Thursday, 21 April 2016

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Thursday, 16 August 2012



Botanical name : Saraca asoka (Roxb.) de Wilde
Family : Caesalpiniaceae
Asoka, Gatasoka

English  : Asoka tree
Hindi  : Asok
Malayalam : Asokam


A medium sized evergreen tree grows up to 10 meters in height. Leaves are pinnate, about 40 cm long having 2-3 pairs of lanceolate leaflets. Flowers are beautiful, orange colored in dense corymbs flowers are fragrant. Fruits are flat pods. 4-8 seeds per pods, ellipsoid and compressed. Bark is dark brown with warty surfaces.


Plant pacifies vitiated pitta, menorrhogia, leucorrhoea, stomach pain, diabetes and bleeding through anus. 

Useful part : Bark, Leaves, Flowers, Seeds 



Family: Meliaceae

Botanical Name: Azadirachta inaica Juss


Sanskrit: Nimba, Arista, Hinguniryasa, Manda, Tiktaka

English: Neem tree, Margosa tree

Hindi: Neem, Nimb

Malayalam: Aryaveppu, Veppu


Neem tree is used to stop the bleeding from the nose and mouth due to the bite of vipers. The bark of the tree is used for the preparation of medicinal decoctions.Azadirachta inaica Juss is an herb extensively used in Ayurveda, Unani and Homoeopathic systems of medicine [7] to treat many health related problems and ailments, and also known to exert anticancer, antioxidant, wound-healing, and antimicrobial properties [5,6,7] is also known to be one of these plants from which almost every part is used, from the Neem oil extracted from its seeds to the leaves and branches.   


More than 140 compounds have been isolated from different parts of neem. All parts of the neem tree as leaves, flowers, seeds, fruits, roots and bark have been used traditionally for the treatment of inflammation, infections, fever, skin diseases and dental disorders. Among those active constituents Neem has thirty-one nortriterpenoids, including 28 limonoids and 3 degraded limonoids, and one diterpenoid [3], as well as azadirachtin.


Among all the properties and health benefits exerted by Azadirachta indica (Neem) we shall highlight one, its ability to treat skin and skin related problems, either as part of poly herbal anti-acne face wash gels formulations [1], or part of anti-microbial preparations against some groups of bacteria as Escherichia coli (E.coli) [2].  Azadirachta indica (Neem) by itself doesn't seem to be much different from any other plant from its family and genus, but when we look closer we find some major differences that may indicate why this plant is so different, its active constituents, among which we find thirty-one nortriterpenoids, including 28 limonoids and 3 degraded limonoids, and one diterpenoid [3]. Image right: Neem tree by Wendy Cutler under Creative Common license (CC BY 2.0).
At least one study reported how five of those active constituents found in Azadirachta indica (Neem) showed an important inhibitory effect on the melanogenesis in the B16 melanoma cells, with results of 74 to 91% reduction of melanin content at 25 microg/ml and almost no toxicity to healthy cells[3], with which Neem becomes one of these plants to be noted for the development of new drugs based on the active constituents of this plant.
Neem leaves are known to possess immunomodulatory, anti-inflammatory, antihyperglycaemic, antiulcer, antimalarial, antifungal, antibacterial, antiviral, antioxidant, antimutagenic and anti-carcinogenic properties [5,7], being one of the most active parts of the plant.


The use of Azadirachta indica (neem) for the treatment of dental ailments as gingivitis, plaque and periodontitis has been reported in India since several decades ago, mainly due to its antiseptic properties and activity [9]. In a study in the subject, forty five subjects with plaque induced gingivitis divided in three groups were asked to rinse with 15 ml of mouthwash twice a day.
The study showed that Azadirachta indica (neem) was as effective in reducing periodontitis as Chlorhexidine, reducing significantly gingival, bleeding and plaque indices in the non-placebo groups [9].


In at least one study on the antioxidant properties of neem (Azadirachta indica) in inducing apoptosis of cervical cancer cells, neem demonstrated to be a potent inducer of apoptosis in biopsies of cervical cancer patients [10].




Family: Moraceae

Binomial name : Ficus religiosa Linn


Sanskrit: Avatha, Pippala, Kshiravriksha, Chalapatra, Bodhidruma

English: Peepal tree, Sacred fig

Hindi: Peepal, Peepar

Malayalam: Arayal

Large spreading deciduous tree. Leaves are alternate, cordate, shiny, long petioled, with linear lanceolate tail. The receptacles occurring in pairs, axillary, depressed globose, purplish when ripe.
Plant pacifies vitiated pitat, kapha, skin diseases, inflammation, poison, neuralgia, constipation and gynecological diseases.
The juice of the bark and leaves of Sacred fig or Peepal tree is used for grinding the pills and making decoction in toxicology.

Useful parts Bark, Leaves, Tender shoot, Fruits, Seeds, Latex. 



Botanical name : Nymphaea nouchali Burn.f.
Family : Nymphaeceae


English  : Indian water lily

Hindi  : Kanval, Kokka

Malayalam : Aampal


A large perennial aquatic herb with short round rhizomes. Leaves floating, peltate, flowers are large, beautiful and varies in color from pure white to deep red. Fruits spongy, many seeded berries, seeds are grayish black when dry.


Plant pacifies vitiated pitta, diarrhea, dysentery, cardiac debility, skin diseases, and general debility.
Useful part : Rhizomes, Flowers, Seeds. 
Nymphaea nouchali is considered a medicinal plant in Indian Ayurvedic medicine under the name Ambal; it was mainly used to treat indigestion.Recent experiments have confirmed that it has medicinal qualities as an antihepatotoxic and antidiabetic. Like all waterlilies or lotuses, its tubers and rhizomes can be used as food items; they are eaten usually boiled or roasted. In the case of the Red and blue water-lily, its tender leaves and flower peduncles are also valued as food.

The dried plant is collected from ponds, tanks and marshes during the dry season and used in India as animal forage.




Botanical name : Biophytum sensitivum Linn.
Family : Oxalidaceae

SANSKRIT SYNONYMS:Viparita lajjalu, Jhulapushpa, Peethapushpa

English  : Biophytum
Hindi  : Lajjalu, Lakshmana
Malayalam : Mukkutti

PLANT DESCRIPTION A slender erect annual; leaves abruptly pinnate, leaflets opposite, 6-12 pairs, the terminal pair is the largest; flowers yellow with many peduncles; fruits ellipsoid capsules
Plant pacifies vitiated kapha, pitta, urinary calculi, wounds, abscesses, asthma and stomachalgia.
 Useful part : The whole plant

It is an important flower for the people of Kerala both for its medicinal values and cultural importance. Mukkutti has been used in traditional folk medicine to treat numerous diseases.In Ayurveda this little herb Mukkutti is described as a good medicine. 

**Mukkutti is used as a tonic and stimulant 

**It is used for chest complaints , convulsions , Cramps and inflammatory tumours .

** It's ash is mixed with lime juice and given for stomach ache .

**Leaves and roots are styptic , decotion of leaves is given for diabetes , asthma and phthisis.

**Arthralgia, Arthritis, Back Pain, Bone Spur, Bursitis, Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, Cervical Spondylosis, Degenerative Joint Disease, Degenerative Neck Disease, Fibromyalgia, Leg Cramps, Leg pains, Osteoarthritis, Rheumatoid Arthritis, Sprains, Stiff Neck, Tendonitis and Tennis Elbow are also treated using mukkutti in Ayurveda.

**Mukkutti herb is very useful in treating Varicocele. The leaves of this herb (20) need to be boiled in 300ml of water for 40 mins. Strain and cool this potion and drink it two times daily for a month and complete relief would be accorded in a month.

** It is also used for treating heavy bleeding seen in women.Therefore it is also called "Teendanaazhi".

**Its leaf well grinded in butter milk is used in treating dysentry.

**It is a good medicinal herb to clean the uterus after delivery.

  1. The leaves are ground and given along with butter milk for diarrhoea.
  2. The seeds ground with water and applied over wound and ulcer.
  3. The samoolam of this plant or whole plant is ground, mixed with honey and given for cough, chest congestion etc.
  4. After delivery, the leaves of this plant along with jaggery is cooked and given to the delivered ladies to expell the lochia and remains from the uterus.
  5. The paste of the leaves is applied over burns and contusions.



Botanical name : Hibiscus rosa-sinensis Linn.
Family : Malvaceae
SANSKRIT SYNONYMS:Japa, Ondrapuspi, Ragapuspi

Hindi  :  Gudahal
Malayalam :  Chemparatty 

PLANT DESCRIPTION An evergreen woody shrub grows up to 8 meters in height. Leaves simple, bright green, ovate and serrate towards the end. Flowers are beautiful, solitary and axillary.
Plant pacifies vitiated kapha, pitta, cough, menorrhagia, dysmenorrhea, pruritus, burning sensation, fever, alopecia and dandruff. 
Useful part : Root, Fruit.

 Hibiscus Rosasinensis (chembarathi or chemparathi) is an ornamental plant seen in almost all parts of Kerala. Its Latin name, rosa-sinensis translates into the rose of China or Chinese rose. This flower is predominant in almost all parts of India and China.
    Women and girls (of Kerala) prepare a special herbal shampoo called chembarathi thali, by rubbing the leaves and flowers of chembarathi against a clean rock slab. This helps them with thickly growing, black shining hair. 
   Ayurveda suggests it is good to prevent premature hair graying, hair loss, dandruff, and other hair related problems. Its petals also form a component of hair oil prepared at home. Coconut oil is boiled with easily available chemparathi petals, nellikka (amalaki), etc.
Other uses of hibiscus include regulation of menstrual cycle, avoid menstrual cramps, and also as a contraceptive medicine. The roots of the plant are used in the treatment of different venereal diseases.
Hibiscus rosa-sinensis comes in the plant family Malvaceae.

There are 5000 varieties in China rose or shoe flower, Hibiscus (Hibiscus rosa sinensis). There are many uses of hibiscus, including beauty tips, medicines and dyes. Do you know that some tribes are using this flower for cancer? Many colors of Hibiscus are available. Of all these white one has much importance in medicine.
  1. The chemicals in hibiscus flower helps in growth of hair. It reduces dandruff and makes the hair black.
  2. The natural oil in this flower acts as a good conditioner
  3. This flower can be used as natural dye for hair
  4. The oil in this flower can be applied to the skin of patients who are suffering from cellulite which makes the skin to glow
  5. The ash obtained by burning the flower and leaves of this flower can be applied to eyebrows which glazes them black
  6. This flower can be used as shoe polish by rubbing it on the shoe
  7. Hibiscus flower can be used as contraceptive. The oil from this flower is used for abortion in some tribes in Jamaica.
  8. Jamaicans use this flower in herbal tea as it contains many minerals and vitamins
  9. The juice from these leaves and flowers can regularize the menstrual cycle
  10. Ayurveda says the medicine made from its roots can be used as a prevention of venereal diseases
  11. According to traditional medicine if we eat the buds of white hibiscus flowers early in the morning on empty stomach it should cure all the diseases. We can mix sugar if we are unable to eat directly.
  12. This flower improves digestion. Hence raw flowers are eaten by Hawaiian people, and Chinese eat this flower by making pickle.
  13. The fiber from this stem is qualitative. This can be used in manufacturing of clothes, nets and paper.
  14. The roots of hibiscus are boiled in oil until the water gets evaporated. Then the oil can be applied to the wounds caused by cancer. This can be very useful in initial stage of cancer.
  15. According to the traditional medicine, the flowers of white Hibiscus can be dried in the shade of neem tree. Then they can be powdered and it can be used to fight all cancers.

  According to Ayurveda it is good for increasing blood count among anemic people. The bright Red variety that is commonly found in tropical countries is supposed to be the best . The flowers are boiled in a little water and blended in a mixer with roasted cummin seeds and salt and consumed after diluting it to the required level ,for increasing the quantity of hemoglobin .

The flower is also used for hair care. The leaves and flowers are added to hot coconut oil and slowly heated for a few minutes , after which the oil is completely cooled and filtered. The Oil is then stored in bottles and used to apply to the hair . The oil should be massaged into the hair and left for an hour or two after which it can be washed with a shampoo. This treatment when done regularly has been proved to be  very helpful in stopping hair loss and promoting new hair growth.
  In India certain varieties of Hibiscus flowers are used for cooking. Hibiscus is supposed to contain some vital nutrients that are essential for the body and in the southern parts of India it is regularly used in cooking.