Since his existence on this planet man had to depend on Nature for sustenance and survival, recognising his very survival depends on seeing the fragile balance of nature and living organisms is not disturbed. Medicinal plants are divided into 50 groups according to physiological actions of medicine. These 50 groups cover every thing from curatives to preventives.
We will divide the plants in five categories i.e.
Medicinal Plans, i.e., Asoka (Saraca asoca), Vasaka (Adhatoda vasica) Arjun (Terminalia arjuna) etc.;
Culinary Plants, i.e., Cumin (Cuminum cyminum), Black pepper (Piper nigrum), Coriander (Coriandrum sativum) etc.;
Sacred Plants, i.e., Banyan (Ficus bengalensis), Lotus (Nelumbo nudfera), Holy Basil (Odmum sanctum) etc.;
Cosmetic Plants i.e., Henna (Lawsonia inermis), Sesame (Sesamum indicum), Indian Sarsaparilla (Hemidesmum indicus), Saffron (Crocus sativus) etc. and
Aromatic Plants i.e.,-Tasmine (Jasminum grandiflorum), Fragrant Screw Pine (Pandanus odoratissimus), Bakula (Mimusops elengi).
Family Name: Malvaceae
Botanical Name : Hibiscus rosa-sinensis
Vernacular Name : Sans: Japa; Hind-Jasun; Eng : Chinese hibiscus
It is astringent, promotes hair growth; both white and red flowers or trisandhya varieties subdue deranged kapha and vata.
Parts Used : Flowers, leaves and root
Therapeutic Uses :
Flowers : refrigerant" emollient and emmenagogue, aprhodisiac; decoction given in bronchial catarrh; infusion of petals is a refrigerant drink in fever, demulcent in cough and useful in strangury, cystitis and other genito-urinary troubles· Oil from the fresh petals and olive oil in equal proprotion find application in alopecia;
Leaves : anodyne, emollient and aperient; juice beneficial in gonorrhoea, alopecia and also used for blackening hair;
The buds have a sweet odour and bitter taste; cooling, astringent; remove burning of the body, urinary discharges, seminal weakness, piles, uterine and vaginal discharges; promote the growth of the foetus; cause vomiting and intestinal worms.
The flowers fried in ghee check excessive menstruation , the fresh root-juice of the wild flower variety is given for gonorrhrea, and the powdered root for menorrhagia.
The root is valuable in coughs.
The flowers are considered emollient, and an infusion of the petals is given as a demulcent and refrigerant drink in fevers.
Externally they are used in all kinds of inflammation.
Family Name: Oleaceae
Botanical Name : Jasminum sambac
Vernacular Name : Sans- Mallika ,Hind - Bel , Eng - Jasmine
Parts used : roots, leaves, flowers.
Properties and uses :
The flower is bitter, pungent; cooling; alexiteric; cures " tridosha ", biliousness, itching sensation; useful in diseases of the eye, the ear, and the mouth; good for skin diseases, leprosy, ulcers.
The flower has a bitter bad taste; tonic to the brain, purgative; allays fever; stops vomiting and hiccough.
The plant is considered cool and sweet; it is used as a remedy in cases of insanity, in weakness of sight, and affections of the mouth.
The root of the wild "variety is used as an emmenagogue.
The dried leaves, soaked in water and made into a poultice are used in indolent ulcers.
The flowers act as a lactifuge, and are said to arrest the secretion of milk in the puerperal.
State in cases of threatened abscess. For this purpose about two or three handfuls of the flowers are bruised and applied unmoistened to each breast, and renewed once or twice a day.
The secretion is sometimes arrested in twenty.four hours, though this generally requires two or even three days.
Family Name: Nympheceae
Botanical Name : Nelumbo nucifera
Vernacular names : san kamala, Hindi –kanwal, Eng –sacred lotus
Padma, nalina, utpala are the three varieties of lotus . All of them are beneficial in burning sensation, haemorrhagic disease, thirst, heart disease, vomiting and syncope.
Parts used : Seeds, flowers, leaves and rhizome.
Filaments in the form of powder is found beneficial in burning sensation of the body and in haemorrhage; mixed with butter and sugar, prescribed in piles to stop bleeding and in menorrhagia.
Decoction of flowers is valued in cholera, fever, strangury and as a cardiac tonic.
Lotus honey is beneficial in ophthalmia.
Tender leaf-juice, mixed with sugar, is given in elephantiasis powdered rhizome is prescribed for piles as demulcent; beneficial in dysentery and chronic dyspepsia; external application in the form of paste useful in scabies an' ring-worms.
Rhizomes yield a kind of nutritious arrowroot given to children for dysentery and diarrhoea.
Seeds are antiemetic; given to children as a diuretic an, refrigerant and also used in skin diseases and leprosy.
The whole plant is sweet, cool, slightly bitter; gives tone to the breast; removes worms; allays thirst, fever, biliousness, vomiting, and strangury.
The root is bitter; it cures cough, and biliousness; allays thirst, and is cooling to the body.
The stem is good in strangury, blood complaints, vomiting and leprosy.
The tender leaves are bitter, cooling; useful in burning sensation of the body, thirst, strangury, piles, and leprosy.
The flower is sweet, and cooling; it allays cough, thirst, blood defects, skin eruptions, and symptoms of poisoning; good in fever, and biliousness; beneficial to the eyes.
The anthers are cooling, aphrodisiac, astringent to the taste and in diarrhrea; remove" kapha " and "pitta" sedative to the uterus; good in thirst, bleeding piles, inflammations, and poisoning; cure ulcers and sores of the mouth.
The fruit is bitter and astringent, sweet and cooling; removes thirst, blood impurities, "kapha " and" pitta," and foul breath.
The seeds are sweet and flavoury, astringent and slightly bitter, aphrodisiac; sedative to the pregnant uterus; destroy" kapha " and " vata;" good astringent in diarrhrea and dysentery; strengthen the body; useful in burning sensation of the body, vomiting, and leprosy. The honey is an excellent tonic; removes" tridosha ; " useful in diseases of the eye.
The root is diuretic; it is good in throat troubles, chest pain, spermatorrhea, leucoderma, and small-pox.
The white flower is a good tonic for the heart and the brain; allays thirst; improves watery eyes; good in bronchitis, and for internal injuries.
The seeds are cool, diuretic, tonic to the uterus, good in menorrhagia and leucorrhoea; useful in fevers and in chest complaints.
The powdered root is prescribed for piles as a demulcent; also for dysentery and dyspepsia. It is used as a paste in ringworm and other cutaneous affections.
The large leaves are used as cool bedsheets in high fever with much heat and burning of the skin.
The milky viscid juice of the leaf and flower stalks is used in diarrhoea.
The flowers are used as an astringent in diarrhoea, also cholera, in fever and diseases of the liver; and are also recommended as a cardiac tonic.
The seeds are used to check vomiting, and are given to children . as diuretic and refrigerant. They form a cooling medicine for cutaneous diseases and leprosy, and are considered an antidote for poisons.
The filaments are considered astringent and cooling, useful' in burning sensation of the body, bleeding piles and menorrhagia.
In bleeding piles, the filaments of the lotus are given, with honey and 'fresh butter, or with sugar.
A sherbet of this plant is used as refrigerant in small-pox, and is said to stop eruption; used also in all eruptive fevers.
Family Name: Apocynaceae
Botanical Name : Nerium oleander
Vernacular Name : Sans- Karavirah ,Hind -kaner , Eng – Indian oleander
Parts used : roots, leaves
Properties and uses :
The roots are bitter, acrid, astringent, anthelmintic, thermogenic, aphrodisiac, stomachic, febrifuge and diuretic.
They are useful in cardiac asthma, strangury, renal and vesical calculi, chronic stomachalgia, arthralgia, leprosy, pruritus and ulcers.
The root bark is very specific for ringworm. The leaves are a powerful repellent and are used for scabies, haemorrhoids and yitiated conditions of vata.
The juice of the tender leayes is good for ophthalmia with copious lacrimation.
The flowers are reported to have the property of purifying the air.
Family Name : Nymphaeaceae
Botanical Name : Nymphaea nouchali
Vernacular Name : Sans- Kumudam ,Hind -Knaval , Eng –indian water lily
Parts used : rhizome, flowers, seeds
Properties and uses :
The rhizome is cooling, sweet, bitter, tonic, useful in diarrhoea, dysentery and general debility.
The flowers are astringent, cardiotonic.
The seeds are sweet, cooling, aphrodisiac, stomachic and restorative, useful in vitiated pitta, diarrhea, dermatopathy.
Family Name : Magnoliaceae
Botanical Name : Michelia champaca
Vernacular Name : Sans: Champaka; Hind, & Eng : Champa.
Parts used : Different parts of the plant, flowers and seeds.
Therapeutic uses :
Flowers are bitter, demulcent, antipyretic, diuretic, antiemetic, carminative; useful in scabies, leprosy and gonorrhoea; mixed with sweet oil applied in eczema.
Decoction of flowers or oil of the seeds considered useful in flatulence.
Fruits are beneficial in dyspepsia and in renal disease.
Champa oil from flowers finds application in cephalalgia, ophthalmia and gout.
Seeds and fruits are applied for healing cracks in feet.
Dried root and root bark are employed to clear bowels and in menstruation troubles.
Family Name: Pandanaceae
Botanical Name : Pandanus odoratissimus Linn
Vernacular Name : Sans-Ketaki ,Hind - Kedgi , Eng - Umbrella tree
Parts used : roots, leaves, flowers
Properties and uses :
The roots are useful in vitiated conditions of kapha and pitta, skin diseases, leprosy;cephalalgia, coxalgia, otalgia, wounds, ulcers, dyspepsia, flatulence, colic, fever, diabetes, sterility, spontaneous abortion and general debility.
The leaves are acrid, bitter, alexeteric, aphrodisiac, depurative and somniferous.
They are useful in tumours, leprosy, smallpox, syphilis, scabies, leucoderma and cardiopathy and cerebropathy due to insomnia.
The flowers are acrid, bitter, aphrodisiac, anodyne and demulcent, and are useful in pruritus, otalgia, cephalalgia, leucoderma and skin eruptions.
The oil obtained from the bracts is stimulant and antispasmodic, and is useful in cephalalgia, rheumatoid arthritis and coxalgia.
Botanical Name : Rosa damascene
Vernacular Name : Sans- Shatadala ,Hind - Gulab , Eng - Rose
Parts used---roots, flowers, leaves
Properties and uses :
Rose-water from flowers used as a vehicle for medicine, it is cooling, fragrant, ophthalmic, good in hyperhidrosis;
The roots are astringent, useful in intestinal ulcers, rickets, haemorrhages, diarrhea.
The leaves are useful in treating wounds, opthalmia, hepatopathy, haemorhoids,.
The flower is bitter ,acrid with a good odour, cooling, laxative, aphrodisiac; cures" tridosha ", biliousness, leprosy, brning sensation, removes bad odour from the mouth, improves appetite. an flowers are: astringent, cardiotonic, expectorant and laxative, sweet ,cooling, aromatic, anti-inflammatory, digective, carminative, aohrodisiac, intellect promoting, rejuvenating ,useful in vitiated conditions of vata, pitta.
The flower is bitter, sweetish; tonic, laxative, expectorant, cardio. tonic; good for the eyes, headache, toothache, stomatitis; benefits the lungs, the kidneys, the liver; used in heat of body, chronic fevers, inflammation, intestinal affections; excessive perspiration; astringent when dry In India, rose buds are preferred for medicinal use, as they are more astringent than the expanded flowers; they are considered to be cold and dry, cephalic, cardiacal, tonic and aperient, removing bile and cold humours. Externally applied, the petals are used as an astringent.
The stamens are thought to be hot, dry and astringent, and the fruit is credited with similar properties.
A conserve made from equal parts of rose petals and white sugar beaten together, known as gulkand, is considered tonic and fattening, and is much used by women and old people.
Botanical Name : Helianthus annuus
Vernacular Name : Sans- Surya mukhi ,Hind - Surya mukhi, Eng - Sunflower
Parts used—roots, leaves, fruits, seeds.
Properties and uses :
The flower is pungent and hot; anthelmintic; antiperiodic, cures.. kaph", skin diseases, itching,ulcers, leprosy,hysteria, fever with rigor, biliousness", "vata", asthma, bronchitis, urinary discharges,anaemia; good for burning sensation in the vagina, A decoction of the root strengthens the teeth and cures tooth ache.
The leaves are emetic; applied in lumbar pain.
The flowers have a bittter bad taste; tonic, emmenagogue, aphrodisiac, lessen, inflammation,given in insanity, applied in complaint, of the chest". liver, lungs; used in piles, ophthalmia, "ascites; cure diseases of the kidney ,leprosy, skin diseases, ulcers, bronchitis, asthma, pneumonosis, haemorrhoids, asitis, amenorrhoea, diuretic, vitiated pitta, intermittent fevers, hepatopathy.
Seeds are expectorant, diuretic, useful in cough, catarrah, pneumonosis, strangury.