogenous.
Active Ingredients: Abrin
Medicinal Uses:
A tea is made from the leaves and used to treat fevers, coughs and colds. In Ceylon it is taken for sore throat and rheumatism. It is used as a remedy for pain in the chest. Roots are applied to the snake-bitten part. A cold infusion of the root is used in leucorrhoea and for gonorrhoea. Seeds are useful in affection of nervous system and externally in skin diseases, ulcers, affections of the hairs. Seeds reduced to paste are applied locally in sciatica stiffness of shoulder joints, paralysis and of nervous disease. In white leprosy seed paste and plumbago root is applied as a stimulant dressing.